Grand Final teams set to rumble
The 2009 SBL Grand Final teams have all been finalised after an intense Semi Final series over the weekend.
The WSBL Competition saw the Mandurah Magic cause the upset of the season, defeating the minor premiers in a two game sweep of their series. The Magic claimed game one in Mandurah with an 80-73 win over the Hawks. Gemma Thomas led the way in Game One with 17 points and 5 assists. While Lynx player Chelsea Boyanich was the standout for the Hawks with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
In Game Two at Perry Lakes the Magic claimed another close 66-57 win to end the Hawks finals aspirations after the Hawks lost just five games for the season. Casey Mihovilovich & Tarsha Fletcher were the standouts for the Magic with 13 points apiece. Fletcher also finished with 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Lyndal Gardner was the only Hawks player in double figures, finishing with 22 points.
The other series saw the Southlands Boulevarde Willetton Tigers and the Kalamudna Eastern Suns go to three games. Game One saw the Tigers defeat the Suns at Kalamunda with a 77-55 defeat. Lynx star Kate Malpass was strong with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. For the Suns Samantha Norwood had 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Game Two saw the Eastern Suns level the series on the Tigers home court in a one point overtime thriller. Samantha Norwood led the way with a massive 40 points and 17 rebounds in the 83-82 win. Renee Matthews had her best game for the Tigers with 22 points and 7 rebounds.
Game Three saw the Tigers dominate the second half to run out 78-51 winners. Kate Malpass was again a standout with 24 points, 8 rebounds & 6 steals. Samantha Norwood was again the only player in double figures with 19 points and 16 rebounds.
The Men's competition the Lakeside Lightning completed a clean sweep of the Dominos Geraldton Buccaneers, ending the fans hopes of an all-country Grand Final. The Lightning won game one in Geraldton 97-81. Ryan Sofoulis led the way with 27 points, 12 rebounds & 8 assists. Daniel Thomas was the standout for the Buccs with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists.
Game Two saw the Lightning take a thriller on their home court 91-87 with US sharp shooter Luke Payne leading the way with 25 points. US imports Michael Le Blanc & Luke Meyer were the leading scorers for the Buccs with 19 points each.
Reigning champions the SKILLED Goldfields Giants have missed out on their fourth Grand Final appearance after being swept by the Perry Lakes Hawks. The Hawks won game one on their home court 94-91 with Tom Garlepp leading the way with 28 points and 9 assists. Import Michael Haney was the Giants strongest with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
Game Two saw the Hawks upset the Giants in front of their 950 strong crowd with a 104-99 win. Daniel Hawkins had 22 points and 15 rebounds while young gun Ben Purser was also strong with 22 points and 5 assists. Mark Heron was the best for the Giants with 25 points, 7 rebounds & 6 assists.
The WSBL Grand Final on Friday 21 August will tip off at 7:30pm. The Tigers (2nd 15 wins 7 losses) will be favourites against the Magic (5th 13 wins 9 losses) having won both games in 2009 by 13 & 17 points.
The MSBL Grand Final on Saturday 22 August will tip off at 7:30pm. The Lightning (1st 22 wins 4 losses) will be favourites having claimed the minor premiership. However the Lightning have a 1-1 record in 2009 against the Hawks (6th 17 wins & 9 losses), the Lightning claiming a 92-83 win in Round 15 and the Hawks a 100-88 win in Round 17.
Both Grand Finals will be held at Perry Lakes Basketball Stadium. Tickets are available from Basketball WA on (08) 9284 0555 or by visiting the office at Perry Lakes Basketball Stadium, Meagher Drive Floreat.
Photos by Marg Prior