By James Coman
The Tuggeranong Vikings and the Weston Creek Woden Dodgers are the 2016 Men’s and Woman’s Premier 1 basketball champions, respectively, after they won their Grand Finals last Saturday (17 September 2016) at the Belconnen Stadium.
The Vikings, who took out the title last year, are now back-to-back winners of the Premier 1 Men’s competition, beating the West Money Mechanics Magpies 90-79 in a hard-fought match up.
The Dodgers can now call themselves the Premier 1 Women’s champions after holding off a fast-finishing Norths Basketball club, 72-66 in a close match-up.
In front of a packed house at Belconnen Stadium, the Dodgers and Norths were the first to battle it out for the title.
The Dodgers jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter thanks to Carlie Smith who recorded five points in the opening few minutes.
Finding it hard to match the Dodgers quick ball movement, Norths quickly fell behind to an 11-point deficit after the first quarter.
The Dodgers brought this momentum into the second period, as they continued to build their lead over the Norths, ending up with a 40-25 advantage going into half time.
But after the break the Norths started to find the form that took them the grand final.
The Gungahlin-based team held the Dodgers to only 12 points in the third quarter while Isabelle and Callie Bourne combined in offence to bring the game within nine points as the final quarter got underway.
With only five minutes remaining before the final siren, the resilient Norths got within four points of the lead and looked set to upset the Dodgers who finished in first place during the regular season.
However, the Dodgers were too good on the day, managing to hold off the Norths’ comeback and went home winners, 72-66.
The Men’s match started much the same way after the Vikings shot-out to an eight-point lead after only three minutes.
However, Wests were quick to respond and managed to reduce the gap to just two points thanks to some sharp ball movement.
By midway through the second quarter, both teams were stuck in an arm wrestle with neither side able to get the upper hand on the other.
Wests managed to find a small advantage after they landed two shots from beyond the three-point line, to give them a slim 41-38 lead going into the third quarter.
As the crowd echoed around Belconnen Stadium, both teams started to lift midway through the third period. With the scores locked at 48-all the match became more physical as they tried to bash each other out of the game.
As the final 10 minutes of the season got underway, the scores were tied 62-all, and it was still anyone’s game.
Struggling to find points in the middle, the Vikings started spreading their attack and turned to their sharpshooters on the perimeter.
With only four minutes remaining in the match, the move paid off as the Vikings started their grand final winning run.
The Vikings landed three consecutive three-pointers within a minute to blow their lead out to six points.
From here the Vikings ran rampant over the Wests, as they blew the gap out to 11 points with only three minutes remaining.
Wests had no answers to the Vikings’ offence in the final few minutes as they cruised home winners 90-79 for the second year running.
Please click here to view Round Wraps from the 2016 Premier League Season.