By Sam Watson
BENA basketball sensation Dallas Loughridge has helped Australia win silver at the 2021 FIBA under 19 women’s world cup in Hungary.
To start the tournament, the Gems were drawn in group A, with Italy, Egypt and the USA.
On the opening day, the Aussies went up against Egypt where they had a massive win 99-28.
Loughridge, 17, made sure she got in on the action, dropping 16 points while dishing out three assists.
They’re next match came against the dominant Team USA where they went down 59-99 and Loughridge again had three assists to go with four points.
Next up was the Italians, where Loughridge had 10 points in 26 minutes, helping the Gems to 16-point win.
The win over Italy cemented their spot in the finals bracket and their first opponent out of the group stage would be Argentina.
They handled the Argentinians very comfortably, winning 66-35 and the guard from Bena had her best all round game, scoring 10 points, grabbing five rebounds, and dishing out three assists in 24 minutes.
Next was the quarterfinals, where they would face a determined Canada squad.
Loughridge didn’t have the output she would’ve wanted against the Canadians, but she would’ve been happy to see her team get across the line by 11 points.
The Australians drew Mali in the semi-final and win would guarantee a medal.
Being one of the youngest players in the side, Loughridge only saw seven minutes of game time against Mali but once again the Australians pulled off the win and they were through to the final, where they’d meet the USA again.
The Australians improved significantly from their group game against the Americans, but it still wasn’t enough, going down by 18 points.
Loughridge again was on the bench for most of the gold medal game, but it’s highly likely she’ll be a mainstay in the Australian under 19s side for the next two years and she can expect some more minutes in the pointy end of big tournaments.
The world cup silver medal is one of Loughridge’s many achievements in the basketball world, but it’d be safe to assume there’s many more accolades on the way.
Loughridge finished the world tournament averaging six points, two rebounds and 1.3 assists.
The most impressive statistic of them all is her average plus/minus of 10.1, showing the Gems were a very strong side when she was on the court.