GF glory in reach for local ballers

The BP Raisers’ Brodie Palmer and Born Ballers Monique Toppin will be doing battle in the Tumut Basketball Association women’s A-Grade grand final this evening, with the contest expected to go down to the wire

The Tumut Basketball Association will host grand finals for their premier grades this week, with the women’s and men’s A-Grade deciders set to tip off tonight and Thursday night respectively. 

Tonight at 7.30pm, Born Ballers and BP Raisers do battle in the Women’s A-Grade grand final, which is funnily enough a replay of last season’s B-Grade grand final, in which Born Ballers came out on top. 

The 2020 spring competition has seen the two sides dominate, with Born Ballers on top at the end of the season, level on points but ahead on percentages. 

During the season, the teams couldn’t be split, with Born Ballers winning 35-22 in round two, while BP Raisers bounced back in round six to win 38-25. 

In their major semi-final, Born Ballers edged ahead in their growing rivalry, winning 49-45 to progress through to the grand final after Sophie Day scored 16 points and Jaz Aitken chimed in with 15 points. 

BP Raisers player, Brodie Palmer, said her side was happy to own the title of underdogs ahead of the grand final. 

“We are the underdogs, but we just need to play smart, and play smarter than the young girls,” Palmer said. 

“I think we need to use our experience and help our young players, and avoid all injuries, as we had one injured in the semi-finals.”

The BP Raisers will be without Eliza Webb, after an unfortunate ACL injury in their semi-final, and Palmer said it would be a big loss. 

“Eliza is one of our fittest players, and she likes to get into absolutely every single position and play quite hard, so that will be a big loss for us,” Palmer said. 

As far as a player to watch, Palmer said a sharp-shooting Sophie Day could be an issue. 

“You have to watch the shots from Sophie Day, she is very good behind the three-pointer line, so I would say marking up Soph is important if she is looking hot,” Palmer said. 

Monique Toppin will lead a youthfully exuberant Born Ballers, who boast some of the best young players in the competition. 

“I coached three of them in Sharlie (Thomas), Jaz (Aitken) and Sophie (Day) from under-fives all the way up until they were under 13s or 14s and so, playing with them will be fun and we’ll be trying to work together as a team and use each other’s strengths,” Toppin said.

Baby Cows team representative Ashton Baker with Harry & Lloyd’s Haiden Ings ahead of their A-Grade men’s decider on Thursday night. The Baby Cows are unbeaten this season but an experienced Harry and Lloyd will be tough opponents.

In the other major decider, the men’s A-Grade grand final will tip off at 6.15pm on Thursday, with the Unbeaten Baby Cow’s taking on Harry and Lloyd. 

A Dwayne Murray led Baby Cows have talented youngsters Ben Cassidy, who leads the competition in two-pointers, along with three-point specialist, Ashton Baker, and competition free-throw leader, Nathan Butt.  

Harry and Lloyd have some firepower though, with Haiden, Ethan and Mal Ings complemented by Matthew Pearce, Mitch Ivill and the experienced Ben Weir. 

For a full recap of all Tumut Basketball Association grand finals and team photos of winners, pick up next Tuesday’s edition of the Tumut and Adelong Times. 

GF draws for this week

Tuesday 1/12:

5pm K/1 Boys: Mini Wolves vs Pirates.

6.15 Women’s C: Shots & Giggles vs Dynamites.

7.30pm Women’s A: Born Ballers vs BP Raisers.

Wednesday 2/12:

5pm Senior Girls: Flame Throwers vs Taxi Sisters.

6.15 pm Men’s B: Donkeys vs Wanna Bs.

Thursday 3/12: 

5pm Senior Boys: Titans vs Thunder.

6.15pm Men’s A: Baby Cows vs Harry & Lloyd.