Blazers fire up to become 2022/23 HBA senior men’s premiers after close contest against Cowboys

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
The Blazers are the 2022/23 Harvey Basketball Association senior men's champions.
Camera IconThe Blazers are the 2022/23 Harvey Basketball Association senior men's champions. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

The Blazers are the 2022/23 Harvey Basketball Association senior men’s competition premiers after the kings of the ordinary season took home the grand final crown.

It was a close match on Tuesday night, the side managed to get home despite a last minute rally by the Cowboys.

In front of a large crowd at the Harvey Recreation and Cultural Centre, it looked like the Blazers may have been suffering from performance anxiety with the side behind by a few points for most of the first half.

A number of free throw opportunities were granted to the Cowboys’ Anthony Martella, Jake Chapman and Ethan Carbone early in the half which hurt the Blazers, though Nicholas Zappia was also given an opportunity to strike back.

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The Blazers did not lead until nearly two-thirds of the way through the match, which grew to a five-point advantage with three minutes left before the break.

Cowboys players made sure that margin was reduced before half time, closing the gap to 31-28.

Within two minutes of the second half starting, the Cowboys were back in front with a razor-thin one point lead.

It was short lived, with the Blazers back in front within a few minutes.

Not all was lost for the Cowboys, with the Blazers’ lead remaining an easily reachable two points for about 10 minutes.

Their task became more difficult when the margin blew out to 48-41 with 11 minutes to go.

It did narrow slightly during the following five minutes, before the Blazers took hold and extended their lead to 56-47 with less than four minutes left.

Cowboys players did close the margin in the dying minutes, but free throws given to Dylan Chatley and Nicholas Zappia sealed their fate.

The Blazers won with a 59-56 margin over the Cowboys.

While Jake Chapman’s 22 point bonanza made him the best scorer for the game, it was the large gap between him and the Cowboys’ second highest scorer Ethan Carbone (11 points) which ultimately cost the side when it counted.

The Blazers had three players who scored in double digits: Callum Heap (19 points), Dylan Chatley (14 points) and Nicholas Zappia (10 points).

In the end of season awards, there was a tie between the Mavericks’ Jaxon Cuxson and the Blazers’ Callum Heap as the runner-up for the season’s most valuable player award.

However, the main accolade was taken out by Cowboys player Jake Chapman, who also took home the Lockie Hernaman Memorial Award after scoring 285 points during the season.

Fellow Blazer Dylan Chatley was recognised as the most valuable player during the grand final.

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