MARYBOROUGH Blazers have finished the regular Country Basketball League (CBL) North West conference season undefeated, winning all of their five games to sit atop the table with a percentage of 162.45. The Blazers men’s team was unstoppable this year, winning by 22 points over Castlemaine Cannons in the sole game across either of the men’s or women’s competitions to head into semi-finals with top spot wrapped up.
The Blazers won 77-55 in an impressive performance, with plenty of contributors across the court. Brady Neill top scored with 24 points, while Darcy Bond and Lachlan Drummond both chipped in with a handy 15 points apiece for the Blazers. On the losing side, Lloyd Needs put up 19 points, while Sam Beks delivered 12 – and five fouls – for the Cannons in an effort that was not quite enough to get the points.
The loss unfortunately meant the Cannons missed out on finals this year, finishing fifth on the table, one point outside the top four. After the Blazers’ undefeated season of 19 points, Bendigo Braves finished second with 16 points, just ahead of Kyneton Tigers (14) and Echuca Pirates. The Cannons and Bacchus Marsh Lions missed out by a single point with 13, one more than Swan Hill Flyers (12) and then Mildura Heat last with 11.
While the women’s competition did not take place on the weekend – and therefore has not for a fortnight due to the Victorian snap lockdown – the finalists had been decided from the first five rounds. Bendigo Braves finished on top with three wins from four games and 12 points, followed by three sides on 11 points, Kyneton Tigers (3-2), Maryborough Blazers (2-1) and Mildura Heat (2-1). Swan Hill Flyers finished in fifth with a 2-3 record, while Echuca Pirates went winless from four games to finish on the bottom.
The Braves take on the Heat in the first semi-final on Saturday evening, while the Tigers and Blazers do battle for the other spot in the grand final a week later.
Picture credit: Basketball Victoria