A SEABL south conference semi-final against the Dandenong Rangers shapes as Chloe Bibby’s swansong as a Bendigo Lady Brave.
The 19-year-old, who this week claimed the Lady Braves’ season MVP award, is set to travel to the United States, where she will begin playing and studying at Mississippi State University.
But before she leaves, coach Jonathan Goodman will be hoping to extract one more big performance from the former Rangers WNBL and SEABL forward, as the Lady Braves look to secure a grand final berth.
“She’s a talented young player, who has had great success in junior team, and has been fantastic for us,” he said.
“She’s a fantastic person and we’ve been fortunate to have her and I wish her all the best for her future endeavours.
“There’s no doubt she’ll be an important player for us on Saturday.”
The Lady Braves finished the regular season at 14-8, but squandered a chance to host a home final this weekend with a bland loss to the Melbourne Tigers.
It was a game in which none of the Lady Braves fired, with import Ashley Rininger top scoring with just 10 points and Bibby next best with eight.
The Lady Braves shot at just 30.8 per cent for the match.
Goodman said the Lady Braves were prepared to write last weekend’s shock loss off as a minor hiccup.
“The girls spoke about it and agreed they weren’t accountable and didn’t turn up to play,” he said.
“We really need to be ready from the get-go this weekend.”
The fifth-year coach was confident import centre Chante Black would be ready to play after missing last weekend’s loss with a foot injury.
Dandenong figures to be without two its undoubted stars, with the Rangers’ two leading scorers Lauren Scherf and Aimie Clydesdale missing through World Uni Games commitments.
For Dandenong, Amelia Todhunter is expected to go head-to-head with Lady Braves star Kelly Wilson, who returned from a thumb injury against the Tigers.
The Lady Braves have an impeccable record this season in games against Dandenong, downing the Rangers 81-62 in their season opener in Bendigo and 66-60 on the Rangers home court in round 13.
Goodman said another trip to Dandenong held no fears for his side.
“We definitely want to avoid a home final for two weeks, but we’re confident we can bring home a conference final,” he said.
“And we want to do everything possible we can to control that.”