Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Lady Pirates into country basketball semi-final

Echuca-Moama’s Lady Pirates will play their third Country Basketball League semi-final in four years tomorrow night.

GEORDIE COWAN January 31, 2014 4:00am

The team will take on the undefeated Wodonga Lady Wolves on their home turf but Lady Pirates former coach Lisa Baker thinks the team has every chance of pulling off an upset result with a full squad available.

‘‘They’re very hard to beat at home, but we’ve got a full team,’’ Baker said.

‘‘But in finals, anything can happen.

‘‘(Coach) Simon (Eishold) is very excited about coaching his first final for the Lady Pirates.’’

The winner of the semi-final will return to Wodonga for the grand final the following week.

Baker said it had been a really good year for the team considering the different faces in the squad.

Two new players in Leah French and Rochelle Henderson, who have played in other towns, have proven to be handy players.

‘‘They have really lifted the team spirit and showed some leadership,’’ she said.

‘‘Leah French, who played for the Shepparton Gators, she’s been our major ball winner and she’s just a really good player.

‘‘We’ve got a lot of young players this year and they have really stepped up.

‘‘Some of them have never played Lady Pirates before — they’ve come straight from the 18s to senior women and it is a massive change, a massive difference in the level of basketball.

‘‘They’ve adapted the bumps and knocks and the big women.’’

Baker said opponent Wodonga’s strengths lay in its speed and familiarity with one another.

‘‘They’re not as tall as what they were, but they’re very, very quick and they’ve been together for a long time so that really helps them,’’ she said.

‘‘They’ve actually filtered a lot of young players as well, which is good for them, but they’ve still got a couple of experienced players there... to guide the young ones through.’’

Eishold thanked April Richardson for helping with coaching this season.

The semi-final will be played at Wodonga at 7pm tomorrow.

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