PACIFIC Coast Christian School's Open Boys Basketball team has finished second in the Christian Schools Sports Association (CSSA) state basketball championships in Sydney.
Despite losing point guard Matthew Nicholson to a broken hand just four days before the titles, Pacific Coast defeated much bigger, fancied opponents to finish runners-up
Coached by former NBL player Pero Cameron, teacher and fellow coach Malcolm Muir said the side, led by captain Cameron Leonard, was committed after taking out basketball powerhouse Coffs Harbour Christian School to qualify for the state championships.
Muir said the side had trained hard for the September titles and had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve.
"Some of these schools have big development programs but we had a pretty clear focus,” Muir said.
"Our basketball development program goes all year round, it's not just seasonal, we were training up to four times a week.
"I was telling them the whole time they were ready and could win it.”
They almost did, after taking their spot in the final against Sydney school Inaburra following a heart-stopping, last-gasp semi-final win over Pacific Hills.
Down one point with just three seconds left on the clock, school captain Eli Gordon was fouled. Gordon stepped to the line to drain two free-throws and secure a grand-final berth.
"We talked about how important every shot and every free throw was and that's what it came down to,” Muir said
Pacific Coast were leading Inaburra in the second half of the grand final, before going down 36-25 to end their golden run.
"I'm proud of the boys' for their commitment, that's why they got there,” Muir said.