It’s on. And seriously, would you have expected the Launceston Tornadoes to have booked a bench at the 2018 SEABL grand final?
Well, hell, yes – say rock-solid fans.
The SEABL season reaches its conclusion at Victoria’s State Basketball Centre at 5.45pm on Saturday. And we’ll be there!
In the meantime, take a moment to reflect on how the season’s panned out for Derrick Washington’s squad.
GAME by GAME
We wouldn’t like to suggest it was a bad start to the season but, you know, three losses from the first three games isn’t ideal.
But, as sports fans know, it’s not how you start but how you finish!
Cast your mind back to April 7 – all of 133 eventful days ago. You can relive that day, the season opener against Kilsyth Cobras, and everythijng in between then and now, right here.
THE GAME – player by player
Oh, we love a good stat, how about you?
Here’s your chance to work through every Tornado’s key stats this season. You might already be familiar, but best be sure.
Now you’ve familiarised your self with the stats, you’ll be all over the Go Torns quiz.
What’s Lauren Mansfield’s middle name? What does Derrick Washington eat for breakfast? If Ally Wilson and Ellie Collins played off in FIFA who would win?
None of those are questions in the quiz or things that we know, but if you do, you’re looking good for 15 out of 15.
Give it a crack right here.
THE PEOPLE – on court
Lauren Mansfield missed six games mid-season. Then she’s been in demand – the Opals know a good thing when they see it.
But the SEABL grand final? Well, she’s told coach Derrick Washington she’s good to go.
And the news just gets better as Courtney Williams, a last-minute withdrawal last week, will suit up, too.
A back injury ruled out Williams seven days ago but she, too, is ready for the showdown with the Bendigo Braves.
As she gets ready to suit up for the 2018 SEABL decider it’s hard to imagine a Torns team without Lauren Nicholson.
It’s been 23 years between championship-winning champagne for the Launceston team and to think it could almost have happened without Nicholson is downright weird.
“I think two seasons ago I thought that I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” Nicholson said.
“I thought I’d give it a try, but I also wasn’t sure if I was coming back for this season as well. Now it has proven that I made the right choice and I am glad that I did stay.”
She was lured out of retirement, but that’s almost an annual event for the experienced Ali Partridge.
“This was such a good opportunity, from the minute I spoke to Derrick and he told me his vision to win a championship, that’s exactly where this club has been headed for the last five years.”
And now she’s ready to take on the Bendigo Braves in the big one.
Remember late 2017 when Derrick Washington was appointed? The on-time WNBA assistant coach became the SEABL club’s fourth coach in 12 months.
“When we started looking for our coach for next season we were determined to find the right person to lead our team and our club into the future,” Chairwoman Janie Finlay said at the time.
“The club has been building for the past few seasons both on and off the court and the head coach has the responsibility of maintaining that momentum. “
Well, that worked out OK, then!