Tasmania equaled their best ever finish at the 17&U National Championships by defeating WA in extra time 48-42 to finish the tournament in fifth.
After a close lead up game between the two teams, which WA won by 4 goals, it was always expected to be an exciting match.
WA gained the early ascendency taking a three-goal lead in the first minutes of the game. Through strong, aggressive pressure from their defenders WA put their opposition under a great deal of pressure and limited their scoring opportunities. WA held a lead of four goals at quarter time.
An early break in the second quarter, resulting in two quick goals had the host team closing the gap to just two goals. Both teams played some great netball throughout the quarter, going goal for goal until Tasmania took another break to level the scores.
Strong defensive work and rebounding by Lisa Loubser at goal keeper, gave TAS more opportunities and eventually they took the lead with one minute remaining in the quarter. WA then scored again through Lee-Jones in the last seconds to level the score at half-time.
After the long break TAS made the early score to take the lead for the first time in the game. Both teams settled and played some very even netball until Lendich from WA got on top of her opponent and enabled her team to regain the lead.
Tasmania missed opportunities with some poor passing into their shooters, whilst in contrast WA used their goal shooter’s height advantage with some fine passing to her, enabling WA to take a six goal lead into the last quarter.
Tasmanian coach, Lou Carter added some physical strength into the shooting area by bringing Stephanie Weichelt back on court, with immediate results, as Tasmania close the lead to two.
TAS appeared to gain a lift from this and their pressure over the entire court improved, resulting in another break. Scores were level with three minutes to go, then two, then one, with full time being blown as a contact was called against a WA defender, giving Georgie Briggs a pressure shot for goal to level the score at 35-35. She scored the goal and the game went into extra time.
TAS came out in extra time with more focus and quickly went to a three, goal lead. A wayward Tasmanian pass gave WA the chance to break back, but an interception by Victoria Briscoe enabled TAS to maintain the three goal, break.
TAS started strongly increasing their lead to six goals as WA appeared to tire.
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