ROUND 4 REVIEW
The finals are set for the 2016 WNWBL post-season following the culmination of Round 4 on the weekend.
The top-seeded Be Active Western Stars will go in as favourites after they finished the regular season at 15-1.
They took care of the Sydney University Flames, the Minecraft Queensland Comets and Kilsyth Cobras by an average margin of 37 points but their one blemish for the year came on Saturday afternoon when they fell by 13 points to the Sydney Metro Blues.
Amber Merritt, who averaged 31 points across the weekend including a 49-point performance against the Cobras, scored 24 in that clash with the Stars.
They also collected an 8-0 advantage in second chance points but were unable to restrict Cobi Crispin (24 points, seven rebounds) and Bridie Kean (22 points, 15 rebounds).
That victory will give the Blues confidence as they head into the finals, sweeping Round 4 to finish second on the ladder.
Kylie Gauci was influential, scoring 16 points in a win over the Comets while Jess Cronje hit double-figures in the last three games for the weekend.
With just a win separating third from fifth place coming into Round 4, the Flames stumbled slightly on Friday night with a loss to the Stars.
They quickly recovered though with wins over their closest rivals, defeating the Cobras by ten points and the Comets by 11 to ensure a finals place.
Sarah Stewart paced the team with 13.5 points, 10.5 boards and five assists per game but the performance of Annabelle Lindsay (nine points per game) and Stephanie van Leeuwen (6.8 points) off the bench could provide the depth that Sydney Uni need to make a run in the post-season.
An important victory for Kilsyth on Saturday morning in front of their home crowd saw them defeat the Comets by six points.
Leanne Del Toso (17 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) and Shelley Chaplin (13 points, five boards, five assists) countered Shelley Cronau’s 17 points, eight rebounds and four dimes.
Neither side was able to win another game for the weekend which worked to Kilsyth’s favour as the Comets finished just a game outside the top four to be the unlucky side to miss out.
The finals weekend will tip-off on Friday August 12 at the Sydney University Sport and Aquatic Centre (SUSAC) with the Flames playing Kilsyth in the minor Semi and the Stars facing the Blues in the major Semi.
The winner of the major Semi advances to the Grand Final with the loser to play the winner of the minor Semi in the Preliminary Final on Saturday night.
The winner of that game then moves into the Grand Final which will be played at 1.00pm local time on Sunday with the bronze medal game to be played at 11.00am.