T-Birds thunder ahead to championship win

TRARALGON T-Birds’ season of dominance was rewarded with a women’s Gippsland Country Basketball League premiership on Saturday, when the competition’s form team defeated Korumburra convincingly at home, 92-66.

After a tight first quarter, Danni Pearce (24 points) led a second term blitz to blow the Wildcats off the court with able support from Leisl Sexton (22) and Jamilee Pearce (20).

With a 16-point buffer at the main break, Traralgon extended its lead with a 24-15 third quarter to put one hand on the silverware.

The Wildcats were competitive in the final term, but it was too little too late as the T-Birds claimed a commanding 26-point victory.

Coach Adam Hood said the team made good on its reputation as competition big guns in the final.

“From day dot they put it out there that they were going to be the team to beat and that’s what they did,” he said.

“Korumburra came out and gave us a bit of a scare in the first quarter and the girls just stepped up and took it away.

“Danni Pearce, (with) her running and a bit of pressure in defence, stood up and took them on; Leisl Sexton hit a couple of outside shots and Jamilee Pearce hit a few shots.”

The T-Birds will travel to Bendigo this weekend to battle Shepparton for the state title, but will be without Pearce, who has Victoria Country trials, and captain Cindy Wellington who is carrying a knee injury.

Meaghan Keast will also miss the clash with work commitments.

Despite the losses, Hood believes his all-conquering T-Birds can come away with the crown which they last held in 2011.

“We’ll go up, see what happens and hopefully come back as number one,” he said.

In the men’s division Warragul became Gippsland champions after beating Western Port Steelers. 65-50.