Horsham Hornets grand finals produce mixed results

THERE was ecstasy and agony at the Horsham Basketball Stadium on Saturday night as the Hornets women won their first ever premiership but the men lost a grand final.

The women were crowned champions of the Country Basketball League south-west conference after overcoming the previously undefeated Portland Coasters 93-70.

The men started as favourites to claim Horsham’s second premiership of the night but were outplayed by the Mount Gambier Lakers in a thrilling three-point loss.

PHOTOS: Horsham Hornets grand finals

A capacity crowd of about 300 people packed the stadium for both matches and made plenty of noise for the home teams.

Horsham Amateur Basketball Association president Dean Lakin said it was a great night for Horsham basketball.

“From the association point of view, to have both sides in the grand final and playing at home was phenomenal,” he said.

“To have such a big crowd there making all that noise was sensational.

“It was very full and I don’t think we could have fit anyone else in.”

“To have such a big crowd there making all that noise was sensational. It was very full and I don’t think we could have fit anyone else in.” - Horsham Amateur Basketball Association president Dean Lakin

The women were expected to have a tough match against Portland but overcame a rocky start to run away with a 23-point win.

Young Hornet Chloe Bibby was named the conference’s most valuable player and best on court in the final.

Lakin said the premiership for Horsham’s women in their first year in the competition was a big achievement.

“The women did really well to win like they did – they made it look easy in the end,” he said.

“It was a fantastic effort and the fact that there were so many young girls in the team made it even better.

“There were seven kids under 18 playing in the final and they all contributed really well so they have a bright future.

“There’s definitely a bit of talent there.”

Playing after the women, the Hornets men never led against Mount Gambier in their grand final.

A late flurry of baskets brought Horsham within a point, but a desperation shot from playing coach Tim Pickert to send the match into overtime was wide of the mark.

Lakin said everyone at the stadium got their money’s worth despite the Hornets men losing.

“It certainly was an entertaining match and when they got it back to one point with 10 seconds to go it was very exciting,” he said.

“They really got the crowd into it which was good and even the Mount Gambier guys commented after the game that playing in front of a crowd like that was good.”

With the Country Basketball League season over, Lakin said the association had no immediate plans to re-join the winter Big V competition which the Hornets withdrew from last year.

“We’re not at that level at the moment to be able to field a Big V side,” he said.

“We’ll concentrate on CBL for another year or so and hopefully we can start to get the players back into the Hornets and go back to Big V because that’s our aim.

“It’s about trying to keep kids playing basketball and not lose as many to football, and the results the Hornets are having now will definitely help.”

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