The Illawarra Kittyhawks have advanced to the final four, surviving a third-quarter scare to beat Norths 73-60 in Saturday's elimination playoff at the Snakepit.
Illawarra got the jump on the visitors to lead 17-10 at quarter-time and extended the margin to 15 points at half-time.
They led by as many as 17 in the third period before the Bears went to their anything-goes offence and cut the deficit to four with a quarter to play.
Tightening the defensive screws, the Kittyhawks pulled away down the stretch to book a semifinal showdown with Bankstown on Saturday at Sutherland Basketball Stadium.
Undefeated Hornsby face Hills in the other semifinal at the same venue.
All four teams are vying for places in Sunday afternoon's final at Sutherland.
Illawarra coach Cheryl Lowe said Norths' fightback caused a few anxious moments.
"They went into motion and drove at us and weren't in their normal offensive pattern, but we mixed up the defence in the fourth quarter and that messed them up," Lowe said.
"Defence has always been a big part of our plan. We're the second-best defensive team in the league and that's what we always work on."
Lauren Patterson top-scored for the Kittyhawks with 16 points on 7/11 shooting, while Courtney Dean was rock-solid in the middle with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Upps sisters, Katherine and Lisa, each chipped in 11 points.
"It was a good all-round team performance and some of the girls really stepped up," Lowe said.
Illawarra were bullied under the boards (48-38) but had 21 assists to Norths' seven. They also had just 10 turnovers in contrast to 19 for the Bears.
The Kittyhawks connected on 40 per cent of their field goals, but can't afford a repeat of their 52 per cent free throw shooting if the game is tight.