MEN’S FINALS ROUND ONE REVIEW
First Elimination Final
Geelong def. North-West Tasmania 96-74
The Geelong Supercats took care of the North-West Tasmania Thunder at home with a resounding 96-74 win. The Thunder were up against it coming into the contest, as they were just one week removed from a 41-point loss to the Hobart Chargers.
The Supercats had four players reach double digits in scoring with Maalo Hicks (18 points, 9 rebounds), DeMarcus Gatlin (16 points), John Davis (15 points, 8 rebounds) and Nathan Herbert (14 points, 8 assists).
The Thunder led the game early as they entered the quarter time break leading 25-24. It was in the second quarter that Geelong opened up a double-digit lead, out-scoring the Thunder by 12 in the period. The Supercats matched their effort in the third period as they increased their lead to 23. The Thunder fought back to marginally outscore the Supercats in the fourth, but the damage had already been done.
For North West Tasmania Lachlan Barker top scored with 24 points on 5-7 shooting from three. Thunder leaders Jeremiah Ingram and Mason Bragg each scored in double digits with 12 points and 13 points respectively.
The Supercats had a hot shooting night, going at 57% field goal efficiency. Geelong enjoyed a complete victory as they held the Thunder to 37% efficiency while winning every major statistical category.
Geelong will next travel to Ballarat to face the Miners in the First Semi-Final at 7:00pm on Saturday.
Second Elimination Final
Centre of Excellence def. by Bendigo Braves 75-97
The CoE hosted the Braves in a 6th vs 7th elimination final at the AIS training hall with the Braves coming out on top.
Fresh from being named to the All SEABL First Team, Ray Turner starred for Bendigo with a game-high 37 points and 11 rebounds on 15-24 shooting. Jeremy Kendle also poured in 21 points, 5 assists and 4 boards. Daniel Hansen (15 points) and Indiana Faithfull (13 points, 6 assists) round out the impressive performers for the Braves.
The CoE got off to a solid start at their home base as Kyle Bowen (20 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists) and Alex Ducas (21 points) led the way. Adam Caporn’s team led by two points at the end of the first period as Alex Ducas scored 10 first quarter points.
Daniel Grida managed 17 points, including 5-9 from three in just 18 minutes to give the CoE a significant boost off the bench.
The Braves jumped out to a 10-point lead in the second period as they began to create their buffer. Poor free-throw shooting hurt the CoE throughout the contest as they went 7-18 from the stripe as their opponents went 16-19. The CoE remained in striking distance until the last period as the Braves eventually ran away to a 22-point win, eliminating the CoE.
Bendigo will now face Kilsyth in the Second Semi-Final, held at the Kilsyth Sports Centre on Saturday at 7:00pm.
First Qualifying Final
Nunawading def. Ballarat 109-103
Nunawading have protected their homecourt and taken full advantage of their first-place seeding, with an overtime victory over the Miners that sends them straight to the preliminary final.
Tom Wright top scored for Nunawading with a game-high 37 points and 7 assists. For Ballarat Nic Pozoglou had himself a game, with 30 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Spectres had five players reach double digits, with Andrew Steel (20 points, 7 rebounds), Shane McDonald (16 points, 5 assists), Dain Swetalla (13 points) and Simon Conn (11 points, 9 rebounds).
Remarkably the Miners had 0 bench points for the entire game as all their starters reached double digits led by Pozoglou (30 points), Josh Fox (23 Points, 14 rebounds) and Sam Short (20 points, 6 assists).
With just under three minutes remaining a Tom Wright lay-up put the Spectres up by six. The Miners then scored the next five points to bring the margin to just 1 point with a little over a minute remaining. Dain Swetalla drove to the cup to pad the Spectres margin back to 3 but it wasn’t long before Peter Hooley hit on a clutch three to tie the scores at 94 apiece. Neither team could break the deadlock for the next 50 seconds as the game went into overtime.
7 early points from Spectres star Tom Wright helped Nunawading to a seven-point lead midway through overtime. The teams traded free-throws before Marvin King-Davis brought the margin back to 3 points with 49 seconds remaining. Shane McDonald drew an important foul for the Spectres, sending him to the line where he only managed 1-2 free-throws, bringing the margin out to 4. Marvin King-Davis then came up big again, drawing the foul and heading to the line to bring the margin to 2 points with 13 seconds remaining. From there the Miners had to intentionally foul to extend the game. The Spectres remained calm at the free-line to ice the game with 4 points from the stripe. The final score read 109-103 in the Spectres favour, sending them straight into a preliminary final in two weeks’ time at the Graveyard. The Miners will now host the Supercats at the Mars Minerdome in the First Semi-Final at 7:00pm on Saturday night.
Second Qualifying Final
Kilsyth def. by Hobart 96-98
Hobart Chargers coach Anthony Stewart was frustrated during the week with the Chargers drawing an away final in their first week, so coach Stewart and the Chargers took matters into their own hands, booking themselves a home preliminary final with a 2-point win over Kilsyth.
The Chargers big three were once again firing on all cylinders with Craig Moller leading the way with 28 points and 11 rebounds, while Mathiang Muo scored 26 and Tre Nicholls managing 23 and 4 assists.
Kilsyth saw 6 players reach double digits in scoring, as their balanced scoring attack was led by Chris Patton with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Isaac Turner (19 points) was another standout for the Cobras as Ben Ursich, Felix Von Hofe, Sam Daly and Dane Pineau all reached double digits.
The game went down to the wire with the Chargers leading by 2 points with just two minutes remaining. Tre Nicholls drove to the bucket for a lay-up to bring the score to 93-89 before Isaac Turner replied for the Cobras with a floater. The game took a turn as Craig Moller’s missed three was followed up by a Ben Ursich three to put the home side up by one. The two teams traded free-throws as the score read 96-95 in the Cobras favour. When Isaac Turner missed a dagger three with 20 seconds remaining, the Chargers had one last chance at stealing victory. Tre Nicholls found a path to the basket to score on a drive to put Hobart up by a point with just 7 seconds remaining. Sam Daly was then called for a travel leaving the Cobras upset with the call as the bench was issued a technical foul. Mathiang Muo fulfilled his role of converting on the free-throw to put the Chargers up by two points as the Chargers held on to win in a huge away victory.
The victory sees the Chargers set to host a preliminary final at home in two weeks’ time while the Cobras will host Bendigo in the Second Semi-Final.
Full Semi Finals schedule available at www.seabl.com.au