The Moss Vale Magic split their round 18 double-header on the weekend to remain viable for a spot in the finals of the NSW Waratah Youth League Basketball Competition next month.
The Magic began by taking on the Sydney Uni Lions on Saturday morning at the Moss Vale Basketball Stadium, where they dominated the court for a victorious 104-63.
Will McGladdery made his first appearance for the Magic at home this season, impressing onlookers with a three-pointer first game.
The remainder of the game saw Magic’s Billy Campbell score 22 points, Brandon De Souza get 16, Josh Watts 15, Zac Ottosson 12, Connor Wroe 11, Rhys Pryor 11, Carter Reeves 8, Alex Davenport 4 and Daniel Field 2.
The Magic players’ skillful command of the court meant coach Kevin Campbell was able to rest his starters for a majority of the game.
“It was a great opportunity for the entire roster to play some good minutes and resulted in a good spread of scorers for the Magic,” he said.
Sunday’s game at Manly proved to be a tougher match for the Magic, who jumped to an early 10 point lead on the back of Zac Ottosson who showcased some strong moves to the basket on his way to score 14 points for the opening quarter as the Magic led 23-16.
But the Manly Sea Eagles fought back in the second quarter as their three point shooters scored them within three points of the Magic, who still led 35-32 at half time.
It was a great opportunity for the entire roster to play some good minutes and resulted in a good spread of scorers for the Magic
In a swift turn of events, the Sea Eagles took control of the game in the third quarter, jumping to an 11 point lead. But the Magic weren’t giving up and showed tremendous resilience early in the fourth quarter to retain their momentum.
A couple of successful free throws from Ottosson, a skillful three pointer from Josh Watts and a strong drive and layup for Billy Campbell through the lane saw the scores neck and neck at 63-63 with five minutes left to play.
But disaster struck for the Magic when top-scorer Billy Campbell went down with a serious ankle injury and was cast out of the game. Again the ball was back in the Eagle’s court, who went on a 19-2 scoring run to close the game at 82-65.
“When Billy came back to the ground [after scoring] he rolled his ankle really badly and there were fears he had broken it. But thankfully the scans revealed no fracture, just bad ligament damage,” Campbell said.
The top scorers for the Magic included Zac Ottosson with a game high of 26, Billy Campbell gaining 17 before his injury, and Connor Wroe and Josh Watts both with 9.
Despite the loss, the Magic remain in the top six and the top three in their own Pool A.
With two matches left to play they still have the chance to secure a spot in the finals with a win over the Hills Hornets in their final home game this Saturday night.