IT is the new kid on the block against the old firm, as Phoenix aims to win its first Ballarat Basketball Association women’s A-grade premiership tonight.
The BBA’s youngest club enters its first A-grade final, against reigning premier Celtic Tigers Green at the Minerdome tonight.
Phoenix was the minor premier ahead of Celtic Tigers Green and has the edge head-to-head, although Celtic Tigers has the experience advantage.
“We’re pretty evenly matched up teams in terms of size and height,” Phoenix playing coach Kate Willey said.
“We’ve beaten them all but once this year. We’ve got the upper hand head-to-head but they were all pretty even games.
“Compared to them we are more up-tempo than they are. Emma Reus is by far the tallest player on the court, which gives them the option of taking their time a bit ... we’re a lot younger than they are.”
Phoenix defeated Celtic Green in the semi finals. That meant Celtic Tigers Green had to overcome stablemate Celtic Tigers Red in the preliminary final, which it did by eight points.
Phoenix has no changes since the semi final victory at this stage.
In the men’s grand final, Ballarat Miners point guard Anthony Fisher will lead Wildcats along with playing coach Ray Borner against a powerful Mitsy team led by ex-Ballarat Miners Cameron McCallum and Nathan Cavanagh.
Wildcats have only lost one game all season and, following the same path as the Phoenix in women’s decider, enjoyed a week’s break having won their semi-final two weeks ago against then second-placed Powder Blue.
Mitsy has gone the hard road, having won the elimination final in week one against Phoenix and then the preliminary final against Powder Blue last week.