Boomers too strong for Jets; advance to big dance

THE Bulleen Boomers have pushed through to the grand final in the Big V Women’s basketball competition over the weekend, taking down the Sunbury Jets to the tune of nine points in Sunday afternoon’s preliminary final at Boardman Stadium.

In a battle between the second and third placed sides, Bulleen justified its seeding inside the top two, producing an impressive patch of play in the middle of the contest. Despite the Jets getting off to a hot start offensively, the Boomers took control of the game in the second and third periods, and while Sunbury fought back in the final term, it was not enough as the Boomers held on to advance into the deciding match next weekend.

For the Boomers, most of the damage came from the dynamic duo of Olivia Bontempelli and Louella Tomlinson. The pair were just about unstoppable on the offensive end of the court, each hurting the defence with their inate ability to find the bottom of the net. Bontempelli top-scored for the winning side with 23 points to go with five rebounds and six assists, with 11 of her 23 attempts from the field were good. Tomlinson recorded a big double-double on some efficient shooting to finish with a statline of 20 points (8/10 FG) and 16 rebounds, with five of those being on the offensive end. Her defensive work was also impactful as she ended the game with three blocks.

For the Jets, it was once again the efforts of Maria Steen Jespersen that led the way, with the MVP-candidate topping the match in the scoring column. She finished with a game-high 24 points, and while her efficiency was not the best, it was still an important showing in what ended up being her final performance of the year.

Sunbury Jets (70) def. by Bulleen Boomers (79)

The Jets got out to a strong start on the scoreboard, registering 24 first quarter points behind some zippy ball movement and nice shooting from behind the arc. A drive-and-dish method seemed to be addressed prior to the game and was implemented strongly inm the first 10 minutes. When the buzzer sounded to begin quarter-time, Sunbury led by four points.

Quarter number two saw the Boomers get back to their best on the road, completely outplaying the Jets and restricting the fast-paced ball movement that served Sunbury so well in the first term. Behind the pairing of Bontempelli and Tomlinson, Bulleen registered 26 points in the period, and turned their deficit into an eight-point lead at the main break.

The trend continued into the second half, as the Jets resumed their push. While they could not maintain their scoring from the second term, the third quarter saw a magnificent defensive performance from the home side. Heading into the final quarter, the Boomers led by 15 points with all of the momentum.

As expected, the Jets gave it their all in the final 10 minutes of the game, looking to conjure a miracle comeback and save their season. While the effort was admirable, the Boomers’ work in the second and third was too much, as they cruised home to a nine-point triumph. They will now take on McKinnon in the decider next round, after it took down Wyndham by a point in a thrilling match on Saturday night.

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