The Warrnambool Mermaids and Seahawks have survived the Big V division one regular season and are geared up and ready to hit the finals.
But which players are key to driving their respective teams towards glory in Saturday’s elimination finals?
The numbers have been crunched and two names standout amongst the rest – Mermaids captain Amy Wormald and Seahawks’ departing American import Xavier Johnson-Blount.
The pair is in the top three for every key statistical category – minutes played, points, field goal accuracy, three-point accuracy, rebounds and assists.
“Amy has been good all year,” Mermaids coach Louise Brown told The Standard after last Sunday’s win against Camberwell Dragons.
“She has been producing good figures all year which is a credit to her and the work she has put in this year and has got herself in good shape and she has been a consistent performer.”
And the stats back up Brown’s evaluation of Wormald’s season.
She has played the most minutes (776), has the best average points (20.27), total points (446) and average rebounds (12.05).
The Mermaids skipper is also second best in three-point accuracy (16 shots made – 70 shots taken at 22.86 per cent) behind Molly McKinnon (33-122, 25.41 per cent) and third in field goal accuracy (176-475 at 37.05 per cent) and average assists (3.27).
The Mermaids will look for their captain on Saturday night when they take on Werribee Devils at the Arc. She will be critical in boosting the rest of her team with her influence.
Tim Gainey told The Standard before the season that Johnson-Blount would need to lead from the front and Saturday’s away sudden-death final against Western Port Steelers will be no different.
“He is going to need to do what imports need to do,” the playing coach said.
“We’ll rely heavily on him. He’ll play the point, he’ll play everywhere. He is going to have to be a leader from the ground up, help lead the youngers guys through.”
Johnson-Blount has done more than lead this season – he has dominated his role.
The American import has played the most minutes (827) and leads total points (679), average points (29.52) and field goal accuracy (252-504 at 50 per cent). He also ranks third in three-point accuracy (32-82 at 39.02 per cent), average rebounds (7.35) and assists (2.61).
But basketball is a team game and all the Mermaids and Seahawks squads will be eager to work as one and drive towards hopeful Big V division one championship success. The Mermaids are at home at 6pm.