In a nail-biting finish which saw numerous last minute attempts to draw the game from Demons fail, Irymple Tigers were last week crowned champions of Mildura Basketball Associations Premier League.
It was the club’s first premiership in 18 years.
The lead changed constantly throughout the first half, but it was Irymple who took a four point surplus into the half time break.
Josh Smith wasn’t afraid to take the long shots for the Tigers throughout the game, while Demon Noah Valentich worked tirelessly, particularly in the third term, to keep the ball in attack under the ring.
It couldn’t get any closer heading into the final quarter – with scores tied.
Demon Jack Deale gave them some breathing space, nailing two three point shots in the opening minutes of the last term.
Not willing to let the championship slip from their grasp, Tigers fought back and with the assistance of a couple of free shots after David Farrow was given a technical foul, Smith once again levelled the scores making two shots from the free throw line despite enormous pressure from the crowd.
After a couple of baskets missed the spot, Irymple called a time out where coach Smith, who shares the duties with Luke Hermans, told their team he understood everyone wanted the ball, but they needed to understand when to pass or shoot it.
The advice was acted upon, and the Tigers found themselves two points up in the dying seconds of the game.
Demons had one last opportunity to draw the game and send it into overtime, but despite numerous attempt they were unable to convert under the ring and much to the delight of Irymple players and their supporters the siren sounded.
While it was a heartbreaking loss for Demons, it was a memorable one for the crowd gathered at the Hothouse and the Irymple Club, with Tigers prevailing 72 to 70.
Earlier in the night Workers were victorious over Saints in the Women’s Premier League Grand Final – 63 to 44.
Alannah Morello led the way for the Workers, contributing15 points, while Ava Zadow did all she could for Saints, scoring 13 points.