Match Report- Saturday 6 July 2019
The OneFortyOne Pioneers were no match for the visiting Sturt Sabres on Saturday night with a third quarter fadeout the catalyst for a heartbreaking seven-point defeat. The Pioneers were keen to make amends following their heavy loss to Sturt way back in March and although they would hold momentum for the majority of the match, a 22-9 deficit in the third term proved to be their undoing.
Scoring was at a premium early in the opening term with both sides trying to find their way with neither side able to gain a run of any substance as the scores tied four times in the first quarter. Eventually the Pioneers got on a roll and closed the term out on a 7-4 run with Emily Winter finding her mark from three-point land to hand the home side a five-point advantage. A late basket to Soriah Moon ensured the Sabres remained within touching distance, down 16-19 at the end of the first quarter.
Sturt turned up the heat on the Pioneers to commence the second term as they piled on the first eight points of the quarter as Danielle Angley and Ruby Porter started to take over the game for Sturt. Angley was putting in a huge captain’s effort in the second term as she added eight points and three rebounds to her tally in that period. However, just as it appeared that the visiting Sabres would run away with the match, the Pioneers fought back hard and started to convert shots from all angles as they went on a 12-3 scoring streak to lead by four points mid-way through the second term. The Pioneers’ run woke the Sabres from their slumber and they responded with the next eight points to create a four-point margin of their own with successive triples to Zoe Walker-Roberts and Kate Gladstone breaking the hearts of the home fans. But just as they seemed to be fading out of the contest, the Pioneers struck back yet again to score nine of the last eleven points in the term with Emily Winter in the thick of the action with five points in 27 seconds to preserve her side’s quarter time advantage heading into the half-time huddle. Emily Winter led the way for the Pioneers with 12 points and 8 rebounds and Amanda Frost had 9 points and 5 assists. Danielle Angley was best afield for Sturt with 13 points and 4 rebounds and Ruby Porter put up 10 points in the opening half.
The third term belonged entirely to Sturt as they confirmed why they are considered the favourites for the 2019 championship as they went on a scintillating 14-2 run to open the second half and put the Pioneers to the sword. Before they could catch their breath, the home side trailed by nine points with five minutes still to play in the quarter. The combination of Angley and Porter was working a treat for the Sabres as the pair combined for 12 third quarter points. The Pioneers fought hard to remain in the contest but Sturt were able to keep them at arm’s length, answering every challenge that was thrown their way. A late trey to Meg Prosser deflated the Pioneers’ resolve and ensured that the Sabres would head into the final term with a double-digit lead, 59-49.
When Elissa Brett hit money on a mid-range jump shot to open the final term, Pioneers fans could have been forgiven for heading to the exits but despite being down by 12 points, the Pioneers refused to fold. With a mountain to climb, Amanda Frost started the ascent scoring five straight points before a Pachis Roberts layup brought the home side back within just five points of the lead. Brett struck back immediately to give her side breathing space but the Pioneers continued to rally with another Roberts layup cutting the deficit to just four points. A three-point dagger from Ruby Porter shattered the Pioneers’ hopes and ensured Sturt regained momentum in the dying stages of the match. When Soriah Moon hit both of her foul attempts, the Sabres had stretched their lead out to nine points and with 2:56 remaining, time was not on the Pioneers’ side. A late three from Maddy Wormald with nine seconds remaining was too little too late for the Pioneers. Ruby Porter iced the game from the line for the visiting Sabres as they ran out victors by seven points, 77-70.
Pachis Roberts led all scorers with 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Pioneers, whilst Amanda Frost added 19 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds and Emily Winter provided 12 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. Danielle Angley led the Sabres with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, Ruby Porter added 20 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals and Elissa Brett chimed in with 13 points and 2 assists.
The Pioneers will have a week off before they look to close out the regular season with a win against Forestville at home next Saturday night whilst the Sabres will look to continue their winning form against Woodville at home also on Saturday night.