WARRNAMBOOL Seahawks are finals bound.
The Seahawks secured their spot in the Big V top six with a 91-71 win over Geelong Supercats on Saturday night.
Other results went their way meaning their final round match against Melbourne University will be centred around finetuning for finals rather than playing for their season.
“We’re in. Melbourne University and Bulleen lost. We have head-to-head on Bulleen so they are out and we play Melbourne University but they can’t catch up so we’re definitely in,” Seahawks coach Tim Gainey said.
“We’ll finish either fifth or six so we will be on the road (for an elimination final).
“It doesn’t matter who we play – we’ve either come close or beaten top teams so it will come down to game plan and what the players do on the day.”
Warrnambool bookended “sloppy” second and third quarters with dominant first and fourth terms against Geelong.
The Seahawks raced to a 10-point quarter-time lead but were outscored in the next two periods.
But they flexed their muscle with a powerful 21-9 final term.
Gainey said Simon O’Keefe was the catalyst for the Seahawks’ performance.
“He was the best player on the court. He is never going to score heavily for us but he picks his spots, rebounds well,” he said.
Xavier Johnson-Blount (30 points from 11-30 shooting), Alex Gynes (22 points from 9-15 shooting) and Nathan Sobey (18 points from 7-21 shooting) struggled to make the most of their chances.
Gainey said Australian Boomer Sobey was likely to suit up for the Seahawks again in the final round before NBL commitments with Adelaide took priority.
Warrnambool Mermaids are preparing for a home elimination final after letting a golden opportunity slip against Geelong on Saturday night.
The Mermaids’ hopes of a top-two finish – and the benefit of a week off come finals – evaporated with a 74-63 defeat at home.
Warrnambool coach Louise Brown, who praised teenager Lily Killey for her work off the bench in the fourth quarter, lamented the Mermaids’ poor first half.
“We only scored 24 points,” she said. “We got good shots, they just weren’t dropping. It really let us down.
“We outplayed them in the second half."
The Mermaids will be without veteran Katie O’Keefe for their final regular season game – an away fixture against Camberwell – after she was a late withdrawal against Geelong.
“She hurt her calf and we weren’t going to take any risks,” Brown said.
“We’ll let her rest the next couple of weeks and make sure she’s fit for finals.”