Sandringham soars home to beat Blues

THE Sandringham Sabres produced a match-winning final term in their clash against the Frankston Blues in the weekend’s Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) action, claiming a thrilling three-point win at Sandringham Family Leisure Centre on Friday night.

Hannah Wickstrom was once again at the forefront for the Sabres, leading the team with another masterful offensive performance. She ended the game with a match-high 24 points and nailed some massive buckets down the stretch in what was a tense final term. Wickstrom was able to get the better of the Blues defence, and continued what has been an excellent individual campaign in 2022. Also chiming in was Isla Airey, who produced a handy 11 points of her own, all of which proved vital in the context of the game.

Despite a disappointing finish to the game, there were still some positives to take out of the game for the Blues – one of them being the performance of the ever reliable Bonnie Deas, who once again led her side on the scoring front. She poured in a team-high 19 points and was one of the main catalysts for Frankston’s big run in the third term, which was almost enough to win the game. Also catching the eye were Chantelle James and Mackenzie Mitchell, with the pair delivering 11 points apiece to round out the double-digit scorers for the match.

With just a few weeks remaining in the 2022 season before finals kick off, the Round 7 fixture was always going to be vital in the context of each side’s campaign. Coming in, the Sabres were fighting to hold on to their standing inside the top-four, with a number of sides hot on their tail. On the other hand, a win for the Blues would help keep their season alive, given they were just one point behind Sandringham and looking to make one final push.

The Sabres got off to the ideal start, and the one that many predicted given the home side were favoured to take out the win. To start the game, Sandringham was proving slightly too good for the opposition, and took the lead early in the contest. That trend continued into the second term, where the Sabres were able to still push slightly past the Blues and take a reasonable lead into the second half.

The Blues managed to surprisingly take the lead in the third term, and looked a genuine chance of causing an upset on the back of a remarkable run to start the second half. After a 19-7 third quarter, Frankston led by four heading into the last 10 minutes of play. However, the Sabres bounced back in the final term to retake the lead and sneak past the Blues to the tune of just three points.

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