Saturday night was celebration time for the Sunbury Jets’ youth league women, as they claimed the Big V youth league division 2 championship.
Having claimed game one easily against Blackburn Vikings, the Jets were hoping to wrap up the series in game two on Saturday night at Boardman Stadium.
But the Vikings made sure the Jets didn’t have it all their own way, with the match going down to the dying minutes.
The Jets held on to seal the club’s first youth women’s league championship title with a 52-48 win.
Jets coach Andrew Seidel said he was thrilled for the girls, who started slowly before dominating the second and third quarters.
Then the Vikings hit back late.
“They threw everything at us but the kitchen sink,” Seidel said.
“There was a few nerves early on, as we were in the same situation a couple of weeks ago. We settled in the second quarter and were back level at half-time. We were reinforcing to the girls they were even despite not playing well. We were resilient enough to hold them off.”
Seidel said there had been more nerves very late in the game, with the Vikings reducing the margin to two points with 21 seconds to go.
“They were really coming hard at us,” he said.
“We had to keep playing the right players. All the girls were happy that we got the result.”
Chloe Angove, who shared a slow start with her teammates, top scored with 21 points.
She was named most valuable grand final player, averaging 17 points across the two games.
The championship will push the Jets’ credentials to be promoted to youth league division 1 next season. That decision is in the hands of the league.
Seidel said it was something that needed to happen for the development of the club.
“We had to win a championship,” he said. “Hopefully, it entices other players to come play for us. It’s hard when you’re in the bottom division to attract players.
“A lot of young girls are playing elsewhere. We want to get those girls back to Sunbury.”
Seidel said he wanted to continue coaching the side next season.
In his three seasons of coach, the Jets have won a premiership and played in a grand final and a preliminary final.
Jets coaching director Kennedy Kereama said he was very proud of the youth girls side.
“The players have the chance to be promoted to division 1 and that’s what we wanted,” he said.