HAMPDEN White claimed another big win last night as it marched towards the Western Regional State League finals.
White faced a tough fight against a classy Warrnambool City outfit, but dominated the second half to prevail 66-44.
The 13-13 scoreboard at the first change reflected the evenness of the on-court performance.
It was hard to separate the sides as City restricted Hampden’s movements with strong pressure across the court. City’s Sarah Jacobs was impressive at wing defence, with good court cover, brilliant intercepts and strong pressure.
The lead swapped and changed throughout the quarter, with Hampden getting out to a three-goal lead at one stage before City fought back.
Jordyn Billings was brilliant in centre for City, with the teenager holding her own against Hampden’s Maddie Smedts.
After another even contest in the second term, Hampden had a late rush of goals and led 28-25 at the main break.
City’s goal shooter Katie Burt and goal attack Leah Kermeen were on song, despite strong pressure from Hampden’s goal keeper Kasey Owen and goal defence Darcy Wilson.
Melissa Burt was exceptional for City in goal keeper, putting up a strong contest against Hampden goal shooter Laura Blackburn and goal attack Jaymie Finch.
Hampden got the upper hand in the third term, finding the slightest holes in City’s defences, taking full advantage to lead 45-33 at the last break.
Hampden got out to a 10-goal lead with five minutes remaining. It then went goal for goal, but City was unable to reduce the deficit, despite the best efforts of Tracey Baker in wing attack, Jacobs still in wing defence and goal defence Gen O’Connor.
City moved Billings into wing attack for the final term and Baker into the centre, but it was all Hampden, adding a further 21 goals.
Hampden’s Smedts said it was good to win after such an even contest.
She said it was nerve racking heading into the match without key players Sharnie Moloney and Allison Tewierik, who both have ankle injuries.
Coach Stacey O’Sullivan was unavailable.
“They (City) are a good strong side,” Smedts said.
“I think our work rate was exceptional across all four quarters and our pressure, especially in the last two terms, was brilliant.”
In other open grade matches, Hamilton Night’s finals hopes ended when it was defeated by Hampden Green 51-43, while Warrnambool District defeated Colac District 41-37.
In 17 and under qualifying matches, Warrnambool City defeated Camperdown Night 60-30, Colac District defeated Warrnambool District 55-29 and Hampden Green beat Hampden White 49-42.