SYDNEY South West have prevailed 68-63 over South Coast in a thrilling final of the NSW Combined High Schools girls’ basketball championships.
Tied up at the end of the third quarter and level for most of the fourth, Sydney South West pulled away in the dying stages of the decider thanks largely to strong individual effort from Tahlia Tupaea.
SSW coach Tracy Samuels said while Tupaea may have landed the clutch baskets, her side’s work without the ball that won them the title.
“We had a big improvement in our defence from the start of the week. We lifted and we played well,” Samuels said.
In the final games yesterday, South Coast progressed through to the final of the tournament thanks to a 72-39 win over the third placed Sydney East.
Sydney South West qualified thanks to a narrow 69-64 win over Sydney North (fourth).
Sydney West beat Hunter 61-53 in the fifth place play off.
Riverina bettered Western 43-19 for seventh while North Coast edged out North West 54-46 for ninth place.
West Darling finished 11th.
Samuels said the close final was a fitting end to the championships.
“That’s the best time when it’s close. We see what the girls are really made of,” Samuels said.
South Coast star Lisa Ups was named the most valuable player of the championships.
Bathurst’s Claire Woolmington won the Western MVP award.
A NSWCHS side was selected following the completion of the championships.
They’ll take on Combined Catholic Colleges and Combined Independent Schools at Knox Grammar next month.
NSWCHS: Kate Hewitt (South Coast) Tahlia Tupaea (Sydney South West), Liisa Ups (South Coast), Katherine Ups (South Coast), Megan Cantellano (Sydney South West), Ebony Front (Sydney South West), Anais Kirvan (Sydney North), Jordan Barrett (Riverina), Gabrielle Turnbull (Sydney East)