Grand Final – Game 2
Eltham Wildcats 73 def by Nunawading Spectres 76
Top Performers: C. Yammouni 32 points, T. O’Connor 11 points/6 rebounds, M. Scherf 10 points/7 rebounds
Game 2 of the 2019 VYCM Grand Final series between the Wildcats and Spectres was electric at Eltham High School on Saturday night. In front of a full house (500+ spectators) Eltham had to fight for their lives after losing game one the week before by 26 points.
Things didn’t go to plan for the Wildcats when starting Forward Ovie Magbegor went down injured in the first play of the game that did not see him return. Eltham struggled to find offence early until big man Tom O’Connor hit back-to-back three point baskets that would fire up not only the team but the crowd.
This game was the definition of ‘tight’ with 19 lead changes including 8 minutes of the game being tied. With under 2 minutes remaining in the fourth it appeared that Nunawading were pulling away after J. Gandolfo knocked down a free throw to increase the lead to 4 points. The resilient Wildcats lifted behind the crowd to cut the lead to only one point as Christian Yammouni calmly knocked down 3/3 from the free throw line with 57 seconds remaining.
Neither team were able to execute on the offensive end and with Conor Westall grabbing a huge defensive rebound off a missed Spectres lay up with 15 seconds left the crowd erupted as the Wildcats had the final shot to win the game. Fatigue, defensive pressure and body contact all played its part in the final sequence as Christian Yammouni split the double team, stumbled to the floor from contact while the diving Spectre players tied up the possession to secure a jump ball as time expired. Fractions of a second would be put back on the clock as Eltham fouled on the inbound trying to steal the ball sending Nunawading to the line to secure the Grand Final victory.
Incredible effort by our Youth Men who gave everything they had not only on the night but all season long. We could not be prouder of what they have accomplished this year.