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WOMEN’S PRELIMINARY FINALS PREVIEW
Friday, August 10, 2018

First Preliminary Final

Kilsyth Cobras (16-5) v Bendigo Lady Braves (21-1)

Kilsyth Sports Centre, 7.00pm Saturday, August 11

Form

Bendigo went undefeated during the regular season, but lost to Launceston in the Qualifying Final, forcing them to win on the road in this week’s semi-final to return to the SEABL Championship game contention.

Kilsyth defeated local rivals Nunawading in the week one’s qualifying final to earn the rest last weekend, but will be without Steph Blicavs for the all-important match this week due to Australian Opals World Cup Selection camp.

X-Factor

Kilsyth: Angela Beadle, the 2017 League MVP has not been the dominating force this year, but she is a player that needs to be at her best this week against the Braves.  After a slow start to the season Angela has averaged 15.8 points per game over her last six games.  But it is her defensive game that will impact the Cobras chances the most as she will need to limit the Braves frontcourt of Gabe Richards and Nadeen Payne.

Bendigo: Ashleigh Karatiana showed last week how she can dominate a game if left open by the opposition team. Karatiana scored her highest points tally for the year with 27 points against Geelong. Her offensive talents will need to be contained by the Cobras, otherwise Karatiana will dominate and once again guide the Braves to victory

Previous Meetings This Year

Round 9:

Bendigo 87 def. Kilsyth 66

@ Kilsyth Sports Centre

Overall:

The loss of talented scorer Steph Blicavs for this weeks’ contest will hurt the Cobras, but coach Sam Woosnam has the luxury of having multiple players with the ability to step up and cover the scoring load.  Youngsters Chelsea D’Angelo and Taylor Lee will need to be at their best against the league’s best point guard in Kelly Wilson, who is in scintillating form.  Her efforts will need to be contained if the Cobras are to secure the win. Bendigo have a wealth of experience in their line-up and wealth of talent that will be hard to beat.

                                         Points                Rebounds            Assists

Kilsyth                          Blicavs 16.4          Beadle 8.0              Parsons 3.1

Bendigo                        Payne 22.8           Payne 9.4               Wilson 12.0

Second Preliminary Final

Launceston Tornadoes (14-7) v Nunawading Spectres (14-8)

Elphin Sports Centre, 6.30pm Saturday, August 11

Form

Launceston Tornadoes finished the regular season with three consecutive victories to steal fourth place on the ladder and then surprised the league by beating undefeated ladder leaders Bendigo in the first week of finals.  Since adding import Courtney Williams mid-season, the Tornadoes have recorded a 6-2 record.

Nunawading have been in the top three for the entire season, opening their 2018 campaign with a 5-2 record, but had a disappointing end to the regular season dropping four of their last five games.

X-Factor

Launceston: Lauren Nicholson, as the league leading scorer and Most Valuable Player, is critical in this do or die game.  The success of Tornadoes this year has largely been in part to the consistently high standard of play Nicholson has produced each week. If her efforts are contained by the Spectres this week, the Tornadoes Championship hopes will be diminished quickly.

Nunawading: Izzy Chilcott produced a Player of the Week performance in the Spectres’ round nine victory over Launceston with 23 points shooting at 73%, five rebounds and two assists. Chilcott will need to produce another quality offensive performance this week but will likely need to defend Tornadoes sharp shooter Ally Wilson at stages during the game.  This will be a tough task, but Chilcott is fully capable of completing efficiently.

Previous Meetings This Year

Round 9:

Nunawading 79 def. Launceston 59

@ Nunawading Stadium

Overall:

Launceston have surprised a lot of people this season, and have done so with Australian Opal Lauren Mansfield only playing eight games this season. Mansfield will be out of this weekends’ game due to Australian Opals Camp, but the Tornadoes have showed they can win without her numerous times this season already. Ellie Collins has had a standout season and has scored 25+ points on four occasions and could be the key player that guides Launceston to the win. Nunawading forward Marena Whittle will have other ideas as she is playing exceptional basketball and will be determined to guide her team to their first Championship game in nearly 10 years.

                                         Points                       Rebounds            Assists

Launceston                 Nicholson 25.4           Collins 9.0              Wilson 5.4

Nunawading               Whittle 18.0                Chilcott 6.5             Chilcott 2.8