By Tom Zaunmayr – The Kalgoorlie Miner
11th July 2019
The Goldfields Giants’ division one women have wrapped up their 2019 season in 10th place with a ninepoint loss at home to Willetton at Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Niels Hansen Stadium on Saturday.
Willetton got off to a quick start, bagging nine points before the Giants got on the scoreboard in the first quarter.
A strong second quarter by Mackenzie Clinch-Hoycard saw the Giants go into the main break leading 26-24, but the Tigers came out hard after the break to open the game out to five points by the final change.
Goldfields got the match back within one shot early in the last term, but could not keep up the momentum in the final five minutes.
Two late shots from Sophie Doran sealed the game 51-60 for Willetton.
The “close but not quite there” result echoed the Giants’ season, according to Giants coach Rob Thomson.
“It was a good close game most of the night,” he said. “They just hit some key shots in the fourth quarter which got them the win.”
Thomson said it was disappointing to miss out on finals action, but held hope for the team’s prospects next season.
“There are encouraging signs at the start of the journey for this team and myself,” he said.
“We do need to become a better shooting side and also work on our one-on-one defence.
“We have the talent to do it, we just have to practise a bit harder and come together as a team.”
Clinch-Hoycard’s efforts this season are sure to attract plenty of attention from other clubs.
Her 182-point haul was enough to see her finish third on the season’s top point-scorer list.
“She is an excellent player and I am sure will get some opportunities at a higher level,” Thomson said.
“We are really excited with our juniors coming through too, so we just have to keep putting time into those players and see how we go.”
The squad will take a month off to recover before getting back in to light training.