Rangers Women Back to Back Champs
The Dandenong Rangers have claimed their second consecutive D League Women’s Championship, defeating the Nunawading Spectres 42-38 in front of a large crowd at Nunawading Basketball Centre on Saturday night.
In low scoring game, the Rangers drew first blood 13 seconds into the opening period and never relinquished the lead. Jacinta Vandenberg led all scorers with 12 points, also pulling down 15 rebounds in a monster effort inside.
From the opening tip, the Rangers smothered Nunawading defensively. Dandenong’s full court press, a trademark of both championship seasons unsettling the Spectres on their home court where they had been undefeated all season. “We spent some time in the week leading up to the game working on how we would defend their main 3-4 offensive sets,” Rangers Coach Paul Flynn said. “As a group we made a few adjustments and decided that for them to beat us they would have to do it from behind the 3 point line.” Nunawading went 1 from 20 from behind the arc.
Speaking after the game, Flynn praised his team effort, “I’m just so proud of these girls and the way they applied themselves. Our coaching group demands a lot out of them and to their credit they step up to the plate every time. This championship is reward for the 10 months of hard work they’ve put in for each other. I couldn’t be happier for a group of girls that truly define what it is to be a team.”
The Rangers recorded 17 wins, 4 losses across the regular season, finishing in second position. Dandenong stepped up to a whole new level in the finals though, taking care of Knox by 30 points in their semi final before claiming the championship at Nunawading on Saturday night.
This was the Rangers fourth consecutive grand final appearance, and second consecutive D League Women’s Championship.