The Sabres VYC Girls have won Back to Back Championships after defeating Knox 2 games to 1 in the Best of 3 Grand Final series.
Led by Grand Final MVP Cassie Hill, the Sabres won a tense game 3 61-53 in front of a packed house at Sandringham Basketball Stadium.
Hill was instrumental across all 3 games, with her scoring and rebounding keys to the Sabres getting the series victory, aided by Ella Batish and VYC “veterans” Meg Ragauskas and Isabelle Shea.
Jo Wood was full of praise for the Girls winning their back to back championship: “These young ladies have just been super all season. Issy has matured so much over the past 3 years and is just another coach on the floor, Meg just gives absolutely everything she has and leads by example and Cass is just a great person to have around a team, gives everything but has a laugh at times too. They were just so determined to win but their leadership throughout the whole season is really what ensured we got there. They expected the younger players to step up and contribute and they gave them the confidence to do so.”
For Coach wood, after a high scoring Game 1 loss, the girls made their defence a focus for Games 2 and 3. “Our defence wasn’t great in the first game…we knew we needed to do a better job there, particularly against their guards and we definitely responded. To keep Hedge, Fisher and Santomaggio to about 12 after scoring 55 in game 1 was a pretty impressive effort. Issy and more so Chloe and Meg were instrumental in turning around their game 1 form to get this done.”
On the achievement of winning back to back titles, Wood always knew the girls would be able to make a run, she just didn’t know how far they would get, especially given the personnel changes with some players being called up for senior commitments.
“While the girls who had returned from last year were talking back to back from the start of the season I was unsure how we would go with so many changes from last year and with so many suiting up for SEABL at various stages. I did think if we could get our full team on the floor that we had a group that could do it and we managed to just keep winning during the season to give us the best possible chance. She was also excited I think I’m a little more excited about not so much going back to back but just getting the win this year.”
She was also excited the team was made up of Sabres junior players. “The group that played yesterday was an exclusively junior Sabres group and had faced more adversity than we did last year.”
Game 1: Knox def Sandringham 90-80 (OT)
Game 2: Sandringham def Knox 69 – 57
Ella Batish 14 points, 11 rebounds
Meg Ragauskas 11 points
Sophie Van Vliet 10 points, 13 rebounds
Game 3: Sandringham def Knox 61 – 53
Cassie Hill 10 points, 9 rebounds
Chloe Hicks 10 points, 5 steals
Ella Batish 8 points, 13 rebounds
Meg Ragauskas 10 points, 11 rebounds
Isabelle Shea 10 points
Sandringham win Grand Final series 2-1
Grand Final Series MVP: Cassie Hill
Posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2018