Blazers claim A grade double

THE Blazers A men's and A women's teams both held the championship silverware aloft on Saturday night after posting scintillating victories in their respective Mount Isa Basketball Association 2012 winter season grand finals.

In the A men's game, Blazers shifted into overdrive in the final period after captain Ray Browning went off injured to rack up a 29-point quarter, streaking ahead on the scoreboard to seal victory against Home Boiz 80-61.

Shane Wilkie landed the first points of the game for Home Boiz with a gentle lay-up in the first minute but their opponent quickly took control on the court, dominating the rebounds and clearing the key quickly to lead 20-15 at quarter time.

Home Boiz rallied in the second period and used momentum and quick passing to make it a one-point game with five minutes to play in the quarter, but long three-pointers to Brown

and Zachary Hodgetts as the clock counted down put Blazers ahead 38-30 at half-time.

Magical passing inside the key was the highlight of the third period, with Blazers players at times sending the ball between three and four sets of hands in incredible set plays.

Paul Scarsi landed nine points in the quarter for Home Boiz while Craig Dunn found range with a pair of three-pointers to get their team within two baskets at three-quarter time.

When the buzzer sounded, Blazers led 51-47 and the stage was set for a thrilling 10 minutes of basketball to decide the championship.

Blazers came out firing in the final period and showed they were hungry to get their hands on the trophy, quickly piling on the points to take a 15-point lead when play was stopped after Browning sustained a head blow and began bleeding profusely.

With the Blazers captain wrapped up like a mummy on the bench, Home Boiz seemed to sense they could capitalise with two minutes, 45 seconds to play and put on six points in quick succession before Blazers bounced back to show they intended to win the grand final, with or without their leader on the court.

Hodgetts, Jeremiah Howgate and Leslie Dempsey took control inside the key - and for Hodgetts, from beyond it - as the team muscled up in defence and put the result beyond doubt in front of a vocal crowd at Sunset Stadium.

In his game-high tally of 27 points, Hodgetts landed an incredible six three-pointers and was justly rewarded with the most valuable player award for the match.

Browning led by example and contributed 24 points, including two long shots, before he left the court, while Howgate (10) and Dempsey (8) were also instrumental in the victory.

For Home Boiz, Scarsi again showed why he is feared by opponents when he is within shooting range and capped off a strong season with 21 points.

Showing three-pointers weren't the exclusive domain of the championship team, Aaron Quilty (13 points) and Dunn (12 points) landed two and four respectively for Home Boiz.

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