Even after her inspired display against the UC Capitals, Boomers star Ezi Magbegor has already switched focus.
Even after her inspired display against the UC Capitals, Boomers star Ezi Magbegor has already switched focus.

Opals stars lead Melbourne to booming finals win

Even after her inspired display against the UC Capitals, Boomers star Ezi Magbegor has already switched focus.

With only two games now separating her from a WNBL title, the trophy is her only thought.

The 21-year-old was a class above in her side's 78-68 elimination final win at Townsville Stadium. The WNBA star finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, three turnovers and two steals to stand out among the respective sides.

In defence she found immense support from fellow Opals sensation Cayla George, whose 12 rebounds, four blocks, three turnovers and a steal built considerable pressure on the two-time defending champions.

There is little time for Melbourne to revel in their do or die efforts, and Magbegor said it was crucial they did not look too far ahead - even with the finish line in sight.

 

"I think it's important to enjoy the win, but we do have to focus on Friday. It's a quick turnaround so onto the next game," she said.

"A lot of our games were a day on, day off, so this is just going to be one of them. It's important to get recovery in, and then just work on (today) and Friday will come quickly."

The result ended the Capitals pursuit to become the first side since 1996 to win three consecutive WNBL titles - and the chance for north Queensland trio Keely Froling, Marianna Tolo and coach Paul Goriss to do so on a spiritual home court.

Such was Magbegor and George's dominance, the efforts of Boomers guards Maddie Garrick and Tess Madgen flew somewhat under the radar.

 

Madgen established herself as the constant supply of points - her six assists to go with nine rebounds crucial in getting up the field. Garrick meanwhile was able to come up with clutch points at various stages, presenting a formidable, but often unguarded, threat.

Magbegor said the relentless defensive intent from the whole Boomers outfit came in the knowledge they were so close to the end.

After the rigours the 2020 season has brought, she said that mentality was a driver to bring their best to the fore whenever they took the court.

"I think the mindset is we've only got (two) games left, so put everything into it," Magbegor said.

"Cayla kind of leads us defensively, so everyone follows. We get a break after this, so just give everything to these last couple of games … we really want this.

"It's been a long six weeks, but two games seems like nothing compared to the season."

 

 

nick.wright@news.com.au

Originally published as Opals stars lead Melbourne to booming finals win