Crabs lose battle for last finals spot

Cameron NewboldThe West Australian
Ambassadors' Caleb Carmengets past Crabs' Wade Eskett and Shane Braimbridge.
Camera IconAmbassadors' Caleb Carmengets past Crabs' Wade Eskett and Shane Braimbridge. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Ambassadors have ended Crabs’ season with a 20-point win in the final regular round of the Albany Basketball Association A-grade season, while The Farm Athletics have sneaked into fourth place despite losing on Tuesday.

Crabs, Farm Athletics and Tigers were all fighting for the last spot in the finals heading into round 16 but a heavy loss ended any Crabs hopes.

Ambassadors remained in control for most of the contest, leading by four points at half-time and then Ryan Barber and Caleb Carman got going in the second period to guide their side to victory.

Ambassadors' Ryan Barber takes on Crabs' Hunter Richards.
Camera IconAmbassadors' Ryan Barber takes on Crabs' Hunter Richards. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Barber hit four triples and was the man doing the damage every time Crabs threatened to get back into the match.

His 22-point haul was decisive in the 57-37, result while Carman was also allowed too much freedom, scoring three long-range baskets in his 18-point return. Ambassadors’ three-point shooting was sharp as Andrew Sephton hit three from deep as well, his side full of confidence heading into their sudden-death final next week.

Crabs were still in the game at half-time and an early three-point play from Danial Abbott reduced the margin to a single point, but the game slipped away in the middle stages of the second half.

Abbott finished with seven points, as did Cohen Scott, but Crabs’ sloppy defence proved costly time and time again.

Crabs' Danial Abbott goes to the basket as Ambassadors' Todd Knuiman defends.
Camera IconCrabs' Danial Abbott goes to the basket as Ambassadors' Todd Knuiman defends. Credit: Albany Advertiser

At the same time, Farm Athletics and Tigers were playing on adjacent courts with everything to play for. Facing ladder leaders Knights, the Farm Athletics squad could not get the job done as they suffered an 18-point loss to finish with a 7-8 record.

Tigers, on the other hand, were able to get over Kinjarling Thunder in a real arm-wrestle, 48-34, to also end the season 7-8 and on 31 points.

Under ABA rules, teams that finish locked on points are separated firstly by the team with the lesser amount of forfeits and then head-to-head record against each other.

Tigers and Farm Athletics have each won a game in their two encounters this season, meaning the percentage between the two sides will determine who finishes fourth.

Farm Athletics won their clash, 37-34, compared to Tigers’ win, which was 43-41, meaning Farm Athletics secured fourth with a percentage of 101 to their rivals’ 98.

Barking Owls tuned up for their second semifinal with a crushing 48-point win over the Raiders under-18 development squad, led by a season-high 52 points from teenager Kyle Smith.

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