Phoenix win in a buzzer-beating thriller

PHOENIX are the new Ballarat Basketball Association A-grade women’s division basketball premiers. 

They defeated Celtics Tigers Green with a narrow victory of 40-37 in Monday night’s Ballarat Trophies and Gifts grand final at the Ballarat Minerdome. 

The two point guards went head-to-head from the start of the game. Phoenix’s Andrea McMahon scored a quick seven points with Celtic’s Prue Scott scoring six. 

McMahon continued to score, taking her individual tally to 10 by half-time, and Scott with eight.

Phoenix had their narrow lead by half-time, 26-22. The second half’s defence intensity heightened.

Celtic was able to keep scoring, and with five minutes to go were only two points behind. 

Phoenix’s experience came into play in the second half, with McMahon and Kate Willey the only players to score for the team in the second half. 

In the final seconds, Celtic Tigers Green had the opportunity to take the score to a tie, but Phoenix’s defence was impenetratable. 

McMahon sealed the match with two free throws just before the buzzer.

McMahon scored 19 in total for Phoenix and was awarded the Dawn Jose medal. 

Kate Willey scored nine for Phoenix, while Prue Scott led the way for Celtic Tigers Green with 10, and Emma Reus contributed eight for Celtic.

In the men’s A-grade championship, Wildcats defeated Mitsy 51-36 to take the title. 

Inspired by Anthony Fisher, Wildcats broke away halfway through the second half after a tight first two quarters. 

The perennial finalist had an almost flawless 18-1 record during the regular season, in the process erasing memories of their grand final loss to Saints last year.

Fisher scored 24 points to the highest scorer on the court, with Steele Cox scoring 10 points for the victors.

For Mitsy, which went into the match as underdogs, Nathan Cavanagh finished with 14, with Cameron McCallum scoring nine.