Woodbourne Wizards and Hot Shotz are Marlborough basketball’s 2019 men’s and women’s A grade champions.
The top echelon club finals were contested last week at Stadium 2000, alongside men’s B and mixed social grade deciders.
The Wizards claimed the men’s A grade crown on Wednesday, prevailing 99-78 over Marlborough Boys’ College senior A.
The victors led the scoring most of the way through, holding a handy 54-38 advantage at halftime.
Their top scorer was Sam Cootes, with 39, including three three-pointers, while Leo Wiapo contributed 20 and Ollie Baker 15.
Top scorers for the college crew were Max Macdonald with 23 points and Vili Pale, who dropped in 21.
Wizards’ captain Wiapo said his side had expected a tough encounter based on earlier meetings and that is exactly what they got. He underlined their “collective” defence as a factor, denying the students the chance to attack the rim and limiting their drives to the basket.
“That was due to our effort and good communication,” he said. “For most of the game we shared the ball and got good shots off … but mostly it was straight up effort. We dropped the ball in the third but managed to finish the game strongly.
“Congratulations to Tony Macdonald and the MBC team on a great season, they have been a pleasure to play and got stronger as the season went on. They have real talent in their team, the likes of Max [Macdonald] Torbin [Otway] Pops [Cody Popplewell] and young Vili [Pale]. With most of the team back next year they will be a really tough match-up, especially as we get older and slower.”
The women’s final, played on Monday evening, was a low-scoring affair with Hot Shotz prevailing 40-30 over Thunder. The winners shared the point-scoring duties around, Ella Donald leading the way with 13, Oriana Houra 7, Kelsie Fitzpatrick 6 and Stacey Hopkins 5.
Rochelle Hegglun provided the bulk of the offensive duties for Thunder, bagging a game-high 17 points, with Frankie Paulo registering 8 and Jenna Wallace 5. Hot Shotz led 26-23 at halftime.
The men’s B final was taken out by 1 Piece who downed Moose’s Men 64-61, while BWMC won the mixed social final 69-29 over Caesar’s Pleasers.
Award winners for 2019 season
Men’s A MVP – Jack McFaddyn (Picton Men); Men’s B MVP – Chris McMurtrie; Women’s MVP – Oriana Houra; Mixed Social MVP – Hamish Trembath; College Boys MVP – Mana Collins; Coach of the year – Danielle Blackmore; Bruce Atkinson Memorial Cup – Susie Witehira; Senior Basketballer(s) of the year – Tarin Mason and Danielle Blackmore; Junior Basketballer of the year – Pippa Witehira.