Key duo pick Panthers over Raiders for prelim

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Young stars Kayla Thomas and Ella Scamozzi will suit up for Panthers tonight against their other regular team Raiders under-18 development squad in an intriguing Albany Basketball Association women’s A-grade preliminary final.

With a grand final berth on the line, Thomas and Scamozzi have chosen to play for Panthers despite also being a key part of the Raiders side in the four-team competition this season.

Scamozzi is averaging more than 10 points per game for Panthers in 17 appearances while Thomas has also been electric for Panthers in the 16 games she has played.

The news was a welcome boost for Panthers, who lost in last week’s second semifinal by three points, as they attempt to secure their first grand final appearance.

David Arthur, head coach of both Raiders and Panthers this season, has also had to make a choice and will guide Panthers in the do-or-die final.

Raiders assistant coach Morris Robertson will take over the reins from Arthur with the youngster likely to have six players for the clash at 7pm.

Arthur said he was very much looking forward to watching the two sides he has coached do battle in a final.

“It will be interesting to see how they go,” Arthur said.

“It really depends if Raiders bring it, they can be really good some nights and others not so much.”

Raiders will rely on Alyssa Ward, Jasmyne Jones, Indianna Weeden and Madison Dallimore to shoulder the load left by Thomas and Scamozzi.

Panthers hold a significant 4-1 record against Raiders this season in their match-ups.

In the men’s A-grade preliminary final, Knights’ bid for a maiden grand final will go on the line at 8pm when they clash with reigning premiers Tigers.

Knights finished the season as minor premiers but were belted in last week’s second semifinal by Barking Owls and now face Tigers, who have won five of the past eight men’s A-grade titles.

Tigers won the most recent clash between the two sides, 46-39, and back in round 3 it was Knights who came out on top by a single point.

Young trio Tom Edwards, Henrick Alforque and Keanu Weeden are crucial to Knights’ hopes of reaching the decider while big men Tim Button and Corey Hill will look to dominate the smaller Knights in the keyway.

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