New Zealand ready for the Challenge

Junior Tall Ferns undaunted in loss to Australians.

The first game in the 2004 FIBA Oceania Championship for U-19 Women was played earlier tonight at the Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium, Melbourne, Australia.

New Zealand's coaching staff, Mata Cameron and Rachel Gwydir did a good job of preparing their girls for their first up encounter with the Australians in the Championship.

The New Zealanders played with a confidence and determination which showed they knew they were up against a tough opponent but were ready to meet the challenge. The Australians opened the game with three trips down the floor without score and the first points on the scoreboard came courtesy of a pair of Aroha Jennings Free throws. Australia's Kathleen McLeod found her range from outside to give the Australians the lead but by the seventh minute the Kiwis had pulled the game back to a level score before taking the lead in the last minute on the back of a Chelsea Terei three pointer.

New Zealands Micaela Cocks extended the lead to five points in the first minute of the second quarter and it was not until the 7th minute of the quarter that the Australians regained the lead. A two point outside shot from Lisa Wallbutton just before half time allowed the Kiwis to go to the break down three 29 to 26. Australia's Jenny O'Hea, in a sign of things to come, lead her team in scoring with 11 points and Kathleen MacLeod contributed 5 to the score-line. New Zealand's Micaela Cocks with 8, Aroha Jennings with 7 and Chelsea Terei with 6 kept the New Zealand side of the scoreboard turning over. Both Cocks and Jennings shot 3 from 4 from the foul line by half time to keep their team in the game.

Christina Fox came alive for the Australians in the third quarter. Three three pointers and a lay-up quickly changed the complexion of the game. Renae Camino and Jenna O'Hea also contributed to a 27 point score-line for the Australians during the period. In reply only Cocks and Terei made an impression for the New Zealanders. By the end of the third quarter the Australians had established a 24 point lead 56 to 32. The final quarter went 14 to 9 in favour of the Australians to give them a 70 to 41 score-line at the end of the game.

The rebounding in the game, expected to favour the Australians, was relatively even, with Australia pulling down 51% to the Kiwis 49. However total turnovers for New Zealand were 29 for the game and the Australians were able to score 34 points off turnovers.

Leading scorers for Australia were Jenna O'Hea with 22, Chistiana Fox with 15 and Renae Camino with 10. For New Zealand, Chelsea Terei with 12 (all from behind the arc) and Micaela Cocks with 10 were the best.

The second game in the series will be played at the Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium Saturday August 7th at 7.30pm.

Go to the Fixtures/Results page on the LHS menu for a full box score of the game.


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