Rivalry renewed: Mandurah Magic looking forward to grand final showdown with Lakeside

They’ve been two of the best teams in the Women’s State Basketball League for the past three seasons, and the Mandurah Magic and Lakeside Lightning will add another chapter to what is becoming an epic rivalry when they square off in this Friday’s grand final.

Mandurah coach Randy Miegel said the two clubs held a “healthy respect” for each other, but on the court it’s a fierce showdown every time they go head-to-head.

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The two were in the spotlight in the playoffs last season when they played out three epic games in a semi final series, with Mandurah taking out a narrow win in the final match to move on to the grand final.

This year they’ll meet for a single clash, with grand final glory on the line.

Regina Palusna went for 18 points and 12 rebounds in the Magic's last outing against Lakeside. Photo: Justin Rake.

Regina Palusna went for 18 points and 12 rebounds in the Magic's last outing against Lakeside. Photo: Justin Rake.

It’s a challenge Miegel said his group is looking forward to, but one they would need to be completely prepared for come Friday.

“Playing Lakeside is something we always look forward to – we’ve had some great battles with them over the past few years and there’s a really healthy respect there,” he said.

“Preparation is going to be the key for us. We’re doing our homework now and we’ve got some simple, clear instructions that we’ll need to adhere to.”

The 2017 coach of the year was hoping his side’s experience from last year’s grand final against Perry Lakes would hold them in good stead ahead of the clash.

“There are a few things that stand out that we could do differently this time around that will help us,” he said.

“Our first five minutes in the Perry Lakes game was a a little helter skelter, sort of all over the place, so we’ll definitely look to start a bit better.

“We’re definitely in better shape this time around though – we’re healthier and I think we’re heading in a bit better prepared.

“I don’t think I need to motivate the group too much, they know what’s at stake so it’s just a matter of going out there and playing good basketball for us.”

Lakeside head into the game as favourites having suffered just one loss on the season, but the Magic have flown through the playoffs and will be eager to cause an upset.

Mandurah and Lakeside will clash this Friday. Photo: Sports Imagery Australia.

Mandurah and Lakeside will clash this Friday. Photo: Sports Imagery Australia.

Miegel said it was a challenge his group would look to take in their stride.

“We know Lakeside are a very talented team but so are we,” he said.

“They’ve got some pretty deadly scorers and they defend quite well, so there are definitely some areas we need to put our focus on.

“Really I just think it’s going to be two very talented teams going at it.”

The game tips off at the Bendat Basketball Centre this Friday, 7.30pm.