Derrick Washington’s appointment: The day the club signed Washington was the day the Tornadoes would potentially take their basketball to another level. Expectations of the players had all of a sudden lifted akin to professional standards. The coach with a WNBA pedigree promised to bring a new fast-paced offensive gameplan that the SEABL had never seen before. He also promised to deliver the club its second women’s championship. To be continued.
The Tornadoes survive Geelong Supercats: Launceston came within a last-gasp Supercats’ missed three-pointer of losing its fifth game out of six – and possibly its realistic finals’ chances. But the 73-70 final scoreline did not indicate the gutsiest of fightbacks when the Torns turned around a 11-point three-quarter time deficit to hit the front inside the last 30 seconds for the first time of the entire second half.
Launceston sets a new benchmark: It was the night when the much-vaunted offence all clicked eight games into the year. The Tornadoes set a new SEABL season scoring record, piling on 115 points away to Albury-Wodonga that was never broken. Three players scored more than 20 points – the team effort never more emphasised when every player got on the board and the side didn’t rely on prolific scorer Ally Wilson, who only needed to register single digits.
Torns tame the tough Sabres: Derrick Washington described this 30-point win over Sandringham as the perfect game and the best win of the year. The Sabres were on track to secure a top-four, but was also a threat to preventing the Tornadoes reaching the finals late in the regular season. This match highlighted an amazing 58-point turnaround to the last time the two teams met 57 days on, and looked indicative of bigger things ahead for Launceston.
The streak is over: For 20 straight games, the Braves had been unchallenged and rarely threatened. That was until Washington’s charges came to town, and pulled off the upset of the SEABL season in Bendigo to win the qualifying final by seven points. The Tornadoes jumped out to a 15-point lead at quarter-time before the inevitable fightback put the hosts up by a point at the main break. But Launceston made their move in the premiership quarter, setting up the victory with a 23-13 third term to set up a home preliminary final.
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