CBL final four is decided

Finals time: The Traralgon T-Birds will play for a spot in the Country Basketball League men's and women's grand final this weekend. photograph liam durkin





THE final four of the Country Basketball League was decided last Sunday, as the last round of the regular season concluded.

A pair of Latrobe Valley teams qualified for finals, along with Maffra and Warragul, who claimed the minor premiership and will go into the playoffs boasting an unblemished 10-win, zero-loss record.

Moe secured its finals berth with a commanding 78 to 53 win on the road over Korumburra. Heading into the Saturday match needing to win to sew up a position inside the top four, the Meteors never gave their opponents a look-in, shooting an incredible 29 points to seven in the first quarter.

The home side never recovered from the opening term blitzing, and could only watch as their season drifted further and further away.

Simon Vannapraseuth led the scoring with 14 points for Moe, closely followed by Stephen O’Brien who netted 13.

Moe then ventured to Cameron Sporting Complex to take on Maffra on Sunday.

With both teams safe in finals, they faced the dilemma of wanting to win to get a mental edge but also not playing with absolute intensity to avoid the risk of getting injured.

In the finish, Maffra won 103 to 90, with a big final term effort of 33 points doing what was required.

Rohan Demczuk had 19 points and O’Brien 18 for Moe. Ben Van Dyk was also productive with 17, as was Josh Pearce with 16.

TRARALGON was too strong for Churchill last Sunday, winning 78 to 57.

The visiting T-Birds used the match as finals practise after establishing a 21 to seven lead at quarter time.

The Blue Devils competed well after quarter time, scoring 50 points to Traralgon’s 57 for the rest of the match. Jordan Canovan did the bulk of the scoring for Churchill, shooting 25 points.

Christian D’Angelo shot the same number for the T-Birds.

The Blue Devils ended the season in sixth position with a four-win, six-loss record telling the story of what might have been.

IN OTHER games, Maffra poleaxed Lakes Entrance on Saturday, winning 101 to 58 on the Pelicans home court.

It didn’t get any easier for Lakes Entrance, who had to drive to Warragul the next day to take on the undefeated Warriors.

The Pelicans promptly lost 97 to 48 to ensure it collected the wooden spoon after a dismal campaign saw it unable to win a game from 10 starts.

Wonthaggi and Sale each had the bye, and ended the season in seventh and eighth respectively with two wins each.

IN THE women’s, the last finals spot came down to percentage between Moe and Maffra.

The teams each ended the regular season with five-wins and five-losses, but the Meteors were able to scrap into fourth by just 4.51 per cent.

The result means Moe will face traditional rivals Traralgon in a hotly contested semi-final this weekend.

Moe was forced to sweat on its chances of playing finals last weekend, after it was unable to topple second placed Korumburra away from home on Saturday.

The Meteors started promisingly, leading 11-8 at quarter time, before the Wildcats put the foot down and slammed on 43 points to 24 in the next two quarters on their way to a 61-44 victory.

Caitlin Demczuk shot 17 points to be the leading light for Moe.

Needing to win and by some margin the next day against bottom-placed Lakes Entrance, who had come off a 77-44 drubbing at home against Maffra the day before, the Meteors thumped through 75 points to 32 in a rout at Moe/Newborough Leisure Centre.

Top scorers for Moe were Caitlin Prestidge (18), Demczuk (17), Danielle Davies (17) and Carly Wood (15).

The Meteors had little time to celebrate their dominant performance, as over at the Cameron Sporting Complex, fifth-placed Maffra was doing the unthinkable and trouncing top side Traralgon.

The Eagles ended up winning 73-37, which meant the calculators needed to come out to crunch the numbers to determine who out of Moe and Maffra would be playing finals.

Moe players and officials were eventually able to breathe a sigh of relief, as their fate was sealed when word came through they had definitely done enough to qualify.

Wonthaggi and Sale each had the bye. The Coasters finished third and will continue their season this weekend, while the Sonics will look to next season after running sixth.




Saturday, February 5 at Warragul Leisure Centre, 7pm

Warragul Warriors v Moe Meteors

Sunday, February 6 at Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Stadium, 3pm

Traralgon T-Birds v Maffra Eagles


Saturday, February 5 at Korumburra Recreation Centre, 6pm

Korumburra Wildcats v Wonthaggi Coasters

Sunday, February 6 at Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Stadium

Traralgon T-Birds v Moe Meteors, 1pm