Dominic Cremasco jumps high for a basket.
Dominic Cremasco jumps high for a basket. Kerri Burns-Taylor

One point separates teams in final

LOSING is never easy but when it is by only one point and comes down to a close referees' call, it is even harder.

Saturday night saw the Warwick Wildcats fight to the end in the Ag Requirements Basketball League preliminary final.

Not beaten by Tenterfield this season, Warwick went in as favourites.

Unfortunately they came out on the losing end by one point.

The game was intense from the first minute the ball was in the air but it simply wasn't to be.

Tenterfield broke away to a 10-point lead in the first quarter and the Wildcats pulled it back.

Time and again the lead changed.

The fourth quarter was neck-and-neck.

Every time the teams went up the court they scored.

Ryan Jefferies for Tenterfield was hot from the three-point line but so was James Legan for the Wildcats.

Jefferies was not able to shoot from inside at all as the Wildcats were able to shut him down in the key but from the three, he had their number.

In the end, a controversial three-pointer was the difference between the two sides.

This was not an easy game to referee by any means with all players from both teams showing passion and intensity for the entire game.

Declan Starasts took to the court with fire in his eyes, determined to get a couple of weeks off until the grand final.

He was hot - almost everything he touched turned into points.

Tenterfield realised they had to do something to shut Starasts down and started to manhandle him whenever he had the ball.

It didn't work.

It is difficult to name any key player and the support was amazing.

Every single player on the Wildcats stepped up to the mark for this game.

Snowy Quinn was being pummelled up and down the court but was showing Tenterfield how it was done.

Shannon Slatter, unwell when taking the court, stepped up and played excellent defence and was pulling down the boards.

Coach Jeff Clark obviously wasn't happy with the outcome of the game but was consoled by the fact his team would play again before the final.

Assistant coach Page said that they would use this loss to fire up for the next game.

It's off to Toowoomba on December 3 to play off in the elimination against whoever wins out of the now rescheduled Highfields versus Protech match-up.

In reserve grade, Warwick Green beat Warwick White by two points.

Green is in the grand final and White plays in a fortnight.


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