Tears as 18-year title drought over

Wanneroo’s Shani Amos in action during the grand final. Picture: pandasnap.com.au
Wanneroo’s Shani Amos in action during the grand final. Picture: pandasnap.com.au

Wanneroo dominated the second half to triumph over the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 72-47 in front of more than 800 supporters at the WA Basketball Centre.

Coach Vlad Alava was ecstatic to have guided Wanneroo to an SBL championship in his first year as coach.

He praised the defensive capabilities of his side, which restricted the Suns to 14 points in the second half after heading into the main break with a slim 37-33 lead.

‘That’s what we’re about, we’re a defensive team and 47 points (scored by the Suns) tells you a lot,’ he said.

‘At half-time, I was disappointed that they’d scored 33 points and a third of that was from free throws.

‘They’d got to the line 14 times to our zero.’

It was a first-half tug-of-war, with some impressive three-point shooting from both sides.

But the Wolves were relentless after half-time.

Wanneroo’s Casey Lockwood scored a game-high 14 points.

Grand final MVP Nikita Martin delivered 13 points and seven rebounds.

Martin was thrilled with the championship win, but paid tribute to the Suns.

‘That (score) didn’t really show how good a team the Suns have been all year, they’re a fantastic group,’ she said.

Excitement at the stadium peaked late in the final period when Wanneroo’s Ainsleigh Sanders (10 rebounds, four blocks, six points) laid a huge block on the Suns’ Jessie Edwards directly in front of the Wolves’ fans.

The sea of green erupted into raucous cheer, knowing the game was all but over.