In front of their home crowd, Kovsies retained their spot at the top of the log and secured a home semi-final, scheduled to take place on 1 October, winning their final round robin match against NWU 68-51 on Monday evening in Bloemfontein.
The Kovsies side, affectionately known as the “Dream Team” by the home crowd, got off to an explosive start, scoring the first 7 goals of the match. The match was physical from the get go, but this did not hinder the home team as they ended the first quarter 18-9.
The second quarter started with an unchanged Kovsies side. NWU brought on Jomari Myburgh at wing attack, moving Didintle Keebine to centre.
NWU had a better start and closed the gap slightly, but Kovsies kept their composure and soon took their lead to 10 goals. This was a fantastic team effort with Sne Mdletshe and Tanya Mostert doing excellent working getting the ball to the goal shooters. Under the Kovsies goal post, the NWU defence worked hard, but for the most part were no match for Captain Fantastic, Alicia Puren, and sharp shooter, Lefébre Rademan. On the opposite end of the court, Khomotso Mamburu and Ané Retief made things difficult for the NWU shooters, making interceptions and taking rebounds.
By the end of the first half, Kovsies lead by a convincing 13 goals, going into the break 34 goals to 21.
Both teams started the third quarter with changes. In the Kovsies camp, Mdletshe replaced Mostert on centre with Rieze Straeuli coming on at wing attack. NWU brought Anja Esterhuizen at goal shooter, Keabetswe Mtshali back on at wing attack, Nicolene van Heerden at goal defence as Caitlinn Rousseau moved to goal keeper.
Kovsies were back at it with Retief making an early interception and Rademan making some stunning long range shots. With 3 minutes left in the quarter the first power play was called. Both teams scored three double-pointers, taking Kovsies over the 50-goal mark. The quarter ended with the score standing at 53-35.
For the final 15 minutes, the Kovsies side remained unchanged, except for Gertriana Retief coming on for Puren during the quarter. NWU again made changes with Myburgh coming on at centre, Luyanda Khumalo coming on at wing defence, and Keebine coming on at wing attack.
NWU picked up the pace for the last 15, capitalising on the second power play that was called with just over 5 minutes left to play, scoring three double pointers to the Kovsies’ 1. This took the score to 64-47. The home side, however, matched their pressure, giving their all until the very end. With the crowd behind them, Kovsies secured their home semi-final, winning the match 68-51.
FNB Player of the Match: Alicia Puren (Kovsies)
Wimpy Moment Maker: Khomotso Mamburu (Kovsies)
Samsung Shot of the Match: Lefébre Rademan (Kovsies)
By Mary Gordon