THE Wangaratta Lady Warriors have won their first CBL conference title, defeating the Wallan Lady Panthers 69-46 in Wodonga in Saturday night.
Led by grand final MVP Jade McCowan, Rachel Jeffery, Alaana Northey and Chloe Storer, the Warriors pulled away with an 18 point to seven first quarter, and didn't look back from there.
Though it was the first grand final the Warriors have played in the CBL there were no signs of nerves.
Seasoned campaigner Jeffery got the ball rolling, with five of her 13 points coming in the opening frame.
The Warriors were simply able to get the job done on both ends – getting stops and executing on offence.
Having guided the team to their first championship, coach Craig Northey was a testament to the commitment the players had shown throughout the season.
“The girls played really we,, jumped out to an early lead,” he said.
“We've led from the front for most of the year, and a lot of that come down to how our more experienced players played.
“Rachel Jeffery, Alaana Northey, Jade McCowan, they controlled the game early, in much the same way they did in the semi-final.
“They've all been through Bandits and Bushrangers programs, they know what they have to do.”
McCowan came in for high praise from Northey, with her 14 points a game high.
“Jade's MVP was well-deserved, she lived up to the McCowan name,” he said.
“If you'd known her father, you'd think you'd seen him there.”
More than anything, chemistry fuelled the team's success.
“The team bonded really well, all I can say is thank you to everyone who helped put it together,” Northey said.
“All of them put in the time and effort.”
It wasn't as triumphant a night for the Wodonga Wolves, falling to the Seymour Blasters in a hotly contested men's grand final.
The Wolves trailed by just one point early in the final quarter, but the Blasters proved too good down the stretch, claiming a 61-53 victory.