IT was a huge Saturday night in the Men’s SBL with 12 of the 14 teams in action with the South West Slammers, Geraldton Buccaneers, Willetton Tigers, Perry Lakes Hawks, East Perth Eagles and Cockburn Cougars coming away victorious.
Round 8 of the Men’s SBL began with two matches on Friday night that saw the Perth Redbacks beat the Stirling Senators 105-84 and the Joondalup Wolves defeat the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 117-83.
There were then six matches on Saturday night including the South West Slammers making it two consecutive wins after starting the season 0-7 beating the Goldfields Giants 100-78.
The Geraldton Buccaneers also beat the Stirling Senators 88-82, the Willetton Tigers defeated the Rockingham Flames 103-94, the Perry Lakes Hawks defeated the Lakeside Lightning 99-82, the East Perth Eagles downed the Mandurah Magic 96-62 and the Cockburn Cougars prevailed 103-88 over the Kalamunda Eastern Suns.
There are two more matches on Sunday afternoon between the Cockburn Cougars and Perry Lakes Hawks at Wally Hagan Stadium, and the Rockingham Flames and Geraldton Buccaneers at Mike Barnett Sports Complex.
The Saturday night action in the Men’s SBL got underway at Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium with the Giants and Slammers both hunting their first wins of the 2018 season.
It was the Slammers who built on their momentum from their first win in Round 7 beating the Cougars by putting in their strongest showing of the season coming away with the 22-point victory.
A big reason for that was the arrival of new import Brandon Thompson who has replaced Demetrius Robinson with Brian Voelkel having already arrived to replace Justin Reynolds.
Thompson finished with 35 points, four rebounds, three steals and two steals for the Slammers on 12/30 shooting from the field, 6/19 from three-point range and 5/7 from the free-throw line.
Voelkel once again showed his full-range of talents too with 10 points, 25 rebounds, 14 assists and two blocks on shooting 4/5 from the floor.
Clive Weeden also finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Slammers and Tom Harper nine points.
Kyle Sovine top-scored for the Giants with 21 points and 12 rebounds with Brandon Holloway contributing 20 points and six assists, Jeylyn Sharpe 18 points, nine boards and five assists, and Jake Martin 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The Buccaneers began their double-header weekend on the road trying to make up for a shock home loss last Saturday night to the Magic.
Their first challenge was against the Senators at Warwick Stadium and the Buccs put in a strong third quarter to set up the eventual six-point win against the same team they eliminated in three games in the quarter finals last year.
The win improved the Buccaneers to a 7-2 record on the season while the Senators slipped to 6-5 following a string of tough losses after an impressive opening to 2018.
The game was the first appearance of the season for the Buccs of former Perth Wildcats player Earnest Ross. He marked his arrival with 18 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists on shooting 7/20 from the field.
Colter Lasher top-scored for Geraldton with 24 points, 11 rebounds and three steals with Gokul Natesan contributing 17 points, Marcus Alipate nine points and five assists, and Liam Hunt nine points and eight rebounds.
Justin King finished the night with 31 points, 11 rebounds and four assists for the Senators with Ash Litterick contributing 13 points, 12 boards, three steals and two blocked shots.
Corban Wroe added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists for Stirling, and Cody Ellis 12 points, seven boards and three assists.
Mandurah returned home on a high having beaten the Buccs in Geraldton last Saturday night, but they weren’t able to back it up with East Perth delivering a dominant performance to end up winning by 34 points.
It was a strong showing by the Eagles after they were six points down at quarter-time. They had assumed a 44-37 lead by half-time and then outscored the Magic 52-25 in the second half.
The win improves the Eagles to a 5-6 record on the season while the Magic slip to 2-7.
Drew Williamson was the star of the night for the Eagles finishing with 33 points, five steals, four rebounds and four assists on shooting 11/18 from the field, 4/5 from three-point range and 7/8 from the foul line.
Jonathon Morse added 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists for East Perth with Corey Easley contributing eight points, eight boards and three blocked shots, and Aiden Murphy seven points and five rebounds.
Shaun Stewart top-scored for the Magic with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists with Jamal Shabazz adding 11 points and five boards, and Chudier Pal nine points and 10 rebounds.
Perry Lakes hosted Lakeside on Saturday night at Bendat Basketball Centre with Daniel Alexander playing his first game of the season upon return to the Lightning setting up a tantalising match up with reigning league MVP Jacob Holmen.
The Hawks ended up too strong coming away with the 17-point victory on the back of a dominant second half where they outscored the Lightning 48 points to 33.
The win improved Perry Lakes to a 6-3 record on the season with Lakeside slipping to 4-5.
Lochlan Cummings had a huge night for the Hawks finishing with 29 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Ben Purser added 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists with Jacob Holmen contributing 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots, Brian Carlwell 12 points and four boards, and Dan Thomas 10 points and four assists.
Daniel Alexander finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals for the Lightning with John Isenbarger contributing 16 points, seven assists and five boards, Rowan Mackenzie 13 points, and Hayden Bell nine points and four assists.
It was a tantalising match-up awaiting at Willetton Basketball Stadium between the Tigers and Flames which didn’t end up disappointing also on Saturday night.
In the end it was Willetton continuing its impressive form winning by nine points having been able to maintain their strong start to the contest.
The win improves the Tigers to a 6-3 record on the season while the Flames slipped to 6-4 ahead of also hosting the Buccs on Sunday.
Tigers captain Kyle Armour put in a standout performance finishing with 29 points, five assists and four rebounds on the back of shooting 8/18 from the field, 2/5 from three-point territory and 11/16 at the free-throw line.
Damien Scott added 27 points, six assists, three rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots for Willetton while Badou Diagne contributed 22 points and seven boards, and Jake Burston eight points, three rebounds and two assists.
Greg Hire ended up top-scoring for Rockingham with 23 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists while shooting 9/15 from the field, 1/1 from deep and 4/8 from the charity stripe.
Josh Ritchart put up 20 points and nine rebounds too for the Flames before going down injured with Curtis Washington contributing 12 points, five boards and four assists, Ryan Godfrey 11 points and three assists, and Justin Beard 10 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots.
Saturday night’s action in the Men’s SBL concluded at Ray Owen Sports Centre with the Cougars delivering an impressive performance to beat the Eastern Suns by 15 points on the back of terrific second and third quarters.
Cockburn outscored Kalamunda 62 points to 36 in the second and third periods to set up the victory as the Cougars won to improve to a 3-6 record ahead of hosting Perry Lakes on Sunday.
The Eastern Suns slipped to 4-8 having also lost at HBF Arena to the Joondalup Wolves on Friday night.
Cougars captain Gavin Field had a tremendous night finishing with 32 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals on the back of shooting 11/23 from the field, 7/17 from beyond the arc and 3/4 from the foul line.
Brandon Sebirumbi added 19 points and seven rebounds for Cockburn with Julian Pesava contributing 17 points, 10 boards and five assists, Seva Chan 12 points, five assists and five steals, and Calvin Kamara 11 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
Kevin Davis finished with 18 points and six rebounds for the Eastern Suns with Logan Viskovich contributing 18 points, five boards and three assists, Ryan Blanchett 15 points and seven rebounds, Carl Aylett 11 points and Louis Timms 10 points and five rebounds.
WEEK 8 MEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Perth Redbacks 105 defeated Stirling Senators 84
Joondalup Wolves 117 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 83
Goldfields Giants 78 lost to South West Slammers 100
Stirling Senators 82 lost to Geraldton Buccaneers 88
Willetton Tigers 103 defeated Rockingham Flames 94
Perry Lakes Hawks 99 defeated Lakeside Lightning 82
Mandurah Magic 62 lost to East Perth Eagles 96
Kalamunda Eastern Suns 88 lost to Cockburn Cougars 103
Rockingham Flames v Geraldton Buccaneers – Mike Barnett Sports Complex 12.00pm
Cockburn Cougars v Perry Lakes Hawks – Wally Hagan Stadium 2.00pm