Men’s Blazers claim first CBL grand final in over 20 years after defeating Bendigo

The 2019/20 CBL North West Conference champions, the Maryborough Blazers. Back: Lachlan Drummond, Zac Mortlock, Patrick Jenes, captain Brady Neill, Tom Hurse, Dale Hickey, Harry Butler, coach Mick Hickey. Front: Team manager Sally Neill, Jake Lohmann, Jye Mortlock and Darcy Bond.

The Blazer Nation was out in force on Saturday night, watching on as the Lady Blazers made their championship debut and the men seized the first Maryborough premiership in more than two decades.

A sea of blue and yellow greeted the local teams at the Bendigo Stadium as they took on the Bendigo Braves for both the men’s and women’s 2019/20 Country Basketball League North West Conference grand finals.

The 2019/20 CBL North West conference runners up, the Maryborough Lady Blazers. Back: coach Grace Bibby, Maddy Egan, Claire Blower, Keisha Tonzing, Bella Westbrook, team manager Kerry Egan. Front: Charlotte Cain, Kayla Stewart, Millie Cracknell, Quetta Holloway-Jinks, Deanna Dellis and Zara Arhanghelchi.

While the Lady Blazers unfortunately couldn’t get over the line in their first ever grand final, the men’s Blazers have brought the flag back to the Borough for the first time since 1997 with a 79-61 victory.

Premiership coach Mick Hickey said the first half of the game was a bit touch and go with the score sitting five points in Bendigo’s favour at quarter time and dead level at 40-all by the main break.

“Bendigo loves to play on three-point emotion. When they got their first three threes I thought ‘here we go’ but to our credit, the boys put their heads down and focussed hard to get that deficit back in to 40-all at half time which I was happy with,” he said.

For more on this story see the Back Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, February 11

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