THERE was one last salvo before we get into the heart and soul of the CBL Gippsland Finals.
With home-court on the line for a few associations, there was plenty left to play for as eight advanced to the next stage of the competition.
Hosting Churchill for its last home game of its debut season, Lakes Entrance couldn’t bridge the early gap as the Blue Devils ran away with a 93-73 win. Andrew Savige (14 points), Jordan Clegg (10 points) and James Russell (10 points) were the best of the Pelicans while Jordan Canovan (40 points) and Zac Bezzina (32 points) led from the front for the Blue Devils.
Lakes Entrance played its last clash of the CBL season on Sunday, but was no match for Maffra in a 58-98 defeat on the road. Getting stuck into its last clash before finals, Maffra had plenty to play for as Vic Country Under-16 representatives Jack Hrehoresen (23 points) and Coby Burgiell (20 points) flourished on home court while Chris Fields (12 points) and Clegg (10 points) finished the season on a high note.
Warragul took an emphatic 92-72 win over Korumburra to solidify third spot on the ladder as young up-and-comer Mitchell Hauwell-Te Paa (24 points) starred alongside Jarryd Moss (16 points) and James Portbury (16 points). For Korumburra Brodie Mabilia (36 points) shone all weekend – before backing up this haul with another 35 points to boot on Sunday – as did Nick Prowd (12 points).
In other results, Maffra knocked over Moe 103-66, Southern Peninsula defeated Korumburra 122-86 while Traralgon knocked over Sale 101-87 on Saturday before Moe won over Sale 115-75 on Sunday.
CBL GIPPSLAND MEN’S FINALS FIXTURE
Maffra vs Korumburra – Saturday 7pm, Cameron Sporting Complex, Maffra
Southern Peninsula vs Sale – Saturday 7pm, Dromana Stadium, Dromana
Traralgon vs Moe – Saturday 7pm, Traralgon Sports Stadium, Traralgon
Warragul v Churchill, Sunday 1pm, Warragul Leisure Centre, Warragul
KORUMBURRA, Warragul and Sale were battling it out for the last spot in the four while Moe looked to retain top billing heading into the semi-finals.
Sale started strongly, taking a win on Saturday night 56-53 over Traralgon to keep its slender finals chances alive. Thanks to the clutch work at the death by Kristy Glover (19 points), Indigo Waugh (14 points) and Breanna Kerton (13 points), the Sonics surged home. Tralragon was led by Samantha Labros (23 points).
The next wrinkle in the equation would arise as Korumburra bested Warragul in a must-win 85-82 triumph. With only six people available, Warragul battled bravely.
Jamie-Lee Jeffs (18 points) and M Smith (3 points) pushed the Wildcats ahead late in the fourth, but there was time for a Warriors’ revival as Mikayla Dickson (25 points) and Hannah McKenzie (13 points) grasped the momentum and hit the front. It was down to the dying seconds and up stepped Tyla Angwin (20 points) – her third trey was her most memorable as she nailed the go-ahead shot to take the win.
While there was a slender chance on Sunday to upset the order, Warragul and Sale had the door slammed on their finals chances – as Maffra knocked over Warragul 71-58 and Moe took apart Sale 92-65. It left Korumburra to take fourth and move on to the finals.
In other results, Maffra knocked over Moe on Saturday night 69-57.
The league will take a bye this weekend before resuming for next week’s semi-finals as Moe battles Korumburra while Traralgon takes on Maffra.
GIPPSLAND WOMEN’S FINALS FIXTURE
Moe v Korumburra – Saturday 14 December, 7pm, Latrobe Leisure Centre, Morwell
Traralgon v Maffra – Saturday 14 December, 7pm, Traralgon Sports Stadium, Traralgon
SOUTH WEST MEN
Geelong United and Horsham remain top of the tree in the South West Men, but some interesting movements have happened lower down the ladder approaching the mid-season break.
Bellarine Storm took a much-needed win in its 76-71 triumph over Warrnambool on Sunday afternoon with the likes of Seb Thomason (17 points) and Nathan Gronbeck (15 points) relished the road trip while the Seahawks were led by Riley Nicholson (16 points).
Colac took its Saturday night 78-54 victory over Terang – led by Matthew Lloyd (17 points) and Jordan Lingard (16 points), while Lachie Stephenson (16 points) was Terang’s best – the Kookas but couldn’t carry the form into Sunday.
Ararat took an emphatic 85-73 win on the road against Colac to push Ararat closer to breakeven approaching the Christmas break. It was DJ Woods (23 points) who spun the Redbacks to success alongside Joshua Fiegert (15 points) while Matthew Lloyd (18 points), Nathan Lemke (17 points) and Jordan Lingard (17 points) shared it around for the Kookas.
In other results, Horsham continued its powerful 2019 portion of the season with a 129-60 romp over Ararat, Mt Gambier defeated Millicent 90-57 in the All-South Australian clash, Geelong United bested Warrnambool 109-76 and Terang 123-94 on Sunday while Millicent bounced back to take a 122-57 win over Stawell.
SOUTH WEST WOMEN
Millicent and Warrnambool starred across the weekend, with the Magic and Mermaids surging to a pair of wins apiece.
Warrnambool has taken bragging rights in the division following its wins over Geelong United and Bellarine Storm. Saturday night was a feast for the Warrnambool’s Nicole Gynes (18 points), Leah Bartlett (15 points) and Katie O’Keefe (15 points) while Grace Brown (22 points) led from the front for Geelong United alongside Abby Loughhead (15 points).
More of the same was dished out on Sunday as Warrnambool took a 101-83 win over Bellarine Storm with its stars dealing the damage. Louise Brown (26 points), Nicole Gynes (25 points) and Katie O’Keefe (20 points) were superb in the victory while Olivia Virt (26 points) and Olivia Fuller (22 points) proved gallant for the Storm.
In the All-South Australian battle between Millicent and Mt Gambier, the points went to the Magic in a 65-60 victory at home. Emily Winter (26 points) did the heavy lifting for the Magic while Mikaela Horrigan (12 points) and Sarah Ritter (11 points) led the Lakers.
Millicent’s Sunday was much of the same as it dispatched Geelong United 76-57 as Emily Winter (23 points) continued her elite form alongside Georgia Winter (12 points) while Geelong United was led by Carly Vuillermin (20 points).
NORTH EAST MEN
It wasn’t Shepparton’s weekend in the North East Men’s Conference, taking a pair of road losses to Myrtleford and Benalla.
Down on personnel and its gun scorers Atem Atem and Javaan Mumtaz, the Gators made the most of the trip by getting minutes into its younger brigade.
The Saints maintained its strong form at its newly renovated home base with a 108-75 win over Shepparton led by monster matches from Jackson Townsend (38 points) and Ryley Bouker (27 points). Considering only five made the trip, the Gators had plenty of effort from Josh Evans (22 points), Boston Dowling (22 points) and Charlie Di Stefano (19 points).
Shepparton took a 58-80 loss to Benalla as Nick Dodd (31 points) took the reins for the Gators alongside Boston Dowling (nine points) while the Breakers were guided by Patrick Mahoney (21 points) and Lachlan Kego (16 points).
Benalla’s Saturday night was in direct contrast though as it lost to Wallan 59-95 as Leo Viitala (22 points) continued his rampage in the conference alongside Jaak Ponsford (12 points) and Ryan Philippe (10 points). Benalla was led by Thomas Moloney (13 points) and Lachlan Kego (12 points).
Seymour went above .500 with a 75-45 win over Wangaratta led by Robbie Sartori (16 points) and Jack Murphy (14 points), while the Warriors were led by Michael Jenkins (18 points).
NORTH EAST WOMEN
Myrtleford took an exciting 61-55 win over Shepparton on Saturday night as Racquel Stevens (16 points) and Paige Zamperoni (13 points) led the Saints’ scoring while the Gators had Jordyn Commandeur (14 points) and Mikaela Owen (13 poins) lead the charge.
Sunday wasn’t much better for Benalla with a 44-81 loss to Shepparton as Isabella Riley (20 points) led from the front while the Gators had plenty of output from Marnie Sharp (23 points), Briana Moon (17 points) and Rhianna Barton (14 points).
Wallan knocked over Benalla 103-37 as Carlie Cranston (24 points) and Amber Ross (18 points) led from the front. Benalla’s best were Isabella Riley (14 points) and Chelsea Gilchrist (10 points).
Seymour solidified its hold on third spot with a 69-55 win over Wangaratta. Tayha Watkins (22 points) and Dyani Ananiev (15 points) starred for the Blasters while Chaye Crimmins (17 points) and Isabelle Byrne (12 points) were gallant for the Warriors.
NORTH WEST MEN
The Bacchus Marsh streak continued on Sunday when it hit the road to knock over Echuca 73-59. Jordan Kirk (21 points) and Matthew Parker (20 points) shone for the Lions while Tyler Phillips (21 points) excelled for the Pirates.
It wasn’t much better for Echuca on Saturday night as Swan Hill defended home court with a 71-58 win. Jacob Seears (18 points) and Matthew Gardner (17 points) led the Flyers to victory while Dylan Payne (13 points) and Dan Newman (12 points) were the best of the Pirates’ fleet.
Castlemaine bounced back with an 85-68 win over Mildura, spurred on by the powerhouse work of Rhys Brown (22 points), Samuel Beks (20 points), Lloyd Needs (18 points) and Dylan Slender (18 points). The best of the visiting Heat were Tarryn Shaddock (14 points), Ethan Deale (11 points) and Zane Lueth (11 points).
In other results, the top of the table Bendigo knocked over Swan Hill 105-60 and Maryborough defeated Mildura 84-49.
NORTH WEST WOMEN
ECHUCA and Swan Hill split their results over the weekend while Bendigo remains the team to beat, notching its seventh win on the trot.
It took all four quarters for Swan Hill to dislodge Echuca in a 60-50 triumph at home. The Flyers made the most of the opportunity as Laura Anderson (23 points) let loose on home court while the visiting Zara Pearson (13 points) and Erin Hill (13 points) also impressed.
Taking a 60-42 triumph over Swan Hill, Bendigo shared the scoring around as Sharna Appleby (15 points) and Hayley Harrington (11 points) were the Braves’ best while Tess Denham (11 points) and Laura Anderson (eight points) pushed the Flyers’ scoring throughout the afternoon.
Sunday was a much better affair for Echuca, relishing home court advantage with an 84-62 romp over Kyneton. Zara Pearson (29 points) and Georgie Eishold (26 points) stole the show for the Pirates while Adrienne Cameron (16 points) and Brooke Mangan (12 points) flourished for the Tigers.