Blue Devils eye back-to-back premierships



CHURCHILL will host Warragul for a rematch of last year’s finale in Saturday’s Country Basketball Gippsland men’s final.

The Blue Devils edged out Sale 88-85 in their semi-final encounter at the weekend, powered by Rob Michaelides’ 23-point haul.

Sale put Churchill on the back foot early, as the Sonics surged to a 29-14 lead at quarter-time.

The premier rallied back to draw scores level at three-quarter-time, then clutched out a three-point win with Michaelides putting the match to bed from the free throw line at the death.

Warragul fended off Western Port in the other semi-final to set up a repeat of last year’s decider, which Churchill won 86-74.

The women’s final will be an all Latrobe Valley showdown between Traralgon T-Birds and the Moe Meteors.

Traralgon accounted for Churchill 71-63 to qualify with Jamilee Pearce in full flight, while destructive duo Jaz Shelley and Carly Mullen-Bianconi combined for 47 points to help Moe dismiss Maffa 80-63.

Churchill Senior Amateur Basketball Association president Michael Cleef encouraged the community to turn out in force to support their team on grand final day.

“The Country Basketball League grand finals are a great opportunity for people to see some top quality basketball, with players known for their involvement in the Latrobe City Energy representing their home towns,” Cleef said.

“It will be absolutely fantastic to see and hear a home crowd cheering on the Churchill Blue Devils as they try to go back to back in the Men’s conference.”

Door entry at Latrobe Leisure Churchill for the matches is $5 for adults, $3 for children, or $12 for a family of two adults and three kids.

The women’s final will be staged at 6pm and the men’s at 8pm.