When the bottom position on the ladder is on the line a different sort of competitiveness comes out. Woodville and Centrals were playing for pride halfway through the season. For this story line we fast forward to the fourth quarter. Each of these teams have played relatively well against the competition all season. However, failed fourth quarter performances have plagued their ability to close out games and give them a chance to notch more victories than their respective records show.
Going into the fourth we find Centrals up by two with Woodville only scoring one field goal in the third (plus 10 made free throws in the quarter). When Woodville’s Jennifer Monroe dropped in a jumper with 8 minutes remaining in the game, the Warriors, down by three at the time took four more minutes off from scoring any kind of points. Not recommended! Centrals proceeded to go on a 9-0 scoring run putting them up 71-59 with four minutes to go. Six quick points from Ashley Claussen gave the Warriors a fighting chance, but the momentum had already swung heavily in the home team’s favour.
Centrals clinched tightly to a ten point lead with fierce back and forth action to close out the period and the game for their first win of the 2017 Premier League season! All hands on deck were needed as all five Centrals starters finished with double figure points, led by Rhianna Stringer’s 25 and Hannah Hank’s 20. Forcing Woodville’s Monroe into 8 turnovers whilst leading all scorers with 27 points, Centrals was able to apply some of that pressure that had plagued their ball handlers this season (and seasons past).
I do imagine more pride will be on the line in Round 17 when these two sides meet again.