Big stats, but two losses
Three double doubles weren’t enough to get New Zealand boys another win at the Australian U16 Championships, falling 67-80 to Queensland South in pool play at Tamworth.
Waitakere West Auckland’s Reuben Porter (20 points/11 rebounds), North Harbour’s Matt Freeman (16/12) and Auckland’s Kane Keil (10/10) accumulated impressive stats for the game, and as a team, the Kiwis dominated the boards with 24 offensive rebounds, outscoring their rivals 42-28 in the paint.
But they committed 25 turnovers to keep Queensland in the game and the maroons shot 9/26 from beyond the arc.
The Kiwis actually led briefly in the final quarter and were still on even terms (66-66) with just over three minutes remaining. But Darryl McDowell-White hit consecutive treys – he had five for the game – to break the deadlock, and the NZ outfit were playing catch-up from there.
New Zealand are now 3-2 for the tournament and end their pool games against New South Wales Country (3-2) Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, the Kiwis girls dropped their fourth game in a row, 64-91 to South Australia Metro, despite a big double double from New Plymouth’s Connie Poletti.
NZ led early and enjoyed a four-point advantage after the first period. But their opponents began the second stanza with a 12-point run on the way to a 46-32 halftime margin that New Zealand never seriously challenged.
Poletti had 17 points/17 rebounds, but South Australia’s 47% shooting from the field proved the difference. The New Plymouth forward is averaging 11.6 boards a game and ranks second in the rebounding standings for the tournament.
New Zealand girls next face Tasmania tomorrow night.
Australian U16 Championships
Tamworth, New South Wales
Queensland South 80 New Zealand 67 (Reuben Porter 20, Matt Freeman 16, Kane Keil 10)
HT 33-30 (9-15)
Q3 55-52 (22-22)
FT 80-67 (25-15)
South Australia Metro 91 New Zealand 64 (Connie Poletti 17, Laken Wairau 12, Akiene Reed 10)
HT 46-32 (29-11)
Q3 66-51 (20-19)
FT 91-64 (25-13)