31 July 2022
In an incredible debut season for Gippsland United both the Men’s and Women’s teams are finals bound!
The Women’s team have had an up and down season however they are finding a chemistry that has eluded them up until the last couple of weeks. Battling the visiting Blackburn Vikings, the winner of the clash were going to seal 5th spot on the ladder and a finals berth.
It was an arm wrestle throughout the game, United would get a 10 point lead and the Vikings would fight back. Blackburn forward Isabella Nolen was terrific for the visitors fighting on both ends of the floor. In the third term the home team gave up a 6 point half time lead to some defensive lapses in transition, where Coach Wayne Royal made some timely changes to put fresh legs on the court. The move paid dividends with the Women going into the final term 8 points up.
In the final term Makenzie Miller stood up and scored 8 of her 12 points to steer the team to victory. Chloe Hogg dominated the game from start to finish and had a game high 25 points 14 rebounds. Carly Wood very important with 14 points and 7 rebounds.
The Women also played away at Collingwood and were not challenged at all, ending the game with a 59 point victory. Top performers Macey McGlead (18p) and double-doubles from Mak (12p, 16r), Chloe (18p, 11r) and Emily Scholtes (11p, 12r, 5a).
The Men had already sealed top spot on the ladder and they were looking to iron out some wrinkles and get through the weekend without injury. The men also played a double header this weekend, firstly at home vs Mornington Breakers and then away against Maccabi Warriors. Some disappointing news before Saturday nights game was Billy Hughes ankle injury ruling him for the Season.
Mornington battled hard but were outclassed. A comprehensive team win by the United men that started from the first whistle. Young gun Kody Tibballs started the game and did not let coach Scott McKenzie down. His already hustle and basketball IQ shone through. Kody stat line of 12p, 6r, 2st, 2bl only just reflects the impact he had on the game. Ben Barlow was on a different level and scored at will, it was almost unfair. Ben’s efficiency with the ball is incredible.
The second game of the weekend was dominated by the United men – winning by 55 points. Kody Tibballs kept his terrific form and scored a game high 24 points, great signs leading into finals. Brandon Armstrong (17p, 8r, 9a), Jordan Canovan (15p, 5r, 5a) and Jordan Gooiker (16p) the top performers.
We understand that the Men have a week off, being rewarded with a rest for finishing atop the ladder.
The Women travel away to Wallan in an Elimination Final. We will write up Final’s Preview article later in the week.
Very exciting times for the club! GO UNITED!
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