Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Division 2 NJL Champions Crowned

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Division 2 NJL Champions Crowned

Article excerpt

COFFS Harbour's division 2 NJL teams were represented in five divisions last weekend, coming home with the championship medal in one division and runners-up medals in the other four grand finals.

The under-16 boys were successful in winning their division, with Coffs Harbour's Steven Dowler announced as the grand final's Most Valuable Player.

The under-18 men went down to Ballina by five baskets in their grand final, the under-16 girls lost by just three points to a buzzer-beating basket by Bellinger, the under-14 boys met a ferocious Armidale in their grand final, while the under-14 girls lost to Lismore by just five baskets.

The under-16 boys' team knew its first game against Armidale would be a tough one and what a battle it turned out to be.

The young Suns came away with a heart-stopping 74-71 win after being down 11 points with just five minutes to play.

After a strategic time out, the Suns returned to the court and quickly knocked the Lions' lead to zero and then took the lead with 17 seconds to play.

Steven Dowler was great in the fourth quarter, finishing with a game-high 24 points with help from Nick Sibraa (11) and Joel Babbage (12).

The under-16 boys met Tamworth in their grand final, a bit of a shock as Tamworth had come from fourth place to defeat Grafton and Armidale to get to the grand final.

These wins filled the Tamworth boys with confidence but the Suns boys were focused on the job at hand and were confident that their undefeated season would continue right through to the grand final.

In the end the Suns took the grand final win by 30 points.

The 14 men faced the challenge of the undefeated Armidale in the game to decide who was first into the grand final.

Unfortunately the school holiday break resulted in a slow start for the Suns with Armidale jumping to a quick lead.

This momentum carried into the second quarter with a match-winning lead the result by half-time. The boys settled down in the second half with a more controlled game, however, the damage was done and they went down by the biggest margin of the season.

In a team performance that did not reflect the efforts of the season, Jaiden Kingsley and Christian Foggiato toiled valiantly using their speed to pressure their taller, stronger rivals. …

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