THE Geraldton Buccaneers won big on Saturday night to set up their top-of-the-table clash with Willetton in the Men’s SBL while the Cockburn Cougars, South West Slammers and Joondalup City Wolves scored important wins with the Mandurah Magic upsetting the Perry Lakes Hawks.
There were five big matches in the Men’s SBL on Saturday night as part of Heritage Round with the Geraldton Buccaneers winning big 111-77 over the shorthanded East Perth Eagles to set up their battle for first place at Willetton against the Tigers on Sunday.
The Cockburn Cougars won an important thriller 76-75 over the Perth Redbacks while the Joondalup City Wolves bounced back defeating the Goldfields Giants 85-63, the South West Slammers won big 92-62 over the Rockingham Flames and the Mandurah Magic upset the Perry Lakes Hawks 93-77.
Week 16 of the Men’s SBL began with three matches on Friday night with the Perry Lakes Hawks beating the Perth Redbacks 89-71, the Stirling Senators defeating the East Perth Eagles 81-69 and the Willetton Tigers downing the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 96-91.
WEEK 16 FRIDAY NIGHT MEN’S SBL RESULTS
WEEK 16 MEN’S SBL PREVIEW
CJ JACKSON GRATEFUL FOR JOURNEY BASKETBALL HAS GIVEN HIM
BELGER AT HOME WITH SUNS SO MUCH HE NEVER WANTS TO LEAVE
HOLMEN NOT GIVING UP ON SUCCESS WITH THE GIANTS
FIRST PLACE WITHIN GRASP OF TIGERS WHO ARE STILL SEARCHING FOR NEXT GEAR
Week 16’s Saturday night action began at Belmont Oasis with the Redbacks looking to bounce back from a loss to Perry Lakes on Friday night while the Cougars were coming in fresh.
In the end, the defending champions prevailed in yet another nail-biter by a point and that result could be crucial to both clubs come the end of the regular season.
Cockburn improves to 12-9 with the win to remain in the top four hunt while Perth slips to 12-8 to be just clinging to fourth spot having lost twice this weekend in Shawn Redhage’s absence.
Jalen Billups finished with 18 points and seven rebounds for the Cougars but he had plenty of support on the night.
Seva Chan contributed 18 points and four rebounds with Gavin Field adding 17 points and Lochlan Cummings 13 to go with five boards.
Lee Roberts top-scored for the Redbacks with 26 points and 16 rebounds while Ben Smith added 17 points and five boards, Michael Vigor 12 points and seven rebounds, and Marshall Nelson 10 points, nine boards, seven assists and three steals.
The Slammers were coming off a surprise home loss to the Kalamunda Eastern Suns last Saturday night, but bounced back in emphatic fashion this Saturday night with a 30-point win over the Flames at Eaton Recreation Centre.
The victory improves South West to a 12-8 record having won 12 of its last 16 games to be closing in on a top four spot. The loss is a blow to Rockingham’s playoff hopes with the Flames sitting in 10th spot at 9-13.
Brian Voelkel had another standout performance for the Slammers with 19 points, 26 rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Tre Nichols added 17 points and four assists for South West, Michael Lay 15 points and five rebounds, Clive Weeden 11 points, Chris Douglas nine points and five rebounds, and Teny Puot nine points.
It was a tough night for the Flames despite Vinny Zollo finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds and Donovan Jack 16 points and six boards.
The Wolves were another team needing to bounce back from a heavy loss in Geraldton last Saturday night and they were able to do so against a Giants team still looking to stay in the playoff race.
The Wolfpack proved too strong beating Goldfields by 22 points at Bendat Basketball Centre.
The win steadies Joondalup in third position with a 14-6 record while it’s a blow for the Giants’ playoff hopes as they slip to 6-13. With seven games remaining, they probably need to win six of them to sneak in from here.
The Giants played well in the first half and actually led 41-37 at the break, but they couldn’t sustain it with the Wolves outscoring them 48-22 in the second half.
Trian Iliadis ended up with 16 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Wolfpack despite shooting just 5-of-19 from the field and 1-of-10 from beyond the arc.
Ryan Wright also had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves, Seb Salinas 13 points, six boards and three assists, Ben Ironmonger 11 points, five rebounds and three assists, and Rob Huntington 10 points and nine boards.
Captain Jacob Holmen battled hard for Goldfields finishing with 23 points and 17 rebounds with JB Pillard adding 12 points, six rebounds and three assists.
The night’s real surprise came at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre with the Magic scoring their third victory of 2017 beating the in-form Hawks by 16 points.
Perry Lakes came into the game on its first winning streak of the season following impressive wins over the Wolves, Cougars and Redbacks. But they couldn’t carry it on for the trip to Mandurah missing a chance to consolidate their playoff place in the process.
Point guard Will McNeill had another standout performance for the Magic delivering 29 points and seven rebounds on shooting 11-of-22 from the floor and 6-of-6 at the foul line.
Taylor Mullenax added 17 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots for Mandurah while Damon Ballantyne contributed 11 points and six boards.
Matthew Adekponya top-scored for Perry Lakes with 23 points and six rebounds with Rob Waters adding 15 points and Ryan Smith 12. Ben Purser also had nine points and nine rebounds.
To close out the Saturday night action, the Buccaneers geared up for their monster Sunday clash with Willetton by thumping East Perth by 34 points at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre.
The win improves the Buccs to a 17-2 record as they prepare to take on the 17-3 Tigers in a contest that could very well determine the minor premiership come the end of the season.
Geraldton will now enter that game on a 10-match winning run while the Eagles slipped further from the playoff hunt with a fifth straight defeat.
Dwayne Benjamin had another monster night for the Buccs with the MVP candidate delivering 42 points and seven rebounds on the back of shooting 14-of-23 from the field, 4-of-9 from deep and a perfect 10-of-10 at the free-throw line.
Matt Hancock added 17 points and four assists for the Buccaneers, Mo Barrow 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, Jackson Hussey 13 points and 10 assists, and Aaron Ralph 11 points and four rebounds.
Kevin Davis top-scored for the Eagles finishing the night with 20 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocked shots.
Kieran Berry also had 11 points for East Perth, Joe-Alan Tupaea 10, Drew Williamson 10 and Kevin Anthony 10 in the absence of Mason Bragg who was on Perth Wildcats duty down south.
There’s then another three crucial games on Sunday with the Stirling Senators playing the Goldfields Giants, the Willetton Tigers hosting the Geraldton Buccaneers and the Lakeside Lightning facing the Joondalup City Wolves.
FRIDAY NIGHT ROUND 16 MEN’S SBL RESULTS
Perry Lakes Hawks 89 defeated Perth Redbacks 71
Stirling Senators 81 defeated East Perth Eagles 69
Willetton Tigers 96 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 91
SATURDAY NIGHT ROUND 16 MEN’S SBL RESULTS
Perth Redbacks 75 lost to Cockburn Cougars 76
South West Slammers 92 defeated Rockingham Flames 62
Joondalup City Wolves 85 defeated Goldfields Giants 63
Mandurah Magic 93 defeated Perry Lakes Hawks 77
East Perth Eagles 77 Geraldton Buccaneers 111
SUNDAY ROUND 16 MEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Stirling Senators v Goldfields Giants – Warwick Stadium 12pm
Willetton Tigers v Geraldton Buccaneers – Willetton Basketball Stadium 12pm
Lakeside Lightning v Joondalup City Wolves – Lakeside Recreation Centre 4pm
Photo by Vikki Hile