The stakes have never been higher for the St Laurence Geelong Supercats and the Roderick Geelong Lady Supercats this weekend as they face two of the toughest games of the year.
Starting off on Saturday night, the teams will travel to the new State Basketball Centre for the first time to take on South Conference rivals, the Knox Raiders. The Knox women have suffered just one loss for the 2012 season so far – and that loss came against the Roderick Geelong Lady Supercats on their home court of the Geelong Arena. With star players Deanna Smith, Candice Rogers and Kylie Morrissy all under a cloud of injury and not certain to suit up, it will be a tough contest for our girls. Head coach Paul O’Brien remains confident that the rest of the team can step up and get the job done in both games.
The Knox men dealt the St Laurence Geelong Supercats their first loss on home court back in May, our guys being defeated in the end by just 3 points. After a 0-2 result from the double on the weekend just gone, Geelong are in a must win situation to have any hope of still finishing top of the ladder as minor premiers. The team has been adjusting to playing without MVP favourite Kimmani Barrett, and head coach Jamie O’Loughlin feels that the systems are now in place to change the style of play and come away with the win.
But the biggest game of the year will be hosted right here in Geelong on Sunday 5th August when the Dandenong Rangers come to town. In both the men’s and women’s East conferences, Dandenong and Geelong have been battling it out all year for first and second position on the ladder.
With their win over the Albury/Wodonga Bandits on Saturday night, the Roderick Geelong Lady Supercats have secured at least second position and are guaranteed to meet Dandenong in the first round of SEABL finals on the weekend of 17-19 August. Who will win the right to host that game is yet to be determined, as both the Rangers and the Supercats currently have an 18-5 record. Should both teams finish with the same record, ladder position will be determined on a head to head basis – and since Dandenong defeated our girls back in June, the Supercats need to beat the Rangers by more than 8 points on Sunday to gain that head to head advantage.
The St Laurence Geelong Supercats men still need to win one more game to guarantee either first or second and set up a first round finals match up with the Dandenong Rangers. Geelong’s losses to Albury and Kilsyth have put the Rangers two games clear on the ladder, meaning that in order to finish in top position and secure the minor premiership as well as the right to host that first final, the Supercats will need to win all three remaining games against Knox, Dandenong and Bendigo – three of the toughest competitors in the league. However – even if the Supercats win all three remaining games, they have to also count on Dandenong losing at least one other of their remaining games against either Bendigo or Ballarat, plus they must beat Dandenong by more than 4 points to get the head to head advantage.
Dandenong have the advantage of coming in to Sunday’s game rested, as they do not play on Saturday night while both of our teams will play against Knox. But the Geelong Supercats have the advantage of playing at home – a venue where our Roderick Geelong Lady Supercats have not lost a game all year, and a venue that boasts one of the biggest and most vocal crowds in the league. So we are urging all Supercats supporters to make sure you get your tickets early and let’s get another sell-out game to cheer on our two SEABL teams as they race towards finals!
Tickets are available online at www.foxtix.com.au or by calling 1300 111 369
Written by Beth Davis