ROUND 3 of the Men’s SBL saw six matches take place on Thursday night leading into Easter with victories for the Perry Lakes Hawks, Joondalup Wolves, Rockingham Flames, Kalamunda Eastern Suns, Stirling Senators and Willetton Tigers.
The traditional Easter Round of Men’s SBL fixtures saw the six matches take place on the Thursday night before having the rest of the long weekend off with the Goldfields Giants and Geraldton Buccaneers having the bye.
In the end the Thursday night action saw the Wolfpack and Senators remain unbeaten, the Hawks improve to 3-1 and the defending champion Perth Redbacks suffer their first loss of their title defence.
The Slammers remain the only winless team still with the Tigers winning their opening game of the season at their expense.
The six Thursday night matches saw the Perry Lakes Hawks defeat the Cockburn Cougars 114-78, the Joondalup Wolves beat the Perth Redbacks 92-73, the Rockingham Flames defeat the Mandurah Magic 87-66, the Kalamunda Eastern Suns down the East Perth Eagles 114-105, the Stirling Senators prevail 101-91 against the Lakeside Lightning and the Willetton Tigers beat the South West Slammers 91-75.
There was plenty of intrigue over the contest at Bendat Basketball Centre with Perry Lakes hosting Cockburn.
Not only was 2016 Cougars championship winning coach Matt Parsons up against his former team for the third time since joining the Hawks, but ex-Cockburn pair Lochlan Cummings and Dan Thomas were playing their former team too for the first time.
In the end, it was a thumping win for Perry Lakes to the tune of 36 points as they improved to 3-1 on the season while Cockburn slipped to 1-2.
Ben Purser had another strong showing for the Hawks who remain without injured import Tyler Monroe. Purser finished the night with 22 points, five rebounds and three assists on an efficient 8/11 shooting from the field and perfect 6/6 from the field.
Lochlan Cummings added 19 points for Perry Lakes, Bailey Cole-Heath 15 points and five rebounds, Mitch Clarke 13 points and eight assists, Dan Thomas 11 points, three boards and three assists, and Brian Carlwell six points and seven rebounds.
Brandon Sebirumbi top-scored for the Cougars with 18 points and five rebounds shooting 5/8 from the floor and 8/9 at the free-throw line.
Seva Chan contributed 17 points and six assists for Cockburn, Gavin Field 17 points, five rebounds and four steals, and Jaarod Holmes 12 points.
The first Grand Final rematch of 2018 took place at HBF Arena and it was the Wolves earning a measure of revenge at their new home with a 19-point victory.
The win keeps the Wolfpack undefeated in 2018 after three games while the loss was the first for the Redbacks of their title defence but they were without Alex Loughton, Lee Roberts and Michael Vigor.
Jalen Billups showed the form he displayed with the Cougars for most of last season finishing with 25 points and eight rebounds for Joondalup on 11/17 shooting from the field.
Brian Sullivan added 16 points, five rebounds and four steals, Rob Huntington 16 points and seven boards, Trian Iliadis 12 points, three rebounds and three assists, and Reece Maxwell eight points.
Captain Seb Salinas went scoreless on 0/4 shooting but had six rebounds and four assists.
Jackson Hussey ended up top-scoring for the Redbacks with 24 points, seven rebounds and three assists with Shawn Redhage contributing 16 points and five boards, Mo Barrow 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Joel Wagner seven points and six assists.
Mandurah hit its home floor at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre for the first time in 2018 on Thursday night but the Magic couldn’t quite back up their win last week over the Slammers, with the Flames improving to 2-2 with a 21-point win.
Greg Hire made his debut with the Flames finishing with eight points, eight rebounds and three assists while Dexter Kernich-Drew top-scored with 24 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals on 6/11 shooting from beyond the arc.
Josh Ritchart added 18 points, four rebounds and four blocked shots for Rockingham with Ryan Godfrey contributing 10 points, Calum Beard nine points and four rebounds, and Justin Beard eight points and seven boards.
Shaun Stewart top-scored for the Magic with 17 points and 14 rebounds with Chudier Pal contributing 12 points and 14 boards, Jamal Shabazz 10 points and six rebounds, and Duk Makuei 10 points and two blocks.
The Eastern Suns returned home to Ray Owen Sports Centre after a tough Round 2 double against last year’s Grand Finalists Joondalup and Perth.
They bounced back impressively too to improve to 2-2 on the season with a nine-point win on Thursday night against the now 1-3 Eagles.
It was the new-look frontcourt that starred for Kalamunda even with Louis Timms still sidelined. Kevin Davis delivered 30 points, 12 rebounds and three steals on 9/12 shooting from the field and 11/14 at the charity stripe.
Logan Viskovich added 22 points, three steals and two rebounds on 9/15 shooting and 3/6 from deep.
Kerrod Horn added 15 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals for the Suns with Ryan Blanchett contributing 13 points and five boards, and Jono Diaz 10 points and four assists.
Drew Williamson had a monster night for the Eagles with 36 points, five assists, five steals and three rebounds on 13/23 shooting from the field, 6/11 from three-point territory and 4/4 from the foul line.
Corey Easley added 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals for East Perth with Jonathan Morse contributing 13 points and five boards, and Aiden Murphy eight points and four assists.
The Senators continued their hot start to the 2018 season improving to a perfect 4-0 record following a hard fought 10-point victory at Warwick Stadium against Lakeside on Thursday night. The Lightning slipped to 1-2 under new Dave Daniels.
Four players scoring 20 or more points was the key to victory for Stirling in yet another impressive display by Mike Ellis’ men.
Two-time Player of the Week Justin King delivered another 25 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists with Robert Anshila adding 23 points and 16 boards.
Jayden Coburn also contributed 21 points on 9/13 shooting from the field and 3/4 from three-point range.
Cody Ellis finished with 21 points and four rebounds as well with Corban Wroe scoring just the one point but delivering nine rebounds and nine assists.
John Isenbarger did all he could try to and lift the Lightning to a second straight win with 36 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Rowan Mackenzie added 14 points, six rebounds and three assists for Lakeside while Matt Vinci had 12 points and three boards, and Mason Bragg 11 points and 10 assists.
Jarrad Prue had yet another monster performance with eight points and 23 rebounds.
Last year’s regular season champions Willetton got its first win on the board for 2018 in its first appearance at Willetton Basketball Stadium beating the still winless Slammers by 16 points.
Jay Bowie was the star for the Tigers with 30 points and four assists on 12/19 shooting from the field and 4/7 from beyond the arc.
Damien Scott added 17 points, six rebounds and four assists for Willetton while Kyle Armour finished with 18 points and nine assists, Andrew Black 12 points and three rebounds, and Badou Diagne four points and 12 boards.
Justin Reynolds ended up top-scoring for the Slammers with 24 points and 13 rebounds with Michael Lay adding 15 points and five assists, Demetrius Robinson 13 points and seven rebounds, and Sam Sopolinski eight points.
WEEK 3 MEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Perry Lakes Hawks 114 defeated Cockburn Cougars 78
Joondalup Wolves 92 defeated Perth Redbacks 73
Mandurah Magic 66 lost to Rockingham Flames 87
Kalamunda Eastern Suns 114 defeated East Perth Eagles 105
Stirling Senators 101 defeated Lakeside Lightning 91
Willetton Tigers 91 defeated South West Slammers 75