Millicent ‘slam dunks’ finals day

Millicent enjoyed a dream Limestone Coast Basketball League finals day on Saturday evening after both Magic sides secured the prized trophies at home. Due to a COVID implemented shutdown of the Country Basketball League, Millicent, Mount Gambier, Keith, Naracoorte and Bordertown banded together to form the inaugural LCBL.

The competition wrapped up with the finals day at Peter Seebohm Stadium and the home side put on a show. The Magic women maintained their unbeaten streak through the entire competition and were deserved winners.

In the semi-final Millicent was forced to knuckle down against Naracoorte. Despite a gutsy first half, the Magic won 87-37 thanks to a 22-point haul from Jasmin Howe. The Lakers opened up an early advantage to edge towards a Grand Final berth.

Claire Hunter and Mikaela Horrigan were regular contributors to the scoreboard, but received a late scare by a fast-finishing Keith. Eventually Mount Gambier held on by 12 points to meet the hosts in the big game. Millicent made its intentions clear during the opening passages of play led by Grand Final MVP Emily Winter.

Sarah Ritter offered some resistance for the Lakers with 16 points, but it was never enough. The Magic ran away with a 90-55 victory fronted by Howe and Winter with 52 points between them. Millicent women’s coach Peter Seebohm paid credit to the culture within his group.

“The way the team has gelled together after a fair shake up with five new players is pretty pleasing,” he said. “One of the girls who had not played with the side before the competition commented to me it felt like we all knew exactly what we were doing.”

Keith claimed the Consolation Final by 13 points, while Ritter and Howe shared the season MVP award. The men were also forced to overcome stiff opposition to secure their silverware. After the Magic and Lakers swept aside Bordertown and Keith by 21 and 11 points respectively in the semi-finals, they met in a nail-biting decider.

Seebohm said it was a great battle to watch from the stands. “They were trading baskets for basically the entire game,” he said. “Mount Gambier managed to keep the lead within two to four points, but our boys just got their noses in front late in the last term. “Then Aiden Schultz knocked down a three pointer to increase the lead and they held on.”

Schultz was the top scorer with 15 points in the 65-57 victory and received strong support from Kade Bradley and Josh Murphy with the latter claiming the grand final MVP award.

The season MVP title could not be separated between Murphy and Keith’s Jordan Robertson. Keith finished best of the rest after Robertson impressed in a 62-45 win against Bordertown in the third-place playoff.

The season was signed off in style with around 70 people attending the presentations including Wattle Range Mayor Des Noll, who donated $500 to Millicent’s building fund. Looking back Seebohm said the league was a great success and believed it has a place in the future.

“It was brilliant,” he said. “The idea behind it was just to get some games into our senior players and all the teams brought in to the concept. “We are already talking about what is going to happen next year. “There are definite plans and we have talked to a few associations outside Adelaide because we want to get it up to eight teams. “It will continue to grow for sure.”

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