Youth League Week 19 Roundup

Penrith scored a win over a depleted Central Coast to really shake up the final standings at the last possible moment. Manly secured the first round bye with a big win over Bankstown, making a statement in the process.

Norths 51 defeated Newcastle 34

Newcastle may have only travelled to this game with six players, but with Norths missing their only true outside threat, Ali Burke, due to injury, they would have to win this game in the paint as they looked to clinch their finals berth.

Norths got off to the best possible start, chalking up the first six points of the game as former Sydney Uni Flames forward Annobel Starr came up with two early baskets. Newcastle slowly came into the game to trim the margin, but Norths retained a 10-6 lead after a low-scoring quarter in which both teams found it tough to get anything of substance created on offence.

Sarah-Jane Thomas took her personal tally to six early in the second quarter as Norths found the better looks. Meiling Patfield was Newcastle’s scoring leader through the second quarter, but with Katerina Diamant and Elle Carroll finishing a couple of tough looks, it soon looked as if the Bears would break away from the visitors. However, late baskets to Grace Kibble and Hannah Fox saw the Hunters able to trim the Norths’ lead to 24-16.

Newcastle hung with Norths in the early stages of the second half as Patfield continued to add points, but the class of Carroll showed through in the third quarter. 12 points in the term for the recently returned guard was the catalyst for Norths to take a 44-23 lead after three quarters as the Sydney Uni Sparks program member took the game into her own hands to put the game beyond doubt when it had earlier appeared that Newcastle were set for a comeback.

The Hunters put together an 8-1 run early in the fourth quarter, but it was more a case of stopping Norths’ scoring on a number of consecutive occasions than getting quick points, as the scoreline read 45-31 with 4 minutes to play. Whilst more scoring followed, there was very little of it, and Norths ran out 51-34 winners to finish the regular season on 11 wins and secure a finals spot.

Elle Carroll led all scorers with 16 points, whilst Sarah-Jane Thomas, Katerina Diamant, and Annobel Starr each tallied 6 points for the home side. Meiling Patfield led Newcastle with 10 points, whilst Melanie Edwards and Hannah Fox each added 6 for the Hunters.

Illawarra 76 defeated Hills 65

A win in this game wouldn’t be enough for Illawarra to secure the first round bye in the finals, but they could certainly upset Hills’ plans to do so, and with Eleri Morris resembling some sort of fireball, the young Kittyhawks chalked up a 76-65 win.

Morris was on a tear early in the contest, scoring 9 of the game’s first 13 points as Illawarra took an 11-2 lead inside four minutes. Five early points from Paris Roditis kept Hills in the mix early at 12-7, and two late threes from Rachael Mules kept the Hornets’ offence ticking over. However, in the meantime, Tyler Vukovcan and Bronte Covington took the reins from Morris and ensured Illawarra would take a 24-13 lead into the first break.

Mules, as well as Madison Hare, did their level best to keep Hills in touch as the game progressed into the second quarter, but Vukovcan and Covington continued to provide perfect foils for Morris, with the trio leading Illawarra past the half-century mark before halftime with some electric scoring. Paris Roditis added five more points for Hills, but nonetheless, Illawarra held a commanding 51-33 lead at halftime.

With Mules continuing to hit threes, Hills moved back within 11 early in the third quarter before Claudia Flynn found herself at the line three times in quick succession, converting four of her opportunities in the process. The Hornets continued to have the better of the quarter though, with Hare and Mules, backed up by Zoe Burke and Laura Davidson, trimming the Illawarra lead to 61-56 with 90 seconds remaining in the the third quarter. Morris came up with a big three point play with just under a minute to play to push Illawarra out to 64-56, which is how the quarter ended.

Morris and Flynn hit early shots in the fourth quarter for Illawarra, and Hare countered with one of her own, but after six points in a minute, the teams would combine for the grand total of zero points in the next four minutes of play. Hills really needed to be the next team to score, but instead it was Morris extending Illawarra to a 72-58 lead with just under 5 minutes to play. Hare played a lone hand in the dying stages to give Hills a pulse at 74-65 down with two minutes to play, but Morris scored the only basket of the final stages to deliver Illawarra a 76-65 victory.

Eleri Morris was simply scintillating, stuffing the stat sheet with 36 points. Tyler Vukovcan added 12 and Bronte Covington chipped in 11, whilst Claudia Flynn’s ability to get to the line helped her to 10 valuable points. Rachael Mules’ three point scoring helped her to 20 points, with six threes forming the bulk of her points. Madison Hare tallied 18 points for the Hornets, whilst Paris Roditis added 12.

Penrith 65 defeated Central Coast 46

With a few tiebreakers in their favour and facing a depleted Central Coast side in their final game of the season, Penrith came into this one with a chance to jump to third, and they did exactly that with a 19 point win over the ladder leaders despite Natalia Beaumont’s absence.

Although Central Coast were suffering from a lack of numbers, you only need five players to take the court to start the game, and with most of the starting lineup intact, the Crusaders jumped out to an early 9-2 lead courtesy of four early points from Losalini Katia. Dominika Offner quickly put paid to any ideas of the Crusaders getting away from the Panthers though, with two quick threes that delivered Penrith a 10-9 lead. Katia continued to dominate the opening quarter though, and two late Taylor Ferris free throws helped Central Coast to a 15-12 lead after a quarter.

The Panthers opened the second quarter in dominant fashion, with Tatiana Beaumont scoring seven of the first nine points of the term and Penrith unable to get on the board for the first five minutes of the period. Somehow, despite these struggles, Central Coast were not completely blown away by halftime. Katia added five late points to combat the Panthers’ scoring, but the home side retained a 27-20 halftime lead courtesy of an excellent start to the quarter.

The third quarter proved to be Meg Jefferson’s time to shine. Whilst Katia and Rachel Williams combined to score all 10 Crusaders points in the term, Jefferson scored 14 of her own to put Penrith well and truly in the driver’s seat. With teammates chipping in points here and there, Jefferson’s heroics extended Penrith’s lead to 48-30 with a quarter to play.

Four more points to Jefferson opened the final quarter and soon the Panthers had pushed the margin out beyond the 20 point mark. Williams and Ferris did what they could to attempt to trim the lead, and Shakera Reilly added some late points, but with Penrith adding points at regular intervals, the Panthers were able to hold the lead at around 20 points throughout the fourth quarter and secure a 65-46 win to shake up the finals positions as Penrith jumped into third with the win.

Meg Jefferson led all scorers with 24 points, thanks mainly to that third quarter barrage. Tatiana Beaumont added 12, whilst Dominika Offner’s early three point shooting helped her to 9 points. Losalini Katia led Central Coast with 19 points, whilst Rachel Williams finished with 11 points. Taylor Ferris and Shakera Reilly each added 7 for the depleted Crusaders side which still finished well clear atop the table despite the loss.

Liverpool-Macarthur 61 lost to Sutherland 83

In a game with little hanging on it but pride, Sutherland completed a 10 win season but finished narrowly out of the finals after a 22 point win over Liverpool-Macarthur.

Brianna Morris was the one doing early damage for Sutherland, tallying five early points as Sutherland manufactured an early 12-5 lead before Taylor Muaulu and Kimberley Sepuloni hit back for Liverpool-Macarthur. The Razorbacks’ pair combined for 11 points and saw the home side claw back to see the teams tied at 15-15 after a quarter of play.

Bianca Carusio added a couple of baskets early in the second quarter for the Razorbacks, but the class of Maddy Norris quickly shone through. The Sutherland star tallied 9 points in the opening stages of the quarter to help push the visitors out to a 30-20 lead. Carly McLachlan chipped in a few points before Parrish Leavai rounded out what turned out to be a dominant second quarter for the visitors with five late points to see the Sharks take a 42-27 lead into the halftime break.

Although Sutherland continued to extend their lead in the third quarter, Liverpool-Macarthur found a significant positive in the play of debutant Jenarl Faraimo, who hit shot after shot to tally 11 points in the third quarter alone. Norris and Leavai continued to keep the Sharks’ score ticking over, with Meredith Hines also stepping up at times as the Sharks took a 63-42 lead into the final quarter.

The Razorbacks kept pace with Sutherland in the fourth quarter, with a number of players tallying points for the home side in a solid team performance from the depleted Liverpool-Macarthur side. However, the Sharks had this game well and truly sewn up and ran out 83-62 victors in their final game of the season.

Jenarl Faraimo led Liverpool-Macarthur with 24 points, whilst Kimberley Sepuloni and Taylor Muaulu each tallied 12 points and Bianca Carusio added 9 for the Razorbacks. Maddy Norris led all scorers with 27 points, with Parrish Leavai adding 20 for the Sharks. Brianna Morris chipped in 13 for the visitors, whilst Carly McLachlan added 12 as four Sharks finished in double figures.

Manly 79 defeated Bankstown 42

A win for Manly would deliver them the first-round bye, and they secured the win in dominant fashion, locking down the Bankstown offence throughout the contest on their way to a 37 point victory.

Manly didn’t have it all their own way in the early stages as Bankstown proved more than a match for the Sea Eagles. Whilst Katie Castle and Faith Bulgin each started solidly, Tasmyn Haynes and Georgia Gale made a living at the free throw line early in the game to keep the Bruins right on pace with Manly. A run of five points from Antonia Henderson looked as if it might set Manly on a bit of a run, but Sabrina Zenatti’s late three kept Bankstown within a basket at 15-13 down after a quarter.

Manly looked dangerous in the early stages of the second quarter, with Josie Bulman adding a couple of baskets in the opening minutes. However, Bankstown hit back on each occasion until midway through the term. From 22-19 up, Manly went on an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 11 points and put Bankstown under some real pressure. Brittany Pulling added a late basket for Bankstown, but Manly retained a 30-21 lead at halftime.

Surely not wanting Bankstown to get even a sniff of a comeback, Manly held firm in the opening minutes of the second half before putting the hammer down as the third quarter progressed. A seven point lead quickly became ten, and then rolled past the 15 and 20 point mark. With Castle and Bulman hitting shots with aplomb, the Bruins became almost powerless to stop the Manly side, who conjured a 57-34 lead by the end of the third quarter to have this one in the books with ten minutes to play.

The Sea Eagles weren’t done, though. Bulman continued an outstanding second half on offence, and with Bankstown’s scoring drying up, Manly rolled to a 79-42 lead which secured a first-round bye for finals, allowing the Sea Eagles plenty of preparation for their semi-final in Maitland in a couple of weeks.

No player scored over 15 for Manly, but 11 players contributed, led by Antonia Henderson’s 15 points. Josie Bulman added 14, whilst Katie Castle chipped in 13 for the Sea Eagles. Tasmyn Haynes played an almost lone hand for Bankstown, tallying 17 points for Bankstown to be the Bruins only player in double figures, with Georgia Gale next best with 7 points.

Weekly Scoring Leaders:

Eleri Morris (Illawarra) – 36 points v Hills
Madeleine Norris (Sutherland) – 27 points v Liverpool-Macarthur
Jenarl Faraimo (Liverpool-Macarthur) – 24 points v Sutherland
Meg Jefferson (Penrith) – 24 points v Central Coast
Rachael Mules (Hills) – 20 points v Illawarra

Waratah Youth League Week 5 Roundup

Two overtime games and another two that went down to the wire capped an exhilarating week in Youth League as the upsets came thick and fast.

Illawarra 60 defeated Central Coast 54 (OT)

A scrappy yet tight game for the most part, Illawarra and Central Coast delivered a showstopper of a fourth quarter that ended with the teams headed to overtime after 40 minutes couldn’t split them. With Illawarra unable to get many decent looks and Central Coast forcing the offence at times, the first three quarters yielded just 63 points between the two teams. Central Coast took a 32-31 lead into the final term, but the calmness of Illawarra’s more experienced players came to the fore, with Eleri Morris and Paige Phillips providing some much needed maturity down the stretch. The home side took a 48-39 lead into the final three minutes, but Central Coast were by no means done, putting together an astonishing 12-0 run to see the Crusaders defending a three point lead in the final seconds. Somehow, Brittany Clark hit her only three pointer of the day in the dying seconds despite having a hand in her face and the game was pushed to overtime. The early stages of overtime were simply crazy. Eleri Morris and Shakera Reilly both fouled out within the opening minute, and Paige Phillips followed not long after. Despite missing Reilly, it would appear on paper that Central Coast would have the advantage in this situation, but Illawarra found much-needed scoring from other options to take the game 60-54.

Despite fouling out in overtime, Eleri Morris was Illawarra’s best on the day, and finished with 18 points, with Maddison Delaney chipping in with 11 points of her own. Rachel Williams top scored for Central Coast with 15 points, and was backed up by Alessandra Gasparotto and Losalini Katia, who tallied 14 and 11 points respectively.

Box Score

Manly 63 lost to Norths 66

Norths almost handed this game to Manly after doing so much hard work to establish a solid lead in this battle of teams from north of the bridge. With Faith Bulgin firing on all cylinders, Manly opened up an early lead. However, Norths quickly reeled in the Sea Eagles and by halftime had established a 7 point lead of their own. That lead was extended to 9 on a Lana Marov basket midway through the third quarter, but when Caitlin Keefe hit the first basket of the fourth quarter, scores were tied 53-53. The lead swung back and forth throughout the fourth quarter, with Milly Yates’ basket for Norths with 90 seconds to play being the first time the margin had been more than one possession in nearly five minutes. Amazingly, there would be no more scoring in the game until Bulgin split a pair of free throws with 18 seconds to play, and somehow Norths escaped the beaches with a win.

Bulgin was the undoubted star of the game, finishing with an astounding 28 points, whilst Katelyn Castle dropped in 14 points for Manly. Alessandra Burke was Norths’ best with 23 points. She was backed up by Milly Yates and Lana Marov, who tallied 12 points apiece in the Bears’ win.

Box Score

Newcastle 56 lost to Sutherland 64 (OT)

In the second overtime game of the week, Newcastle and Sutherland found their approaches to be almost diametrically opposed. Whilst Newcastle saw 11 of their 12 players get on the scoresheet, Sutherland were led by 29 points from Maddy Norris, which accounted for 45% of the Sharks’ points. Midway through the third quarter, it looked as if Newcastle had the wood on Sutherland, up by 9 and in control of the contest. Sutherland slowly edged their way back into the game, though. By the end of the third quarter, they had chipped away three points of the margin, and somehow held Newcastle to just three points in the final quarter. Norris knocked down a pair of free throws with just under a minute remaining to tie the game, and with no further scoring, five extra minutes were put on the clock, and away the teams went. Norris outscored Newcastle 8-5 on her own in the extra period, and Sutherland took home a 64-56 overtime win.

Norris was the only double-figure scorer for either team with her 29 points, which included 10 free throws. Rachel Whittet was next best for Sutherland with 9 points, whilst Alison Ebzery and Bonnie Frost tallied 9 points each for Newcastle.

Box Score

Hills 70 lost to Hornsby 75

Hornsby gave up an early lead to Hills in this high scoring local derby, allowing the home side to open up a 6 point margin in the opening quarter. However, Hornsby quickly came back and led for most of the remainder of the contest. The game remained incredibly tight throughout, though. Hills remained within 5 points for the majority of the game, and even took slender leads at times, although these were quickly extinguished by Hornsby time and again. Hills even held a 66-64 lead with under 2 minutes to play, but seven points in the space of 70 seconds to Hornsby gave the Spiders the ascendancy. Hills were forced to foul late on, but Kristina Moore and Tylah Mundine were clutch from the line to seal a 75-70 win for Hornsby.

Sydney Uni Sparks squad members Jess Sancataldo and Tylah Mundine were outstanding for Hornsby, finishing with 23 and 22 points respectively to lead the Spiders to victory. Madison Hare led the way for Hills with 17 points, and was ably backed up by Paris Roditis and Amelia Iskowicz. Roditis dropped in 15 points, whilst Iskowicz tallied 13.

Box Score

Bankstown 62 defeated Penrith 45

Against an understrength Penrith side, Bankstown saw their opportunity and took it with aplomb in a game that was never really close, save for an early Penrith run which the Bruins quickly took care of. A ten point first quarter lead held until halftime, at which point the Bruins’ Tasmyn Haynes found another gear. A 17 point second half effort kept the Bruins ticking along, and whilst Penrith did trim the margin to less 10 in the fourth quarter, Haynes and Sabrina Zenatti ensured that any comeback attempt would be shortlived. A late run for Bankstown meant the scoreboard may have flattered Bankstown slightly, but it was an opportunity well-taken.

Tasmyn Haynes racked up 25 points to lead the Bruins, with Sabrina Zenatti adding 14 and Georgia Gale tallying 12. Meg Creanor was Penrith’s best, tallying 9 points as six Panthers scored five or more points, but none could crack double figures.

Box Score

Manly 80 defeated Illawarra 53

Stinging from the previous day’s nail-biting loss to Norths, Manly took their frustrations out on an Illawarra side featuring a number of players that had played both an overtime Youth League game and a Championship game the previous day. Fresh off 8 points and 10 rebounds for Sydney Uni Sparks in SEABL the previous evening, Kimberley Hodge set about asserting herself alongside a strong Manly lineup. The Sea Eagles opened up an 11 point halftime lead, before Hodge, alongside Katelyn Castle and Faith Bulgin, went on a second half onslaught. 15 of her 21 points came after halftime as Manly more than doubled their halftime lead on the way to an 80-53 win.

Hodge led all scorers with 21 points, whilst Faith Bulgin added 18 and Katelyn Castle chipped in 15 to provide the bulk of the scoring for the Sea Eagles. Paige Phillips and Eleri Morris were again outstanding for Illawarra despite playing two games the previous day, tallying 13 and 10 points respectively. Maddison Delaney also contributed 12 points for the Kittyhawks.

Box Score

Sutherland 102 defeated Liverpool-Macarthur 43

In no mood for another overtime game after the nail biter against Newcastle, Sutherland trounced Liverpool-Macarthur by 59 points in an alarmingly one-sided fixture. The Sharks led 23-9 after a quarter, and there was little change in the second as the lead extended to 42-17 by halftime. Madeleine Norris dropped another 29 points, but this time had far more support than she had enjoyed against Newcastle. The procession continued throughout the second half, with all ten Sutherland players getting on the scoresheet.

Norris’ 29 points was again enough to top score, and three other Sharks finished in double figures. Hannah Clinen tallied 19 points, Parrish Leavai chipped in with 16, and Carly McLachlan notched 12 of her own. Abby O’Flynn was Liverpool-Macarthur’s sole player in double-figures, tallying 14 points in a valiant effort.

Box Score

Weekly Scoring Leaders:

Madeleine Norris (Sutherland) – 29 points v Newcastle
Madeleine Norris (Sutherland) – 29 points v Liverpool-Macarthur
Faith Bulgin (Manly) – 28 points v Norths
Tasmyn Haynes (Bankstown) – 25 points v Penrith
Alessandra Burke (Norths) – 23 points v Manly
Jess Sancataldo (Hornsby) – 23 points v Hills