A red-hot start in Tuesday night’s Albany Basketball Association women’s A-grade preliminary final was enough for Crystal Blues to progress to the grand final and get a shot at redemption against Valkyries. Crystal Blues started the match on fire, scoring the first 11 points and from that point their rivals Sonics were never a chance. After losing last week’s second semifinal, a fired-up Crystal Blues didn’t hold back in the preliminary final as they went on an 11-0 run that stunned their opponents. Casey Griffiths, Isabella De Giambattista, Shianne Arthur and Telikah Collins all hit the scoreboard inside the first five minutes of the game and their side coasted to a 15-point win. Sonics found their feet after the nervous start and scored the next four points. With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Sonics had trimmed the margin to six points but Crystal Blues took a 17-11 advantage into the second half. The margin was reduced to three soon after the break but Crystal Blues kept finding the answers and they soon blew the game back out to double figures. De Giambattista was working well in the offensive half and with just over eight minutes left the margin had ballooned to 18 points. Sonics tried to rally again and despite hitting 12 of the final 21 points it was all too late. Griffiths starred in the 52-37 win and showed why she was named the most valuable player this season with 18 points and Collins hit two baskets from long range in her 16-point haul. De Giambattista chipped in with 13 and grabbed a number of rebounds to also play her part. Emma Fleck was a shining light for Sonics with 13 points while Maddie Dallimore (8 points) worked hard on both ends of the floor and Aleesha Narkle (8) also toiled hard. But their side was hurt by only having the bare five players for the sudden death final.