Saturday night at Storm HQ was one of the biggest nights in quite some time, with a pumping home crowd for two big games of women’s basketball.
One of the games turned out to be an instant classic, whilst the other game didn’t quite end as was hoped.
Division 1 Women – Preliminary Final
Bellarine 74 d Western Port 70
(Olivia Virt 19, Chantelle Hall 14 & 19 rebounds)
With a spot in the Division 1 Women’s Grand Final up for grabs, both the Storm and Western Port sides showed very early in the game that this was going to be one hard fought victory for whoever came out on top.
Both sides opened brightly, with a good tempo and with two and a half to go in the first, scores were dead level, before Bellarine found a little surge towards the end of the term with a 9-0 run to set up an early lead at the first break.
Alivia Osborne was working hard in the engine room for the Storm with a 7 point opening quarter, with good support from Georgia Varley to have things on a nice trajectory.
Into the second and the closeness of the contest continued to entertain the crowd, as the Storm managed to hold the Steelers at bay for most of the second, before Rachel Winters and Jenna Mastellone began to work hard for their side and become big threats, although the Storm did still manage to retain the lead at the half by just 4 points.
Olivia Virt came out of the half time break like a tracer bullet to light the Storm up offensively with a three point play to open the term and then nail a big three to get the crowd going and with Chantelle Hall becoming dangerous on the boards and the scoreboard, it looked like Bellarine might have been about to make things tough for the visitors.
However, enter Winters and Mastellone as they got the Steelers back into the contest and just 2 points short of the Storm with one quarter of regular time remaining.
The last quarter was an absolute slugfest as both sides pushed hard, trading baskets throughout the quarter before the Storm managed to edge ahead with two and a half to go but there was still another twist in this one as the Steelers came again and wiped out Bellarine’s 6 point lead in 2 shots from outside from Mastellone and Stephanie Villalobos to have scores level at 68 at the the end of regular time.
Overtime was just as tough as the rest of the contest, with both sides pressing hard to get into the Grand Final but it was the Storm through Captain Georgia Varley who led her side to the big dance, scoring all 7 of their overtime points, whilst holding Western Port to just 2 points as the Storm got across the line.
Youth League 2 Women – Grand Final
Bellarine 40 lost to Whittlesea 88
(Piper Copeland 11)
It wasn’t the night we had hoped for as our Youth League Women couldn’t contain a raging Whittlesea in the Youth League 2 Women’s Grand Final.
It was a promising beginning by the Storm scoring 10-0 to open the game, with Eliza Haugh, Piper Copeland and Ash Withers being prominent early. After calling an early time out, Whittlesea came out determined to fight back into the contest cutting the Storm lead to just 3 points at the first break.
From there, it was all Whittlesea as they began to raise the pressure on the Storm key players and their own offence being almost unstoppable, having an 11 point lead by the half.
Sadly, from there on, it was all one way traffic as the Pacers ran away with the contest and claim the title.
Saturday 19th August 2023
Division 1 Women Grand Final
Bellarine v Warrnambool @ The Arc, Warrnambool 6:30pm