Mitch Knight and Queensland show fight at national champs
BASKETBALL: Gladstone Port City Power Capricorn Surge's rising young gun Mitch Knight has come away from the Under-20 and Ivor Burge Championships a better player.
Knight was a part of the Queensland team that finished the championship with two wins and three losses.
Queensland finished ninth of 10 teams on the ladder.
The imposing number three or four averaged almost nine points per game and four rebounds per game.
His best contributions were in wins against NBA Global Academy and Northern Territory.
Knight shot 17 points in Queensland's 95-87 win over Academy and was the team's second-highest point scorer behind Callum Dalton, who led the way with 25.
In Queensland's final game - a 111-59 romp against the NT team, Knight chimed in with 11 points - a game that produced six Queenslanders with double-digit figures and all 10 on the roster registered a score.
Queensland was competitive in its losses to Victoria A (88-79, Knight three points) and Western Australia (83-65), a game in which Knight and competition leading point-scorer Dalton were fouled out.
Knight shot six points in game four's 88-71 loss to ACT.
Victoria claimed the men's and women's title with respective 76-69 and 77-64 wins against Western Australia and New South Wales.
Victoria turned the final around with a 23-9 second period.
Kobe Williamson (10 points) provided a spark off the bench and Victoria's bench strength proved telling.
The Garden State's second-tier players scored a 26-0 advantage over the WA counter-parts.
Victoria's defensive strength under the hoop was decisive and held WA to 4-12 shooting in the crucial second quarter while at the other end of the floor, Tyler Robertson (14 points) nailed two three-pointers and Keli Leaupepe (14 points, nine rebounds) and Oliver Hayes-Brown combined for ten points.
Out of Victoria's eight point-scorers, five hit double figures and this helped outlast a fast-finishing NSW.
NSW were gallant in defeat and made Victoria earn its win with a 23-11 final term.
NSW and WA finished third in the U20 men and women respectively.