The Big V Finals came to Storm HQ on Saturday night and in front of a big home crowd the Storm had two big and important wins.
It was also our Championship Men’s swan song for 2023.
Bellarine 84 lost to Sunbury 103
(Lewie Varley 18, Seb Thomason 17)
In their last outing for Season 2023, our Championship Men put on a really positive opening half against Sunbury.
The visitors jumped out to an early 8 point break, before the Storm went on a 21 to 8 run for the second half of the quarter, playing some of their best basketball for the season, to lead by 5 points at quarter time.
Lewie Varley was putting on an early shooting clinic with 15 points for the term, with great support from Bryce Cashman, Nathan Gronbeck and Rohan Jarvie.
The star of the second term was Jamieson Hultgren whop came in and made an immediate impact with 6 points. 7 boards and 1 block for the quarter to help the Storm go in with a 7 point break over their opposition.
Naturally, you expect a team challenging for the title would get themselves back into the contest at some stage and that was the third quarter as Sunbury showed why they are right in the mix this season, putting together a 38 to 14 quarter to put the game to bed by three quarter time.
To the Storm’s credit, even though they were unlikely to cause a boiler, still fought out the last term right to the final buzzer. The two highlights for the Storm in the last term was the continued value off the bench of Seb Thomason and towards the end of the game, Clancy Whelan coming off the bench in the dying stages of the game and finding the scoresheet a couple of times.
With our first Championship Mens season all done for 2023, we give thanks to Coach Luke Beauglehall, Assistant Coach Leigh Allan and the players for their efforts this season representing our Club.
Division 1 Women
Bellarine 62 defeated Mildura 44
(Georgia Varley 21, Jaimee Crombie 14)
If there was any doubt about the ability of our Division 1 Women to go all the way this season, they showed they are right in this title fight as they dismantled Mildura by 18 points.
Last time these two teams met at Storm HQ it rained hailstones in the third quarter, Saturday night it rained three’s as Georgia Varley put paid to Mildura with five shots, hitting 4 three pointers and a 2 in 2 minutes of play midway through the term.
Three point fever began to catch for the Storm, with Jaimee Crombie, Alicia Osborne, Charlotte Armstrong and Sienna Quinlan all draining shots from downtown to which Mildura had no answers.
It was all one way traffic as the Storm cruised to the line to record an emphatic victory and set up an big game this Saturday night against Warrnambool in Warrnambool for a spot in the 2023 Division 1 Women’s Grand Final up for grabs, the the loser facing either Mildura or Western Port the following week for a second chance.
Youth League 2 Women
Bellarine 62 defeated Whittlesea 60
(Piper Copeland 14, Ash Withers 13 & 11)
The last time these two sides met, it was an overtime classic with Whittlesea just getting up in the end.
Saturday night was another instant classic, with the first spot in this years Grand Final up for grabs, however, this time it Was the Storm that came out on top, advancing to the Youth League 2 Women’s Grand Final in 2 weeks at Storm HQ.
The Storm made the early pace in the game, going in with a six point lead before Whittlesea fought back in the second quarter to grab a 2 point lead at the half.
Bellarine were getting nice mileage from Piper Copeland and Ash Withers in the third as the Storm steadied and regained the lead by 4 points, with everything to play for in the last term.
Into the last and it became a real arm wrestle as the momentum swung back and forth down the stretch, with Whittlesea snatching the lead with just 2 to play.
Piper Copeland grabbed the lead straight back for the Storm, before Darci Locklier split a trip to the line to have scores level with less than a minute remaining.
Summer Field’s score was nullified by a successful trip to the line from Peyton Burns with just 30 seconds left to play.
From the time out, Ash Withers found the basket via a lay up with seconds to spare. Whittlesea had one final chance to snatch the game, as Burns put up a prayer from outside the arc, which didn’t come off, giving the Storm the win and passage through to the Grand Final.
Saturday 5th August 2023
Division 1 Women
Bellarine v Warrnambool @ The Arc Stadium 7:00pm
Youth League Women 2