WATCH: Basketball Qld u18 State Championships grand finals

 

NOTE: Find replays of all the games at the end of this story

A grand final rematch, a possible title clean sweep, home court advantage and a showdown of the next generation of Australian superstars - the fifth and final day of the Basketball Queensland Under-18 State Championships will have everything.

After four days of tournament play, there are just four teams left with the chance to go home with a gold medal after teams booked their spot in the championship games with wins in the semi-finals.

A raucous crowd is also set to play a role in the outcome of the grand finals with both the Gold Coast Waves boys and girls division one teams featuring on day five.

Gold Coast coach Cassie Dover and their bench celebrate during their semi-final win. Picture: Basketball Queensland
Gold Coast coach Cassie Dover and their bench celebrate during their semi-final win. Picture: Basketball Queensland

The Waves girls have the chance to complete a clean sweep of state titles in this age group after winning every tournament since under-12s, including a National Club Championship along the way.

Coached by 2019 QBL Coach of the Year, Cassie Dover, the team will face the Mackay Meteorettes after a convincing victory over the South West Metro Pirates in today's semi-final.

The grand final will also be a chance for revenge for several members of the Gold Coast team after Mackay beat the Waves to capture the under-16 title last year.

Gold Coast Waves star guard Lilly Rotunno. Picture: Basketball Queensland
Gold Coast Waves star guard Lilly Rotunno. Picture: Basketball Queensland

"I think it's important we don't focus on the end but instead the process and the end will work out how we want," Dover said.

"Our bottom age girls want to get some revenge from their under-16 loss to Mackay. I know a lot is said about these girls having won them all but we are a very different team in many ways.

"The huge losses of Shorna Preston and Layla Cameron, the girls are new to me and my system and some girls, who haven't been in this group before. So in that aspect we are different but we are still very capable."

Gold Coast Waves forward Jess Petrie. Picture: Basketball Queensland
Gold Coast Waves forward Jess Petrie. Picture: Basketball Queensland

Despite facing a Mackay team with a lot of talent and stars such as Paris Santacaterina and Phoebe Holmes, Dover said they would be focused on themselves.

The Meteorettes are also undefeated this tournament, having claimed the big scalps of the Southern Districts Spartans in the pool stages as well as the Logan Thunder in the semi-final.

And coach Lukass Blicavs said it was a team effort which led to them making it to the championship game.

Mackay Meteorettes coach Lukass Blicavs. Picture: Basketball Queensland
Mackay Meteorettes coach Lukass Blicavs. Picture: Basketball Queensland

"We strive to be the true definition of 'team', not relying on one or two players, and look to have multiple players step up in any game and that was evident again in the semi with some really important minutes from top to bottom," he said.

"To have strong leaders in Paris Santacaterina and Phoebe Holmes is key, they are the tone setters for us defensively and lead from the front but we wouldn't be where we are without the continual buy in from all players."

Mackay Meteorettes star Paris Santacaterina. Picture: Basketball Queensland
Mackay Meteorettes star Paris Santacaterina. Picture: Basketball Queensland

After taking home the under-16s and under-12s girls championships last year, Blicavs said it would mean a lot for the program to add another title.

"However we know the final will be a massive challenge and for our bottom age girls, a rematch of the under-16 grand final.

"We know Gold Coast come in as favourites and they have the results to back those thoughts up but being a scrappy undersized team, we thrive on the underdog status.

Mackay Meteorettes guard Phoebe Holmes. Picture: Basketball Queensland
Mackay Meteorettes guard Phoebe Holmes. Picture: Basketball Queensland

"The girls will have to negate some big names in Lilly Rotunno and Jessica Petrie who always find a way to step up in big games, but with our girls full of confidence and nothing to lose, the pressure is off and we expect to come out, enjoy ourselves and play our style which we know will go a long way towards success."

While in the boys decider, the Gold Coast will have to take down another superstar when they take on the Townsville Heat with a gold medal on the line.

The Gold Coast Waves celebrate during their win over RedCity. Picture: Basketball Queensland
The Gold Coast Waves celebrate during their win over RedCity. Picture: Basketball Queensland

The Waves put in arguably the defensive performance of the tournament after they were able to limit the impact of RedCity Roar's star guard Kobe McDowell-White to record a 81-70 win in the semi-final.

However, the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence's latest scholarship holder in Townsville's Rory Hawke awaits them in the gran final.

Hawke has been in red hot form this week and put up 41 points to lead his side to victory and to a grand finals appearance.

Gold Coast guard Joshua Wolff. Picture: Basketball Queensland
Gold Coast guard Joshua Wolff. Picture: Basketball Queensland

But Gold Coast coach Steve Kerr said he was confident they could get the job done.

Kerr also said the team learned a lot from their 84-60 loss at the hands of the Heat in the pool stages.

"Townsville really gave us a wake up call on we can't be complacent on how we play," he said.

"We were really flat when we played them and as a team we can acknowledge that and can agree we can't do that again.

"Townsville has players like Rory Hawke and Luca Yates, who can score in bunches so learning from the first encounter, we can't let them do what they want which we let when we played them in the pool round.

"Our focus our is similar to how we played Redlands but emphasis on different match-ups and defence styles."

Townsville Heat star Rory Hawke. Picture: Basketball Queensland
Townsville Heat star Rory Hawke. Picture: Basketball Queensland

Townsville have rolled through the tournament without a hiccup, winning every game so far but coach and former NBL big man Shane Froling said his team needed to be ready for a tougher challenge in the grand final.

"Gold Coast will be tough, especially in front of a home crowd, and I'm sure they'll be better then when we played them the other day," he said.

Townsville coach Shane Froling on the sidelines. Picture: Basketball Queensland
Townsville coach Shane Froling on the sidelines. Picture: Basketball Queensland

"But I thought we played well in the semi-final against Brisbane, we still have a lot we can work on and improve but the boys are in good form and ready for the challenge tomorrow."

Froling also praised the performance of Hawke this week.

"He has really made a statement this week and proved why he was selected to go to the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence," he said.

"He just does everything and leads from the front and I'm sure he'll do the same tomorrow."

 

DAY FIVE STREAM SCHEDULE

8am: U18 Boys Division 1 (9th/10th Playoff): Sunshine Coast Phoenix v South West Metro Pirates Purple

REPLAY: 

 

9.30am: U18 Boys Division 1 (5th/6th Playoff): Southern Districts Spartans v Logan Thunder

REPLAY: 

 

11am: U18 Girls Division 1 Bronze Medal Game: Logan Thunder v SWM Pirates

REPLAY:

 

12.30pm: U18 Boys Division 1 Bronze Medal Game: RedCity Roar v Brisbane Capitals

REPLAY:

 

2.15pm: U18 Girls Division 1 Grand Final: Gold Coast Waves v Mackay Meteorettes

REPLAY: 

 

4pm: U18 Boys Division 1 Grand Final: Townsville Heat v Gold Coast Waves

NOTE: Replay for this game is at the stop of the story

Originally published as WATCH: Basketball Qld u18 State Championships grand finals


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