He scored just two points and played a little more than half the game, but feisty Wollongong guard Tyson Demos had a huge say in Friday’s crucial 81-74 home win over Sydney.
Playing 23 minutes, the former Illawarra junior rep missed all three of his field goal attempts and only avoided a ‘‘doughnut’’ (zero points) by making a pair of free throws.
Yet Demos was the only name on Sydney coach Shane Heal’s mind at the post-game press conference.
‘‘Tyson Demos was probably the difference between both teams,’’ Heal said.
‘‘We didn’t have a Tyson Demos tonight.’’
Demos played provider against the Kings, racking up a team-high five assists.
But his impact at the defensive end can’t be measured in statistics.
The 190 centimetre guard was his usual uncompromising self, harassing the Kings into turnovers.
‘‘He was probably their most valuable player,’’ Heal said.
‘‘The 50-50 balls he went and got, he disrupted us ... he played a role that was able to fluster what we did. That’s character, and that’s what you need to win big games.’’
Demos has been solid if not spectacular since his elevation into the starting five in place of the injured Lance Hurdle.
‘‘To give us what he did defensively tonight is what we’re about,’’ Hawks coach Gordie McLeod said.
Demos will be relishing his head to head clash with former Gold Coast teammate Adam Gibson when the Hawks host Adelaide in Saturday night’s final-round duel at WIN Entertainment Centre.
The Hawks will be assured of a top four finish – most likely third spot – if they beat the last-placed 36ers.