Warwick’s weapons lead Senators to National title

THE Warwick Senators have stormed their way to the National Basketball League (NBL)1 Women’s National Championship, after remaining unbeaten over the course of the weekend and emerging eight-point winners in the title game against the Ringwood Hawks at State Basketball Centre on Sunday.

The success of the Senators means both the men’s and women’s champions from the NBL1 West competition have taken out the trophy at a national level too, with Warwick coming into the weekend’s tournament in some blistering form after winning their first NBL1 championship since 1994.

Their first matchup came against the West Adelaide Bearcats, who were convincingly beaten by a superior opponent as the Senators claimed a blowout win. Warwick was able to show how dynamic its team can be on either end of the court, and finished with an 86-61 triumph.

The second opponent for Warwick came in the form of the Southern Districts Spartans, also from the NBL1 Central competition. The Senators were again able to push past the Spartans, who came in carrying some decent form of their own, but fell 15 points short of a red hot Warwick side, who were destined for the title game.

Ringwood Hawks 13 | 21 | 21 | 20 (75)
Warwick Senators 15 | 31 | 16 | 21 (83)

Warwick’s win was set up by a high-scoring second term in which they burst away and took a significant lead. After an arm wrestle of a first 10 minutes, Warwick’s offence began to take off, as they led by as much as 18 points towards the end of the first half. The Hawks fought back in the third, but a tense final quarter saw the Senators hold on for their biggest win in quite a few decades.

Helping Warwick get to a winning score was the fact that it shot at a much higher clip than the opposition. The Senators registered 47.46 per cent of their field goal attempts as successful, which is far higher than Ringwood’s percentage of 36.99. Warwick also pulled down more rebounds (45-33) as it got first hands on the loose ball far more often than its opponents.

Just one week after winning the NBL1 West Grand Final MVP, Leione Fiebich was the best player on the big stage again, and claimed the MVP of Sunday’s game as well. Her 18 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists were all crucial in getting Warwick over the line, while Stacey Barr (17 points, nine rebounds), Chloe Forster (18 points, five assists) and Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard (11 points, five rebounds and three steals) all chimed in to play crucial roles as well.

Coach Jonelle Morley spoke highly of her team’s efforts to get the job done two weekends in a row.

“This team is next level, that’s amazing to come all the way over here and put that out in the Grand Final. Nobody thought we could do it but we knew that we could do it,” Morley said.

“It was a tough gig and the first day we got here we did it on no sleep after getting up at 3am to fly over here and then play our first game that same afternoon. But they pulled it out, played together and this team is amazing. We’ve done a great job.”


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