Victoria has been crowned the 2024 champions across all four divisions at the 2024 Under 20 and Ivor Burge National Championships.
The championship was held in Ballarat over the past five days and saw the best men and women athletes from across Australia compete to see who will be crowned national champions for this year.
The Victorian teams were all looking strong coming into the tournament and were excited for their first tip off.
Our Ivor Burge (IB) squads were stacked with unbelievable depth as many of the athletes are experienced campaigners – on the national and world stage!
Ivor Burge Women
The IB women were out to defend their 2023 title. Missing the tenacious Taila Martin however, who was out with concussion, she made her presence felt, cheering from the bench, while we welcomed two new athletes to the squad in Rebecca Koch and Alicia Bamblett. Even with the new look line up, the team looked strong, dropping only one game during the entire tournament. Taking this form into their gold medal game against New South Wales, they won the gold by a comfortable 22 points. With seasoned campaigners Montana Haag and Mia Wilson top scoring for the Vics 17 and 15 points respectively.
Ivor Burge Men
The men were looking strong on court all week – not dropping a game, whilst South Australia had lost one game which was to Victoria, setting up for a thrilling gold medal game. The squad line up is one of experience and depth that offer each other the support and friendship that can be witnessed on the court by their comradery and trust, everyone has their role and performs.
The Victorian team were determined to go one better from 2023 and take home the gold.
Both teams came out strong and it was a physical hard-fought game with the Victorian men taking out the win by 18 points. Dylan Cheyne top scored with 22 points for Victoria (what a way to spend his 21st birthday), and the ever-reliable Jake De La Motte and Matt Farrar (the captain) shot 17 points apiece, whilst the dynamic Jack Innella also shot a strong 16-point game.
Under 20 Women
The depth of female talent was showcased in the Under 20 women with two teams competing at Ballarat - Victoria and Victoria Navy (our development squad). Both teams had an outstanding tournament with the Victorian team not dropping a game to finish on top of the table. The gold medal game was set up with South Australia Red also finishing without a loss in their pool games. Lead by captain Milly Sharp, our Victorian women were hungry to go one better from 2023. Sienna Harvey was on fire with 29 points and Bonnie Deas dropping 15 points – the women snatched the gold medal by 16 points.
Under 20 Men
The Under 20 men also had two teams competing with our Victorian men and our development squad the Victorian Navy team all looking strong on court. The Victorian men were favourites heading into the gold medal game as the undefeated side of the tournament. A determined Queensland weren’t going to let our men take home the trophy without a fight, and the brought their A-game! In the final moments with the win on the line, our men held their nerve to deliver an epic final play. A quick inbound got in the hands of the Captain Austin Rapp to put up an incredible buzzer beater three to seal the win! The celebration that followed from our men and the atmosphere at Selkirk Stadium was electric.
Grant Wallace General Manager High Performance Basketball Victoria was elated by the results, “we knew the depth of talent we have in our high-performance programs runs deep, and the squads have been working hard with their respective coaches to develop their game and teamwork. I am so excited for all four teams to bring home gold medals. The future of Victorian basketball is in good shape,” he said.
Our Victorian athletes were also recognised for their outstanding individual efforts.
MVP – Bonnie Deas
Ivor Burge MVP – Montana Haag (back-to-back 2023 and 2024)
Ivor Burge Best Defensive Player – Mia Wilson
Ivor Burge – MVP Jack Innella
Best Defensive Player – Austin Rapp
Austin Rapp's buzzer beater