The Moss Vale Magic put on another thrilling display of basketball on Saturday night.
The Magic youth league defeated the Bathurst Goldminers 82-77 at the Moss Vale Basketball Stadium.
The Magic and the Goldminers were both undefeated coming into this game.
The Goldmiers sat on top of the NSW Waratah Youth Leader ladder due to their excellent average of 124 points a game.
Saturday night was a tough physical encounter, with a total of 67 fouls.
Both teams showed some very strong defence, but as the match wore on it became a battle of attrition for both coaches as they tried to work their benches and keep their players out of foul trouble.
The Magic started well and led 18-14 at quarter time.
Power forward Connor Wroe was back to his best, scoring six points for the period and demonstrating some strong rebounding at both ends.
The Goldminers fought back strongly in the second quarter.
Captain, Matthew Gray hit 13 points in the period to lead all scorers at half time. He scored 17 points which included a buzzer beating, three-point shot from the right on half time to put the Goldminers in front 37-31 at the main break.
Gray, who stands at 6' 8", is the leading scorer in the Waratah Youth League this season averaging 48 points per game.
He was no doubt the player The Magic would have to shut down in the second half to secure a chance at winning.
The half time message from the Magic coaching staff seemed to work and the team started the third quarter with four straight stops on defence, which they duly converted into points to get themselves back in front 38-37 early in the period.
Magic Centre Rhys Pryor played some strong defence on Gray to restrict his scoring opportunities.
Magic captain Billy Campbell came up big and was on fire for the locals with a personal tally of 20 points in the quarter.
The Magic started to take control of the contest and took a 60-55 lead at the final break.
The Magic had a number of players in foul trouble with Connor Wroe, Zac Ottosson, Brad Frost and Josh Watts all sitting on four fouls for a major part of the game.
However, The Magic have very good depth on their roster this year and were able to call on Brandon De Souza,Carter Reeves and Alex Davenport, who all performed strongly and made good contributions when they were called into action.
The tense final quarter was highlighted by a huge block by Ottosson on Gray.
The Magic were able to hold off a strong finish from the Goldminers to take the win 82-77 in front of a large and rapturous crowd of Magic supporters.
Top performers for the Magic were Billy Campbell with 33 points, Rhys Pryor 15 points, Connor Wroe with a double double of 13 points and 14 rebounds and Zac Ottosson with nine points.
The Magic will now prepare for their first away game against the Penrith Panthers on Saturday, March 25 at the Penrith Valley Regional Sports Centre.