Original Article can be found at the Geelong Advertiser and Beth Davis HERE
BOTH Supercats teams split the Tasmanian road double over the weekend, with the women getting over Hobart on Friday night and falling just short of Launceston on Saturday, while the men suffered defeat at the hands of Hobart on Friday before a resounding victory over North West Tasmania on Saturday night.
With less than two minutes to play in the women’s second game of the weekend star Supercat Sara Blicavs was fouled out.
But a couple of key steals from Stephanie Blicavs and Alex Duck and subsequent baskets put the visiting Geelong team down by just 1 point with 16 seconds left to play, forcing them to foul and put Launceston to the line.
With Tornadoes’ Mariah Payne sinking both free throws, the lead was back to three points and despite two time-outs, the Supercats were unable to get the right shot off to send the game to overtime, losing to Launceston 70-73.
The night before, Sara Blicavs dominated with 34 points and eight rebounds in a thumping 98-69 win over Hobart.
Coach Matthew Paton praised his team’s defensive effort in the win against a side that had a clear height and strength advantage in the interior.
“Early on, we were trying to find ways to adapt to combat that size. Some of our defensive adjustments worked really well, enabled us to be a bit more efficient,” Paton said after the game.
“(Hobart’s) Maddie Garrick is a quality player, we knew we weren’t going to shut her down
for an entire game – we needed to make sure the other contributors didn’t get off the chain.
That was really pleasing, the way we were able to limit the contributions of some of their
Turnovers proved costly for the male Supercats on Friday night against Hobart and the home side Chargers also outrebounded Geelong 44-35.
Coach Justin Schueller expressed his disappointment and said his team just did not put in the effort that was expected of them.
“All of the effort areas, they beat us which was really frustrating,” he said.
Mawut Deng led the scoring for Geelong, finishing with 18 points and 4 rebounds.
The Supercats responded a day later by jumping out to a 34-20 quarter-time lead over the Thunder.
George Blagojevic notched another double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds while
Gabe Hadley added 18 points and 6 rebounds in his homecoming to Tasmania as Geelong cruised to a 98-70 win.
Schueller was glowing of the response from his men in the second game of the weekend.
“Our defensive intensity was really able to drive our offensive efforts. The relentless pressure that we had – that’s who we’ve been trying to be, and what we’ve been trying to build towards. It was good to see that come to fruition,” he said.