Too fast, too strong

Sey­mour to meet Wodonga in the fi­nal

Seymour Telegraph - - SPORT - By Gus McCub­bing Jor­dan Hock­ley’s strong de­fen­sive pres­sure helped cause a lot Wal­lan’s turnovers. Blasters cap­tain Rob­bie Sar­tori with the ball on his way to scor­ing 14 points.

Sey­mour has made it to the big dance for the fourth straight year.

The side moved into the Coun­try Bas­ket­ball League fi­nal af­ter a dom­i­nant dis­play against Wal­lan at home on Satur­day night.

The Blasters got off to a fly­ing a start, lead­ing by 17 points at quar­ter-time, be­fore run­ning out to a 33-point vic­tory against the Pan­thers, with five play­ers hit­ting dou­ble fig­ures.

De­spite com­fort­ably beat­ing Wal­lan twice this sea­son, Blasters coach Craig Hock­ley made sure his team did not suf­fer from over­con­fi­dence or com­pla­cency.

‘‘I just had to re­mind them that a semi-fi­nal is a cut throat sit­u­a­tion and a 50-50 game,’’ he said.

‘‘But we got away to a pretty good start and then just built on it af­ter that. So we just had make sure we stuck to our pro­cesses and got the job done.’’

Af­ter miss­ing the fi­nal game of the reg­u­lar sea­son, Hock­ley said big man Liam Kil­ley, who scored 19 points, was a mas­sive in­clu­sion for the Blasters.

‘‘Liam set the tone pretty early in the piece, scor­ing bas­kets and get­ting re­bounds . . . they had no match up for him,’’ Hock­ley said.

‘‘While they do have a tall (Luke Liesegang), he plays on the out­side, so they had to play a smaller guy on Liam and just couldn’t con­tain him.

‘‘I think our big guys re­ally dom­i­nated . . . and once they dom­i­nated in­side, it al­lowed the free­dom out­side for our guards — our tran­si­tion up and down the floor was re­ally good.’’

But Kil­ley was not the only one to have an im­pact on the score­board, with Jack Mur­phy (16), Chris­tian Brock (13), Jor­dan Hock­ley (10) and Rob­bie Sar­tori (14) also dan­ger­ous.

Hock­ley said another key to the strong vic­tory was the team’s strong de­fen­sive pres­sure, which caused a lot of turnovers for Wal­lan.

Wal­lan looked most threat­en­ing when Iziah Paul Mahi­nay got to show off his speed on a break­away, but it was not enough to desta­bilise Sey­mour.

‘‘We just made sure to give him a cou­ple of steps and try to con­tain him . . . and in the full court stuff, just mak­ing sure we got back into de­fence early,’’ Hock­ley said.

Await­ing Sey­mour in the grand fi­nal next week is Wodonga, which man­aged to edge out Shep­par­ton by three points.

The two teams have met in the 2015 and 2016 de­ciders, with the re­sults go­ing dif­fer­ent ways each time.

Un­like Wal­lan, Wodonga has a strong line-up of bigs, which means Sey­mour might have to look for a dif­fer­ent av­enue to vic­tory, Hock­ley said.

‘‘In pre­vi­ous games that’s been some­thing we’ve had over other teams, that no one has been able to match our bigs,’’ he said.

‘‘So our strength against Wodonga is prob­a­bly go­ing to be in our guards — we’ll hope­fully outscore them in that area.’’

Lead­ing from the front:

On guard:

Free shot: Chris­tian Brock, who scored 13 points, shoots a free throw.

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