By David McPherson
The Australian Boomers have won through to the GC2018 basketball gold medal match and in the process ended the fairy tale run of basketball minnow Scotland.
Australia never looked threatened in an assured performance that failed to leave any doubt that the Boomers would be advancing to play off for gold and keep our Commonwealth Games basketball stranglehold alive.
Basketball has only previously been a part of the Commonwealth Games at the Melbourne 2006 Games, where Australia won both gold medals on offer.
Daniel Kickert got the ball rolling for Australia with two early threes and eight of the first 14 Boomers points as Scotland fell behind 20-4 at quarter time.
“It was good to knock those early ones down to kick it off early,” he said.
“Obviously it was a game where we just wanted to get better and work on what we need to work on.”
Australia feasted on some loose Scottish passing, turning some lax inbounds passes into easy buckets. Damien Martin had the Scots jumping at shadows, coming up with three steals in a stereotypical gritty performance.
The Boomers also made it rain from deep, shooting 18 of 29 from the land of plenty.
Chris Goulding (15 points) and Jason Cadee (14 points) were the chief destroyers from beyond the arch, finding their range to make eight of ten attempts between them.
Cam Gliddon made sure the ball was moving with some crisp passing on the offensive end, dropping five dimes.
The Boomers will now likely take on New Zealand in tomorrow’s gold medal game at 11:30 AM, unless Canada can reverse its group stage fortunes and knock off the Tall Blacks in the second semifinal.
New Zealand led Australia for much of their preliminary round encounter and was arguably the better team before fading late to lose by six points.
“We’ve been preparing for them all week knowing it’s more likely than not to be them,” Kickert said.
“It’s just working on all the little things – our rotations, boxing out, defensive rebounds and just making defensive reads. They had some things working for them that we’ll have to shut down tomorrow.
“We’re very familiar with their stuff and they’re very familiar with our stuff.”