WOMEN’S ROUND ONE FINALS REVIEW
First Elimination Final
Diamond Valley def. by Geelong Supercats 65-92
Diamond Valley have fallen at home in their first SEABL finals game as defending champions Geelong keep their titles hopes alive with a big win away from home.
Alex Duck was outstanding with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Chelsea Poppens provided a spark off the bench with 16 points in 15 minutes while Ebony Rolph and (14 points) and Daniella Wallen (12 points, 8 rebounds) rounded out the double-digit scorers for Geelong.
Abigail Wehrung led the way for the Eagles with 20 points while Ezi Magbegor struggled in her first game back from the Opals China tour with just 5 points and 4 rebounds. Chevannah Paalvast was the only other player to reach double digits in scoring with 11.
The Supercats held an advantage in the paint all night as Diamond Valley struggled to deal with the loss of Lauren Scherf. Geelong had 44 points in the paint compared to the Eagles 26 while the Supercats made their living on second chance points, winning that battle 28-2.
Geelong dominated the game early as they won the first quarter 31-17 and the second quarter 22-9 with the Supercats at one point leading by as much as 35. The final margin was 27 points in Geelong’s favour as they now look to play in the First Semi-Final against the 1st place Bendigo Braves.
For Diamond Valley the loss was disappointing, but the Eagles can be proud of their efforts as they made the finals in their first year in the SEABL.
Second Elimination Final
Melbourne def. Sandringham 89-54
Melbourne have thrashed Sandringham to the tune of 35 points at the Oakleigh Recreation Centre as Rebecca Cole managed 26 points and 7 assists to lead the way for the Tigers.
Melbourne employed a ten-player rotation as none of their starters were required to play over 30 minutes due to the game being all but decided by 3 quarter time.
Monique Conti was impressive with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists while recently announced defensive player of the year Louella Tomlinson registered 14 points, 7 boards and 3 blocks.
In a forgettable game for the Sabres Hannah Kaser led the way with 13 points while Ella Batish (12 points) and Jessica Bygate (12 points) rounded out the notable contributors for Sandringham. The Sabres were also missing Rachel Jarry, who missed the game due to illness.
The Tigers put on an impressive display, opening up a large lead thanks to a strong middle portion of the game where they outscored the Sabres 52-19 through the second and third periods. Melbourne managed to hold Sandringham to just 29% shooting for the game while managing to shoot at 49% themselves. The Tigers also dominated the assist count 25-8 while a 10-1 block tally represented the defensive dominance of the home team.
Melbourne will now play in the Second Semi-Final against Nunawading on Saturday at 7:30pm.
First Qualifying Final
Bendigo def. by Launceston 77-84
The Lady Braves came into the contest having gone through the regular season with an undefeated 20-0 record. However, in recent weeks Bendigo looked somewhat vulnerable as they were pushed in a few of their games. Launceston were led by their recently crowned MVP Lauren Nicholson as they looked to inflict the Lady Braves’ first loss of the season.
The Tornadoes got off to the perfect start early as 4 threes from Alex Wilson and 2 threes from Nicholson stunned the home team as they took a 24-10 lead into the quarter time break.
The Lady Braves answered in the fashion a champion team should, with a resounding 30-point quarter as Kelly Wilson began to weave her magic from the point guard position. The Bendigo guard finished the game with 18 points and 14 dimes. The Lady Braves had managed to fight back to take a 40-39 lead at the main break.
A big third quarter from Lauren Nicholson led the way for the visitors as they once again surprised the Lady Braves, jumping out to a 9-point lead with just a quarter remaining.
Bendigo fought their way back gradually and with under four minutes remaining they had cut the margin to just three on the back of a Bianca Dufelmeier lay-in. However the Tornadoes steadied, largely thanks to the work of their star Lauren Nicholson who had 10 fourth quarter points to lead the way for the visitors.
Nadeen Payne hit a mid-range jump shot for Bendigo with a minute and a half remaining to bring the margin to just five. After Kara Tessari missed a three just moments later, it was Launceston’s turn to respond. Alex Partridge missed on her three-point attempt for the Tornadoes but managed to rebound her own shot, resetting the shot clock with just 47 seconds remaining. The Lady Braves then fouled Wilson. Bendigo sensed the urgency of the situation as they trailed by 5 with only a few possessions remaining, so they began to intentionally foul. After Lauren Nicholson split a pair of free-throws, Kelly Wilson committed an uncharacteristic and untimely turnover meaning the Tornadoes could close the game out from the free-throw line, eventually winning 84-77 to defeat Bendigo for their first loss of the season.
For Launceston, Lauren Nicholson and Alex Wilson were huge with 34 points and 23 points respectively. While for Bendigo Nadeen Payne led the way in scoring with 19 points while Kelly Wilson continued her blistering form with 18 points and 14 assists.
Launceston will now host a preliminary final in two weeks’ time while the Lady Braves now face the proposition of elimination in a Semi-Final match up against defending champions Geelong.
Second Qualifying Final
Kilsyth def. Nunawading 81-58
Kilsyth has taken care of business on their home floor with a comfortable victory against the third placed Spectres.
Angela Beadle was instrumental for the Cobras with 24 points on 88% shooting while also registering 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Steph Blicavs scored 18 points on an inefficient 5-17 shooting while Jasmine Gill and Hope Terdich also managed 14 points and 12 points respectively.
In a forgettable night for Nunawading Hanna Zavecz had 14 points and 7 boards while Vanessa Panousis had 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
Kilsyth got out of the gates quickly with a 27-14 opening quarter. The Spectres locked the game down into a defensive battle in the second period, but Kilsyth began to create an advantage on the glass as the Cobras had 16 second chance points compared to the Spectres 2.
With Kilsyth leading by 13 at the start of the last period the game was still in reach for the Spectres. However, the Cobras enjoyed a 29-point final period on the back of 10 fourth quarter points from Angela Beadle to lead Kilsyth to an 81-58 win.
Kilysth will now move straight into a preliminary final in two weeks’ time while the Spectres must now play the inform Melbourne Tigers in a win or go home game this weekend.
Full semi finals schedule is available at www.seabl.com.au