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Olympians hope to end title drought but Stateside favourites to go back-to-back in Geraldton basketball final

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Both teams agree defence will be the key in Friday night’s grand final. Pictured: Maddy Graham and Charlotte Kennedy block Prudence Harrison.
Camera IconBoth teams agree defence will be the key in Friday night’s grand final. Pictured: Maddy Graham and Charlotte Kennedy block Prudence Harrison. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

An imposing Stateside Scorpions line-up stands in the way of Olympians as they hope to end a 13-year title drought in Friday night’s Geraldton Amateur Basketball Association women’s grand final.

Defending champions Stateside are looking to go back-to-back and capture their fifth title in seven years having only missed the grand final once since 2017.

They breezed home to take this year’s minor premiership losing only one game in the regular season but had to take the long route to the grand final after Olympians took them down in the qualifying final.

Scorpions player-coach Amy Williamson was confident Stateside could reverse their fortunes from the qualifying final.

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“I think it will be a very tough competitive game in the qualifier we didn’t perform and they were great so it’s up to lift our game and put the pressure on them,” she said.

“The game will be won on defence, it’s going to be tough and it’s going to go down to the grind and whoever turns up on the night will come out on top.”

The Scorpions do have some slight injury concerns heading into tonight with the league’s leading scorer Charlotte Kennedy and teammate Maddy Graham both going down with ankle injuries on Monday.

However, Williamson was confident both will be available for Friday’s clash.

“I think that they will be alright we’re giving them right up until the clash to give them every opportunity to play,” Williamson said.

Stateside will be sweating on the fitness of Charlotte Kennedy, pictured, and Maddy Graham
Camera IconStateside will be sweating on the fitness of Charlotte Kennedy, pictured, and Maddy Graham Credit: Jake Santa Maria

If the Olympians are to end their title drought a lot may rest in the hands of Gemma Dix, their top scorer and the league’s best three-point shooter.

Coach Coby Ryan expects a difficult fight but believes Olympians have what it takes to overcome the reigning premiers.

“I’m looking forward to the game, we’ve played them a couple of times throughout the season and had some good battles and it should be another close game,” he said.

“We definitely shot the ball really well the other night which was lucky but we played really good defence which is what we’ll be focusing on and rebounding really well.

“They’ve obviously got some really good shooters in Abbie McDonald and Charlotte Kennedy but I think we match up really well against them. We’ve got the players to match up against them defensively but it will be a team effort to shut them down.”

The final is scheduled to begin at 6.30 pm at Activewest Stadium.

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