Having secured a home final, the Launceston Tornadoes will be fighting for a top-four finish when they play against the Hobart Chargers on Friday night.
A win will see the Tornadoes finish fourth in the SEABL and secure a double chance and home final in week two or three of the finals series.
The Tornadoes overcame the Diamond Valley Eagles 83-72 on Saturday thanks to great games from Ellie Collins (27 points and 12 rebounds) and Ally Wilson (25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists).
Tornadoes head Coach Derrick Washington said: “The game against Diamond Valley was a huge result for the club as the win secured us a spot in the finals.
“Ellie Collins had a great first quarter with 14 of her 27 points while Ally Wilson was leading us well getting everyone involved. It was an open, high-scoring first half.
“I am really happy with how the team locked down defensively in the third quarter.
“Our younger players stepped up again with Lauren Mansfield being away and the late withdrawal of Emma Haywood. Again Ellie Collins, Lauren Nicholson and Ally Wilson led the team and contributed at both ends of the court.”
Both teams have plenty on the line on Friday.
While the Tornadoes are targeting the top four, the Chargers could still make the finals with a win.
The Chargers will be at full strength with import Brittany Smart and Kathleen Scheer having outstanding seasons. Smart sits fifth on the scoring table averaging 21.7 points per game and Scheer sits fifth on the rebounding list with 9.9 per game.
“This will be another great game and test for our players against our fiercest rival. We lost to them back in round 2 by one point in overtime. In that game Lauren Nicholson scored a season-high 39 points and was recognised with SEABL player of the week award.
“They have a number of damaging players including Britt Smart, Kathleen Scheer and Sharna Thompson who are all playing well. I am expecting a number of Tornadoes fans to travel to Hobart and support our players.
“We are looking forward to another big test.”
The Tornadoes will again be without captain Mansfield who is playing with the Opals in China. It is hoped that Zoe Mesman will return this week after a number of weeks out with injury and also Emma Haywood who missed last week with concussion sustained in the NWBU.
The Tornadoes have organised an allocated area for their supporters at the Derwent Entertainment Centre.
SEABL Round 15
- WHAT: Launceston Tornadoes v Hobart Chargers
- WHEN: 6pm Friday
- WHERE: Derwent Entertainment Centre