THE 2018/19 junior basketball summer season finished on a high note, with large crowds of vocal spectators enjoying the 11 grand finals played from Under 12s to Under 18s.
The highlights of the day included the Under 12 and 14 boys gold division premierships, won on fouls shots made in the closing seconds or a call at the end of the games.
To add to the excitement, the Under 14 girls gold final finished with a two-point win, 43-41, to Flames, coached by Felicity Clayton.
The Under 12 boys gold team, Hunters, coached by Jason Humphries, defeated Celtics, with Jarrod Sim in charge, 38-36.
Margins were just one or two points throughout the game and with a few seconds to play scores were level on 36.
Hunters’ Harvey Croker made the most of his visit to the foul line to make two shots and record a 38-36 win.
The Under 14 boys gold grand final between minor premier Kings, coached by Matt Ray and Shaqs also finished in dramatic fashion.
Again just one or two points separating the two sides and then level at regulation time.
As the closing seconds of overtime wound down Kings led 49-48.
A call on the buzzer sent Jacob Hann to the foul line where he scored on both attempts to give Shaqs a somewhat unexpected premiership, 50-49, under the guidance of Toby deWit.
Spirit Under 12 girls scored a 30-22 win against Matildas, while Storm defeated Sparks with the same score-line in the Under 14 girls blue division.
Deanna Nulty coached the Spirit and Matt Sutton led Storm.
An inexperienced Suns line up defeated Blazers 39-31 in the Under 14 boys blue division, while Phoenix accounted for Warriors 32-27 in the Under 12 boys blue division.
Bulldogs scored both premierships in the Under 16 age group.
The Division 1 boys defeated Panthers 56-46 and the Division 2 team won comfortably, 51-32 over Panthers.
Panthers was successful in finishing Premiers in the Under 16 girls and Under 18 men’s grand finals.
The girls defeated Cougars 49-41, while the Under 18 men were in control against Bulldogs and went on to win 80-58.
Most valuable player awards for the season were presented on the day.
Cougars’ Sarah Ritter was named MVP for the Under 16 girls with 30 votes, ahead of Panthers Alyssa Duncan with 23.
Panthers Jake Walker was awarded the MVP for Under 16 boys Division 1 with 29 votes, while Cougars’ Oliver McInnes and Bulldogs Aaron Ramsey tied for runner-up on 24 votes.
Bulldogs Duncan Reid recorded a comprehensive win in the Under 18 men’s MVP award with 34 votes, ahead of Roos’ Dale Bachmann on 19 votes.
Each Summer season the Easson Family Referee Encouragement Award is presented and this year Emily Dawe received the prestigious recognition for her commitment as she has progressed to officiating at senior levels.
The 2019 Winter season starts on Monday, April 29.