Early charge from Bulls blows Tornadoes off course

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
VideoBBA A-Men grand final final minute

Bulls cruised to another Bunbury Basketball Association A-Men’s title after a relatively straight forward 91-71 victory over Tornadoes Black on Saturday night at the South West Sports Centre.

The match effectively came down to the first five minutes of play, where the reigning premiers got the hot hand offensively and blew the game open with four successful three-point shots from its opening five attempts.

It was a passage of play which had been viewed as critical pre-game, according to Bulls rising star Travis Durnin.

“That passage of play was key for us,” he said. “We were talking about it earlier and we wanted to get off to a hot start.

“We knew if we could stay in front – and then win the quarter by one point at each break –we could come out and win.”

Durnin, who hit a game-high 25 points, had plenty of assistance from Chris Douglas (23 points) and eventual grand final MVP Paddy Phillips.

Black, who never wavered in spirit, fought grimly to pull the margin within reach, however their shots just didn’t land during crucial junctures – no matter how amazing their offensive look was.

Jason Smith played a lone offensive hand for Black with 20 points and was recognised post-game as a 2018-19 BBA A-Men All-Star.

For Durnin, his focus now shifts to a season with the Mandurah Magic in the SBL and he believes the summer playing with the Bulls has done wonders for his confidence heading into the campaign.

“It’s a great opportunity to keep shooting the ball, keep staying positive and working on my defence,” he said.

“Then when I get to that higher level, it picks up even more.”

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