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Lady Braves reclaim spot inside top four

HUGE WEEKEND: Keely Froling tears down-court during the Bendigo Lady Braves’ big 75-62 win against Brisbane at Bendigo Stadium on Sunday. Picture: STEPHEN BLAKE, AKUNA PHOTOGRAPHY
Nanjing Night Net

A PAIR of wins branded as “massive” by coach Jonathan Goodman has pushed the Bendigo Lady Braves back inside the top four.

The Lady Braves took advantage Ballarat Rush’s weekend inactivity to leapfrog their arch-rivals after SEABL wins against Hobart Lady Chargers in Tasmania on Friday and Brisbane Spartans inBendigoon Sunday.

A 75-62 victory against the Spartans completed a stunning form reversal, who were beaten by 31 points in Brisbane in week 10.

They did it without their inspirational skipper Kelly Wilson, who sat out the game with an injured shoulder.

Her absence paved the way for Charlotte Brancatisano to be promoted into the starting line-up.

The youngster did not disappoint, sparking the Lady Braves with the first six points of the game and nine in the opening term, helping the Braves to a 23-12 quarter-time lead.

It was as close as the Spartans would get to the Lady Braves for the remainder of the contest, with Chante Black (22 points, 12 rebounds) and Keely Froling (20 points, 12 rebounds) leading Bendigo to victory.

It was the second of two huge performances for the weekend from Froling, who added 31 points and 14 rebounds in thewin against the Lady Chargers, earning praise from Goodman.

“Keely and Chante were great. Chante got going later, whereas Keely really came out of the blocks and set the tone for us,” he said.

“Charlotte Brancatisano hasn’t been playing for us as she has been injured and she tapes her ankle and gives us some minutes and scores the first six points.

“It was a great contribution and we are getting thosecontributions from different people each week.

“Maddie Wild was massive for us in Tassie against Hobart. It really shows you the depth of our kids in being able to contribute.”

Tahnee Cannan (seven points)also played key roleoff the bench.

While the Lady Braves have worked their way back inside the four on the back of three straight wins, they still must win next week’s final round game against Albury-Wodonga to clinch a finals berth.

Even then a finals spot is not guaranteed, with results from Ballarat’s final two encounters at Geelong and at home against Canberra and the Spartans clash against Frankston being crucial.

Bendigo has the head-to-head advantage over the Rush having beaten them twice this season.

Goodman was confident the Lady Braves were playing a brand of basketball capable of winning finals.

“A win next week and we are in really good stead,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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