Horsham Hornets women off to all conference final

HORSHAM Hornets' women will compete for their second premiership in as many weeks tomorrow and Sunday in Bendigo at the Country Basketball League all-conference finals.

The Hornets were crowned champions of the CBL south-west conference on Saturday with a resounding 93-70 win over the Portland Coasters.

The CBL comprises three conferences.

Horsham will now face the two other conference champions the Churchill Blue Devils from the Gippsland conference and Shepparton Gators from the north-east conference.

The three teams will play each other in a round robin format tomorrow, with the top two sides after the round robin stage meeting in the CBL all-conference grand final on Sunday.

Coach Sharon Fedke said her team had been practising as usual throughout the week and was as prepared as it could be without knowing anything about its opponents.

"The last time I played Shepparton I was playing Big V for Echuca about 15 years ago and we haven't come across Churchill," she said.

"Because we haven't had a senior women's team we haven't played against any of those sides and we don't tend to go to tournaments where those teams play.

"We don't really know a lot about about them so all we really have to go by is their results from their conferences."

Churchill is shaping up as a dangerous opponent after it went through the Gippsland conference undefeated before winning its grand final by one point.

Shepparton also posted strong results, including a whopping 79-point win over Castlemaine.

Fedke said it was hard to gauge the teams from their results as the skill level of their opponents was unknown.

South-west conference MVP Chloe Bibby will miss the weekend with state basketball commitments, with Aily McAuliffe also missing due to a state tryout.

The Hornets will welcome back Louise Grant in place of the two.

Fedke said losing a star like Bibby was not ideal, but had been told both other teams would also be missing state players.

She said the rest of the team would use it as an opportunity to step up their own games.

"I know that with the group of girls I've got, no matter who steps on the court they'll be giving it their all," she said.

"We can't go in with any major expectations because we really don't know what we're up against, so we're just going to say 'let's give it a go and hope for the best'.

"If we can go out with that positive mindset, I think we can do well."

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