It all comes down to Friday night for Benalla’s best basketballers.
The first half of the preliminary finals were played at Benalla Indoor Recreation Centre on Monday, with strong performances from the under-14 Thunder, the under-16 Suns and the under-18 Magic, seeing those sides in Friday’s grand finals.
Thursday night’s preliminary finals see the Lakers and Heat battle it out in the under-12 boys, and the Hornets and Cavaliers in the under-13 girls jostle for a spot against the Celtics and Clippers in their respective finals.
Coaches of preliminary and grand final teams had their say on who they thought would take out this year’s title and become champions at least until next season.
THURSDAY NIGHT - PRELIMINARY FINALS
under-12 boys: Lakers v Heat, winner to play Celtics in grand final.
under-13 girls: Hornets v Cavaliers, winner to play Clippers in grand final.
under-14 boys: Celtics v Thunder, winner to play Heat in grand final.
under-16 girls: Heat v Lakers, winner to play Mavericks in grand final.
FRIDAY NIGHT - GRAND FINALS
under-16 boys: Lakers v Suns
under-18 boys: Lakers v Magic
women’s B grade: Lakers v Mavericks
women’s A grade: under-18 squad v Cougars
men’s open grade: Rose City Rangers v under-18 squad
GRAND FINAL PREDICTIONS
Michelle Burrowes, under-18 boys squad coach - playing Rose City Rangers (RRR) in grand final.
‘‘RRR have been our toughest competitors all year, it should be a highly contested game.’’
Brett Moloney, Lakers B women’s coach - playing Mavericks in grand final.
‘‘I think Mavericks will be too strong — one of our key players, Chelsea Gilcrist is out as she had a knee operation this week and another player is unavailable, so we’ll be taking the under dog card.’’
Sam Gebauer, Suns under-16 boys coach - playing Lakers in grand final.
‘‘We’ll go in and do our best, we’re minus a few players, so I don’t know what the outcome will be but we will give it a crack.’’
Ev Dosser, Lakers under-16 boys coach - playing Suns in grand final.
‘‘Both teams will be running with no bench which will make it a tough match but I’m hoping for a great game and sportsmanship from both sides.’’
Sam Gebauer, Celtics under-14 boys coach - playing Thunder in preliminary final.
‘‘I’m confident going into Thursday’s preliminary final game, I wouldn’t underestimate the opposition, but I think we could come out with a win.’’