The West

Norwood challenge for Willetton
Sam Norwood

Willetton Tigers coach Glenn Clarke believes stopping East Perth Eagles star Sam Norwood will be crucial to his side's chances of winning the women's State Basketball League grand final on Friday night.

West Coast Waves forward Norwood has played a huge role in leading East Perth to their first grand final, putting herself in Most Valuable Player contention with averages of 19 points and 10.4 rebounds a game this season.

The 21-year-old, who appeared in 22 games with the Waves last WNBL season, has been even more impressive during the play-offs, in which she has averaged 23 points a game to help the Eagles overcome Kalamunda and Perry Lakes to reach the title decider.

Unlike the quarter-finals and semi-finals which were best of three, the grand final is a one-off game.

Clarke said the Tigers would struggle to win their third-straight grand final if they let Norwood have the same impact against them.

"If we can keep her under 10 points for the game, I think that's a really good job by us. You're not going to stop her completely, but if we can limit her it will be a massive help," he said.

The Eagles, who have won 13 of their past 14 games, also have strong scoring power from Kate Fielding and Nicole Jorre St Jorre, which coach Anthony Fletcher hoped would be enough to get them over the line.

"We're the underdog because they've won it twice in a row. They've got several Waves players and we've only got one," he said.

"But I'm confident in what we can do."

The grand final tips off at 7.30pm at the WA Basketball Centre. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

The West Australian

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