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SEABL Round 16: Frankston Nabs A Finals Spot while the Lady Braves Lead the South Conference
The Frankston Blues have raced into the South Conference top four, picking up an important win over the Canberra Gunners before taking care of the Centre of Excellence. Their 110-79 thrashing of Canberra ended the Gunners’ four game winning streak while also handing the Blues the head-to-head advantage should they finish on the same amount of wins at the end of the season. Garlon Green recorded 30 points for Canberra but his side was unable to win a quarter in a disappointing display that has dropped them to 6th in the South.
The following night was a tougher task for Frankston as the CoE jumped out to a 10 point lead at the main break. However, a 40-25 second half ensured a 76-71 win as well as a 2-0 weekend for the Blues. Chuck Long (16.5 points, 11.5 rebounds) averaged a double-double for the round while the addition of Matt Hodgson (24.5 points, 10 boards) has been the catalyst for Frankston’s revival. For the CoE, their last match of the season was a summation of their debut year- highly competitive for such a young side but lacking the ability to put in a full four quarter performance. Forgetting their 2-14 record, the likes of Jack McVeigh (14.1 point season average), Xavier Cooks (13.5 points, 7.5 rebounds) and Tanner Krebs (12.3 points) all have bright futures.
To open the round, the Mt. Gambier Pioneers faced the Geelong Supercats in a clash of the Conference leaders. Geelong led comfortably for most of the match, opening up an 18 point advantage in the second half but a 6-27 final term saw a miraculous comeback from the Pioneers. They shot 10-14 to Geelong’s 2-15 in the quarter, recording an 82-77 win. Eric Gaff’s 17 points and 17 rebounds were countered by 30 and 10 from Brad Hill while Erik Burdon scored 10 of his 18 points in the last quarter.
Mt. Gambier then went on to defeat the Brisbane Spartans, overcoming a tough road schedule with a 101-76 victory. The Pioneers scored 56-28 across the second and third quarters to fight back from a 7 point quarter-time deficit. Dan George (16 points, 12 boards) played a lone hand for the Spartans who have now lost four straight. Six Pioneers players reached double figures with Hill (24 points, 10.5 rebounds) and Ben Allen (15 and 10.5) both averaging double-doubles for the weekend.
Following their capitulation against Mt. Gambier, Geelong fell from top spot in the East Conference with a 79-86 loss to the Knox Raiders. Leading again at three-quarter time, the Supercats gave up a 22-14 final quarter as Knox dominated in fast break points (9-0) and bench points (31-9). Delwan Graham collected 17 points and 11 rebounds while Justin Aver (16 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals) and Rhys Carter (19, 5, 7 and 4) were active at both ends of the floor. Gaff (20 points, 16 boards) was again a dominant presence inside for Geelong but his side now sits just one win ahead of third placed Nunawading.
The Dandenong Rangers took that first position from the Supercats with a ninth straight victory, overcoming the N/W Tasmania Thunder 75-70. Dandenong’s 7 point lead in the final quarter was eradicated with 2 minutes remaining but a Daequon Montreal triple with 30 seconds to go sealed the win. Montreal finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Tony Lewis chipped in 14 and 11. Injuries felled the Rangers early in the season but they are right on track now to defend their 2013 title.
The Thunder’s disappointment was short lived as they picked up an easy win over the Ballarat Miners the following day, 102-84. They led by as much as 26 in the fourth quarter with BJ Jenkins tallying 28 points, 7 boards and 6 assists. Tyrone Lee was a menace under the rim all weekend, averaging 15 points and 15 rebounds while Nathan Wilson averaged 22 points on 16-31 shooting. Ken Horton was the only bright spot for Ballarat as he nailed 7 treys for 37 points and 17 rebounds but he will need assistance if the Miners are going to be a force come finals time.
The Nunawading Spectres have kept pressure on the East Conference’s top spot with big wins over the Sandringham Sabres and Hobart Chargers this round. Sandringham shot 51%, finished +7 in points off turnovers and +16 in points in the paint but a 13-30 third term was enough for Nunawading to win 102-86. Despite Nathan Crosswell’s 23 points and 9 assists, the loss has dropped the Sabres two games outside the South Conference top four with only five games remaining.
Back at home on Sunday, Nunawading put Hobart to the sword in a 116-72 shellacking. The hiding enabled the Spectres to give their starters rest as they won the bench battle 58-15. Alex Vanrenen enjoyed a team high 16 points while Tommy Greer averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds for the round.
There were big changes for Hobart mid-week as they made the tough decision to sack import Zac White and Coach Paul Davie. Responding to the turmoil, they came out with a big 101-100 overtime win against the Albury/Wodonga Bandits the night before losing to Nunawading. Nick Payne tied the match at the end of regulation for the Bandits but 42 points and 7 boards from Deba George was too much to handle. Lamar Mallory’s 22 points and 15 rebounds helped the Bandits to 22 second chance points.
Finally, the Kilsyth Cobras tossed the Bendigo Braves out of the South Conference top four as they finished on an 11-1 run to win 82-66. Auryn MacMillan (23 points, 11 boards) led the way for the third placed Cobras. Zack Atkinson had 16 and 7 for the Braves but a third loss in four games has severely dented their playoff hopes.
With a 79-62 victory over the Kilsyth Lady Cobras, the Bendigo Lady Braves have taken outright first position in the South Conference, a win clear of both Kilsyth and Frankston. Ruining Sarah Parsons’ 200th game, five Lady Braves players reached double figures with LaSondra Barrett (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Lauren King (17 points) starring. Heather Oliver (10 points, 10 boards) had a great battle off the bench with Olivia Bontempelli (13 and 11) while Kilsyth’s Louella Tomlinson added 6 blocks to 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Playing two matches this weekend, the Frankston Lady Blues had a chance to leapfrog Bendigo but two disastrous losses to the Canberra Capitals and Centre of Excellence made for a forgettable round. Canberra’s 69-61 win was their first scalp of the season and they did it in style, holding off a fast finishing Frankston side that cut the lead to 5 in the final minute. Alice Coddington (20 points, 6 steals) led the way while Nat Hurst chipped in 19 off the bench.
Frankston shot just 33% in that game but their offence was even less potent the following night against the CoE, shooting 28% in a 54-70 loss. Kelly Bowen’s double-double average of 17 points and 11.5 rebounds stood out while Maddie Garrick had 13.5 points per game but together, they shot 20-77 from the field. The CoE capped off a very impressive debut season, finishing 9-5. Carly Mijovic was one of five players to average 10 points a game, collecting 16 and 10.5 boards per match while Steph Talbot racked up 13.8, 7.9 and 5.5 assists.
The Launceston Tornadoes’ losing streak was extended to 10 as the Dandenong Rangers easily took care of them on Saturday night, 84-48. An 8 point deficit was quickly turned around by Dandenong with a 20-9 second term before they punished the visitors with a 33-6 final quarter. Lauren Scherf (13 points, 15 boards) helped her side to a sixth straight win while their home record now sits at 11-0.
There were no signs that the pain would subside for Launceston when they trailed the Ballarat Rush by 9 at quarter-time the following day. However, super efforts from Lauren Mansfield (28 points) and Abby Bishop (20.5 point, 15 rebound, 3 steal average for the weekend) shocked the Rush in a 62-55 upset win. The loss was Ballarat’s fourth straight and officially ended their 2014 finals campaign. They recorded just 4 turnovers for the game but could not pressure Launceston on the scoreboard, with Steph Cumming needing just 17 points for a team high.
The Hobart Lady Chargers are still sitting fourth in the South Conference but are now only two wins away from top spot after defeating the Albury/Wodonga Lady Bandits and Nunawading Spectres. Albury/Wodonga gave them little resistance in a 95-63 blow-out as Emilee Harmon’s 25 points and 16 rebounds was outshone by Carly Francis (21 and 12) and Kathleen Scheer (11 and 11). Katie McCauley put the icing on the cake with a season high 21 and 9 off the bench as the Lady Bandits suffered a horrendous 16th straight defeat.
Hobart’s 79-69 win over Nunawading the following day was far more impressive as Francis (24 points, 10 boards) and Scheer (23 and 8) dominated again. The Spectres were kept in the contest by Katie O’Neill, who shot 5-9 from deep for 15 points but two straight losses has placed their second spot in the East Conference under severe threat.
The Geelong Lady Supercats sit fourth in the East but are now just a win away from stealing Nunawading’s place in the top two after overcoming the Knox Raiders. Trailing by 8 at half-time, Geelong managed to hold off the home side with a 28-14 third quarter while recording 23 assists on 33 field goals. All five starters scored 12+ with Alex Duck (12 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists) the pick of the bunch. Shanae Greaves (20 points, 12 boards) led the Raiders in a brave fight but they were unable to put an end to their six game losing streak.
After four straight wins, the Sandringham Sabres have finally had something to smile about this season but the Brisbane Lady Spartans were out to break up the party. A 27-14 final term got Brisbane over the line after they fell behind by 12 in the first term with Olivia Thompson (22 points, 10 rebounds) the hero. Along with Geelong, Brisbane are still angling for that top two finish in the East Conference. For Sandringham, Hope Walker (19 and 13) returned from a week off in style but their downfall again came from turnovers, with 19 errors leading to 16 points for the Lady Spartans.
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