Resurgent Seymour is still hunting for the fourth straight North East CBL championship
They’ve been knocked down but are well and truly back up again — nothing can keep the Blasters down.
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With their hopes of a finals berth resting on the Seymour men winning all three of their remaining fixtures, the Blasters have risen to the occasion.
In a double-header weekend, Seymour faced the might of Shepparton and Mansfield.
Both showdowns were set at the Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre, and the home-court advantage played its part.
The reigning premiers breezed past both opponents as they found form reminiscent of their blistering 2022 campaign.
Captain Robbie Sartori was glad to see his side back in form after an uncharacteristically slow start to the season.
“Obviously, two wins is great,” Sartori said.
“Unfortunately, we put ourselves in a position where, especially last week, the weekend just gone, and then this week coming, pretty much everything’s a final for us.
“To be able to knock these teams off, to be able to make that third or fourth, like everything was big.
“It was really great for the group’s confidence and sort of puts us on a bit of a win streak now.
“But we’re obviously under no illusion — we lose this week, all that work goes undone.”
The Gators arrived at the Blasters home on Saturday night with the same record as the home side — suffering three defeats this season.
Seymour vice-captain Jack Murphy had suggested this game would be make or break for his side’s finals hopes, and Seymour players started like their lives depended on it.
The Blasters outscored the Gators by six points in the first spell and continued their dominance into the second quarter.
A defensive master class by the home outfit saw a toothless Gators side land six points in the spell — Seymour scored 22.
Seymour had found its rhythm, and it would not let the half-time break derail its momentum.
The Blasters won the third quarter by 10 points, all but sealing the game with a 32-point lead going into the final quarter.
While some teams would be happy to sit back and see the game out, Seymour looked like it had a point to prove.
Immovable, impassable in defence, and unstoppable in attack, the Blasters lived up to their namesake and blasted the Gators away, winning the quarter 32-5.
Keenan Gorski was in fine form with 23 points to his name, leading Eden Hobbs, who relished the pressure of being Seymour’s main man, landing 22 points.
The 59-point win reverberated around the North East CBL — the Blasters are far from ready to relinquish their title.
Mansfield had the hard task of bringing the Blasters back down to earth on Sunday afternoon.
Where Seymour’s Saturday was defined by an impenetrable defence, the name of the game on Sunday was an all-out attack.
Seymour used the first quarter to feel their way into the contest but still managed to down the Eagles by nine points.
Seymour stepped onto the court for the second quarter, and it seemed as if something had snapped.
Who needs defence when you can put 40 points on the board?
In what has to be one of the highest-scoring spells in the CBL this season, the Blasters extended their lead by 13 points in a quarter that saw 67 points added to the scoreboard.
Seymour continued their dominance in the second half, but both sides settled into a lower gear after the second quarter flurry.
Seymour lost the final quarter by three points but claimed the game by 34.
Sartori saw defence as his side’s most effective asset over the weekend.
“We always pride ourselves on our defence,” he said.
“We’ve made a real focus of that over the last few weeks, and we know, heading into finals, if we’re lucky enough to make it, that the defence has got to be on.
“Eden Hobbs stepped up on both occasions.
“The young kids, in particular on Sunday, were great.
“Wally (William) Stewart, Jake Sapiano and Jack Murphy led from the front again. Everyone played their role in both games.”
The dominant performances saw Seymour keep third spot on the table, above Myrtlefoord and Albury, who have the same record on percentage.
An almighty showdown awaits Seymour next week as Albury travels to the Blasters home.
The winner will nearly certainly claim a spot in the finals. The loser will miss out by the finest of margins.
All eyes will turn to Seymour on Saturday at 7pm, and the club is keen to see a huge crowd there to get behind the Blasters.
The Seymour men were not the only team with a 100 per cent record in their doubleheader this weekend.
The Seymour women also claimed their matches against the Gators and Albury.
Seymour dominated the first three-quarters of the game against Shepparton at Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre.
While the Blasters were ahead by nine points at half-time, a third-quarter blowout saw the home side land 32 points and extend its lead to 30.
While Seymour backed off in the last quarter, the side ran out 73 to 51-point victors.
A long away trip to Albury awaited the Seymour outfit on Sunday, but the team was far from fatigued when they hit the court.
The Blasters went toe to toe with their opposition in the first half — both sides were level at the major break.
Seymour broke away in the third quarter, winning the spell by seven points and then proceeded to win the last quarter by six.
Carley Cranston led the Blasters’ points tally with 19 points.
The Blasters are in second place on the table, and with one round to go, the women have locked in a place in the semi-finals.