THE Chelsea Gulls weren’t fazed by an unfortunate change of venue, and scored a convincing victory over the Shepparton Gators to take out the Big V division one championship on Saturday 1 September.
A car crash, where no one was injured, was the cause of the late change of venue, with a fallen power pole restricting access to the Gulls’ stadium.
The Gulls instead faced the Gators in the second round of the best-of-three grand final series at the Frankston Basketball Stadium.
That didn’t stop the massive wave of Gulls supporters flocking to the game to see their side lift the championship banner.
The Gulls quickly took up the lead in the opening quarter and didn’t look back. While the Gators threw out a challenge in the second quarter, they were unable to match the vigour shown by the Gulls.
The Gulls’ “big three” in Corey Standerfer, Matt Brasser and Mitch Riggs certainly bought their best to the final, dropping 62 points between them to claim the win by 10 points (83-73).
Chelsea Gulls’ head coach Peter Caspersz said the way the side was playing, the championship victory never looked in doubt.
“Hindsight’s a great thing, but after the first quarter it was pretty much all over,” Caspersz said.
“They made a run at us in the second quarter, but we answered everything that they threw our way.
“Corey was a standout and got the MVP, probably by a country mile. Mitch Riggs dropped 22-points and Matt Brasser went 14 (points) and 10 (rebounds).
“The big three certainly came through.”
For the overall season, the Chelsea Gulls dropped just the three games and will look to push that form into the state championship division next season.
Caspersz said there will be some changes to the side to hopefully help match it with the competition in the higher division.
“We’ll look at getting a second import and probably a new power forward and centre,” he said.
“We use multiple [power forwards] at the moment, like Corey, but we need somebody who’s probably around six foot, 10 [inches] to be able to negate the bigger the guys.
“It’s going to be tough [in the state championship division], and we’re going to need them.”
Caspersz believes the step up to the state championship division is well within their capabilities.
“Between the first couple of teams in division one, I think they would make the transition pretty well, but anyone else I think would struggle,” he said.
“We will get a few practise matches in, but we won’t play anyone below us as it can give you a false reading on how you’re travelling.”
The Gulls have their presentation night on Saturday 8 September before their league’s presentation in two weeks’ time.
“We’ll then have a few weeks completely off,” Caspersz said. “I don’t think we’ll need to see each other for a bit after that, and we can all enjoy that time away.”
The Big V season kicks off again in April 2019.