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Country championship glory for Albany after downing rivals Bunbury in under-16 boys grand final

Albany Basketball Association showed they have a bright future after winning the under-16 boys championship division title against rivals Bunbury earlier this year.

In week four of the annual Basketball WA Country Championships played in late February, Albany toppled Bunbury in the grand final to secure the silverware with an exciting group of young talent.

Albany started the under-16 boys division strongly as they downed Kalgoorlie by a point and then beat Geraldton 54-34.

However losses to Bunbury (33-47) and then Australind (22-50) had their title quest looking shaky.

In their semi-final Albany produced a terrific performance to eliminate Australind, winning 31-22.

That sent Albany into the grand final and a showdown against archrivals Bunbury for the championship division title.

Bunbury led by two points at half-time and it was as much as five points in favour of Bunbury early in the second half but Albany dug deep.

A run of eight straight points from Jesse Carman and Max Grimes helped Albany snatch the lead and despite several strong challenges from Bunbury late in the game they held on by three points in a memorable finish.

Billy McRae hit two long range baskets in his 12-point game and was duly named grand final most valuable player for his outstanding efforts at both ends of the court.

Harry Watters and Grimes were also very influential with 11 points each and Natale Trichilo added seven in the 48-45 triumph.

Coached by Adrian Masters, the team overcame plenty of adversity across the weekend to be crowned champions and only had six players take the court in the decider.

McRae was rewarded for a stellar tournament, named in the under-16 boys All Stars team.

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