It was a thrilling start to finals and now fans can expect another great weekend of action as the Eastern Mavericks and Norwood Flames clash in a must-win semi final.
Four Flames reached double figures in their 69-65 elimination final win over Sturt with Marisa Stabile notching 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Jess Good had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Norwood coach Darren Golley was pleased with the performance.
“It was key for us to get a good start early,” Golley said.
“I was very keen on that and it dictated how we played the game out.
“Having a quick, good start put us in good stead and I think we pretty much controlled it throughout.”
Having lost both encounters to Eastern this year, and only taking in eight players to their first clash, Golley has since worked on strengthening Norwood.
“Over the course of the year we have built our depth pretty well,” he said.
“With Jessy Ward and Meg Pritchard coming into the group it gave us that extra depth.
“It means not only does our opposition have to look after Jess Good, who takes their best defender, then you’ve got Chelsea Brook and Shannon McKay on the wing.”
Meanwhile, Mavericks’ coach Nathon Jones was left frustrated as Eastern lost 76-67 to North Adelaide with Alex Wilson collecting 29 points and 12 rebounds, while Brooke Basham was the only other Maverick to reach double digits with 14 points.
“We didn’t take care of defence enough in the first half,” Jones said.
“First quarter was okay but they got away from us a bit and there was some tentative play.
“We’ve been addressing it during the week but it was really just a lack of our normal cohesiveness.”
Much like Golley, the focus for Jones is a strong start after North Adelaide won the second period by the decisive nine points.
“It’s been such a tight competition so every game is winnable or losable,” he said.
“We’re going in with that mindset as normal but we do need to bring the intensity early and not wait to build
up since we won’t get a second chance.”
The Mavericks have also faced some late-season injuries.
“We had two players not play through injury and one through sickness,” he said.
He was hopeful Shayde Quintrell would be available against the Flames.