Bassett primed for clash with Geitz in semi-finals
NETBALL: Sunshine Coast goal shooter Caitlin Bassett is relishing the prospect of a clash with Laura Geitz in the semi-finals, suggesting the Queensland keeper brings out the best in her.
The two have played against each other at elite club level several times during the past decade and another hard-fought battle is expected when the Lightning and Firebirds collide at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Sunday.
The hosts have conceded the fewest goals in the national league this season.
"Their defensive end has been really jelling well,” Bassett said.
"They've got two youngies who can switch into that goal defence position but they've got Laura back there as that leader in that defensive end so I'm looking forward to a good match-up against her.
"I always feel like I play my best against her because I have to pull out something extra, so I'm looking forward to it.”
Geitz this year retired from international duties after a lengthy and successful career there. The 30-year-old, who stands at 185cm, has notched plenty of deflections, rebounds and intercepts this season.
Bassett, also 30, is captain of the national team. At 193cm, she is shooting at 92 per cent this campaign, after starring for the Lightning during their run to the title last year.
Sunshine Coast assistant coach Kylee Byrne said the match-up will be crucial.
"I think the one on one battles are huge ... Bassett versus Geitz, (Romelda) Aiken versus (Geva) Mentor ... whoever comes out on top will go a long way to winning this game.”
But Bassett has some able assistance, with the Lightning boasting another Australian representative.
"My main goal in the circle is to post up and be really strong but (having) Stephanie Wood out there, in goal attack, her coming in and popping up that long bomb is a massive help for me,” she said.
"It definitely takes the pressure off and gives the defence something to think about.”
The Firebirds defeated the Lightning 55-52 in Brisbane in round two of 14 in May but the Lightning beat the Firebirds 58-57 at the University of the Sunshine Coast stadium in round nine.
Both sides have won their past four matches.