Mixed night for Bulls

Michael GliddonBunbury Herald

Bulls Maroon progressed to the preliminary finals, ending Busselton’s season with a 72-63 win in the Bunbury Basketball Association’s Dale Alcock Homes A-Grade competition on Friday night.

Maroon had their best run in the game late in the second quarter when they turned a three-point lead into a 48-34 half-time defecit, and early in the third they extended the lead to a game high 18-points.

Busselton never gave up and had an impressive comeback in the fourth quarter to pull back within two points, with the scores at 61-59 with less than five minutes remaining.

Maroon steadied and got the win with Trent Worthington (18 points), James Goodlad (15) and Paddy Phillips (11) top scoring.

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Busselton were led by Dylan Ness who scored a game-high 19 points, while Travis Vogel (16) and Jalen Colgate (12) had solid games.

The two teams’ leading scorers, Maroon’s Wade Hitchcock and Busselton’s Matthew Mansfield played on each other throughout the match and scored only 15 points between them, with their impressive defensive efforts cancelling out each other’s offensive outputs.

In the other game, Tornadoes Black progressed straight through to the grand final with Bulls Gold having to take the extreme measure of forfeiting the match due to a lack of qualified players being available.

With Brynn Francis and Brad Fiori at weddings, Teny Pout suspended, Tre Nichols injured and Chris Douglas working, Gold only had three players who were eligible to take the court and the game was abandoned.

Friday’s preliminary final will be a Bulls derby between Gold and Maroon to decide who will take on Black in next Saturday’s grand final.

In the women’s games, Bulls progressed to their sixth straight grand final with a 68-47 win over Tornadoes.

Bulls took an early 23-6 lead which Tornadoes never recovered from and the lead did not get back within single figures. Bulls had an even spread of scorers through Georgia Denehey (16), Courtney Bayliss (14), Rebbeca Preston (12), Demi Liddle (12) and Brittany Gliddon (10).

Tornadoes were led by Dena English who scored 13 points, while Taylah Kemp (10) and Ebony Bilcich (9) played well.

Aces Navy knocked club-mates White out of the finals with a 74-50 win, thanks to Tori Dugan who scored 20 points for the winners.

Raya Thompson added 18 points for Navy, while Kate Fielding and Hannah Kurek scored 15 points each for the match.

Tiahna Sears was the only White player to score in double figures with 19 points, with Shannon Verhagen (8) and Jasmine Barrett (7).

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