ALL TO PLAY FOR: Madelyn Willey has shaken off the disappointment of a finals loss to Rockhampton last year to help lead the Port City Power to a grand final series in Rockhampton this weekend.
ALL TO PLAY FOR: Madelyn Willey has shaken off the disappointment of a finals loss to Rockhampton last year to help lead the Port City Power to a grand final series in Rockhampton this weekend. Mike Richards

Shot at redemption as Power women head into grand final

FOR Madelyn Willey, reaching the grand final of the Queensland Basketball League is only one part of the road to redemption.

After a loss in the quarter-finals to Rockhampton last year, the 20-year-old has badly wanted another shot for 12 months.

Back then, she thought the team was destined to make the grand final and play against Mackay.

Looking back, she can see where it all went wrong.

"We had beaten Rockhampton all year, so we had not even thought about the fact we would get knocked out," she said.

The realisation has helped Willey and the Port City Power this year.

Throughout the finals series, the team has approached every match as a single game and focused intensely week by week.

The club has a very different Power line-up on court as well, only a few players remaining from last year.

It has helped Willey leave behind the disappointment and attack this year with everything she has.

Playing point guard for the Power, she is an important player in leading the experienced team up and down the court despite being so young.

She also played all 80 minutes against rivals Rockhampton this season, and knows what it will take to win the three matche grand final series.

Willey has highlighted the first game as one to win.

"We would love to get that first one. I think if we get that we will get them in two," she said.

"Plus, we won't have Charmian Mellars if we play on Sunday."

"The first one is massive."

Port City have made it to the grand final the hard way, defeating defending champions Mackay and then Ipswich in the first two weeks of the play-offs.

The Power is now on the road tonight and tomorrow night (both 7pm) in Rockhampton, with a Sunday afternoon (1pm) game if the series is 1-1.

Nothing has changed in preparation for the series, three training sessions and individual work getting Willey and the other players ready.

"We do what works for us and are responsible for our own work," she said.

"We are a really balanced team."

The Power lost twice to Rockhampton this year, but players were missing each time.


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