THE Korumburra Wildcats girls were shock losers in last Saturday nights Country Basketball Semi-finals, down in convincing fashion to Traralgon T-Birds, 53 to 67.
The Wildcats had finished the regular season 14-2 wins on top and were expected to easily account for the T-Birds with their 10-6 record but the crucial inclusion of Chelsea D’Angelo for the visitors made all the difference on the night.
The match started in thrilling style with both teams driving hard into their scoring zone with end-to-end play; not always top quality under the hoop but leaving a 13-14 scoreline that was a fair indication of the weight of possession.
But it was in the second quarter that the T-Birds surged forward with a match-winning 24 to 11 quarter result that featured their good shooting, especially from outside and Korumburra’s poor shooting and ineffectiveness on the boards.
Jamie Lee Jeffs, 15 points, played virtually a lone hand, especially in the scoring department, where she hit a good percentage of free throws and also grabbed her share of rebounds. She was also often one-out on the block as well.
Several of the Wildcats’ girls ran the ball well out of defence and applied pressure but it was when rebounding at both ends and also in accuracy going for the hoop that they fell down.
Shannon Heylen was one of those working hard in offence and she finished with a useful contribution of 10 points, the only other local in double figures.
Chelsea D’Angelo, the Traralgon T-Birds No.7, identified early from the floor by Jamie Lee as a real problem, scored 29 points and absolutely killed the Wildcats, roaming free throughout the night and regularly hitting points from three-point range or well outside the Wildcats’ blocks.
Laura Joyce 11 and Jordan Pyle 11 drove strongly to the basket for the visitors and often came up with a score where the Wildcats’ shooting was wayward.
For the Wildcats, the following players registered scores: A Moriarty 4pts, T Heylen 1pt, A McRae 2pts, E Hilmes 2, S Heylen 10, A Williams 6, C Hogg 7, G Dixon 4, T Smith 2, J Lee Jeffs 15.
The Wildcats came home strongly to claim the last quarter but it was too little too late and they’ll not figure in the grand final at the Latrobe Leisure Centre this Saturday as expected.
In upcoming representative basketball, there’s a VJBL Basketball double header this Friday, February 5 at the Korumburra Rec. Centre, beginning with the 16 boys, Korumburra Wildcats v Kilsyth Cobras, followed by the 18 boys Korumburra Wildcats v Whittlesea Pacers; tip off at 8.40pm
Come and show your support to your Wildcats and witness the best junior basketball this area has to offer.