By Charlie Smart
DESPITE finishing the season in fourth position with only six wins, Hills Raiders U14s Division 4 boys, managed to knock it out of the park and win the grand final.
They knew they had their work cut out for them when they first had to face off against table toppers Warwick in the semi-final.
A huge game of nail-biting edge-of-the-seat playing, a point-for-point game ensued which eventually saw the Raiders come away with a nerve wracking one point victory.
Being the underdogs, you could be fooled into thinking the pressure would be off heading into the grand final but never had that crossed the minds of the boys who never looked as focussed during a pre-game warm up.
Facing East Perth Eagles on Sunday at Bendat Basketball Stadium in front of huge Hills Raiders support, the boys, although looking slightly nervous, had an air of confidence and trust within each other which oozed off the court.
From ball up they didn’t look back.
They valiantly fought off a third quarter come back from Eagles to bring home a second trophy for the association.
As the final buzzer sounded, the crowd erupted with everyone exploding onto their feet cheering at what was an absolute fairy-tale ending for a group of truly amazing young boys.
Hills Raiders player Damon Read was awarded Grand Final MVP.
Coach Bill Edwards said the opportunity to play in a WABL grand final was very exciting for the boys.
“We all embraced the game with the mantra that enjoying the occasion would be our focus,” he said.
“The entire team executed the roles assigned to them, adjusted when asked and carried out our aim of just enjoying the occasion which I believe contributed to the win.
“The final series was a magic carpet ride – we played three finals of exhilarating and crazy brilliant basketball to achieve what so many young kids would dream about and it is my hope that these boys individually never forget that with the right attitude nothing is impossible.”