In day 3 of action at the FIBA U15 Oceania Championships in Guam, the NZ U15 Girls team has fallen 57-115 against a highly disciplined Australia side.
The Aussies dominated the Kiwis inside and were able to repeatedly get to the rim for layups; as evidenced by their 90 points scored in the paint on 60% shooting. They also controlled the glass with a massive 60-35 advantage, their superior size allowing them to pull in 23 offensive rebounds. Turnovers also hurt New Zealand, with 27 miscues which Australia turned into 40 points.
Waikimihia Douglas–Karauna and Zenthia Stowers both had 11 points for New Zealand; Stowers also chipping in 7 rebounds. Pahlyss Hokianga–Heather had 9 points, 6 rebounds & 3 steals, while Bailey Flavell scored 9 and Sophia Hickey contributed 8 points.
For Australia, Jesse-May Hall led the way with 26 points on 12-17 shooting, while Sienna Lehmann registered 15 points and 7 assists and Zoe Jackson had 10 and 6.
It was a tough first quarter for New Zealand as Australia raced out to a 13-0 lead, playing a fast tempo that the Kiwis struggled to contain – despite the early efforts of Stowers who racked up 6 points in the first. Australia’s defence was also fierce; forcing their opponents in 10 first quarter turnovers which the Aussies routinely turned into layups at the other end.
The Kiwis found their footing in the second quarter – ringing up 21 points in the period thanks to the efforts of Hokianga–Heather (6) and Hickey (4) – but were unable to contain the Australians inside, with the Aussies using their size to snatch multiple offensive rebounds and score with ease.
The third quarter saw the Kiwis make an improved effort on the defensive end; limiting the Aussies to 23 points while scoring 17 themselves. Flavell was a key contributor in this period, scoring 7 points along with a block, but Australia was still able to build a 40 point lead heading into the fourth.
The final quarter was tough going for New Zealand as they struggled to score against the tight Aussie defence; the Kiwis limited to 8 points on 3-14 shooting in this period. Despite the 58 point loss to the defending Oceania Champions, New Zealand can take plenty of positives away from this game as they battled Australia well in the second and third quarters especially. They will no doubt focus on improving their outside shooting (1/15 vs Australia) and reducing their turnovers (27) for their next game.
The NZ U15 Girls team will now wait to see who their opponent is in tomorrow’s quarterfinals; details to follow.
New Zealand 57 – Stowers 11 PTS & 7 REB | Douglas–Karauna 11 PTS | Hokianga-Heather 9 PTS & 6 REB & 3 STL | Flavell 9 PTS | Hickey 8 PTS | Rogers 5 PTS | Nelson 4 PTS |
Australia 115 – Hall 26 PTS | Lehmann 15 PTS & 6 REB & 7 AST | Jackson 10 PTS & 6 REB
Quarter scores: 11-34, 32-66, 49-89, 57-115.
Full box score: http://bbnz.link/y8ku1