Monday, August 6, 2018

First Semi-Final

Bendigo Braves def. Geelong Supercats 99-74

Bendigo has recovered from its first loss of the season in last week’s qualifying final, by knocking out defending champions Geelong to advance to the Preliminary Finals.

The Lady Braves were reinvigorated after last week’s shock loss to the Launceston Tornadoes, coming out strong in the first period. Kelly Wilson scored 6 quick points to help fire Bendigo out of the blocks. The Lady Braves opened up a 30-17 lead at the end of the first quarter to immediately put the pressure on the Supercats.

Daniela Wallen was once again instrumental for Geelong, as she helped steady the visitors in the second period on her way to 17 points for the game. However, the Lady Braves continued to hold an advantage on the offensive end as they shot 57% for the game, including 8-17 from three.

Bendigo star Kelly Wilson had a near triple double with 10 points, 13 assists and 9 rebounds while Ashleigh Karaitiana was outstanding with 27 points, 8 rebounds and 7 dimes in a game high 38 minutes.

The Lady Braves put the game out of reach in the third period, as they added on another 9 points to their already commanding lead to hold an 18-point buffer at the final break.

Bendigo controlled the glass throughout the game, wining the rebounding battle 58-41 while the Lady Braves once again led the way with assists 31-21. The Supercats managed 14 steals for the game as they put up 86 shots. However, the visitors were held to just 33% shooting, hurting their chances considerably of upsetting the minor premiers.

Gabrielle Richards accounted for 25 of Bendigo’s 29 points off the bench, as she put on an impressive display, also registering 16 rebounds. For the Lady Braves, Nadeen Payne was imposing all game, scoring 20 points and pulling down 9 rebounds and 6 assists.

The Supercats had 4 players reach double digits with Wallen (17 points), Rolph (16 points), Charlotte Brancatisano (12 points) and Alex Duck (11 points).

The result ends Geelong’s quest to go back-to-back, while Bendigo must travel to Kilsyth to take on the Cobras on Saturday 11th August at 7pm to play for a place in the Grand Final.


Second Semi-Final

Nunawading Spectres def. Melbourne Tigers 76-54

The Spectres hosted the Tigers in a traditional Melbourne match-up for a place in the Preliminary Finals. The visiting Tigers were coming off a dominant win over the Sabres while the Spectres had lost quite convincingly to the Cobras.

An early three from Monique Conti gave the Tigers their only lead of the game before 7 first quarter points from Marena Whittle helped Nunawading out to a 21-15 quarter time lead.

The Tigers were careless with the ball throughout the game as they amassed 24 turnovers. Rebecca Cole was impressive with 18 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists but her 5 turnovers diminished what was otherwise a great game. Monique Conti played 39 minutes, managing 10 points and 6 boards. However, the Tigers guard could only manage 4-12 from the field and 7 turnovers.

Melbourne steadied in the third period as Rebecca Cole and Louella Tomlinson each chipped in 6 points. The Tigers managed to bring the margin back to 9 points at the end of the period, leaving the door ajar for a comeback in the last quarter.

After Rebecca Cole opened the last period with a jump shot within the first 10 seconds, the Tigers trailed by just 7 and had the momentum. However, a pair of threes from Vanessa Panousis and Marena Whittle brought the lead back out to double digits for the Spectres.

From there the home side put on a dominant display, holding the Tigers to just 9 points for the quarter while putting the game out of reach with 22 points of their own.

24 points from Marena Whittle and 22 points for Vanessa Panousis led the way for Nunawading. While Rebecca Cole (18 points) and Louella Tomlinson (13 points, 6 rebounds) top scored for the Tigers.

The win means Nunawading will face the Launceston Tornadoes in Tasmania on Saturday 11th August at 6:30pm for a place in the Grand Final.