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Pioneers top again


MOUNT Gambier tonight claimed its third SEABL Men's Championship in four years with a rousing 92-85 Grand Final win over perennial rival Dandenong Rangers.

And Geelong Supercats bounced back from a 14-point halftime deficit to claim the Women's Championship with a stunning 76-67 turnaround against Bendigo Lady Braves.

A wicked 28-11 third quarter pushed the Pioneers to the brink of victory before a 10-0 run by the Rangers trimmed Mount Gambier's 19-point lead, bringing the crowd at Kilsyth Stadium to full voice.

Pioneers playmaker Tom Daly then found Brad Hill for a 3-pointer which stemmed the rising tide.

Daly went on to claim the  Hugh McMenamin Medal as Grand Final MVP, with six assists on top of his equal game-high 22 points.

Backcourt partner Erik Burdon hit 6-of-8 threes in his 22-point haul, the Pioneers shooting at better than 50 per cent with 35-of-69 makes from the floor.

Mount Gambier now has played in five consecutive championship series, losing to Dandenong in 2013 before winning three of the past four deciders.

The six-time Conference champions now have won four national SEABL titles to join Geelong Supercats (winners in 1981, 1999, 2006, 2010) as the most successful clubs in the league's history.

For Geelong Supercats' women though, beating Bendigo brought the club its first championship.

Truthfully? They looked absolutely gone at halftime but an inspired third quarter shooting barrage by Ellen Kett, eventually named the Barb Barton Medallist as Grand Final MVP, turned the game on its ear.

Opals forward Sara Blicavs was magnificent for the Supercats, producing match-highs in scoring (25) and rebounding (13) as Geelong rode its third-quarter momentum to a momentuous victory.

Bendigo playmaker Kelly Wilson fell just shy of a triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists but if ever a game was a story of two wildly divergent halves, this was it.

MEN: MOUNT GAMBIER PIONEERS 92 (Burdon, Daly 22, Hill 16, Alexander 15; Alexander 16 rebs; Daly 6 assts) d DANDENONG RANGERS 85 (Barker 18, Orr 13, Kalau von Hofe 12, Jackson 11, Lang, Oswald 10;Jackson 9 rebs; Barker 7 assts).

WOMEN: GEELONG SUPERCATS 76 (Blicavs 25, Kett 17, Rolph 12; Blicavs 13 rebs; Brancatisano 6 assts) d BENDIGO LADY BRAVES 67 (Black 15, Rininger, Wilson 12, Smith 11; Wilson 10 rebs; Wilson 8 assts).

Sep 2

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