Vikings def. Magpies
Magpies got within four goals of Vikings but as the game wore on the staying power slipped away quarter by quarter. Magpies defender Kelsey Ellis was actively pouring the energy into blocking Vikings goalie Lara Etchells out of close range shooting whilst Jessie Maule was left to concentrate on strategies to curb the solid authority of Vikings shooter Tianna Freeman. Freeman was on fire. Her height was a major key to her success once she received the best lob passes from Casey Lukich and the short quick passes around the goal circle from Belinda Myles. Vikings goalies in the first quarter were slick and straight shooters. It was very compact inside the circle. Freeman and Maule had great competitive contests for rebounds.
It was not that Magpies did not have just as good an approach to the game. It did. Aysha Zada led supremely as the goal attack both in scoring and defending through two thirds of the court. Adele Kennedy was in command of her leads for the ball and scored important goals. Having Vikings goal defenders Courtney Webb and Lily Fullerton applying intense pressure became a wearing factor for both Zada and Kennedy. When scoring opportunities were lost it was a turnover gain for Vikings. Then there was Amelia Etchells in the midcourt bouncing off some tough tussles winning possessions to reverse play in favour of Vikings attack.
The fourth quarter for Vikings was at one stage speed out of control. Athletic saves for the out of court balls from players spun into uncontrolled passing, which was perfect for Magpies to intercept until injury struck goal shooter Kennedy. The pressure was on Zada, Ellie Packard and Talia Berry to work the ball around until Zada could get into the circle. Raener Miller took Kennedy’s spot and was good in leading for passes to assist in the tactic. Regardless of the injury Magpies had a difficult task to snatch the lead.
As much as Magpies played to its best Vikings were physically stronger across the court and in some positions taller, ‘the greens’ still had to work competitively for the win 13-9, 26-18, 42-32, 56-42. Standout players were Tiana Freeman, Amelia Etchells, Aysha Zada and Ellie Packard.
Railways def. St Jospehs
I am sure A Grade Railways for the last few games let the opposition get the first goals of the game as a confidence booster and then put the foot down on the accelerator to unleash a reality check. St Josephs found itself in an overwhelming situation by half time. A 19 goal deficit was going to be hard to overturn. Once again Claire Schupelius demonstrated her dominance as the playmaker in the Railways midcourt and goal circle. Peyton Fuller was at her best in the goal defending area. Try as Bonnie Mackenzie did to energise the St Josephs attack her efforts were shut down.
Between Amy Green and McKenzie the determination to lead St Josephs to a respectable position was evident in the third quarter surprising Railways with a 13-13 score. McKenzie took some hard falls in her endeavours and unfortunately went face down in the fourth quarter and left the court nose injured. Railways were always in control of the game for the 69-40 win. Standout players were Claire Schupelius, Peyton Fuller, Bonnie McKenzie and Amy Green.
A Grade Table: Railways 24, St Josephs 10, Vikings 8, Magpies 4.
There is a reason why Quorn B Grade sits at the top of the ladder. The team is assertive, defends and attacks all game with unbelievable stamina. The players have a good understanding of their moves, in particular Angie Finlay and Alice Wilsdon. These two players are the link between both ends of the court. Tayla Finlay and Kiera Pyman are in synchronisation with their passages of play with no fear to face the goal ring. Both are beautiful players to watch as well as the determined defending combination of Kate Ozolins and Meggan Finaly. Ozolins is always on her toes making it easy to change direction when opposition goalies try to make position.
Magpies got a good taste of the Quorn dominance every quarter 13-8, 15-11, 19-10, 19-11 for a total of 66-40. When opportunities presented Monica Kennedy and Kate Brusnahan shone for Magpies to score goals. Melissa Shaw put drive into Magpies attack with her reliable backup work in two thirds of the court. It was hard day at the office for Magpies to convince Quorn to retract its thirst for a solid win.
B Grade Railways and Vikings had a tougher assignment playing in the icy cold weather. Just as Vikings thought it had the good measure on Railways the even last quarter maintained the two goal lead Railways earned in the third quarter for the 46-44 win.
B Grade Table: Quorn 16, Vikings 15, Railways 11, St Joseph 4, Magpies 0
U15 Div1 St Josephs Captain Ebony Butler had to produce her best versatile game to lead the team to a close victory over Vikings 35-28. Her dominance in the midcourt and defence lines was a key factor to warding off the relentless Viking challenge.
Just as well Quorn U15 Div1 got off to an amazing first quarter against Railways because the lead was being gobbled up in the rest of the quarters. It was Captain Jayde Finlay who kept the play rolling through the centre capturing turnovers and motivating team mates like Jenna Cuffe and Maya Omonte-Kramer to keep a competitive edge over Railways goalies Teraleyha Coulthard and Shakyra Wilton. Well done Quorn 26-21.
U15 DIV1 Table: St Josephs 19, Quorn 14, Vikings 11, Railways 4, Magpies 0.