John Paul College & Sydney Boys High win nationals
John Paul College and Sydney Boys High School are the Girls' and Boys' Australian Schools Champions, after both clinching their respective Gold Medal clashes today in Bendigo.
John Paul College over-ran a gallant Box Hill Senior Secondary College in the last quarter of the Girls' final to take the win 61-53.Box Hill took a slender two point lead into the last quarter after a gritty first three terms.
They could only manage 11 last quarter points however, as John Paul College piled in 21 points in the fourth to snatch the eight point win.
Box Hill Senior Secondary College had plenty of looks to build a winning tally, putting up 72 shots to just 55 by John Paul College; but the difference was that the winning side was able to get to the foul line, John Paul connecting on 20 free-throws from 28 attempts, to just a four-of-six ratio for Box Hill.
With both teams shooting in the low 30s percentage-wise from the field, this was the difference, with Kalani Purcell top-scoring for the clash with 15 points for john Paul College, while Madelyn Willey and Kristy Wallace, both chipping in with 13 points each.
For Box Hill, Olivia Bontempelli was best with 14 points to go with seven rebounds, while Jenna Jerhoeff Jenkins added 10 points in the losing effort.
In the Men’s competition, last year’s champions Sydney Boys High School were already crowned this year’s Australian Schools Champion, going into the tournament final against the team from China. So it was a tournament victory that they were chasing.
It was one they caught easily, dominating the team from China to take the victory 79-53. After a tough opening in the first term, Sydney Boys slowly grabbed hold of control, but once it was theirs, they never let it go, holding a 17-11 quarter-time lead, blowing this out to a 45-18 advantage by half time.
They shut down China’s ability to score, suffocating them defensively, while piling in the points at the other end of the floor.
Heading into the final term, the damage had been done, the Sydney side leading 71-32 and what looked like becoming an all-out route.
To their credit, the Chinese side played till the end, outscoring Sydney Boys High School 21-8 in the final term to bring some respectability to the score-line, a 26-point difference in the end.
Christian Jurlina continued his impressive tournament, top-scoring for the clash with 25 points and seven boards, while teammate, and also one of the players of the tournament Emmett Naar, was also impressive, finishing with 23 points and seven rebounds.
For China, Qi Zhou finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Xiaopeng Gua added 14 points for the contest.