IT took until the final round of the season, but the North Gold Coast Seahawks has snapped a 10-game losing streak to breathe a drop of life into their 2021 Queensland State League campaign.
The Seahawks have struggled to remain competitive all season but refused to end their 2020 campaign winless, using every ounce of remaining energy to walk away 70-63 winners over USC Rip City on Saturday night.
In front of a vocal home crowd at Runaway Bay Indoor Stadium, the Seahawks stretched their lead to 15 points in the third quarter before Rip City went on several runs to level the game in the fourth quarter.
It was then up to Seahawks juniors Jesse Lomax and Josh Smith, who both hit clutch three-pointers late to extend the margin once more.
Smith sunk a free throw with just under twenty seconds to go and it was then coach Bradley Kann knew his side had it in the bag.
“I knew at that point things would have to go pretty pear-shaped for us to lose but I knew how much the boys wanted it and they weren’t going to let it slip,” he said.
“Those guys (Lomax and Smith) have been working and developing for the Seahawks since they were playing Under-21s so it was a moment where all of their sacrifice and hard work game off.
“It’s been a testing season physically and mentally but our focus the whole season was on getting better and it was reward for hard work.
“I know I’m speaking like we’ve won a championship but it was such good reward.”
Inklings of a Seahawks resurgence bubbled to the fore last week when the only winless side in the competition matched it with the ladder leading RedCity Roar only to suffer a narrow 97-86 defeat.
Without Jesse Lomax and Jordan Baleikatuba, Alma-Spencer Taleni played through tonsillitis and Loseli Tupou was injured in the opening minutes but the Seahawks nearly conjured a miraculous victory.
“Our focus, we weren’t going to be the team that got close to good teams every week, we wanted to get over the hump,” Kann said.
“It was a good character game because we had a chance to show that grit and determination last week and it shone through again.
“They had to play out the final few minutes with their best players on the court which is a good sign.”
The Seahawks women ended their season with a 68-49 loss to USC Rip City.