Seymour's mens and womens basketball teams knocked out in CBL semi-finals.By Chalpat Sonti
There was plenty of promise going into the game, but only disappointment at the end of it, as Seymour bowed out of the Country Basketball League competition at the semi-final stage on Saturday night.
Despite home advantage the Blasters struggled to find the net consistently, slumping to a 64-52 defeat by Shepparton.
It was the second straight year the Gators denied Seymour a grand final berth, with a much more consistent effort based around shutting down Blasters star Robbie Sartori.
There wasn’t much in it early, as Shepparton took a 20-15 lead into the first break, Seymour having the better of the latter stages finding its offence after a slow start. But the signs were troubling in the second term as the Blasters started to struggle from the floor and the free throw line and the Gators went into the long break up 35-25.
The game was as good as lost in the third quarter as a Matt Bartlett-inspired Shepparton got out to a 17-point buffer, with Seymour scoring just eight points as the shooting woes that have plagued it at times this season returned to haunt it.
Coach Craig Hockley said his younger players struggled with the semi-final intensity until late in the game when the pressure was off, while the Gators did a good job on Sartori.
‘‘Bartlett shot baskets whenever they needed it and their dribble penetration really hurt us,’’ he said.
Brett O’Donnell led the Seymour scoring with 21 points, ahead of Sartori with 11 and Christian Brock with 10.
‘‘(O’Donnell) was keeping us in the game,’’ Hockley said.
Despite the loss, he was reasonably happy with the season.
‘‘We started pretty ugly early, learned a new offence that struggled at times (on Saturday because of defence pressure). But our kids got more court time and with another 12 months they’ll keep developing.’’
The difference this time was that Seymour missed star player Tess Feery, out with an ankle injury.
There wasn’t much in the game early, with Shepparton taking 19-16, 34-29 and 47-46 leads into the first three breaks. However, Seymour faded in the final term as several players got into foul trouble.
Kallyn Gent led the way for the Lady Blasters, with 15 points, ahead of Kathryn Hard (14) and Lizzie Anderson (10).
Robbie Sartori tries to reel the ball in as Leigh Hockley provides support and Brett O'Donnell watches on for Seymour against Shepparton.
Max Viitala with the no-look pass for Seymour against Shepparton on Saturday night.
Robbie Sartori tries to start another offensive run for Seymour against Shepparton.
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