HAWTHORN took its challenge chance to claim the lucky last spot in this weekend’s Medibank National Junior Classic.
The selection committee couldn’t split these sides last week, so it was left up to the Magic and Rangers to settle the score on court to claim the last under-18 boys slot at the Classic.
Early on it looked like Hawthorn wouldn’t be hassled throughout the clash. The Magic flew away through the likes of Noah Dempsey, Periklis Stamatakos and Lachlan Viney
From 19-3 up at quarter time, it seemed like a breeze for the Magic to sweep through the Rangers en route to the Classic.
But nothing is ever that simple.
Dandenong fought back impressively – going to the rack through its two Victoria Metropolitan national championship winners James Spencer and Tyler Robertson.
They slashed the margin through the third term… and at one stage pull ahead in the dying seconds of the quarter.
Hawthorn steadied the ship to right itself by the last siren and take out the 55-51 triumph.
Hawthorn head coach Shawn King was relieved to get his side through to Saturday’s Classic after a nail-biting finish on Friday night.
“It feels really good and went down obviously to the last five seconds of the game, so really happy at the moment,” King said. “I’m really happy more because we executed – Dandenong are a great team and we were pretty lucky just to execute at the end of the game.
“We haven’t had a start like that all season, but I said they were going to come back as they’re a really good team and that’s what teams do – they keep coming.
“It feels pretty good right now – we’ll see how we’re going when we’re playing next week. But we’re really excited and really happy.”
HAWTHORN UNDER 18 BOYS SQUAD
Shawn King (head coach), Spencer Barendregt, Sam Davidson, Noah Dempsey, Marcus Hope, Hamish Hunt, Nicholas Kiefer, Liam Omond, Henry Patel, Periklis Stamatakos, Koen Tchia, Lachlan Viney.