Whittlesea Pacers are the Big V women’s division 1 champions after beating Geelong Supercats on Saturday night.
After taking game one of the series the previous weekend, the Pacers were up against it at three-quarter-time at Geelong.
They trailed by six points and it looked as if the three-match series was heading for a decider.
Enter the Pacers’ strength and defensive pressure.
They stepped it up another level to restrict the Supercats to just six points in the last quarter while scoring 24 points.
That led to an 18-point turnaround and a 74-62 win to clinch the series 2-0.
For coach Shannon Bodley, it was an unbelievable way to finish the season.
“Like all the games between the two teams this season, it was pretty up and down,” he said.
“We got the good start but they weren’t going to let us get away with it and, credit to them, they fought back.”
Bodley said he and his players spoke at three-quarter-time about how badly they wanted the win.
“We have had this ability to flick a switch and play really brilliant quarters,” he said.
“We got a couple of early baskets and you could see the girls were starting to believe.
“The girls had that look in their eyes and they knew that if they stuck with it we’d be a real chance.”
Bodley said it wasn’t until the final minute that he knew the game was won.
“We were all still nervous as we knew Geelong could score quickly,” he said.
“At the three-minute mark it was still too close to know we had won it but with one minute to go you could feel it on the bench and the players on the court knew it was happening.
“Haylee Cooper-Maclean hit a three on the buzzer and she was jumping around like she’d won Tattslotto.”
Four players hit double figures for the Pacers, with Kimetria Hayden top-scoring with 18.
Emmie O’Nial was named the grand final MVP in her first season at the club.
“I’m very pleased for her as I know she had doubts she made the right decision moving to the club [from Sunbury],” Bodley said.
“She has relished having good players around her and I know this is massive for her.”
The win rounded off Bodley’s coaching career with the Pacers.
“I announced after the game that I’m retiring … that was the plan from the start of the season,” he said.
“You hear of people who get fairytale endings and I hoped I would get mine, which I did, in my 200th game.”