The Maitland Mustangs can take a huge bow after a magnificent 108-81 win over the Sydney Comets in their historic home final at the Maitland Federation Centre on Saturday night.
Home-town boy Daniel Millburn was the star up forward with a game-high 30 points as well as seven rebounds and three assists, captain Terrell Turner made 25 with six rebounds and six assists, and Isaiah Ellis scored 21 and had five assists.
Ellis' impact was huge particularly in defence where he pulled in 13 rebounds, had two steals and an incredible six blocks.
But his mere presence was the intangible as he owned the paint continually forcing the Comets to shoot from distance and battle for every point.
The entire Mustangs bench got time on the court and made contributions. The squad lifted to a man with James McAnaulty's injection into play late in the first quarter with his three, three-pointers allowing Maitland to establish an early break on the Comets which the Mustangs progressively stretched.
With the bench firing the starting five played with even more freedom and command and Jack Edwards, Josh Clifford, Sam Huggins and McAnaulty played strong support roles as Millburn, Ellis and Turner produced a highlights reel of special plays across the night.
The huge crowd played their part as well and Turner thanked the fans for their support, urging them to make their way down the M1 for next weekend's semi-final and grand-final play-offs series on the Central Coast.
Every vantage point was taken as the crowd spilled behind the court at either end to savour a memorable night.
- Full story to come