3 May 2021

With the ball seemingly arrested in motion, there in dispute and dead centre of the court. Fans hold a collective breath with 14 seconds on the clock and a 1-point Tropics lead.

It’s the opening night of May madness, a month where teams in the league either qualify a finals berth or surrender to the cause.

Showcasing the night was a battle on court 3 between Wasted Potential [1] and The Tropics [9].

Off the back of last week’s upset of the season, Blake and his team looked poised to take it up to league leaders Wasted Potential.

The game would expose one of two facts: a thumping loss solidifies fears of a team lost in time.
a second scalp in as many weeks, and the Tropics are well and truly back in town.

If the ladder miracle were to be realised, the Tropics would have to hold the top side to their lowest score of the season.

And that they did.

Not only would the Tropics clamp down another title contender, but they would also take things to a new level on offence. Flicking and cannoning the ball around the arc, offering Wasted Potential no time to set up or find rhythm on defence.

Momentum did, however, precede against the Tropics.

After opening a quick-fire 4-point lead, Wasted Potential looked out of reach.

Until a long 3 from vice-captain Dan ‘Bam-The Man’ Romano released the pressure valve on his brave side.

Some more fluent ball movement and Stelmach joined the party. Dropping a flush 3-pointer from tight in the shoulder.

Wasted Potential responded as expected and for the remaining of the first half, the contest grappled.

With the Tropics sharing more of the load on offense, Cuthbert took advantage of a rare look from range. Completing a trio of 3s from the home-side, Cuthbert lifted the lid off, giving the Tropics a 4-point lead at the break.

The intermission appeared to disadvantage the Tropics, with a fire-scare coming from the locker rooms. Cameras caught a glimpse of the players fleeing from a swell of smoke right before the second half.

Wasted Potential capitalised, turning the deficit into a 1-point lead.

With a collapsed lung and a lifetime of passive smoker damage, Tsonas puffed up a momentum swinging 3. And like a mouldy old durry, Wasted Potential seemed down for the count.

With Krause and Cuthbert combining like times of old, the backdoor flung wide open with vintage links to the rim.

You do not just happen upon top spot, with Wasted Potential proving why they’re the team to beat this season. Carburn dragged his side out of dismay, transferring a 6-point deficit into a 2-point lead.

1 minute remains in a contest that shapes up as the game of the season.

Cuthbert levels and the leaders break away from the baseline at full speed.

Wasted Potential misfire with Stelmach swallowing arguably the most important defensive rebound of his career.

The ball is pinging and swinging like it had done all night.

Tropics lose possession with 30 seconds on the clock until a desperate chase down and steal from Tsonas retrieves the ball back into Tropics hands.

He assists Romano with 15s on the clock. Tropics find a 2-point lead.

Wasted Potential boil-over and call a time out. The reality hits them and they begin to squabble within their huddle. They have one chance to score, and with Cuthbert blocking shots like they’re return travellers at the W.A border, that chance seemed fleeting.

The ball is thrown in, it deflects and seems to STOP IN TIME. Although maybe it did, as Wasted Potential blatantly deceived the score-clock.

Romano would collect a contested ball of his most heroic yet.

His inspirational courage would be unwound seconds later by a game-stealing shot.

A 2-pointer by Carburn would fall at a time that shouldn’t have ticked.

The Tropics were robbed of a win for the ages. But never of the immense pride shown tonight on Court 3.

Bryce Heartbroke-Smith. TROPICS media.