There were no wins to savour, but it wasn’t as if the Lady Supercats didn’t take plenty out of the weekend’s road-double to the Apple Isle with star imports Daniela Wallen and Chelsea Poppens stepping out in the red of the reigning champions for the first time.
Sadly, a fourth quarter fade-out from the Lady Supercats proved enormously costly in a three-point loss to Launceston in Tasmania’s north on Friday night, ultimately going down to the host 73-70.
Launceston held a slender three-point buffer at the first break, before Geelong countered in a basket- for-basket run to the main interval.
In a turn of fortunes the Lady Supercats held the ascendancy by 11-points at the last change before the Tornadoes rallied, dominating the latter stages of the contest with a 22-point to 8 final stanza.
Emerging talent Isa Brancatisano (19), youngster Eve Braslis (15) and energetic captain Alex Duck (12) led the scoring while Ebony Rolfe’s eight points accompanied her powerful 12-rebound display on the boards.
David Herbert was cautious in introducing Wallen and Poppens to the roster with just eight and 13-minute contributions, respectively, by the accomplished pair.
Geelong laid claim to a marginal advantage on the boards by four, 47-43 rebounds, but in hitting 27 of 76 shots, shooting at just 35% from the field, the visitors to Elphin Sports Centre were always up against it.
The form of Tornadoes’ powerhouse Ellie Collins (12 points, 15 rebounds), along with an outstanding shooting display by Lauren Nicholson (30 points, nine rebounds) put paid to the Lady Supercats’ aspirations.
Geelong then turned its attention to the nation’s capital on Sunday, where little separated the sides early, although a shoulder injury sustained by Isa Brancatisano against Launceston limited the key playmaker’s effectiveness against the Lady Chargers.
Shooting produced a carbon copy of two days earlier, the visitors connecting on just 23 of 78 field-goal attempts at 29%, while their rivals fared little better at just 30% (21 from 69).
Wallen began to find her feet for her new team chalking up a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, while the hard-working Duck (14 points, nine rebounds) and Ebony Rolph (10 points, five rebounds) battled hard to keep the visitors in the contest.
Brittany Smart proved tough to handle scoring 23 points, while clocking up seven rebounds, while Kylie McCauley’s work in ripping down 16 boards, including eight at the defensive end, went a long way to negating Geelong’s second chance opportunities.
The Lady Supercats were also dealt with harshly at the free throw line with Hobart landing a punishing 15 of 16 from the stripe in comparison to the visitor’s own modest seven of 12 attempts.
Both sides were forced into the paint in the low-scoring encounter as neither side fired from outside. Hobart connected on just six of 26 opportunities, while David Herbert’s combination hit just four of their 23 three-point attempts.
Unfortunately for Geelong, Hobart finished the better of the two sides scoring 23-18 in the concluding period as the Lady Chargers claimed victory 63-57.