Central ABL Semi Finals - Lions and Panthers Tamed

Another huge round in the CABL, this week we recap the Semi Finals as both a men's and women's team was eliminated, and another two sides progress straight through to the Grand Final.

Credit: Photo Credit: Tanya Fielding Photography

Women’s Elimination Semi Final

North Adelaide Rockets 80 – 63 South Adelaide Panthers

The North Adelaide Rockets have eliminated the South Adelaide Panthers, on the back of a second quarter rout, that saw the home side punish the visitors by scoring 32 points in the period, holding the tough Panther outfit to only 18 points. The Rockets consolidated in the third period, before cooling off in the last and resting their veteran’s legs as they prepare for next week.

Both sides shot the ball at a comparable clip from the fields, the Rockets nailing 38% and the Panthers 37%. It was a similar story from deep and from the stripe, both sides struggling for consistency with 23% and 25% from three, and 68% and 63% respectively from the line. The game breaker was the Rockets cleaning of the offensive glass, with a +10 count for the game, and forcing 11 extra turnovers good for 19 extra looks, resulting in 15 second chance points and 18 from turnovers, compared with 7 second chance and 4 turnover points for the away team.

North were once again led by superstar Jo Hill, who registered 19 points at 56%, 10 rebounds and 3 assists, whilst Jamie-Lee Peris landed 24 points at 50% and 15 rebounds.

South found their production from season MVP Janae Howard, with 18 points and 9 rebounds at 61%, but she was limited in the good looks given to her only putting up 13 shots on the night. Jess Mahony struggled until the fourth quarter, finishing on 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, but the defensive job done on her by the North guards was exceptional.

This is season over for the Panthers, in an extremely promising season that should be repeated again next time, provided the core group stay together. The Rockets move into the Preliminary final against…

Women’s Qualifying Semi Final

Norwood Flames 65 – 67 Sturt Sabres

The Sturt Sabres have defeated the Flames for the second time this season, as they have punched their ticket to the Grand Final. Sturt shocked the usually fast starting Flames, pushing out to a 10 point lead at the first break, before consolidating to take a 14 point lead into the main break. Norwood rallied after the half, outscoring the Sabres in the third but only by two points, leaving a tough 12 point come back looming. The Flames rolled the dice, defensively shutting down the Sabres but unable to convert at their rim. The scores were tied for the last 2 minutes of the game, neither side able to make a bucket, with the usually always-reliable Amy Lewis with three turnovers in the last minute, sealing the Flames fate.

Such an evenly matched game, as the Flames edged out the Sabres on field goal and free throw percentage. Norwood controlled the paint scoring 36 points to Sturts 22, but the Sabres controlled the range taking and landing more threes. Neither side made much use of their offensive boards, Norwood scoring 2 points from 9 boards, and Sturt scoring 6 points from 9 boards.

Amy Lewis led the Flames with 27 points at 53%, 4 rebounds and 3 assists, but also registered 7 turnovers. Captain Cara Boothey went for 17 points at 60% and 6 rebounds, as the only players in double figures. Questions still remain as to whether or not a fit Jess Foley has a chance to suit up with Norwood rematch with Sturt in a fortnight’s time, as both the Flames losses against Sturt were without her.

Natalie Novosel led the Sabres in the win, scoring 20 points at 50%, whilst grabbing 13 rebounds, and registering 3 assists and 3 steals. Angela Marino was on target from behind the arc going for 23 points including 5 of 9 from deep, with 3 rebounds and 5 assists.

The 2014 Sturt women are proving to be the Flames kryptonite, however as mentioned previously, the Flames are noticeably under strength without Foley. If these two sides match up again this year, expect another firecracker, with only 3 points in 2 games separating these sides.

Sturt will enjoy the week off preparing for their grand final appearance, whilst the Norwood Flames will take on the North Adelaide Rockets at MARS, in the Women’s Preliminary Final.

Mens Elimination Semi Final

Central District Lions 76 – 91 West Adelaide Bearcats

Competition take notice, the West Adelaide Bearcats have put together the most impressive of last quarters and in the process eliminating Centrals from the finals race, posting a 28-6 period after being down by 7 points at the start of the frame, to take a big 15 point win into next weeks preliminary final.

Danny Phillips and Tristan Braithwaite combined for a 24 point last period as they went off for 12 points a piece, shooting the lights out from deep making 6 of 7 three balls, leading their side past the Lions. The game was tied at the half 40 points a piece, before the Lions pushed away with a 30-23 third quarter, then the Bearcats caught fire at both ends of the floor putting the game away, and flexing their muscle at the same time.

Both sides splashed from deep, with West getting the better of the ledger, making a huge 10 of 21, compared with 10 of 32 for the Lions. West creamed Centrals on the glass with a +14 advantage, plus a huge discrepancy at the line, making 21 of 27 compared with 6 of 8 for the Lions. Centrals were patchy from deep, making 10 of 18 threes in the first and third period, and cooling off in the second and fourth going 0 from 14. The Lions shot 3 of 17 in the last period, and were out hustled on the glad 13 to 6 as their season slipped away.

Jordan Centernera led the Lions on the scoresheet as he shot his way 23 points at 42%, and Kyle Miller had 21 points at 50% with 8 assists and 6 rebounds in a foul limited 28 minutes. Inside duo of Dan Carlin and Chris Clausen struggled to be as effective as required, combining for 26 points and 16 rebounds for the night.

Big man Blake Truslove topped the Bearcats scorers with 24 points at 54% and 14 rebounds, whilst Jason Dawson had 21 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Braithwaite and Phillips combined for 30 points, going 9 of 18 from the field and 8 of 14 from deep.

A promising season for the Lions has come to an abrupt end after showing enough ability to mix it with the best sides. West on the other hand move onto the preliminary final against…

Men’s Qualifying Semi Final

Woodville Warriors 86 – 72 Norwood Flames

The Woodville Warriors men have booked themselves a date at the Adelaide Arena on grand final day, after defeating the tough and rolling Flames by 14 points. A see-sawing game from the outset saw the lead change multiple times through out the first three periods, the Warriors leading by 8 at the end of the first, the Flames by a digit at the half, then the Warriors by 4 into the final term. Woodville stepped up their intensity as the game went to another level, forcing tough shots and making the Flames pay on the other end, running away with a 14 point victory.

Woodville opened up the game in the third quarter, as they found their way to the line with regularity, attempting 15 looks and making 10, as the Flames got foul happy registering 10 for the period. Norwood managed to stay with the Warriors through the period however going 3 of 6 from deep to only be down 4 at the final turn. Norwood had the gas off as their flame went out, shooting 27% in the final frame including 1 of 9 from deep, and being smashed on the glass pulling 4 boards to Woodville’s 14.

Norwood found buckets from Matthew Lycett who had 23 points and 4 rebounds in a foul interrupted 28 minutes, whilst Andrew Webber had 19 points and 5 rebounds on the night. The Flames were hampered by Keith Krause picking up 4 fouls in 14 minutes, and Jack Jennings getting 4 fouls in 19 minutes, leaving them lacking height and experience for long stretches during the game. Todd Matthews and Ian O’Boyle were kept quiet, shooting a combined 3 of 17 and grabbing 3 rebounds.

The Warriors shared the love like they have done all season, but it was league MVP candidate Alexander Starling with 19 points and 18 rebounds running rampant on the Flames, whilst Luke Stanbridge scored 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Claybrin McMath had 18 points and 5 rebounds. Cam Wilson had 17 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds as he terrorised the veteran Norwood guards, always playing his best ball against the leagues best.

Woodville will have the week off, and prepare for their grand final match up, but I’m sure they will be out scouting this week at MARS, as the Norwood Flames are set to face the West Adelaide Bearcats in the Men’s Preliminary Final.

Preliminary Finals

Women's: Norwood Flames v North Adelaide Rockets @ MARS

My tip - Norwood Flames by 13

Men's: Norwood Flames v West Adelaide Bearcats @ MARS

My tip - Norwood Flames by 16

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