Gutsy win keeps Blues in the hunt

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
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Panthers' Darcy Kerr gets past Crystal Blues' Georgia Clark.
Camera IconPanthers' Darcy Kerr gets past Crystal Blues' Georgia Clark. Credit: Laurie Benson/Laurie Benson

Crystal Blues kept their slim top-two hopes alive after knocking off last year’s grand finalists Panthers by five points in a tense Albany Basketball Association women’s A-grade fixture on Tuesday night.

They moved within five points of the second-placed Panthers as a result of winning their second game in impressive fashion.

Crystal Blues, led by Isabella De Giambattista, are in their inaugural season and were able to hold on in a thrilling final 10 minutes.

Panthers' Casey Greay looks for options .
Camera IconPanthers' Casey Greay looks for options . Credit: Laurie Benson

Only two points separated the two sides at half-time and they traded baskets in the second half as the scores were locked with 17 minutes to play.

Crystal Blues kept responding however as De Giambattista become the main scoring avenue, holding the persistent Panthers at bay.

Panthers centre Georgia Kowald got her side within two points with as many minutes to play but De Giambattista calmly sank two free throws inside the last minute to push the lead to four and Shianne Arthur iced the game with a free throw after the final buzzer to ensure the 38-33 win for Crystal Blues.

Crystal Blues' Valerie Corbett takes on Panthers' Madi Dallimore.
Camera IconCrystal Blues' Valerie Corbett takes on Panthers' Madi Dallimore. Credit: Laurie Benson

De Giambattista hit 12 second-half points on her way to 16 for the game while Valerie Corbett chipped in with eight.

Sheridan Kowald tried to will her side back into the game late in the second half as she dropped seven second-half points on her way to 10 for the game while her sister Georgia added eight.

In the other fixture Valkyries were able to bounce back from their defeat last week to join Crystal Blues on 22 points.

Crystal Blues' Tamara Ditchburn looks for options.
Camera IconCrystal Blues' Tamara Ditchburn looks for options. Credit: Laurie Benson

A dominant performance in both halves had Valkyries convincing 51-18 winners over Raiders.

Alyssa Ward and Casey Griffiths were outstanding for Valkyries, netting 14 points each.

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