WILL Burton was the Swiss army knife of Bathurst High School's Astley Cup basketball side on Thursday morning, doing a little bit of everything to lead his side to a 64-49 victory over Orange High School.
Burton was named the most valuable player for the home side in the win and was a two-way force throughout the opening fixture for Bathurst in the 100th year of the Astley Cup.
His defence shone especially during the first half, where he picked up multiple steals, before his offence began to take over as the game headed towards its conclusion.
Burton hit a pair of crucial three pointers during the third quarter, where Bathurst put the game out of Orange's reach.
Orange were down by 20 points going into the final quarter but their excellent offensive rebounding and second chance baskets made for a tense conclusion.
The visitors got back within 10 points at one stage before a late run of baskets for Bathurst gave them a buffer.
Burton put the cherry on top of his performance by coming up with yet another steal inside the last 20 seconds of the match to run down court and score the last basket of the game.
The most exciting aspect of Burton's performance is that the 15-year-old Year 10 student still has another two years to go in the Astley Cup.
"It feels so great," Burton said of the win post-game.
"I just tried to keep my cool [as Orange came back] and just kept playing the game how I would play it.
"We've all played together as a group before so we know how it all works and we know where everyone's going to be."
It wasn't just a one-man show for Bathurst High.
Their defence as a team was the main feature of their game, racking up steals and preventing a lot drives from Orange into the paint - especially during the first half.
A big rally from Bathurst in the third quarter gave them a 46-26 lead at the final break.
Bathurst's rebounding on the defensive end began to slack in the last term and space began to appear in the key for Orange to get closer to the rim.
However, the hosts began to slow the ball down and take their time as Orange got it back to 57-47 inside the last two minutes, and cut down on wasteful possessions to ensure the win.
The victory gave Bathurst a 57-43 points split to start their 2023 cup campaign.