The top two teams met in the A-grade grand final and the contest had plenty of action from the first minute, with strong passing and good court movement by players of both teams.
Matt Rennie was first to record points for Celtic but Heat’s Floyd Vincitorio answered with a long three-pointer. Michael Coonerty and Tom Dooley-Heath rebounded strongly for Celtics and Nathan Lon Ho Kee was dominating in defence for Heat.
Riley O’Neill had lots of the ball and with three baskets in quick succession, including a long three-point shot, Celtics were edging ahead of their opponents.
Heat’s coach called a tactical time-out with five minutes left in the first half to allow his players to regroup.
When the game resumed, Celtics’ Matt Rennie had plenty of the ball before half-time, scoring eight points to see his team up 29 to 16 at the break.
The start of the second half saw another dynamic display from Rennie, who created turnovers, and his accuracy in attack saw him post 10 points with Heat only managing to score a couple of baskets.
Heat trio Dan Hall, Kayde Coonerty and Floyd Vincitorio worked well together, passing the ball around to gain the best advantage. When they made their shots, Celtics were pressured to keep working hard, but a couple of three-pointers by Michael Coonerty was enough to keep the margin out of Heat’s reach.
The last half was an even 20 minutes of basketball but Celtics had set up the win by their first half margin.
Final scores: Celtics 56 defeated Heat 44.
Matthew Rennie was judged most valuable player in the grand final and awarded the Godfrey Family Medal.
Best players: Celtics: Matt Rennie (30 points) Michael Coonerty (15) Riley ONeill (9).
Heat: Floyd Vincitorio (15 points) Kayde Coonerty (15) Dan Hall (6).
Season awards: MVP: Matthew Rennie (46 votes), runner-up Josh Evans (38) and equal third Blake Brewer and Floyd Vincitorio (34). Coaches award: Matthew Rennie. Most improved player: Kelham Tyson.
The B-grade grand final was won by Bulls, who edged out Heat by one point (25-24) in a hard-fought and highly defensive game.
The Bulls’ senior players got the job done, particularly power forward Joel Bourke with 10 points, centre Liam Campbell with six points and point guard Sarah Wilson with six points.
The Heat almost stole the game in the dying moments, largely on the back of a dynamic game from power forward Daniel Ussher with a game-high 18 points and a great all-round game by guard Caitlin Pogue.
Congratulations to both teams on a thrilling final, and congratulations to Joel Bourke for winning the Rijs Family Medal for the grand final MVP.
The night finished with the presentation of the season’s individual awards.
Congratulations to the following:
Most valuable player: Ben Green first; Jordan O’Neill second; Caitlin Pogue, Sarah Wilson and Patrick Forster third; Jackson Palmer fourth; and Joel Bourke fifth.
Girls most valuable player: Caitlin Pogue and Sarah Wilson.
Coaches award: Jordan O’Neill.
Most improved: Liam Campbell.
Encouragement award: Jorja Basile.
This was a game in which the scores did not reflect the court play, as Bulls had plenty of shots, but were unable to get the ball to drop.
Bulls guards Reece Butler and Joth Mallon worked hard to move the ball around, and Jessica Ussher and Tom Steinfort did their best against Heat’s tall timber Trent Benjamin.
Amber Mallon showed her rapidly improving all-round game, while Corey Doherty gave his all.
But Heat’s Jaiden Benjamin and Cooper Gow had their eyes in with some great shooting and Cooper O’Neill controlled the ball down the court to give his team options.
Jack Black showed how to play a team game with some great passing to teammates in a better position to shoot.
Both teams played some great defence with multiple mid-court intercepts.
Heat used their passing skills to get good open shots, and Bulls were unable to match the rebounding power of Heat, which showed on the score sheet.
Final scores: Heat 32 defeated Bulls 7.
Top scorers were Jessica Ussher for Bulls and Jaiden Benjamin and Cooper Gow for Heat.
Harris Family Medal for grand final MVP: Jaiden Benjamin.
Season MVP: Cooper O’Neill, runner-up: Fraser Fidock.
Most improved player: Amber Mallon.
Coaches award: Ryan Shalley.
Encouragement award: Corey Boase.