Raiders end season with last-gasp victory
The Raiders under-18 development squad have put the disappointment of not being able to contest the finals behind them as two clutch free throws from Narelle Humphries after full-time lifted them to an epic win over Flames on Tuesday night.
Under Albany Basketball Association rules, no Raiders team are eligible to play in finals, meaning the Raiders side that compete in the women’s A-grade side are done for the season despite sitting comfortably in third place.
With the bye next week, Raiders hit the floor one last time in 2018-19 and it turned into a ripping contest as the match ebbed and flowed for much of the second half.
Raiders had opened up a six-point advantage on the back of a triple from Humphries as the game entered the final six minutes.
With Jorden Tester coming into the line-up for a one-off appearance, Flames fought back to knock down the next six points as they trapped Raiders in their own half and caused a number of turnovers.
Scores were level for the last two minutes and both sides had their chance with possession but as seconds ticked away, Humphries launched an unsuccessful rebound.
Shianne Arthur grabbed the loose ball but was called for travel as she stepped between two Raiders to turn the ball back over.
The inbound ball landed with Humphries, who was challenged by Arthur under the basket, and a foul was called.
Humphries headed to the line as the buzzer rang out and she calmly sank the first with nothing but net and nailed the second to help Raiders snatch a two-point win.
A game-high 14 points from Humphries was vital, while Kayla Thomas (10 points) and Lily Wilsher-Saa (6) were also instrumental in the 39-37 triumph.
Scores were level at half-time but Indianna Weeden hit the first five points of the second period to give Flames a decent buffer and the guard ended the match with 10 points, the same return Arthur also had on the offensive end.
Thomas, Aleesha Narkle and Jade Dimer all hit double figures in the other round 15 fixture as Panthers sailed smoothly towards the second semifinal with an emphatic 53-27 win over Phoenix.
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