Day 6 - Women's Gold Medal game - Australia wins gold
Excitement was felt in the stadium as the sirens sounded for the women’s gold medal game, the anticipation of Australia playing New Zealand was massive, the crowds pouring in to watch. Throughout the tournament, both Australia and New Zealand have matched up in the statistics quite strongly, both teams having a tall and strong shooter, both teams with a powerful ball carrier and both teams being tough, steady and consistent.
New Zealand came out and took an easy fast break, scoring the first goal for the match. Australia just kept their defense strong. The first quarter was played fairly evenly, but with New Zealand taking a lead towards the end of quarter, with the final scores of the quarter Australia 13 to New Zealand 17.
Charlotte Elley from New Zealand scored 8 points for her team and was a big contributor to her teams result; she was the highest scorer from her team in the first half. The second quarter started with a lot of strength coming from Australia after they’d received a pep talk at quarter time. New Zealand came back fighting as well. The Australian girls ran a full court press and the New Zealand girls backed into a zone defense.
Krystle McKenzie from Australia was a very strong dribbler and ball carrier during the second quarter, resulting in many assists and being essential to her team’s scoring. The second quarter finished with Australia just taking a last minute lead, with the score, Australia 28 to New Zealand 21. The motivation and yearning to win was growing as the match went on, and as the third quarter started both teams raised their intensity.
The play started off secure and solid with creative game play and strong defense. Both capitalized on scoring opportunities. The third quarter was fast paced as the New Zealand girls tried to match the Australian girls. Georgia Pineau from Australia earned herself a ‘double-double’ during the match, scoring 12 points and 10 rebounds. This great performance was consistent with her other games throughout the week, earning her the honor of the highest point scorer for the tournament.
The fourth quarter started a bit more relaxed for the Australian team as they had such a strong lead, but for the New Zealand girls they were facing a big challenge. New Zealand fought and tried their best to overcome Australia but they were just unable to. Their strength and persistence should be of an inspiration to the youth supporting their team here and the youth watching back home.
The Australian girls went from strength to strength and their lead kept growing. The last quarter was intense the whole way through and to New Zealand’s disappointment, ended with Australia becoming the women’s gold medalists for the Pacific Youth Basketball Championships. The final scores were Australia 67 to New Zealand 49.
By Amy Sanderson of The Reporters’ Academy