Luina Geelong Lady Supercats 62 (S. Blicavs 20, C. Brancatisano 15, E. Rolph 13, I. Brancatisano 11) def. Kilsyth 43 (M. Garrick 19) @ Kilsyth Sports Centre, Saturday night
A STUNNING defensive effort has been the catalyst for the Luina Geelong Lady Supercats to claim their first ever SEABL conference title. The Lady Supercats held Kilsyth to just 43 points for the contest, the Lady Cobras lowest score for the season in earning a maiden berth in the SEABL Championship game against Bendigo on Saturday having lost previous conference deciders in 2012, ‘14 and ‘15. After a low-scoring first half, Geelong held a narrow 25-21 advantage over the home team. However, Kilsyth was unable to eat into that margin and the Lady Supercats held a nine-point buffer at three-quarter time. The Lady Cobras made a 10-3 run to start the final period, with two three-point makes from Maddie Garrick helping her team to within two points with just over six minutes remaining in the contest. That would be as close as Kilsyth would get as the Lady Supercats were sparked into an 8-0 run over the next three minutes, which was snapped when Sarah Parsons scored with 2:54 remaining to make the margin eight points. Following a miss from Parsons on Kilsyth’s next trip down the floor, Geelong big Ebony Rolph put a dagger through the heart of the Lady Cobras when she knocked down just her sixth three-pointer of the season to push the margin beyond double figures. From there it was all the Lady Supercats as they closed out the contest on an 11-0 run. In the absence of Alex Bunton (knee) and Chantel Horvat (College), Sara Blicavs was again outstanding in guiding the young team to victory. She finished with 20 points on 60 per cent shooting and hauled in six rebounds. Charlotte Brancatisano found the right night to post her highest score. Her 15 points was just her third double-figure tally of the season as she joined Blicavs in playing all 40 minutes. Sister Isa was also impressive with 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Ebony Rolph produced one of the best all-round games of her career in posting 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks, as well as limiting the influence of star Lady Cobras import Angela Beadle. The American was held to just six points on 21 per cent shooting, her lowest return of a season that yielded 21.7 points per game. As a team, Kilsyth took 15 more shots and grabbed 21 more rebounds, however their shooting percentage let them down. They made just 17 field goals for the contest, while Geelong was markedly more efficient at 43 per cent. The Lady Supercats ball security was also impressive, making just eight turnovers, while the Lady Cobras coughed up the ball on 16 occasions. Geelong will take a level of confidence into the clash with Bendigo, having beaten the Lady Braves by a combined margin of 50 points in their two meetings during the regular season.
Next week: SEABL Championship Grand Final vs. Bendigo @ Kilsyth Sports Centre, Saturday, 5:30pm