Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Spirit and Chalmers will back-to-back flags

Echuca's Jane Chalmers celebrate her team's Women’s National Basketball League victory on Sunday.

LUKE MCMANUS March 12, 2014 4:05am

Jane Chalmers celebrates Bendigo Spirit’s WNBL grand final win. Photo: Kangaroo Photos

Echuca’s Jane Chalmers tasted ultimate success for the second straight season on Sunday after her Bendigo Spirit defeated Townsville Fire in the Women’s National Basketball League grand final.

After a dominant season, yielding 22 wins and only two losses, the Spirit clinched back-to-back titles in front of 2500 people at Bendigo Stadium thanks to a superb final quarter from guard Kelsey Griffin.

Griffin (28 points) was awarded her second consecutive MVP award after leading the Spirit’s charge with 14 points in the final term, helping the Spirit to an eventual 94-83 win.

Chalmers, who did not take to the court during the game, was thrilled with the triumph nonetheless and commended her teammates in what was ‘‘one of the highest scoring grand finals in the competition’s history’’.

‘‘It’s such a good feeling — it’s good to win one but two we’ll definitely take,’’ Chalmers said.

‘‘It was one of the better games to witness, it was played at a really high standard.’’

Townsville, Bendigo’s 2013 grand final opponents, had been stiff opposition all season, having dealt the reigning premiers their two losses — once in Townsville and a second time in Bendigo.

But the Spirit’s round 16 win on the road against the Fire provided the team with the belief to ‘‘win when it counted most’’, according to Chalmers.

‘‘They have a tough team so it was a great win for us,’’ she said.

‘‘Our coach (Bernie Harrower) said anything less than a championship would have been a disappointment.’’

After some well-deserved celebrating, first with fans and supporters post-game on Sunday night, then at a team barbecue on Monday, Chalmers had already set her sights on another South East Australian Basketball League season with the Lady Braves.

The Braves are the reigning SEABL east conference champions.‘‘I have one weekend off then the Braves’ season starts so there’s very little rest,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m really looking forward to another season, hopefully we can carry through the success.’’

Chalmers will line up for her 10th season with the Bendigo-based Lady Braves.

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