St Patrick's College basketballers experienced the full gamut of emotions in consecutive finals at the Northern regional high school championships on Sunday.
Having contributed the most number of teams to the two-day titles at Elphin, the college reached two of the four finals.
And after being on the wrong end of a one-point loss to Scotch Oakburn in the grade 7-8 girls' final, the grade 9-10 boys claimed their title in dominant fashion against a powerful Riverside team.
Riverside's consolation was a 54-31 victory over Launceston Church Grammar in the grade 7-8 boys' tournament while Kings Meadows beat Scotch 40-36 in 9-10 girls' final.
More than 1000 players were involved in three simultaneous regional tournaments with 52 teams taking part in the Northern titles while 45 competed in Kingston and 38 in Devonport.
The top three teams in division one of each competition progressed to the state championships which are also to be held in Launceston on November 23-24.
The grade 7-8 girls' decider looked destined for Scotch Oakburn until a thrilling final minute.
Down by five points, St Pat's sank two quickfire baskets to make it a one-point ball game with 15 seconds remaining but a last-second shot bounced back off the rim to the obvious relief of the Scotch players.
Having lost their group stage game to Riverside by four points earlier in the day, St Pat's Green dominated their grand final rematch.
They led by as much as 22-6 before Riverside stirred, nailing back-to-back three-pointers late on to narrow the margin to five points, but St Pat's held on 49-40.
Teacher and coach Simon Austen said the tournament was a great opportunity for state and independent schools to compete against each other and he hoped the adversaries would meet again at the state titles.
"Riverside are always a strong school and it's great to come up against them and play the best schools in the North," he said.
"They've got three high quality players and Sejr Deans is an Australian representative so to keep that team to 40 points is a credit to the boys. It's great for the kids to represent their schools and get to play with their mates."
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