BASKETBALL Australia’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) side in the NBL1 East Women’s showcases some of the brightest young players in the country, while facing off against some experienced players.
The CoE allows some of the best basketball players to compete in one of Australia’s best leagues and test their talents against fully developed opponents. In Round 11 of the 2023 fixture, the CoE took on the Central Coast Crusaders at the AIS Basketball and Netball Centre on Saturday afternoon.
The home side have been one of the best sides in the competition to start the season, and came into the match as one of the contenders at the mid-point of the season. The CoE were also the favourites coming up against a Crusaders side that had not been able to put anymore than four wins on the board.
The hosts ended up proving far too much for Central Coast to match, with the nation’s young guns firing for another big win, and emerging victorious to the tune of 19 points.
On a team that is full of emerging talent, it was Isla Juffermans that stood above the rest, posting some massive numbers to go with a huge impact on the match.
Basketball Australia CoE (84) def. Central Coast Crusaders (65)
Isla Juffermans – 29 points, 15 rebounds, one assist
As she has done at VJBL level in the past, Juffermans left a huge imprint on the match with her impact on both ends of the court.
She led her side in scoring with a whopping 29 points on accurate shooting from the field in one of her best offensive performances of the season.
Juffermans nailed 14 shots from the field, attempting 21 in the match and getting to her spots with consistency.
All of these came from two-point territory, with Juffermans playing to her strengths with some elite inside scoring. She went body-to-body with some experienced frontcourt players, and still found the bottom of the net.
Much of Jufferman’s offence came from second-chance opportunities she generated for herself with a whopping eight offensive boards. That figure accounted for more than half of her 15 total rebounds for the match, another area she has proven dominant at throughout her development.
Juffermans simply got in the right position, regardless of which team was putting up a shot. The Crusaders tried to box her out as much as possible, but to no avail as the young gun constantly got first hands on the ball.
Juffermans has been one of the strongest frontcourt performers in the competition over the first half of the fixture, and continued to shine the brightest in another big win for the CoE.