Knights chase back-to-back titles over Owls

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Knights' Luke McGuire will be a key player in the grand final.
Camera IconKnights' Luke McGuire will be a key player in the grand final. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Knights will face Barking Owls for the second straight season on grand final night as they look to continue their impeccable record since entering the Albany Basketball Association men’s A-grade competition.

Having only formed last season, Knights produced a terrific second-half comeback to down Owls in the 2017-18 grand final courtesy of a 21-point turnaround.

After winning through to tomorrow night’s decider Knights will have the opportunity to make it two premierships in two seasons of competition but guard Henrick Alforque said the challenge was greater than 12 months ago.

“We were a bit rattled after the Barking Owls (second semifinal), we had to work really hard to get the win,” Alforque said.

“We’ve got to stop their main players in Gus (Benson), Kyle Smith and now Arthur (Jones).

“We want to run them off their feet and put a lot of pressure on and our key is getting shots up, we know they will drop.”

Knights will have the same side that came from eight points down in the second semifinal to win by two points over Owls last week with Tom Edwards again making the trip from Perth to play.

Recruit Luke McGuire has been a revelation in his six games for Knights, averaging 12.83 points per game while last season’s grand final MVP Keanu Weeden looms as the player to try to negate Benson’s impact for Owls.

Knights have lost only one game this season, that coming in round one at the hands of Owls.

Owls were comfortable 17 point winners on that occasion, led by big men Shaun Rost (19 points) and Hamish McMorran (12).

Rost and McMorran have both departed from the Owls line-up and their side will chase a third men’s A-grade title with the same six players that won Tuesday night’s preliminary final.

Owls’ two premierships came in 2014-15 over Wolves and 2013-14 against Stirling Rangers but they have lost seven of the last nine deciders.

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