Both QSL 1 Men’s and Women Seahawks teams competed in the grand finals on Saturday, with the SmartSkill Seahawks Women completing their perfect season with a convincing win over cross town rival Gold Coast and the men unfortunately going down to minor premiers, Brisbane Capitals.
The SmartSkill Seahawks women were never really troubled past the first quarter on Saturday afternoon, putting the defensive clamps on their younger opponents from the get-go, and restricting any sort of easy points throughout the contest.
Krystle McKenzie sent a scare through the Nest when she turned her ankle late in the 1st quarter, after hitting consecutive 3’s and getting her groove on. Scans have cleared her of any breaks, but she will spend some time on the sideline.
Half time saw the SmartSkill Seahawks Women with a commanding lead, 43-22.
The second half saw much of the same from the home side, with coach Brad Kann able to get all of his troops on the floor, with the home crowd having the opportunity to show their appreciation to each of the players.
MVP candidate, Lauren Jansen, had another huge game finishing with 18 points, 19 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Courtney Willemse carried the scoring load, with another 20-point, 5 rebound game.
Seahawks Junior, Anahera Tuhega, in 17 minutes on court shot the lights out, going 5 of 6 for 12 points.
Head Coach of the SmartSkill Seahawks women, Bradley Kann, commended his competition on their season.
“Gold Coast are obviously a young squad, but they showed tremendous courage throughout the season and gave our side the most competitive games we faced” said Kann.
“Our girls were brilliant, not just tonight, but all season. To go undefeated and win the grand final convincingly, I’m extremely proud and grateful for each one of the players and coaching staff”
“We set our goal at the start of the season to be champions, and tonight we got to accomplish that goal”
The Seahawks Men’s grand final followed on from the victory celebrations of the Women’s game, with a strong contingent either jumping on the highway to go support the men live or hanging around at the Nest to watch the live stream.
The Seahawks Men started the 1st quarter hot, having the lead 22-16 over the home side, with the veracious traveling supporters coming through clear on the live feed and making the men feel like it was a home game.
The second quarter saw the home side string back the lead from the visiting Seahawks, reducing the half time lead to 2.
It was a back and forward contest, with both sides hitting massive shot after massive shot in the 3rd. Veterans Rhys Martin and Dave Gurney, as well young gun Amarco Doyle, keeping the young Seahawks side in the game heading into the championship quarter down 1, 60-59.
The 4th quarter saw the wheels start to come off the Seahawks, with Capitals player Jacob Davis (30 points) hitting huge, contested buckets and forcing score board pressure going into the final minutes of the game.
The Seahawks had to stop the clock to give themselves a chance to get back in the ball game, forcing the Capitals to the foul line in the hope the pressure of the moment got to the home side. Unfortunately for the men, Brisbane were polished down the stretch and pushed the final score out to 89-77.
Rhys Martin lead his team brilliantly, finishing the game with 20 points and 6 assists, with the ever consistent David Gurney finishing his brilliant season with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Bigs Amarco Doyle (14 points, 9 rebounds) Spencer Taleni (6 points, 7 rebounds) and Wilson Page (8 points, 6 rebounds) held down the paint and put their side in a position to win after winning the rebound count.
Head Coach for the Seahawks Men, Jordan Mullan, was proud of his side’s finals campaign.
“We knew we had a relatively inexperienced squad at the start of the season, but the fact that we were able to get ourselves to a grand final was a win in itself” said Mullan.
“We are all devastated that we weren’t able to close out the final game of the year, but I am incredibly proud of how far we have come in such a short period of time”
“We saw some tremendous efforts throughout games during the season, and I know once the dust settles the guys will know how special of a run they had at it this year and will be better for it next year”
Congratulations to both sides on making this year’s QSL1 Grand Finals series! Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting news to come….