Maffra secures vital wins at home and on the road

Sam Whelan drives to the key during Maffra's win on Sunday

Josh Farrell

Maffra secured important wins in both the men’s and women’s Country Basketball League on the weekend with the women just falling short of a finals berth and the men’s side setting themselves up for a big finals series.

The men’s side got a comfortable win on Saturday over Lakes Entrance defeating the Pelicans 101-58.

The Eagles put up an impressive 33 points in the first period, but Lakes Entrance were competitive putting on 25 themselves.

Maffra skipped away in the second term however, outscoring the Pelicans by 17 points to begin building its lead.

After the half time break it was simple for the Eagles to just keep themselves ahead and get some minutes into its bench players.

At the third quarter break Maffra had a lead of 29 points after the Pelicans competed well but the Eagles got away to the final margin of 43.

It was a good spread of scoring from Maffra and solid performances from a number of players.

Byron Sandeman (18), Andrew Quirk (13), Coby Burgiel (13) and Tom Stephenson (11) were all in the points for the Eagles.

It was a similar tale in the women’s fixture with Maffra walking away with a 33 point win to help them stay in finals contention.

It was tight first period and the Pelicans went into the first break with a one point lead.

The Eagles were immense in the second term outscoring Lakes Entrance by 22 points only allowing seven points from the Pelicans.

After that the Eagles kept the scoring down once again keeping the Pelicans to seven points in the third period and 11 in the final period.

Maffra finished the match with a scoreline of 77-44 to start its weekend well.

Emerson Connolly had an insane match scoring over half of Maffra’s score putting up 39 of the Eagle’s 77 points and only fouling the opposition once.

Jaime Gallatly and Tayla Gallatly assisted Connolly well with 13 and 11 points respectively.

The Eagles men’s side got an important win on Sunday afternoon in what was a seesawing affair.

Maffra looked comfortable for most of the match but left the door slightly ajar and Moe took the lead in the third period before the Eagles put the foot down and came away with the win 103-90.

Andrew Quirk started the match well getting busy in the paint drawing fouls to have seven points halfway through the first period.

While the match may have been a dead rubber as both teams had already made finals, neither was going to go down easy.

The score at the break had Maffra up by three points and the match was poised to be a close one.

In the second term Maffra was able to pick holes in Moe’s defence and improved its lead to 15 points.

The Eagles were disciplined at both ends of the court and drew a lot of contact in the paint to head to the line regularly.

Moe was growing frustrated and tensions threatened to boil over before the half time break.

Coming out after the break Moe switched into gear and Maffra struggled on offence and the deficit was quickly reduced and Moe even jumped into the lead.

The Eagles were turning the ball over regularly and were ice cold from all parts of the court.

The Eagles managed to stem the flow – recapturing the intensity that had served them well in the first half and got its offence going to lead by three points going into the final period.

In the fourth term Sam Whelan got to work hitting multiple threes to break the back of Moe’s comeback and surge Maffra to the lead.

He was then controversially fouled out and Moe may have sniffed an opportunity to get back into the match.

Coby Burgiel was not in his regular form, but got busy in the final term to ensure Maffra remained ahead.

The scoring was well spread for Maffra with Sam Whelan walking away with 20 points, Andrew Quirk 19, Thomas Stephenson 17, Marcus Cope 12 and Coby Burgiel 12.

The Eagles women’s side got an important win over top of the ladder Traralgon who were missing a few players but were still not going to be easy to overcome.

Maffra defeated the T-Birds 73-37 with a good spread of scoring from a number of players.

The Eagles got away to an 11 point lead at the first break restricting Traralgon to only 10 points in the first term.

They extended this lead to 18 points at the half time break restricting the T-Birds on the defensive end further.

It was simple for Maffra from there, simply needing to keep its noses in front for the rest of the match, extending its lead to 23 at the third break then the eventual margin of 36 points at the final buzzer.

While the Eagles were impressive on the defensive end they were equally impressive on offence with a solid spread of scoring.

Emerson Connolly continued on her good form from the night before putting up 23 points – well assisted by Tayler Hardman (20), and Jaime Gallatly (14).

Even after its impressive weekend the women’s side just fell short of a finals berth slipping to fifth on the ladder, only four and a half per cent from fourth placed Moe.

The men’s side finished the season in third place on the ladder and will take on second placed Traralgon on Sunday at 3 pm at Gippsland Regional indoor sporting complex in Traralgon.

Pick up a copy of Friday’s Gippsland Times for a preview of the match.