First Preliminary Final:
Hobart def. Geelong 86-71
3152 people turned out to see the Hobart Chargers defeat Geelong at home in a come from behind victory.
The home team opened the game on a 13-2 run thanks to threes from Muo, Nicholls and Masunda. However, nine points from Nathan Herbert kept the Supercats calm as they finished the first period trailing 22-18.
It was in the second quarter that the Supercats silenced the home-crowd, as they began to dominate the contest on both sides of the floor. Hobart could not get their shots to drop, as they managed just eight points for the quarter. DeMarcus Gatlin dropped 14 points in the quarter for Geelong as they managed a 21-8 second period, helping them to a 39-30 lead at the main break.
Despite the poor second period for the Chargers, the home-side remained calm with the margin still only in single digits. Hobart shook off their shooting woes of the second quarter with a 28-point explosion in the third, led by Craig Moller’s 12 points. At the final break, Hobart had reclaimed the lead, as they held a slim 58-56 lead.
The last period began as a defensive deadlock, as half way through the last quarter both teams had managed just 6 points apiece. From there the game opened up as both teams began to trade buckets as the game looked to be going down to the wire.
When John Davis hit a hook shot with 2:53 remaining, the Chargers led by just a single point. From there the Chargers went on a 7-2 run capitalised by a three from Craig Moller to give the home team a commanding 6-point lead with just over a minute remaining.
The Supercats were forced to call a time-out and as the score-line had gotten out to a three-possession game, the visitors began to intentionally foul. The Chargers went 5-6 from the line as the Supercats failed to add to their tally on the offensive end, and when DeMarcus Gatlin gave away a technical foul with 28 seconds to go the Chargers led 80-69 and looked to have the game all but won.
Hobart’s lead eventually ballooned out to 86-71, not doing the close nature of the game any justice.
Craig Moller led the way for Hobart with 27 points and 11 rebounds while Tre Nicholls had 23 and 7 assists. Mathiang Muo had a quiet game by his standards, going 3-7 from behind the arc for 9 points.
DeMarcus Gatlin led the Supercats in scoring with 21 points while Nathan Herbert had 18.
Second Preliminary Final:
Nunawading def. Kilsyth 78-70
Nunawading came from behind in dramatic fashion to defeat Kilsyth 78-70 at home on Saturday night, to secure their place in the Grand Final.
The Cobras jumped the Spectres early on as they got out to a 23-11 quarter time lead on the back of strong play from Isaac Turner. Kilsyth continued their dominant first half in the second period as the Nunawading home crowd started to get nervous.
The Cobras extended their lead out to 23 points during the second period as Turner, Felix von Hofe and Sam Daly continued to trouble the Spectres defence. At the main break Kilsyth led 48-30 as Spectres coach Dave Biwer was faced with the tough task of re-energising his team.
In the second half the Spectres looked like a different team as they grinded their way back into the game. Dave Biwer had inspired his team to play lockdown defence as they took Isaac Turner out of the game, completely changing the momentum.
The Spectres outscored the Cobras 25-6 in the third period, completely swinging the game as the Spectres crowd came to life. At the end of the third, Nunawading had managed to take back the lead as they held a 55-54 buffer.
As the fourth quarter began, the momentum of the game had completely changed hands. The Spectres continued on from their third quarter form as they built on their lead. The Spectres opened the period on a 9-2 run, taking the score-line out to 64-56.
Nunawading had created an advantage on the glass as Simon Conn led the way for the Spectres with 15 rebounds, helping the home side add to their lead.
Remarkably after trailing by 23 points in the second quarter, the Spectres had opened up a 15-point lead with just over three minutes remaining in the game. Dave Biwer’s men had managed to pull off a 38-point turn-around to stun Kilsyth.
The Spectres eventually winning 78-70 much to the delight of the home fans.
Nunawading coach Dave Biwer who appeared to have lost his voice, spoke after the game about the come from behind victory.
“It feels unbelievable, I was feeling pretty shaky to start with. It’s good to know that the guys out there had the heart to fight back. We needed everything to go our way in the second half to fight back and thankfully it did” recalled Biwer.
“We felt like Isaac Turner was causing a lot of problems for us. He was opening it up for everyone, so we basically just tried to take him off the basketball because he was so good with the ball. I felt like in the end we did a great job making someone else hit us.”
Nunawading veteran Shane Macdonald was relieved after the win, reflecting on the come from behind victory.
“We were terrible first half, Kilsyth were great at pushing us out of our offence and they scored the ball pretty well. Dave just pretty much said we needed to man up and play a little bit more physically and not leave anything out on the court” explained McDonald.
“I think you have to take a moment to enjoy it, but we’ll move on pretty quickly. We’ve set the goal to win the championship and this gets us to that point. We’re a pretty old team and we don’t know how many more chances were going to get so we’re going to throw absolutely everything at next weekend’s game, were going to prepare really well this week.”
For Nunawading Simon Conn was outstanding with 29 points and 15 rebounds while Spectres captain Tom Wright chipped in with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
Isaac Turner led the way for the Cobras early, he finished the contest with 20 points.
GRAND FINAL SCHEDULE
Nunawading Spectres vs Hobart Chargers
August 18th – 8pm @ State Basketball Centre
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online HERE
SEABL Grand Final Ticket Pricing:
$20 – Adult
$10 – Concession (Student/Pensioner)
$10 – Child (6-17 Years)
$50 – Family (2x Adult, 2x Children)