Tigers avoid Magic’s spell in Moss Vale

THE Kennedy’s Tours Shoalhaven Tigers have claimed the Waratah League division two youth men’s minor premiership, after they demolished the Moss Vale Magic 114-51 in Saturday’s final regular season match.

Despite the game being played at the Moss Vale Basketball Stadium, the Tigers jumped out of the gates on fire, racing to a 10-nil lead before the hosts called a timeout.

Led up front by skipper Riley O’Shannessy and swingmen Bruce Ozolins and Brendan Sampson, the young cubs stamped their authority and showed the Moss Vale crowd why they are the league leaders and a legit title contender.

The cubs continued to build the pressure on the mountain men, with guards Brayden Morris and Luke Smith forcing the Magic into costly turnovers, while converting at the other end.

The visitors were on a roll, silencing the home crowd and taking a comfortable 34 point lead (55-21) into the major break.

The second half was a mirror image of the first, with the Tigers piling on the points while continuing to build the pressure through their defensive efforts.

Coach Scott Balsar was able to rotate his bench into the game giving them all valuable minutes in the last regular season game.

“It was pleasing to be able to play everyone in our final regular season game, before the finals,” Balsar said.

“The best thing was they didn’t let me down, by actually increasing our margin of victory.”

In the 63-point thumping, the Tigers were led by Sampson, who top scored with 29 points.

Sampson was well supported by O’Shannessy (20 points), Morris (18), Ozolins (17) and Kyle Leslie (11), who all scored in double digits.

“This was one of our better games this season – there was a bit of hype around the game but that was quickly squashed with our impressive start,” Balsar said.

“The fact that we went on to win the game, by a record margin of 63 points, was just fantastic.

“There is a strong rivalry between the two clubs and a long history, so to get them twice this season was great.

“It’s a credit to the boys – they put the work in each week and have bought into my system of play.”

Balsar’s troops will now turn their attentions to assault on the finals campaign, in a hope to bring another banner back to the Tigers Den.

“Our focus is now on the final series, in two weeks time, where we will meet the winner of the of the elimination final between Hornsby Spiders Green and St George Saints,” Balsar said.

The finals weekend is on August 18 and 19 at Hills.

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