The Hills Hornets senior men’s team has finished an excellent 2014 Waratah Championship League season with a 93 – 79 loss to the Sutherland Sharks at the Sutherland Basketball Stadium last Saturday night.
The 14 point margin was not indicative of the closeness of the game, with the Hornets getting the deficit as close as two points with just a few mins to play, however the Sharks proved too strong over the course of the game.
The teams reflected their fourth and fifth placed finishes throughout a close first quarter, with Sutherland hitting a late three pointer to give them a 22-19 at the first break, the largest margin for either team to that point.
The Sharks started the second quarter strongly, reeling off a six-nil run.
As was to be the story of the night, the Hornets hung tough despite a poor shooting night to keep it close.
The 10 point margin at halftime was a true reflection of the game; Sutherland on top but Hills not out of it.
The third quarter saw the Sharks stretch the margin out as far as 15 but a late run by the Hornets saw the teams go to the final break with just 6 points separating them at 66-60.
The Hornets showed all the determination that personified their season in the last quarter, never giving up and reducing the margin to two points with just a few minutes to play.
Eventually the effort of numerous Hornets comebacks was telling as Sutherland showed composure and they pulled away late for a 93 -79 win.
The Hornets’ Coach Dom Finlay and all his players can be very proud of their fifth place finish in what was undoubtedly the highest standard and most competitive Waratah Championship League season to date.
Focus now moves to finals weekend at Maitland Federation Centre on August 30-31, where the Hornets Waratah Championship League Women, Youth League Women and State League Men have all qualified.
The Championship Women, who finished in 2nd place, will take on the Norths Bears at 3.30pm on Saturday.
The table-topping Youth League Women are up against the Sydney Comets at 11.30am Saturday while the Hornets State League Men will take on the Sutherland Sharks at 1pm Saturday.
All three games are knockouts for the loser with the winners progressing to the Grand Final on Sunday.
Sutherland Sharks 93 (47) d Hills Hornets 79 (37) – Rob Meyrick 23 points at 63% shooting, 8 rebounds; Josh Chapman 23 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists; David Hayman 15 points, 7 assists.