A tightly contested 2018 SEABL Grand Final saw the Hobart Chargers prevail 72-58 winners over Nunawading Spectres as Mathiang Muo led the way with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Muo was awarded the Hugh McMenamin medal as all of the Chargers starters reached double figures in scoring. Hobart’s defence was the catalyst for their victory as they held the Spectres to just 27% shooting for the contest.
The game began with the two teams trading buckets as Craig Moller and Dain Swetalla both converted on tough drives to the bucket.
Swetalla lifted the large Spectres crowd moments later with a tip-in but the Chargers continued to excel shooting the ball from mid-range, keeping the scores tight mid-way through the first.
Muo had the hot hand early as he connected on a number of contested mid-range jumpers to take his first quarter tally to six but a pair of triples from Matt O’Hea and Andrew Steel gave the Spectres a three-point quarter-time lead.
Simon Conn finally got his first points three minutes into the second period, to give the Spectres a 22-18 lead.
The game was a tight defensive tussle in the first half, as both teams regularly used up the shot clock while a couple of offensive boards saw Hobart rewarded on the scoreboard.
17-year-old Jack Stanwix then converted on a three for Hobart with under a minute to go in the half, drawing the Chargers level at 32-32 at the main break.
After a quiet first half, Conn came alive in the third period as he scored the Spectres first eight points of the period and it looked like Nunawading had the momentum.
However, Muo was there to stand in his way and then BJ Radcliffe, Stanwix and Tre Nichols put together an 11-0 run for Hobart to finally blow the match wide open.
Leading by 11, Craig Moller then sent the Hobart bench into raptures with a mid-range basket on the siren to give his side a commanding 55-42 lead at the end of three.
Coming into the last quarter the Spectres had shot just 2-21 from beyond the arc but that did not deter Tom Wright, who calmly knocked down a three to open the final period.
Minutes later, Conn found himself open from downtown and knocked down the shot to bring the deficit back to seven but free-throws from Muo calmed the situation while a swift drive to the hoop from Nichols pushed the margin back out into double-digits.
The final minutes were desperate from Nunawading as they heaved up several attempts but the score was beyond their reach as they ran out 72-58 victors.
Defence had been the catalyst for the Chargers all night as they had held the Spectres to under 30% shooting with only Conn able to break free for 21 points and 17 rebounds.
For Hobart, Mathiang Muo led the way with 20 points and 14 rebounds while Craig Moller had a double-double of 12 points and 13 boards.