The Moss Vale Magic have bowed out of the NSW Waratah Youth League Basketball Finals Series.
The Magic was defeated by the Sydney Comets 75-51 in their quarter-final match at Alexandria Basketball Stadium on Saturday, August 5.
The team went into the match missing their captain and point guard Billy Campbell, forward Daniel Field, shooting guard Dylan Palmer-Quigg and swingman Will McGladdery. The Magic found themselves in foul trouble early in the match, and in particular Zac Ottosson picked up three quick fouls inside the first 90 seconds.
Coach Kev Campbell had no alternative but to rest him and turn to his bench players early on.
Brandon De Souza was introduced into the game for Ottosson. De Souza stepped up to lead the scoring with five quick points in the quarter, as the Comets went to quarter time leading 19-12.
The Comets threatened to take the game away in the second quarter when they jumped out to a handy 17 point lead at 31-14.
However the Magic steadied on the back of Ottosson who returned to the court and reeled off 7 straight points to keep the Magic in touch 31-21.
This was until a couple of late turnovers from the Magic approaching half time, which allowed the Comets to regain control with two baskets inside the last 14 seconds and take a handy 35-21 lead at the main break.
With their season on the line the Magic upped the ante after half time. When Josh Watts and Connor Wroe scored with back to back baskets the Magic were right back in the contest and had all the momentum down by just 10 points at 48-38 as the teams went to three quarter time.
It was the Comets’ unheralded back up point guard Connor Miller who turned the game on its head at the start of the last quarter. He made three consecutive three point shots to take the Comets’ lead from a quite gettable 10 out to 19 in a short space of time, which was a lead the Magic were unable to reel in as time ran out on their season.
Miller, who had only played 8 games for the Comets this season, was averaging just 8 points a game however he was the difference down the stretch making the big shots on the way to his highest score of the season with 18 points. This included five three pointers as the Comets ran out winners 75-51 and book a semi final showdown with the minor premiers the Newcastle Hunters next weekend in Maitland.
Despite the loss, it was another very successful season for the Moss Vale Magic who will now start planning for next years assault on the NSW Waratah League Competition.
- Kevin Campbell