Warriors prevail

Match of the round: Second placed Traralgon took on top side Warragul in the Country Basketball League last Sunday. Luis D'Angelo (pictured) was one of the T-Birds most prominent players. photograph liam durkin








THE top of the table clash between Traralgon and Warragul in Round 7 of the Country Basketball League lived up to the hype, with only four points separating the teams at the final buzzer.


The Warriors won 92-88 in a physical encounter at the Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Stadium on Sunday to keep their unbeaten season intact.


Emotions were high throughout the match, with the passionate on court contest match almost as much by the parochial support from side lines.


An end-to-end opening term saw the T-Birds take a one point lead at the first change. The tone for what was to become a brutal affair was set when Warragul’s Graeme Radford left the court early with a blood nose.


The Warriors took some ascendency in the second quarter, shooting 25 points to 20. This ascendency was due mainly to Ambu Uliando, who nailed a number of three pointers from the side of the arc.


An alley-oop from Tom Hamilton right on the three quarter time buzzer provided a spark for Traralgon, as they went into the final change trailing 66-61.


The T-Birds pushed hard in the final term, but found themselves unable to overcome the gap established by Warragul in the previous quarter.


As the clock continued to tick Traralgon rolled the dice to try and forge a winning path, but in doing so were perhaps guilty of trying too hard, the cause of which resulted in two players being ejected late in the piece.


In the finish it seemed all the T-Birds could do was laugh at how many things went against them, with the body language of players and support staff at times appearing to say “what more can we possibly do?”


An air ball from a free throw in the last quarter may well have summed up Traralgon’s day, in what showed they have what it takes to compete against Warragul, provided they touch up aspects related to finishing quality.


The respect each side had for each other was clearly evident in the moments after the final buzzer, as players were seen causally chatting on the court, while opposing coaches Reece Hamriding (Traralgon) and Corey Smith (Warragul) left their respective benches to come together and chat during the final few seconds.


Leading the scoring for Traralgon was Frazar Brouns with 29, along with Christian and Luis D’Angelo with 15 each.


The T-Birds had a big win the day before,


annihilating Sale 123-67.


Other Saturday CBL results saw Moe defeat Lakes Entrance 93-75 and Korumburra roll Wonthaggi 76-66.


On Sunday, Churchill won 83-77 over Wonthaggi, and Maffra defeated Korumburra 84-71.


The result keeps the Blue Devils outside chance of playing finals alive, although with one round remaining it looks like it will take a minor miracle for that to happen.


Moe has a double header this weekend, travelling to Korumburra on Saturday and then Maffra on Sunday. The Eagles make the journey to Lakes Entrance on Saturday.


The fourth placed Meteors could finish as high as second if they win both games and Churchill defeats Traralgon at home on Sunday.


Warragul has the minor premiership locked away and will look to use Sunday’s game against Lakes Entrance as a dress rehearsal for finals.


Sale and Wonthaggi, both out of finals contention, have the bye.


IN the women’s, Moe powered to an 80-56 win over Lakes Entrance on Saturday.


Tahni Hodgens led the scoring for the Meteors with 17. Other results saw Wonthaggi defeat Korumburra 61-32, while on Sunday, Korumburra rolled a severely depleted Sale 95-44 and Wonthaggi was too strong for Maffra, winning 68-41.


Traralgon had the bye.


Moe will travel to Korumburra to see out the home-and-away season this Saturday, before


playing Lakes Entrance for the second time in as many weeks on Sunday at home.


The match against Korumburra could act as a semi-final preview as it looks a near certainty the Meteors will finish third and the Wildcats second.


Top side Traralgon is also on the road, making the trip to Korumburra on Sunday.