Magic advance to Grand Final
The Mandurah Magic are through to their fourth WSBL Grand Final in the club's history after their 66-57 defeat of the Perry Lakes Hawks tonight.
The Magic went into the game up 1-0 after their 80-73 win in Mandurah last Friday night. The Hawks still went into their home game as favourites after claiming the minor premiership with a 19-3 record, however without star Deanna Smith were unable to overcome the strong Magic outfit.
The Magic opened the scoring with a Katie Reed three, however it was the Hawks who would ultimately take the lead at the first break. Lyndal Gardner was exceptional for the home side, connecting on four from four three pointers for 12 points in the period as the Hawks claimed a 15-10 lead.
The second quarter was an even affair with the Magic staying in touch with the Hawks thanks to 7 points from Casey Mihovilovich. In the end the Hawks increased their lead by a single point, taking a 31-25 lead into the major break.
The Hawks started the third quarter by increasing their lead to 9 points thanks to a Lyndal Gardner shot. However the last 7 minutes was all one way traffic which was kicked off with a Katie Reed three. The Magic hit the lead for the first time since the opening shot of the match when Shelley Boston fed Rachel Halleen for two points. The Magic went into the last break up 49-47, ten minutes away from a Grand Final appearance.
The Hawks called on all of their experience, having made 9 out of the last 11 Grand Finals and having Captain Tanya Kelly playing her 350th SBL game. The Hawks however were never to see the lead again with the Magic shooting an incredible 52% in the second half compared the Hawks 18%. The lead got out to as much as 12 points with the Magic running out eventual winners 66-57 and booking their place in next weekend's WSBL Grand Final.
Casey Mihovilovich & Tarsha Fletcher led the way for the Magic with 13 points each. In her 200th game Kelli Hayward finished with 12 points and 5 rebounds. Star Shelley Boston was quiet offensively, but pulled down 13 rebounds.
Lyndal Gardner was the only Hawk in double figures with her 22 points. Lynx player Chelsea Boyanich had 9 points and 9 rebounds while Tanya Kelly fought hard in her 350th game with 3 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
The Magic have lost all three of their previous Grand Final appearances, two by less than 5 points. They will now wait till tomorrow night to see who their opponent will be after Game Two of the Willetton Tigers v Kalamunda Eastern Suns series.
Mandurah Magic 66 (C Mihovilovich; T Fletcher 13; K Hayward 12) def
Perry Lakes Hawks 57 (L Gardner 22; C Boyanich 9; T Walker 8).
@ Perry Lakes Stadium
Photo's by Marg Prior