Eels slip past Bears to clinch grand final win

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Eels' Sam Want scrambles to pass the ball out.
Camera IconEels' Sam Want scrambles to pass the ball out. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Eels have stormed home in the dying minutes of the Year 11-12 boys’ grand final to pinch a comeback victory from Koala Bears in a thrilling finish on Friday night.

After winning 13 straight games in the normal season and then thumping Koala Bears by 40 points in the second semifinal, Eels started the decider as raging favourites.

Koala Bears, however, put up a terrific fight and led for a fair share of the last half after the two sides were locked together at the break.

Eels' Kye Griffiths puts up a shot.
Camera IconEels' Kye Griffiths puts up a shot. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Mason Tion and then Jeff Fitzpatrick helped Koala Bears to a three-point advantage as the game entered the final few minutes but Kye Griffiths and the elusive Alforque twins, Henry and Henrick, surged their side back in front.

That trio came up big and grabbed the lead back and then hung on in a desperate final two minutes to secure the title, 48-45.

Henrick Alforque was named most valuable player in the grand final after a game-high 16 points, which included some clutch free throws to keep Koala Bears at bay late in the piece.

Eels were also well served by Henry Alforque (10 points) and Griffiths (9).

ABA 2018/19 boys year 11/12 premiers Eels.
Camera IconABA 2018/19 boys year 11/12 premiers Eels. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Crystal Blues again secured the year 11-12 girls’ premiership after a comfortable 20-point win over Kinjarling Vipers.

Vipers trailed by seven points at half-time and were never able to recover as Crystal Blues had Alyssa Ward (15), Aleesha Narkle (11) and Jasmyne Jones (13) all hit double figures.

Crystal Blues’ Indianna Weeden (9) and Kinjarling Vipers’ Kayla Thomas (13) were named joint grand final MVPs.

A brilliant three-point display from Taj Stubber guided Railways Tigers to the men’s B-grade division 1 title, as they recovered from a slow start to beat Cobbers by 15 points.

With only five players the Tigers struggled early as Cobbers led 12-4 but momentum had swung by the break as Tigers went in three points ahead.

Railways Tigers claimed the men’s B-grade division 1 premiership.
Camera IconRailways Tigers claimed the men’s B-grade division 1 premiership. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Stubber fired in the second half as he nailed five triples to make it eight three-pointers for the game in a superb 26-point haul that earned him MVP honours while Kane Shephard chipped in with 15 points.

Cougars upset Volunteers in a low-scoring women’s B-grade division 1 decider, prevailing 17-14 with Veronica Williams named MVP. Katie Woodhams (8) and Williams (4) did the damage as their side held Volunteers to six points in the last half.

Cougars' Katie Woodhams drives to the basket.
Camera IconCougars' Katie Woodhams drives to the basket. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Sting Rays prevailed in the women’s B-grade division 2 final by four points and the men’s B-grade division 2 title went to Warriors.

Vikings proved too strong for Roaring 40s in the men’s vets grand final and Goat Gang were victors in the men’s B-grade division 3 decider.

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