THE Geraldton Buccaneers, Joondalup City Wolves and Lakeside Lightning all claimed thrilling Men’s SBL victories on Saturday night while the Kalamunda Eastern Suns and Perth Redbacks also won on the road.
There were five Week 14 Men’s SBL matches on Saturday night including a battle of two in-form teams when the Geraldton Buccaneers hosted the South West Slammers. The Buccs ended up prevailing 83-81 at Active West Stadium.
The Joondalup City Wolves bounced back from a loss on Friday to beat the East Perth Eagles 90-88 in another Saturday night nail-biter with the Lakeside Lightning also overcoming the Mandurah Magic 103-101.
The Kalamunda Eastern Suns scored a strong win over the road beating the Goldfields Giants 98-89 in Kambalda while the Perth Redbacks also got over the Stirling Senators 89-78.
The round began on Friday night with the Perry Lakes Hawks beating the Joondalup City Wolves 91-79, the Rockingham Flames downing the Lakeside Lightning 83-78 and the Cockburn Cougars defeating the Stirling Senators 92-87.
Saturday night’s action began with a blockbuster at Active West Stadium with the league-leading Buccaneers hosting the on-fire Slammers.
The contest didn’t fail to deliver with Geraldton ending up winning a nail-biter by two points to retain first place with a 15-2 record. The Slammers have still won 10 of their past 13 matches despite the loss following an 0-4 start to 2017.
The Buccs took control of the game with 30 points to 11 in the second quarter to lead by 18 points at half-time. The Slammers did put together a spirited fightback but ultimately just fell two points short.
Dwayne Benjamin top-scored for the Buccs with 23 points and 12 rebounds with Matt Hancock adding 13 points and four boards, Matt Wundenberg 13 points and nine rebounds, Aaron Ralph 12 points and Mo Barrow 10 points, three steals and two assists.
The Slammers backcourt of Tre Nichols and Michael Lay again was terrific especially in the second half to inspire the comeback for their team. Nichols ended the night with 19 points, six rebounds and three assists, and Lay 25 points, two boards and two steals.
Chris Douglas added 10 points and six rebounds for South West, Teny Puot 10 points and Brian Voelkel 10 points, 20 rebounds and six assists.
The Giants and Eastern Suns made the trip to Kambalda Community Recreation Facility for the annual SBL fixture in the Goldfields town.
The Eastern Suns got rolling in the second quarter to pile on 35 points and that set up the eventual nine-point victory.
Ryan Blanchett delivered the best game of his career to lead the Suns to the victory with 25 points in just 19 minutes from the bench. He shot 5-of-7 from three-point territory.
Rob Brandenberg added 18 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals for the Eastern Suns with Kerrod Horn contributing 16 points, four boards and three assists, Courtney Belger nine points and five assists, Jamieson Lewis eight points and five rebounds, and James Pado eight points, 11 boards, three assists and three steals.
Jacob Holmen did all he could to try and get the Giants over the line with 25 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists.
JB Pillard added 20 points and 10 rebounds for Goldfields with Miles Tierney adding 14 points.
They saw the Suns record their fifth win of the season to the tune of nine points. That takes Kalamunda to a 5-15 record for the season with the Giants slipping to 5-12 with the loss.
It was another thriller at Joondalup Basketball Stadium with the Wolves and Eagles playing out their second tremendous contest of 2017.
East Perth got the honours in the first meeting at Morley, but it was the Wolfpack who returned the favour on Saturday night on their home floor.
It was far from easy, though, and the Eagles had the chance to take the win with a three-point attempt on the buzzer from veteran Corey Easley. But Rob Huntington closed out on him well and got a hand to it to block the shot and see his Joondalup team hold on to win by the two points.
It made up for a surprise loss for the Wolves to Perry Lakes on Friday night to improve them to a 13-5 record while East Perth slips to 7-11 with the defeat.
Ryan Wright top-scored for the Wolfpack with 18 points and eight rebounds with Rob Huntington adding 15 points and eight boards, and Seb Salinas 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Reece Maxwell also contributed 14 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds with Damian Matacz adding 12 points and Rhys Smyth 12 points.
Mason Bragg played all 40 minutes for the Eagles and made some huge plays down the stretch to give his team a chance. He finished the night with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Drew Williamson added 15 points, five assists and four rebounds for East Perth with Kevin Davis contributing 14 points and five boards in his first game as an opposing player at Joondalup following his last two seasons playing with the Wolfpack.
Ngor Manyang also had 12 points for the Eagles and playing-coach Joe-Alan Tupaea 10.
The Magic began their home double-header this weekend by hosting the Lightning at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre, and once more they went ever so close to their third victory of 2017.
The Lightning just managed to prevail by two points in a high-scoring affair and they needed to desperately after losing to Rockingham on Friday to stay in the playoff hunt. The Lightning now hold an 8-10 record.
It was a tight opening half with Lakeside managing to lead by just a point at half-time, but the Lightning took control in the third period with 25 points to 13 to appear to be cruising to the win.
But Will McNeill and the Magic had other ideas and they racked up 33 fourth quarter points to fall agonisingly short of the third win of the season.
Corey Shervill continued to be a breakout star with the Lightning this season and delivered 29 points and five rebounds on the back of shooting 9-of-19 from the field and 9-of-9 from the free-throw line.
James Padgett contributed 17 points and seven rebounds for the Lightning with Michael Garbellini also adding 11 points, Rowan Mackenzie nine points and five boards, and Darrell Morgan nine points and six rebounds.
McNeill had a huge game for the Magic ending up with 42 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals on the back of shooting a stunning 8-of-12 from downtown.
Taylor Mullenax contributed strongly for Mandurah too with 20 points, four rebounds and four assists while Ruot Pal had a career-best night with 19 points, four boards, two assists and two steals.
The last game on Saturday night was another between two teams determined to win with the Senators needing a steadying win to maintain their place in the top eight and the Redbacks needing to keep winning to stay in fourth spot.
Marshall Nelson came up huge again for the Redbacks off the bench with 26 points and seven rebounds on shooting 11-of-19 from the floor and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Michael Vigor also finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists while Lee Roberts had 16 points, 10 boards and three assists, and Ben Smith 13 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Cody Ellis top-scored for the Senators with 22 points and eight rebounds with Rhys Vague contributing 19 points and four boards, Austin Bruton 11 points, Ash Litterick nine points and Corban Wroe eight points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Warwick Stadium hosted the encounter and in the end the Redbacks had just too much firepower even without Shawn Redhage to win by nine points and improve to 11-6. Stirling has now lost four straight to be 8-9 in eighth spot.
Week 14 will conclude on Sunday afternoon with the Mandurah Magic playing the Willetton Tigers at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre.
FRIDAY NIGHT ROUND 14 MEN’S SBL RESULTS
Perry Lakes Hawks 91 defeated Joondalup City Wolves 79
Lakeside Lightning 78 lost to Rockingham Flames 83
Cockburn Cougars 92 defeated Stirling Senators 87
SATURDAY NIGHT ROUND 14 MEN’S SBL RESULTS
Geraldton Buccaneers 83 defeated South West Slammers 81
Goldfields Giants 89 lost to Kalamunda Eastern Suns 98
Joondalup City Wolves 90 defeated East Perth Eagles 88
Mandurah Magic 101 lost to Lakeside Lightning 103
Stirling Senators 78 lost to Perth Redbacks 89
SUNDAY ROUND 14 MEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Mandurah Magic v Willetton Tigers – Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre 2pm
Photo by Vikki Hile