Nathan roars with Tigers
By ADAM HICKS email@example.com THE Crosswell family were crowded around their television set in Ballina as son Nathan and the Melbourne Tigers battled the Sydney Kings in game three of the National Basketball League grand final series on Sunday.
With 19 seconds to go, the Tigers were down by a point. In a tense finish Bryan and Terri Crosswell gasped as American import Sean Lampley hit a three-pointer to steal a win and a 2-1 series lead for the Tigers.
"We had the family down to watch it. We were all standing there yelling at the TV," Bryan said. "It was a ripper.
"You didn't know who was going to win until it was in the bottom of the net.
"They played exceptionally well, until they had a lapse and then they had to hang in there tough and just got there."
The win sees the Tigers one game from clinching the series and Nathan's first NBL title.
Bryan who, along with son Dion, played in Ballina's A-grade semi-final against Byron last night, said the last-minute win gave the Tigers a phsychological advantage.
"It was a huge mental blow to Sydney," he said. "This is a five-game series. They've already played three games in a week. It starts to become a mental game.
"They (Tigers) are very confident especially after that win, but you've got to remember that Sydney has got Brian Goorjian as a coach, the most successful coach ever."
Bryan and Terri, along with Nathan's siblings Dion and Shari will fly to Melbourne today and take a taxi direct from the airport to tonight's match.
"We're hoping we're going to be there when they win, otherwise we have the one on Friday in Sydney," Bryan said.
"It's a lifetime dream for Nathan. We've supported him and been on the ride with him the whole trip.
"Nathan was on the phone as soon as the game finished just to say how it went and to tell us to book our tickets."
Since The Northern Star caught up with Crosswell earlier in the season, the 1.9m guard has gone on to earn a starting spot in the team and averages around 25 minutes per game.
"We all think he looks good," Bryan said. "He wouldn't be starting if he wasn't doing the job.
"They're a pretty tough team with a lot of good players. Their strength is in the bench. Their second five could be the starting team in any other club.
Both Melbourne and Sydney are very similar in that respect. Each time they've played this year there's been nothing in it."