LOCAL wheelchair basketball Paralympians Kylie Gauci (Rooty Hill) and Sarah Stewart (Shalvey) have finished the 2013 Women's National Wheelchair Basketball League competition without their respective teams winning the premiership title but clear winners as the Most Valuable Player in their respective point categories.
Gauci (Stacks Goudkamp Bears) won the award as the best Two-Point Player in the national competition but her major award as the competition's Most Valuable Player underlined her outstanding contribution for her team throughout the season.
Stewart (Sydney Uni Flames) played in a far weaker team than Gauci but nevertheless played like a colossus among the vast array of higher-point players — most of whom are her team-mates from past Australian teams.
Stewart won the award as best Three-Point Player in the competition and continually scored and rebounded like a higher-point player throughout the season — a stunning performance at this level of wheelchair basketball.
The Flames ended the year in fourth position, dropping the third/fourth playoff game against perennial premiers Victoria by 59-42.
The Bears were the first team to reach the Grand Final, only to lose the title-decider 43-40 to the Be Active Western Stars from Western Australia in a heart-breaker.
Major Semi-Final: Stacks Goudkamp Bears 62 (Kylie Gauci 18 points, 12 assists) def Victoria 40.
Minor Semi-Final: Be Active Western Stars 66 def Sydney Uni Flames 34 (Sarah Stewart 12 points, 8 boards, 5 assists).
Preliminary Final: Be Active Western Stars 48 def Victoria 32.
3rd / 4th Playoff: Victoria 59 def Sydney Uni Flames 42 (Sarah Stewart 24 points, 15 boards).
GRAND FINAL: Be Active Western Stars 43 (Amber Merritt 20 points, 16 boards) def Stacks Goudkamp Bears 40 (Kylie Gauci 6 points, 5 boards, 6 assists).