Exies Acmy have edged out Phoenix in the A Women Preliminary final on Monday at the Mars Minerdome.
Three points in the first five minutes of the game was a reflection of good defensive pressure from both sides, however poor ball control and missed opportunities were also to blame for the slow start to the game.
Exies Acmy started the game with four players with noticeable players absent through Nationals and other commitments. They were forced to play strong defence to avoid the overlapping play of Phoenix easy points and with the help of Olivia Jones were able to score on the quick break.
Phoenix’s Jasmine Kawa was keen to see her side advance scoring 6 of her teams 16 first half points to give Phoenix’s a two point advantage leading into the second half.
Phoenix’s strategy was to move the ball quicky around the arc to ensure the Exies undermanned defence was made to work and to good success Phoenix managed to find the spare player but all too often they failed to make the basket letting Exies Acmy off the hook .
This allowed Jane Douglass from Exies Acmy to take control of the ball and ensure her side was calculated in getting to the basket adding a game high 9 points coupled with some very handy assists to allow Exies Acmy to keep the game within their reach.
In a low scoring game the crowd sensed that any basket in the second half could be the difference in the game and with three minutes to go, Exies Acmy’s Olivia Jones made a fast break to tie the game and it stayed that way until the final play of the game.
A thrilling last play saw Jane Douglass recover a rebound and was fouled on her way to the basket given two shots with nine seconds left on the game clock. She missed the first free throw and the tension in the stadium started to rise with the game looking at overtime. However Jane Douglass composed herself for the second free throw and all but sunk the Phoenix’s chance to advance.
The undermanned Exies Acmy outfit pulled off a very gutsy and unexpected win to set up next week’s blockbuster against the Celtic Tigers who narrowly defeated them in the semi-final. However it remains to be seen if Exies Acmy can put a full side on the court.
A Women Grand Final kicks off at 7.30pm December 7th at the Mars Minerdome.