The Perth Wildcats have defeated the Illawarra Hawks 95-86 in Game Three, making them the 2017 NBL Champions!
It’s the first time the club has gone back-to-back since 1990, and just the second time in their eight titles that they’ve swept the Grand Final series.
In fact, they ended the season on a seven-game winning streak, to go from scraping in to the NBL Finals to league champs.
Bryce Cotton put in the greatest individual performance ever seen in an NBL Grand Final game, scoring 45 points including seven three-pointers.
He was named Grand Final MVP.
Shawn Redhage started on the court in his final NBL game and was impressive, helping the Wildcats to a 12-0 run to start the game.
The stretch proved to be the difference in the game.
The Hawks for their way into the contest in the second and kept scores relatively close for the majority of the night.
Cotton was scoring at will. His 45 came from just 17 shots.
Angus Brandt and Jameel McKay grabbed seven rebounds each – stepping up with starting big man Matt Knight ruled out.
Casey Prather had an outstanding Finals campaign, and ended it with a 17-point game.
Coach Trevor Gleeson now has three championships in four years to his name.
He said having a great group of players around you is why you coach basketball.
“I’m so proud of these guys,” he said.
“We went through the bad times, we had some adversity early in the season and we managed to pull through, get some games, and late we managed to get it together.
“The bigger the game, the more pressure. Our guys step up every single time.
“To go five and zip in the playoffs is unbelievable.”
A capacity crowd if 13,611 attended Grand Final Game Three.
Thank you for your unbelievable support, Red Army!
Illawarra Hawks 86 (Rotnei Clarke 30, AJ Ogilvy 11)