FAB Flowers Hornets saved their best until last to upset top team Infinity Health Gators and be crowned Basketball Kyabram’s Grade 5/6 division champions on Monday night.
The minor premiers Gators had no answer for the size, skill and teamwork of their opponent.
Justin Bassett used his height to pull in multiple rebounds and finish top scorer with 10 points.
The ‘General’ Archer Guinan (4) was also strong on the boards and marshalled his defence expertly.
Chief among his defenders was Ben Barnes who harried the uber scorer Archie Watt and limited him to 5 points — well below his season average 17 points.
Ali Hall (5) and Porsha Emini (2) were also good defenders and used their sharp passing skills to set players into space.
Brothers Hipwell, Jim (8) and Bill (6), cut and drove the ball past bigger and older defenders and controlled the tempo of the game late when the match was in their control.
At the half, Hornets held a 14-9 advantage, and ran out 35-18 winners.
Kyabram Veterinary Clinic Raptors and Peter Walsh Hornets will face off in next Monday’s Grade 3/4 championship decider after both teams had easy semi-final wins on Monday night.
Can defending champion Raptors find an answer to Hornet’s scoring machine Samuel Mongan?
Or will Hornets find a way to thwart Raptors’ teamwork built up over the last two years by coach Chris Rodriquez?
Last time the teams met, Raptors triumphed 42-38.
Come along and learn the answer next Monday at 5.30pm at Kyabram Sports and Entertainment Centre.
In 7-10 division, two players went on scoring sprees on opposite courts and led their teams to victory.
Jarom Owen-Horn created a competition record in scoring an incredible 40 points for the Better Homeliving Hornets in their 54-31 win over Walker Real Estate Wildcats.
On the other court, new player Hollie Reid scored 32 points in Mister Embroidery’s 73-28 win over Kyabram Bakery Gators.
Along with the crowning of the Grade 5/6 champions on Monday night, Basketball Kyabram also acknowledged several players for their fine seasons.
Archie Watt was awarded the competition’s most valuable player, top scorer (68 points at an average of 17 per game) and was also included in the All Stars team.
Other award winners were: Ben Barnes (best defender), Archer Guinan (clutch player), Justin Bassett (most dedicated), Harrison Wigg (most improved).
Other All Star members were: Justin Bassett, Cohan Hooper, Lucas Kell, Archer Guinan, Ali Hall, Harrison Wigg, Sam Marland, Bill Hipwell and Jim Hipwell.
Grade 5-6 grand final
Fab Flowers Hornets d Infinity Health Gators 35-18.
Hornets: Justin Bassett 10, Jim Hipwell 8, Bill Hipwell 6, Ali Hall 5, Archer Guinan 4, Porsha Emini 2.
Gators: Sam Marland 9, Archie Watt 5, Darcy Ramadan 2, Callum Leocata 2.
Grade 3-4 semi-finals
Ky Veterinary Clinic Raptors d Kerr’s Amcal Gators 42-26.
Raptors: Lachie Rodriquez, Ollie Barnett, Katie Barnes, Jack Perrella, Anthony DePasquale.
Gators: Keplar Cleveland, Marley Gordon, Cooper Rodriquez.
Peter Walsh Hornets d Albion Motors Wildcats 44-24.
Hornets: Samuel Mongan, Ashton Thompson, Baylee Letizia, Logan Green.
Wildcats: Alex Barnes, Sienna Brennan, Jimmy Hargreaves, Brody Thompson, Joanna Parr.
Mister Embroidery Raptors d Kyabram Bakery Gators 73-28.
Raptors: Hollie Reid 32, Blake McAuliffe 16, Ryan Hatch 11, Harley Reid 8, Rhys Shay 6.
Gators: Oliver Watt 16, Ivan de Leon 6, Levi Gordon 4, Archie Watt 2.
Betta Homeliving Hornets d Walker Real Estate Wildcats 40-24.
Hornets: Jarom Owen-Horn 40, James Myers 12, Joseph Owen-Horn 2.
Wildcats: Nathan Mackison 16, Sam Plumb 10, Charlees Sudholtz, Will Hooper 2.
Hornets 26 drew Raptors 26
Paddy Hargreaves, Jimmy Goff-Quinn, Ewen Walsh, Cooper Wilson, Archie Turnbull, Oliver Walley, Lilly Taylor, Clay Wilson, Clarry Talbot, Xander Freemantle, Nash Eddy.
Go to www.basketballkyabram.com for information.