Australia claim fifth at U17 World C'ships
Australia has finished the 2012 FIBA Under 17 Women’s World Championship on a high, defeating Italy 58-49 to claim fifth place at the tournament in Amsterdam on Sunday night.
Double-doubles from point guard Vanessa Panousis (11 points 13 rebounds) and forward Louise Brown (10 points 10 rebounds) led the charge to ensure the Australian team finished with a win-loss record of 5-3 for the tournament and claimed an impressive fifth-place result.
Coming off a confidence-boosting victory over host nation The Netherlands less than 24 hours prior, the Australian team looked confident from the outset against a quality Italian outfit taking the early advantage.
The lead was out to 13 points by the main interval, with Australia’s dominance of the glass proving a factor, finishing the game with 22 more rebounds.
This impressive performance on the glass was a highlight of the Australian tournament, averaging 49.5 rebounds per game which was second only to championship winners the USA.
A late charge from the Italians helped cut the final margin to single digits, but the damage was done early by Australia as Alicia Froling offered support for Panousis and Brown, finishing the night with 12 points and 7 rebounds.
It was a strong end to the championships for coach Marrisa Fillipou’s squad, winning four of their final five games on their way to a finish just outside the medal spots.
Panousis led the Australian charge throughout the tournament, putting up the impressive numbers of 11 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, while racking up a team-high 234 minutes on the court.
CLICK HERE to watch interview with Vanessa Panousis after the win over Italy.
The 17-year-old was well supported by the likes of fellow guard Tiana Mangakahia, who lead the team in scoring average (12.3 points per game), and Louise Brown, who averaged more than 8 rebounds per game.
CLICK HERE for full overview and stats from Australia’s tournament.