The first leg of the round 9 and 10 back to back weekend for the Zahra Foundation saw the 5th seed Forestville Eagles fly to St Clair to face the 8th placed Woodville Warriors.
The Forestville Eagles drew first blood in the contest with Thompson scoring the opening deuce. Throughout the opening quarter, the Warriors played some risky basketball including some dangerous long passes. The Warriors continued to struggle in the rebounding category with the Eagles at one point having more offensive than defensive boards. With the first quarter sounding, the Warriors were on the wrong side of an 8-point margin.
Olivia Thompson had a great first term with at one point 11 of the Eagles 17-points. She finished the quarter with 13-points and a tremendous 71% from the field. Thompson recorded a double-double in the contest with 27-points and 14 rebounds. Samantha DeFrancesco also added 26-points to the Eagles tally allowing two Forestville offensive threats.
After an offensive blunder with their opening possession, Warriors coach Scott Herriman was left livid and with a bent play chart. Despite Thompsons dominance, the Warriors were able to keep the ball game within a couple possessions and highly entertaining. The final possession found Ashley Claussen (36-points, 7-rebounds and 7 assists) at the line for a pair of free throws. She cut the margin down to 7-points. At the halftime break, Eagles were flourishing in the paint, they had already scored 30-points inside. The Woodville defensive struggles did not deter them from having a brilliant second half.
After opening the half, Ashley Claussen headed down to the locker room although later returned. This potential injury didn’t stop her from leading the team, as she was able to finish a 4-point play cutting the margin back down to 6 later in the third term. With a lead in sight, the Warrior women pushed and eventually took one after another Claussen triple. By the end of the third quarter, she was leading all scores and 7-10 from 3-point range. A dominant Woodville quarter saw them outscore their opponents 28-22 and 1 possession shy of a lead.
Both clubs showed phenomenal hustle throughout the contest and this allowed the Warriors to take the lead early. After a score-first style of play, the Eagles’ Olivia Thompson appeared to change to a pass first style. This ability to change demonstrates her talent. With the Eagles down, they began to press at full court and eventually take their lead back after trailing by as much as 5-points.
A 5-second inbound violation was a blessing in disguise for the Eagles after having a slender lead with just over a minute remaining in the contest. The Eagles closed the first leg of their back-to-back by sinking their free throws and extending their lead.
The Eagles win allowed them to stay tying 5th place behind the Norwood Flames on 21-points with an opportunity to overtake if they beat Norwood in Round 10. Unfortunately, the loss sees the Warriors stay in 8th place, a couple points behind the West Adelaide Bearcats.