GREEN Team are the inaugural Wine Country Masters women’s champions after a 59-20 victory over Cessnock Harlequins in the final played at Cessnock Toyota Stadium on Sunday.
A who’s who of former Newcastle Hunters representative team-mates, including Cessnock products Ros Wells-Davies and Cheryl Wills and Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Green Team went through the tournament undefeated.
They accounted for Sydney team Boomers 59-10, Harlequins 47-23 and Newcastle team Whinos 73-16 on their way to the final.
The winning Green Team was: Erica James, Nuatali Nelmes, Cindy Mascord, Cheryl Wills, Ros Wells-Davies, Lorraine Keith, Christine Rankin, Maree Breen, Brooke Harris and Dimity Taylor.
Sydney YMCA won the men’s final, pipping Newcastle team The Clams 40-39 in a cliffhanger decided in the last seconds.
Both teams were unbeaten heading into the decider and the lead changed hands several times throughout the game.
A three-point basket gave The Clams a 39-38 lead with less than 10 seconds remaining, Sydney YMCA edged back in front with 2.2 seconds on the clock, then a shot at the buzzer by The Clams rimmed out as time expired.
“It was an exciting finish to our first Wine Country Masters,” Cessnock Toyota Stadium general manager Brett Keeble said.
“To have teams travel from Sydney and from throughout the Hunter region to support our first tournament was fantastic, and a great result for Cessnock and the local community.
“We are very grateful for the support of local sponsors Petersons Wines and 7-Eleven Cessnock and, of course, our naming-rights sponsors Cessnock Toyota, and we hope to make the Wine Country Masters even bigger and better next year.”
Green Team and Sydney YMCA received a mixed dozen of red and white wine courtesy of sponsors Petersons Wines as their prize.
Meanwhile, the Glencore Junior Classic will attract junior basketballers from around NSW to compete against players from Cessnock and the Hunter Valley at Cessnock Toyota Stadium this weekend.
The tournament is open to boys’ and girls’ teams in three age groups – 11 years and under, 14 years and under and 17 years and under.
“We wanted to conduct a junior tournament to help promote and develop basketball in Cessnock and the Hunter Valley,” Keeble said.