17/04/2024

32 points from Jordon Crawford gave the JackJumpers their first NBL championship (Photo: Blair Burns / The Inner Sanctum)

For the first time in their short history, the Tasmania JackJumpers have reached the pinnacle of the NBL. 

Inspired by a perfect 19-point first quarter from Jordon Crawford, the JackJumpers secured an 83-81 win over Melbourne United in enemy territory. 

The championship decider lived up to the same hype generated throughout the Grand Final series, going down to the final seconds. A similar story to that of Game 3, United controlled the momentum for most of the match but would eventually succumb to Tasmania’s never-say-die attitude. 

This time, it was a valiant display from Crawford and Milton Doyle in the final quarter which brought the silverware across the Bass Strait.

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Opening with an 18-8 run, United’s pressure strangled the JackJumpers early, although a four-point play from Crawford helped dictate proceedings. Scoring 27 points in the first half, including 5/5 from deep encapsulated one of the greatest halves in NBL Grand Final history. 

“He [Crawford] was huge,” JackJumpers coach Scott Roth said.

“He showed up big in this game and got the scoreboard ticking over for us which allowed us to stay with us. He was ginormous.”

Despite only scoring five points for the remainder of the match, the damage was done early. Doyle stepped up in the final term, scoring six of his side’s final 10 points. 

Melbourne United almost secured redemption as the final play drew parallels to that of Jack McVeigh’s Game 3 winner. Although Matthew Dellavedova’s half-court heave was unsuccessful as Tasmania won their maiden championship. 

“I can’t wait to share it [the championship] with Tasmania when we arrive. I can’t wait to share it with my family. Just to see them and show my appreciation to my family and to our fans back home,” JackJumpers captain Clint Steindl said.

McVeigh was also crowned the Larry Sengstock Medal as NBL Grand Final MVP. Along with his heroics in Game 3, the forward averaged 17.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. 

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