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Seymour Blasters brace for semi-finals

Both men and women to face Shepparton after wins against Wangaratta.

CHALPAT SONTI January 31, 2013 4:46am

Marc Sartori makes sure he gets the ball ahead of his Wanagaratta opponents.


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Seymour’s mens and womens basketball sides are headed for semi-final showdowns with Shepparton after warming up in impressive style on Saturday night.

The mens side overcame some early sluggishness to dispose of the Warriors 71-44.

The Blasters had to battle a Wangaratta side which offered some physical presence but little else.

Despite a slow start Seymour recovered to lead 18-13 at the first break, blowing it out to 38-19 with a dominant second term, and further extending to 58-29 by three-quarter time before the Warriors won the final term.

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Seymour Blasters youngsters Leo Viitala, Zac Pell and Jordan Hockley have all made it through to the final selection stage for the Victorian Country under-18 side.

Marc and Robbie Sartori led the way, the latter scoring 23 points, but what pleased coach Craig Hockley was the efforts of his younger players.

‘‘The kids did really well again and got good court time,’’ he said.

‘‘Once we started pushing the ball up the floor and got some dribble penetration they just couldn’t contain us. They were big but our guys were just too quick.’’

It is unlikely to be a physical mismatch against Shepparton, in a game to be held at the Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre at 7pm on Saturday.

‘‘We’ve had some pretty close contests (Shepparton won its home game by five after overtime while Seymour won the return bout by three) and they’ve got some pretty good guards that match up well on us and we’ve both got good post players.

‘‘If we look after the ball and shoot the ball well that will keep us in good stead and our defence has just got to step up.’’

There is also, of course, the matter of revenge for the overtime loss in last year’s semifinal.

The Lady Blasters will travel to Shepparton on Saturday to face an opponent it has beaten twice this season, and warmed up with a solid 75-65 victory against Wangaratta.

Seymour started slowly but changed the tempo and ran over Wangaratta, leading 22-14, 43-26 and 69-41 at the changes, though it did have a hiccup when Kathryn Hard fouled out in the third quarter.

However Lizzie Anderson stepped up in what Hockley called her best game in a couple of seasons, scoring 19 points, while Rosie O’Sullivan also shot well with 12 points.

Tess Feery led scorers as usual with 20 points, while Nikki McDonald was her usual solid self.

The team has done a remarkable job to come so far after illness meant coach Paul Comte was sidelined early in the season, the Lady Blasters being without a coach since.

Feery has effectively done the job since but Hockley was mindful of the need for the star player to concentrate on playing the big game.

With him being in Seymour for the mens’ semi-final, his daughter Paige could be given the job for the Shepparton clash.

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