In the Tatura Basketball Association A-grade grand final, in-form Celtics, coached by Lisa Cullum, took on Bulls on Wednesday night.
The players from both teams were active in the first part of the game with Floyd Vincitorio shooting well for Bulls.
Celtics’ Kayde and Michael Coonerty worked well in attack, with both goaling in quick succession.
Josh Evans used his height and rebounded in both attack and defence and gained possession for his team on numerous occasions.
Bulls’ Blake Brewer and Riley O’Neill created fast breaks to score and with seven minutes left in the first half Bulls had edged ahead by seven points.
The pressure was applied by both teams and foul infringements were numerous in the last part of the half, with neither team able to capitalise on the scoreboard.
Connor Stewart’s persistence paid off when he missed a basket but rebounded quickly to score to bring the margin back to three at the half-time break in favour of Bulls.
The second half started at a frantic pace with both teams determined to gain the advantage, but when Harry Murdoch scored for the second time in as many minutes, Celtics hit the lead for the first time in the game.
A long three-point shot by Michael Coonerty put pressure back on Bulls, but Tom Dooley-Heath steadied to score to keep his team in touch.
Both teams continued to score and desperation saw wayward attempts at three-point shots when a time out was called by the Celtics coach.
The players came out from this break with more deliberate plays at the basket.
Josh Evans was the dominant playmaker but Bulls pushed harder to score with Floyd Vincitorio shooting a long-range three-pointer to give his team the lead.
Quick play in attack saw Celtics level with one minute left on the clock and with a last minute where all players gave it their all, Celtics surged to win by the narrowest of margins.
Final score: Celtics 50 defeated Bulls 49.
Celtics: Kayde Coonerty (15 points) Michael Coonerty (14) Josh Evans (13);
Bulls: Floyd Vincitorio (17 points) Riley O’Neill (14) Blake Brewer (11).
Godfrey Family Medal winner for MVP in the grand final: Josh Evans (Celtics).
Season MVP: Matthew Rennie.
Runner-up MVP: Blake Brewer.
Equal-third MVP: Jarom Owen-Horn and Floyd Vincitorio.
Coaches’ award: Nicholas Watt.
Most improved: Jarom Owen-Horn.
Tatura’s B and C-grade grand finals were played last Monday night and the results were as follows:
The B-grade grand final was an exciting and fast game to the end.
Bulls got off to a great start with the first few goals. Both teams played a fast and well executed game but the Bulls’ defence was undeniably effective in keeping Celtics’ score down.
Jayden McIlroy, Tom Jones and Jack Risstrom gave it their all and were the key scorers for Celtics.
Jack Leishman, Zaydyn Lockwood and Sarah Lange-Richards kept the pressure up as the key scorers for Bulls. Both teams played a fantastic game, with Bulls winning 55-44.
Bull Jack Leishman won the Rijs Award for most valuable player in the grand final.
Other award winners for B-grade were:
Chelsea Coonerty from Warriors won the encouragement award;
Rebecca Valentin from Magic won most improved player;
Hayley Rennie from Magic won the coaches’ award.
Most valuable player as voted by the referees:
Fifth: Joel Ashburner-Hill, Zaydyn Lockwood, Rebecca Valentin, five votes;
Fourth: Patrick Forster and Joel Bourke, six votes;
Third; Kade Walker, 10 votes;
Second: Jack Leishman, 16 votes;
First: Jayden McIlroy and Hayley Rennie, 23 votes.
— Nicolle Answer
The C-grade grand final saw Bulls defeat Magic 24-20 to cap off a great season.
Bulls played consistently throughout the whole season to easily position themselves as final contenders, ahead of Celtics and Heat.
Magic worked hard. Their season was of steady improvement and determination to get them through the finals to the big game on Monday night.
With volunteers coaching, co-ordinating and arranging all that needed to be done, the season finished with a thrilling game that could have gone either way. It was Bulls’ strong persistence that allowed them to be victors on the night.
Our high-calibre referees make the competition in Tatura highly sought after. A nurturing environment allows all from eight years of age to learn and grow their basketball skills.
Harris Family Medal for most valuable player in the grand final: Cooper O’Neil.
Most improved in the season: Declan Tyson.
Encouragement award: Tiahn Benjamin.
Coaches award as voted by coaches throughout the season: Robbie Hamilton.
Most valuable player voted throughout season by referees:
Fifth: Robbie Hamilton.
Fourth: Marcus Perry.
Third: Ryan Shalley.
Second: Trent Benjamin.
First: Cooper O’Neil.
MVP female: Jessica Ussher.
Thanks to all referees. Your guidance and ongoing mid-game training of our young ones is greatly appreciated. Special thanks to Maddi and Tom for helping out on grand final night.
Thanks to the scorers who step forward every week — especially Rohan. We appreciate your weekly support.
Thanks to volunteer coaches who pass on the passion for basketball, inclusion and great sportsmanship to all our players.
The next season will begin in February 2018. Check school newsletters or our webpage for more information.