Lady Braves outplay Blues as finals tip-off

HOT HANDS: Alex Bunton aims for the basket on her way to a team-high 22 points in the Bendigo Lady Braves semi-final win against Frankston Blues at Bendigo Stadium. Picture: LIZ FLEMING

HOT HANDS: Alex Bunton aims for the basket on her way to a team-high 22 points in the Bendigo Lady Braves semi-final win against Frankston Blues at Bendigo Stadium. Picture: LIZ FLEMING

Bendigo Lady Braves v Frankston Blues: photos

PLAYING at home for the 13th time this season held no fear for the Bendigo Lady Braves in Saturday night's basketball semi-final against Frankston.

Bendigo outplayed the Blues to the tune of 34 points and in the process advanced to the south conference grand final.

This season's meetings between the teams stood at one-all going into the play-offs.

The Lady Braves will await the winner of this Saturday night's preliminary final at Frankston between the Blues and Hobart.

Superb defence was a key factor in the Lady Braves win against Frankston.

Victorious coach Jonathan Goodman said the team's performance was outstanding.

"Our past two games have been two of our best," Goodman said of following up a 39-point win against Kilsyth by beating Frankston, 83-49.

The third quarter was Frankston's best, 22-all, but the Blues were held to eight, nine and 10 points across the other three.

"Our defensive efforts were excellent," Goodman said.

Frankston's tally of second-chance points was four.

The Lady Braves racked up 38 points in the paint.

"It was not just from mismatches in the key, but also quick transition and some lay-ups as well," Goodman said of Bendigo's attacking skill.

Alex Bunton led Bendigo's scoring on 22 points and 13 rebounds.

"It was a brilliant match by Alex," Goodman said.

There were many contributors in an emphatic victory.

"Jane Chalmers was outstanding at both ends of the court and set up a lot of our attacks."

The Braves' guard finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Kerryn Harrington, 10; Chantella Perera 9; Heather Oliver, 8; Lasondra Barrett 7; Lauren King 7; and Rosie Fadljevic 4, all scored in close or from range.

Leading scorers for Frankston were Maddie Garrick 14; Kelly Bowen 13; Emily Fryters 9, and Nicole Romeo 9.

Hobart kept premiership hopes alive by scoring a 64-57 victory in the south conference's first semi-final.

Winners in the east were Brisbane, 71-64 at Dandenong, and Geelong, 72-47 at Nunawading.

In this Saturday night's women's prelminary finals, Frankston hosts Hobart, and Dandenong takes on Geelong.

Both matches tip off at 7pm.

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