In a tournament that welcomed well over 100 school teams from all parts of Australia, it was in the Championship Division where the action reached a crescendo on Friday as the top school teams battled for title bragging rights.
In the Boys Championship Division we saw the local stars from Caulfield Grammar take on the team from our nation’s capital, Lake Ginninderra.
Sporting several AIS scholarship holders in the squad, including exciting young prospect Dante Exum (30 points 10 rebounds), Lake Ginninderra jumped out of the blocks to establish a 25-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Inspired by the leading duo of Josh Oswald (24 points 21 rebounds) and Michael Luxford (32 points 8 rebounds 9 assists) the Caulfield Grammar team responded, cutting the lead to just one point heading into what would be a classic final quarter.
Baskets became harder to find as the teams closed in on the final buzzer, with nothing separating the two schools at the end of regulation, meaning the Gold Medal game would go to overtime.
In overtime it was all Caulfield Grammar as they ran away 81-71 victors to take the Gold, while Unley High School claimed Bronze with a 78-69 win over Sydney Boys High.
The Girls Championship Division final was a one-sided affair as John Paul College claimed Gold with 86-49 win over Rowville Senior Girls.
The John Paul College team raced to a 25-9 lead at quarter time, setting the tone for the game from the outset. The lead continued to grow through the game as triple-double from Kalani Purcell (25 points 18 rebounds 10 assists) led the way and ensured the lead moved beyond 30 points.
A strong second-half showing from Rowville added respect to the final result, but John Paul College claimed a deserved Gold Medal victory.
Mountain Creek State High School won Bronze, defeating Rosny College 66-44.
For full results and stats from the Championship and all invitational divisions be sure to visit the 2012 Australian Schools Championship website: http://www.asc2012.basketball.net.au/.