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Flames, Magpies lock in semifinal clash

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Flames and Magpies have set up an enthralling second semifinal clash in a fortnight after the two premiership fancies recorded wins in round 14 of the Albany Basketball Association women’s A-grade competition on Tuesday night.

Only four points separated the top three teams heading into the penultimate round of the season, but Flames outgunned Panthers by 15 points and then Magpies held off a persistent Grammar Griffins by eight points to finalise the top two ladder positions.

Flames raced out to a 14-point lead by half-time in their contest with Panthers and that margin remained for much of the second half as they chalked up an 11th win of the season to go four points ahead of third-placed Griffins.

Flames’ Shianne Arthur goes to the basket.
Camera IconFlames’ Shianne Arthur goes to the basket. Credit: Albany Advertiser

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Shooting guard Zandalee Arthur was again prolific for Flames, hitting 12 first-half points and ending the match with a game-high 20, including two from long range.

Panthers' Ella Scamozzi takes control and gets past Flames' Chelsea Grove.
Camera IconPanthers' Ella Scamozzi takes control and gets past Flames' Chelsea Grove. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Emerging forward Alyssa Ward also shone for the winners and chipped in with 12 points, but it was their strangling defensive pressure that was key in the 51-36 result.

Panthers duo Ella Scamozzi (13 points) and Kayla Thomas (14) continued their good form.

Magpies were able to maintain their position at the top of the table, holding off a strong challenge from the Griffins.

Narelle Humphries proved the match winner with her red-hot shooting from deep, nailing five three-pointers in the 34-26 victory.

Griffins centre Nina Smith was busy in the opening 20 minutes with telling rebounds and impact in offence but her side still trailed by two points at the break.

The two sides traded baskets early in the second half before a critical few moments led by Humphries.

With scores level, the talented forward hit consecutive triples before baskets to Darcie Oreo and Tully Lane helped Magpies wrest back control of the game as they skipped 10 points ahead.

It was a dominant performance from Humphries as she finished with 21 points to drag Magpies across the line.

Smith (9) was a constant presence at both ends while Bridgette Latham (6) and Anita Onions (4) were gallant in defeat for Griffins.Sparks caused an upset against Raiders under-18 development squad, winning 48-42.

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