21 August 2023
On Saturday night, a massive crowd came down to the Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Stadium to watch the BigV Division 2 Women’s Grand Final.
Gippsland United hosted Wallan Panthers in a clash of the best two teams in the competition. Finishing first and second on the ladder, both with MVP candidates leading their teams it was always going to be a match for the ages.
The depth of Gippsland United vs the 1/2 punch of Wallan superstar Kylah Collins and Olivia Dalmau.
The first quarter was a real tussle, with Wallan finishing the better to the tune of 3 points. Foul trouble early to youngsters Krystal Arnason and Emily Scholtes creating issues for Brad Rooff rotations.
The foul count for the game was 50! With Joey Watson, Krystal Arnason and Wallan’s Kylah Collins all fouling out of the game. The calls were interesting with some very physical contact being left while some tiggy touchwood calls were called. The calls were going both ways and the teams had to adjust to the way the referees were calling the game.
By the end of the second quarter, United had taken the lead by four points. It was on the defensive end that United took control of the game holding Wallan to only 14 points in the second term.
The third quarter, United started on a 15-5 run to get out to a 14 point lead. Again it was the defensive end and fast transition that did the damage. Makenzie Miller and Lauren Tuplin leading the charge.
Kylah Collins fouled off early in the final quarter and with a 22 point lead it felt like the game was won. However, Wallan being the amazing team that they are started an inspired comeback. The noise was deafening with the crowd completely enthralled by the contest. The junior athletes from Leongatha Lighting absolutely screaming the house down. The comeback was stifled with some key buckets to Makenzie Miller, Lauren Tuplin and Em Scholtes in the final 3 minutes. The United women winning the title by 17 points.
Some key statistics from the game -leading to victory:
Rebounds: 60 – 49
Second Chance Points: 13-11 – significant win as Kylah Collins usually dominates the offensive glass. She was restricted to only 3 offensive rebounds.
Makenzie Miller was voted MVP of the Grand Final in a statement game from the co-captain.
Makenzie Miller: 20p, 16r, 9a, 1s
Lauren Tuplin: 25p, 10r, 8a
Joey Watson: 11p, 7r, 5a
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