TWO thrilling grand finals wrapped up Ballarat Basketball Association’s A grade championship season on Monday night.
Crowds gathered at the Minerdome for the battles of the men’s and women’s 2013 titles.
The women’s final was a defensive showcase, with both teams eager to stamp their authority on the game early.
Phoenix, led by star Kate Willey, were the benchmark for the women’s A competition all year, and proved their dominance during the decider, with a 43-33 victory over Celtic Tigers Green.
The win gives Phoenix their third consecutive premiership.
A physical first half saw neither team able to establish a commanding lead, as Phoenix entered half-time with a narrow three-point lead.
A 12-3 run to begin the second half, capped off by Willey’s And-1 conversion, saw Phoenix blow open a double digit lead and establish early momentum.
Willey was instrumental, notching 25 points, and was awarded grand final MVP honours to cap off an excellent season.
The Men’s A grade final was a hard-fought contest between the top two placed sides in the competition.
The Wildcats ran away with a 15-point victory over Phoenix, in front of a large Minerdome crowd.
The first half was an outstanding showcase of basketball talent, as the Wildcats’ Anthony Fisher established early dominance on the game with his playmaking and shooting.
Despite great scoring production from Phoenix’s James Sutherland throughout the opening half, the Wildcats took an eight-point advantage into the main break.
Jacob Borner stepped up for the Wildcats, connecting on four three-pointers in the second half to help the defending champions close out the match and take a 59-44 triumph.
Anthony Fisher was awarded grand final MVP honours, as his 19 points and countless assists were
crucial for the Wildcats’ victory.
Grand final results:
A1 Men: Wolves 68 def. Celtic Tigers Red 53
A2 Men Blue: Saints 26 v Saints Blue 21 (abandoned).
A2 Men Red: Isotopes 31 def. North Kings 25.
A1 Women: Exies Acmy 48 def. Saints 41.