NWBL: Rangers defeat WheelKings in Semi
The Be Active Perth Wheelcats take on Victoria Dandenong Rangers tonight in their second chance to make the Grand Final game. Wheelcats went down to the hosts, Wollongong Rollerhawks, last night in one of the closest and most action packed games of the season.
Despite dominating general play for the majority of the first three quarters the Wheelcats were unable to apply scoreboard pressure. Hosts Wollongong led at every change led by captain Brett Stibners with 27 points.
The combination of Stibners and Russell was too much in the Wheelcats as the Rollerhawks ran away 71-62 winners.
Robert Pike was the anchor for the Wheelcats with 21 points to go along with his 6 assists, but he will need more support if they are going to set up a rematch with hosts Wollongong.
In the second semi final it was the Victoria Dandenong Rangers who beaten the Sydney Uni Wheelkings and earned the right to play the Be Active Perth Wheelcats in Saturday’s preliminary final with the winner to progress to the NWBL Championship game against hosts the Wollongong Rollerhawks.
The Rangers impressed early jumping to a 15 point lead at the first change. The Wheelkings battled hard to reduce the lead in the second with the margin cut back to five points before the Rangers rallied late in the second to keep the margin at 15 at the main break.
The Rangers never really looked troubled with the final score 65-50. Cobi Crispin stood out for the Rangers with 20 points, shooting at 91% from the field. Dylan Alcott joined his Rangers teammates after a stint on the sideline with injury and hasn’t lost his touch, hitting a 15 foot baseline shot with his first possession.
For the Wheelkings it was CJ Grogan who led all scorers for the game with 27 to go along with his 15 rebounds. CJ continues to impress for the Wheelkings and was tough to stop once he got going.
The Rangers have a tough ask now to back up tonight against the Be Active Perth Wheelcats at 7:00pm with the winner to advance through to Sunday’s Championship game.
The Wheelkings will play in Sunday’s Bronze medal game against the loser of the Dandenong vs Perth game at 10:30am.