NWBU. The Tall Timbers Smithton Saints ended the North West Basketball Union Under 22 season with a thrilling home game on Friday.
As the Saints men and women finished the season sixth and seventh on the ladder respectively, Smithton forfeited a finals appearance but had spectators out of their seats in the final match.
Taking on Somerset Heat, the Smithton Saints women started proceedings.
Makala Bingley put the first score on the board with a three pointer for the home side followed by Micah Simpson with two points soon after.
Smithton pushed to build on this momentum throughout the first quarter and secure a margin of 14 points by the break.
The Saints continued to heat up and hold onto the lead in the second quarter as Somerset slowly added to the scoreboard.
By half time, 12 points separated Smithton from the opposition.
The visitors caught up in the third term, separated by two points at three-quarter time before an intense fourth quarter where the lead was shared between the opponents.
Down by two points with less than 10 seconds to go, Bingley threw a two point shot to send the game into overtime, drawn on 53 points.
With five minutes to play, Smithton rallied to produce their strongest game and stay ahead of Somerset for the most part, as Heat began to take the lead in the last two minutes.
Smithton’s Bree Birtwistle made a two point throw with 23 seconds to go, providing the home side with a one point advantage to carry out the game and claim the victory, 61 to 60.
In the men’s match, Saint Bryce Walters started the scoring with two points.
Scoring shot from end-to-end throughout the first and second quarters before the Saints began to gain a slight upperhand in the third, heading into the break 65 to 62.
Smithton stormed the court in the fourth, dominating the scoreboard through Marshall Evans, Joeli Lakonaivalu, Jordan Williams and Walters.
With one minute remaining, Heat attempted to reduce the margin however the Saints held on to the game to be victorious, 89 to 79.