The Women’s sides final chances are hanging by a thread after splitting their games over the weekend.
Melbourne travelled down the Monash Freeway to Dandenong on Saturday night where they faced the Dandenong Rangers with both sides looking to get into the finals.
Dandenong got off to the better start and were able to take an 18 – 14 lead into quarter time. From the start of the 2nd quarter though the Tigers took control of the game and got out to the lead. Dandenong were able to hang with them and retook the lead momentarily before the Tigers took it back. Melbourne were able to take a 33 – 39 lead into the main break.
After halftime the Tigers turned it up a notch and put Dandenong away with some great basketball that saw the Tigers restrict the Rangers to 13 points while scoring 29 themselves to take a 22 point lead into the last break.
The Tigers worked through the last quarter with Dandenong unable to reduce the margin and came away with a 64 – 86 win.
All 5 starters for Melbourne scored in double figures with Bec Cole leading the way with 23 points and adding 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Monique Conti had 18 points with 7 assists and Louella Tomlinson notched up 16 points and 10 rebounds. Kasey Burton had 10 points, 9 rebounds and Peri Kalka had 10 points and 7 rebounds for the victors.
The next day, Melbourne returned home to the Oakleigh Recreation Centre where they faced off with the Launceston Tornadoes.
It was a tight 1st quarter with Launceston doing everything to try and hold Melbourne at bay. With the Tornadoes leading by 1 point with 3 minutes remaining, Launceston outscored Melbourne 8 – 2 to take a 27 – 20 lead at quarter time.
Launceston maintained their pressure and extended their lead to 16 with 6:32 left in the half. Melbourne then had a 9 – 0 run to narrow the lead back to 7 but Launceston wasn’t having a bar of it and held firm to lead 39 – 49 at the half.
The 3rd quarter saw a complete domination by the Tornadoes as they made life even more difficult for the Tigers and by the last break was leading by 27 points.
Unfortunately for Melbourne the lead was too great for them to drag back in and finished going to Launceston, 72 – 94.
Monique Conti led the scoring with 23 points and added a team high 8 rebounds. Louella Tomlinson had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 6 blocks. Rebecca Cole struggled to find any rhythm as she was held to just 14 points but played the chief facilitator with 8 assists.