Booming finish sees Bulleen through to decider

THE Bulleen Boomers have moved on to the Big V Women’s grand final for season 2022, after taking down the Sunbury Jets in game two of the semi final series to the tune of seven points at East Doncaster Secondary College on Saturday night.

After the Boomers took game one last weekend, they had the opportunity to finish it in the second outing, and while the opposition looked a strong chance of forcing a decider when they got off to a ripping start on Saturday, Bulleen hit form in the closing three quarters of play to chip away at – and eventually take – the lead from the Jets. The final term saw the Boomers storm home with a 22-11 period in favour of Bulleen, who continued to push with all the momentum and eventually overwhelm Sunbury.

The win was led by the efforts of Olivia Bontempelli, who did a bit of everything as she looked to drive her side to victory in their most important clash of 2022 to date. She pushed into the paint to finish with a statline of 24 points, 12 rebounds and also found her teammates for scoring opportunities to dish out five assists too. It was a terrific effort from the Bulleen starters all around, with four of the five pouring in double-digits in the points column. The one player who fell two points short of this feat in Louella Tomlinson, still came ridiculously close to a triple-double with eight points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a magnificent individual showing.

It was also a balanced scoring showing from the Jets, who had all of their starting lineup score 10 or more points. Leading the way was Ellen Barkeley, who had a team-high 18 points (4/6 3PT), while Emily Conn delivered a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, while also producing four assists and three steals in an eye-catching display.

The Boomers will now take on Wyndham in the grand final series in the coming weeks, after the latter forced a decider against McKinnon on Saturday before making it two on the trot with a triumph in game three.

Bulleen Boomers (79) def. Sunbury Jets (72)

It was as promising a start as you could ask for from a Sunbury point of view, with the Jets bursting out of the blocks with a 30-14 opening term. Their ability to move the ball inside the paint and score was proving too much for the Boomers, who were searching for buckets from behind the arc a little too much, and had plenty of work ahead of them.

It was an improved showing from the home side, who managed to finally get some offensive flow from their starters. The Jets were still able to get the ball inside, but the shots were not falling as frequently , and the margin was reduced to just 11 heading into the main change. Suddenly, it was game on.

The trend continued in the third term, with Bulleen managing to reduce the deficit to a single bucket on a number of occasions. Both sides were firing with some quick ball movement around the top of the key. While the Boomers could not quite take the lead in the third quarter, things were still swinging their way heading into the last, with the margin standing at just four points.

Quarter number four completely belonged to the Boomers, who defined their season in the final 10 minutes of Saturday’s contest. Behind the efforts of its starters, Bulleen managed to grab the lead in the last few minutes of the game, and despite Sunbury’s best efforts to keep its season alive, the Jets fell short and the Boomers reigned supreme.

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