THE Geraldton Buccaneers have moved to the top of the Men’s SBL after beating the Cockburn Cougars on Saturday night while the Joondalup Wolves lost on the road to the Goldfields Giants and the Perth Redbacks, Mandurah Magic and Perry Lakes Hawks also won.
It was a huge Saturday night of action in the Men’s SBL as part of Round 17 of 2018 with the Goldfields Giants putting together one of its best performances of the season to beat the Joondalup Wolves 93-91.
The Geraldton Buccaneers then moved to top spot by beating the Cockburn Cougars 109-104 in a cracking battle while the Perth Redbacks also beat the South West Slammers 118-88, the Mandurah Magic defeated the East Perth Eagles 102-81 and the Perry Lakes downed the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 111-101.
That all came after the round got underway on Friday night with three matches that saw the Cockburn Cougars beat the Willetton Tigers 99-95 in overtime while the Lakeside Lightning defeated the South West Slammers 110-99 and the Stirling Senators downed the Rockingham Flames 105-87.
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The Saturday night action in the Men’s SBL began at Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium and the result was a superb contest even though the bottom placed Giants were hosting the league leading Wolfpack.
It proved to be a tight and intense contest most of the evening even though the Wolves managed to open a 12-point advantage on the back of a Brian Sullivan basket early in the second half.
But the Giants were determined to put together one of their best performances of the season even in the absence of Jake Martin.
Goldfields was able get back within four points by three quarter-time and then with the home crowd’s support, the Giants finished the stronger with 31 points to 25 in the fourth period to end up shocking the league-leading Wolves with the two-point win.
The win is a fifth for the season for the Giants while the Wolves slip to 18-4 with the loss to fall behind the Buccs both in terms of having one more loss and having lost the season-split to them.
Jeylyn Sharpe delivered a strong performance in the win for the Giants finishing with 28 points, 12 rebounds and four assists on shooting 10/19 from the field, 2/4 from three-point range and 6/6 from the charity stripe.
Kyle Sovine added 25 points and eight rebounds too for Goldfields with Jerome Reid contributing 18 points and 11 boards, Brandon Holloway 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds, and veteran Russell Hurst nine points, seven boards and three assists.
Jalen Billups had a strong and efficient night for the Wolfpack with 28 points and 11 rebounds on 13/17 shooting from the field despite the six turnovers.
Trian Iliadis also had 19 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Wolves while knocking down 5/9 of his three-point attempts.
Brian Sullivan contributed 14 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals too for Joondalup while Rob Huntington had 13 points and three boards.
The Cougars then backed up their overtime victory against the Willetton Tigers on Friday night by hosting the Buccaneers at Wally Hagan Stadium on Saturday night.
It was always going to be a big task for Cockburn to back up against the deep and supremely talented Buccs line-up while still without the likes of Julian Pesava and Jake Knight.
But if the Cougars have proven one thing this season it’s that they are prepared to fight above their weight division and that was again the case against Geraldton.
The Buccs did lead by four points at quarter-time and by six at half-time, but the Cougars had stayed in touch which did change in the third quarter when the visitors piled on 29 points to 20 to lead 85-70.
But the Cougars refused to give it up and put up 34 points in the final quarter to give themselves a real chance of having a dream weekend, but it wasn’t quite to be with the Buccs holding on to win by five and improve to a 18-3 record ahead of a clash with Lakeside on Sunday.
Earnest Ross ended up top-scoring for the Buccs with 26 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals while Colter Lasher contributed 25 points, nine boards and four assists.
Gokul Natesan contributed 16 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals with Marcus Alipate adding 16 points, four assists and three steals, and Liam Hunt eight points and eight rebounds.
It was another brave showing from the Cougars led by inspirational captain Gavin Field who again played all 40 minutes to score 43 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists on shooting 16/26 from the field, 7/11 from three-point range and 4/4 from the free-throw line.
Seva Chan backed up a huge game on Friday night with another 24 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Cougars with Brandon Sebirumbi adding 20 points and five boards. Steven Van Lit also scored nine points on 3/5 from long range.
The Slammers then backed up a loss on the road to Lakeside on Friday night by returning to Eaton Recreation Centre on Saturday to host the defending champion Redbacks and things certainly didn’t get any easier.
South West did start well but Perth put down the gas in the second quarter with 32 points to 18 and then finished the job with 28 points to 14 in the last quarter to come away with the 30-point victory to improve to a 16-7 record having won three in succession.
Shawn Redhage put in an impressive and efficient showing for the Redbacks finishing with 23 points, three rebounds and three assists on shooting 8/11 from the floor and 7/8 from the free-throw line.
Lee Roberts added 21 points, 10 rebounds and three steals too for Perth while Ben Smith finished with 16 points, five assists and four boards, Mo Barrow 16 points and four rebounds, Jackson Hussey 16 points, eight boards, five assists and three steals, and Michael Vigor 12 points and nine rebounds.
Brandon Thompson top-scored with 18 points for the Slammers with Cory Richardson adding 15 points and four rebounds, Travis Durnin 14 points and six boards, Michael Lay 14 points, four rebounds and four assists, and Brian Voelkel 13 points, 16 boards and seven assists.
East Perth was then back to Morley Sport and Recreation Centre on Saturday to host Mandurah with the Eagles needing to win to stay in the playoff race, but it wasn’t to be.
The Magic started strongly with 30 points to 20 in the first quarter and they never looked back going on to record their fifth win of the season to win by 21 points as the Eagles fell to 8-14.
Shaun Stewart had a huge performance for the Magic with 36 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three blocked shots while shooting 14/23 from the field, 5/9 from beyond the arc and 3/5 from the foul line.
Jamal Shabazz also contributed 25 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Mandurah while Chudier Pal added 15 points and nine boards, and Duk Makuei 14 points, four rebounds and four steals.
East Perth captain Drew Williamson did all he could to give his team a chance with 26 points and four rebounds while knocking down 8/10 of his three-point attempts.
Jonathan Morse added 15 points, five rebounds and four blocked shots for the Eagles and Anthony Golden 13 points, five assists and four steals.
It was another tremendous Saturday night battle at Bendat Basketball Centre between the Hawks and Eastern Suns with Perry Lakes trying to hold on to fourth spot, and Kalamunda attempting to break into the top eight.
Perry Lakes did manage to produce a strong second quarter to lead 59-47 at half-time and that proved to be the difference in the contest even though Kalamunda kept fighting.
The Hawks ended up winning by 10 points to make it eight straight victories to improve to a 14-8 record while the chances of the Eastern Suns reaching the playoffs took another hit as they slipped to 9-14 and having now lost four in-a-row.
Lochlan Cummings delivered another impressive performance for Perry Lakes with 25 points and four rebounds despite only shooting 12/26 from the field and 0/8 from deep.
Ben Purser finished with 22 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and three steals for the Hawks too while Ryan Smith contributed 19 points on 5/8 shooting from downtown.
Brian Carlwell added 15 points and 15 rebounds, Jacob Holmen 11 points and nine boards, and Mitch Clarke 11 points, six assists and five steals.
Courtney Belger top-scored for the Eastern Suns finishing with 23 points, nine assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Kerrod Horn added 18 points and seven assists for the Suns with Louis Timms contributing 17 points and five rebounds, Kevin Davis 16 points and 13 boards, and Ryan Blanchett 12 points.
WEEK 17 MEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Willetton Tigers 95 lost to Cockburn Cougars 99
Lakeside Lightning 110 defeated South West Slammers 99
Stirling Senators 105 defeated Rockingham Flames 87
Goldfields Giants 93 defeated Joondalup Wolves 91
Cockburn Cougars 104 lost to Geraldton Buccaneers 109
South West Slammers 88 lost to Perth Redbacks 118
East Perth Eagles 81 lost to Mandurah Magic 102
Perry Lakes Hawks 111 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 101
Mandurah Magic v Stirling Senators – Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre 2.00pm
Lakeside Lightning v Geraldton Buccaneers – Lakeside Recreation Centre 2.00pm