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Geraldton basketball division one prelims: Hawks and Olympians progress to men’s and women’s grand finals

Derek GoforthMidwest Times
Hawk Ryan Blanchett fights for the ball.
Camera IconHawk Ryan Blanchett fights for the ball. Credit: Derek Goforth

The pressure was on Chapman Valley to make the grand final after finishing well on top, but it was the underdog Hawks who swooped to score an exhilarating 28-point preliminary final win.

The Valley had only dropped one game during the regular season of Geraldton division one basketball, but could not deliver at finals time.

Hawks earned the grand final berth, and will face off against Olympians on Friday night.

In the women’s preliminary final, Olympians prevailed over Pumas in a tight tussle decided by just four points to progress through to Friday’s grand final against Stateside.

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The men’s match-up on Monday night at Activewest Stadium saw Hawks waste no time asserting their dominance in the first quarter as Fletcher Klasztorny and Ryan Blanchett set the tone early with impressive three-pointers, leaving Chapman Valley trailing from the outset. By quarter time Hawks had established a substantial 29-12 lead.

The Valley fought back in the second quarter, narrowing the deficit to just 10 points. Matt Wundenberg and Russell Hurst made notable contributions, however, Hawks’ Levi Owen and Robert Griechen maintained their scoring momentum, ensuring a half-time lead of 49-39.

The intensity continued in the third quarter, highlighted by Theo Bennett’s impactful three-pointer and Xavier Wright’s solid performance in both defense and driving forward for the Hawks. Despite Geordie Murray’s efforts for Chapman Valley, the Hawks extended their lead to 83-48 by the last break.

Chapman Valley called a timeout to regroup before the fourth quarter, but Hawks’ dominance persisted. Ryan Blanchett’s clutch plays and Griechen’s precision shooting sealed the deal.

The final score was 101-73. Standout players for Hawks were Blanchett (29 points), Griechen (25 points) and Klasztorny (16 points), while for the Valley Wundenberg scored 20 points, and Hurst and Llewyn Valli were instrumental in keeping their team within striking distance of a comeback.

Hawks are now set for a high-stakes grand final showdown against Olympians, promising an electrifying clash of two powerhouse teams.

The women’s preliminary final followed, and it was a riveting contest from the tip-off between Olympians and Pumas.

Sharnee Williamson and Gemma Dix of Olympians executed well-timed three-pointers, setting the tone, while Pumas’ Millie Gerreyn responded with a three-pointer of her own, keeping the score tight.

The second quarter saw Olympians maintain their momentum, with Kylie MacDonald and Williamson contributing key shots. Pumas’ Mikenna Schultz countered with successful plays, keeping the scoreboard ticking. Olympians led 38-26 at half-time, setting the stage for an intriguing second half.

As the third quarter unfolded, Olympians’ Dix and Kylie MacDonald continued their scoring spree, while Gerreyn displayed resilience for Pumas, narrowing the gap. The quarter ended with Olympians holding a 49-38 lead, but Pumas remained within striking distance.

Dix seemed to have a barely tapped reserve of energy during the latter half of the game that she used to drive the Occys forward.

Entering the final quarter, Pumas launched a spirited comeback, with Gerreyn adding pressure on Olympians. With less than a minute on the clock, Pumas closed the gap to 51-47 but that is where the score stayed amid strategic timeouts and fouls adding to the drama. Olympians’ defence, led by an impressive Prudence Harrison, held firm, securing the hard-fought win.

Williamson led Olympians’ scoring with 17 points, while Gerreyn top-scored for Pumas with 15.

Both premiership deciders will be played at Activewest Stadium on Friday night. The women’s clash between Stateside and Olympians starts at 6.30pm, while tip-off for the men’s battle between Olympians and Hawks is at 8pm.

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