The much anticipated and easily predicted match up between the Panthers and Cats took place on home soil for the Cats in Millicent. The Cats earning the right to the host the game after defeating the Panthers earlier in the final series.
The Panthers got the job done the previous week against the Bulldogs Blue setting up the one versus two grand final. The Panthers with only five players were ready and got off to the perfect start with a Brad Rathjen three pointer and they never looked back.
By the end of the first quarter the Panthers had held the home side to six points and opened up a 15-point lead. Harry Mules of the Cats found some space in the second quarter for five quick points to cut into the double figure lead, however the Panthers had all the answers leading by 18 at the half.
The second half did not get much better for the Cats as the Panthers were one step ahead and continued to increase their lead. Young Cats star Mules did his best in a losing effort with 15 points and was supported by fellow big Josh Murphy with 14 points.
The Panthers were led by game MVP Rob Hein who topped all scorers with 23 points. League MVP was awarded to Kyle Tipene of the Panthers, who led from the front all season and finished second in the league scoring averaging 22.07 points per game.
WOMEN Cats 74 d Saints 68
The women’s game was an all-Millicent matchup with Saints taking on Cats. The Cats were boosted by the return of Emily Winter who has recently moved to Adelaide to compete in the NBL1 Central competition for Woodville.
Young Cats star Lucy Denton got her side off to a flyer with the first four points of the game before a Jasmin Howe three pointer put the Cats on the board. Both teams found different ways to score in the first quarter, however the Cats held on to a seven-point lead at the first break.
Howe scored the first eight points of the second quarter giving the Saints a 1-point lead, the Cats responded behind the play of Madi Haggett and Denton regaining and holding on to the lead at half time.
The third quarter was owned by the Cats as they extended the lead, the Saints struggled to contain the Cats players on defence and found themselves fouling too often. In the last quarter trailing by 20 Howe gave her side some hope with a quick eight points, the Saints were able to cut the lead back to three points with five minutes remaining however ran out of gas and could not quite get over the final hurdle of taking the lead.
The Cats holding on to win by six points. Game MVP was awarded to Haggett of the Cats who had 16 points and made a significant contribution on both ends of the court.
League MVP was awarded to Saint Howe, who led the women’s league in scoring averaging 18.17 points per game and had an outstanding season.