THE Goldfields Giants and Stirling Senators claimed thrilling wins in the Men’s SBL on Saturday night while the Geraldton Buccaneers, Joondalup Wolves and Perth Redbacks did things a bit easier on their way to Round 9 victories.
There were five matches in the Men’s SBL on Saturday night starting with the Geraldton Buccaneers beating the Cockburn Cougars 107-89 and the Goldfields Giants defeating the Mandurah Magic 105-104.
The other three matches then started proceedings with an earlier than usual start time for Women’s Round with the Joondalup Wolves beating the Lakeside Lightning 96-78, the Stirling Senators defeating the East Perth Eagles 94-91 and the Perth Redbacks downing the South West Slammers 120-95.
That came after there were three matches on Friday night seeing the Kalamunda Eastern Suns beating the Rockingham Flames 99-87, the Willetton Tigers defeating the East Perth Eagles 89-71 and the Perth Redbacks downing the Lakeside Lightning 95-94.
Saturday night’s action in the Men’s SBL got underway with the Giants taking on the Magic at Kambalda Recreation Centre for the annual home clash for the Goldfields at the venue.
Both teams needed a win too and it set the stage for a fascinating contest with no more than nine points separating them both for the entire night.
The Magic led by three points at quarter-time after both teams combined for 59 points in an entertaining opening. Mandurah pulled away further to lead 55-47 at half-time before the Giants picked up some momentum in the third quarter with 30 points to 20.
It was then a game that went down to the wire but the Giants claimed the one-point win to improve to a 2-8 record with the Magic slipping to 2-8 as well.
Jeylyn Sharpe delivered a monster performance for Goldfields finishing the evening with 38 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and two blocked shots on the back of shooting 12/21 from the field, 2/5 from three-point range and 12/15 at the free-throw line.
Kyle Sovine had an impressive performance for the Giants as well with 30 points and 11 rebounds on shooting 13/24 from the floor and 3/3 from beyond the arc.
Jake Martin added 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists with Brandon Holloway contributing nine points and five assists, and Jerome Reid nine points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
There was some huge performances from the Magic imports as well with Shaun Stewart delivering 38 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and two blocks while shooting 15/24 from the field, 4/8 from downtown and 4/6 at the free-throw line.
Jamal Shabazz added 34 points and seven rebounds, shooting 12/19 from the field, 3/5 from beyond the arc and 7/11 at the charity stripe.
Chudier Pal added 10 points and seven rebounds for Mandurah.
The Buccaneers had lost their last game at home to the Magic before responding last weekend with road wins against the Senators and Flames as they returned to Active West Stadium on Saturday night to host the Cougars.
Cockburn was also coming off victories last weekend against the Eastern Suns and Hawks setting the stage for a terrific contest between two teams who delivered a remarkable semi-final series back in 2016.
The Cougars came out and continued that momentum with a good start in Geraldton opening a 29-22 lead by quarter-time.
Cockburn was still on top by four points at the main break but the Buccs came out a different outfit after half-time to outscore the Cougars 59-37 in the second half to end up winning by 18 points.
The win improves the Buccaneers to a 9-2 record with the Cougars falling to 4-7.
Former Perth Wildcats NBL player Earnest Ross played his first game at home for the Buccs on Saturday night and ended up top-scoring with 25 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and two steals.
Gokul Natesan added 23 points, six steals and three assists with Marcus Alipate contributing 14 points and six assists, Colter Lasher 13 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals, Liam Hunt 12 points and nine boards, and Aaron Ralph 10 points and three rebounds.
Captain Gavin Field once again did all he could to lift the Cougars with 24 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Brandon Sebirumbi added 20 points and 14 rebounds for Cockburn, Jaarod Holmes 18 points and five boards, and Julian Pesava 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.
The Senators had such a bright start to the 2018 season before coming off three disappointing losses to Kalamunda, Perth and Geraldton entering Saturday night’s battle with East Perth at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre.
It was another tight affair all evening with no more than 10 points separating the two teams the whole game.
It ended up going to overtime where in the extra five minutes the Senators outscored the Eagles 14-11 to win by three points and improve to a 7-5 with the Eagles slipping to 5-8 having also lost to the Tigers at Willetton on Friday.
There were five players for Stirling who ended up scoring at least 14 points including Cody Ellis producing 17 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Jayden Coburn added 17 points, three rebounds and three assists for the Senators, Caleb Davis 17 points, Justin King 14 points and four rebounds, and Robert Anshila 14 points, 11 boards and four assists.
Ash Litterick also had seven points and seven rebounds, and Corban Wroe five points, 10 assists, four rebounds and four steals.
Drew Williamson continued his outstanding form for the Eagles with the former NBL veteran of 190 games finishing the night with 28 points and four rebounds on shooting 10/18 from the field, 4/9 from three-point range and 4/5 from the three-throw line.
Ngor Nanyang also finished with 17 points for East Perth with Jonathan Morse contributing 15 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, five blocked shots and three steals. Aiden Murphy had 10 points, three rebounds and two assists too.
It was then a big night for the Wolves at HBF Arena on Saturday night as they put their undefeated streak at the new home venue on the line while also celebrating the 400th game of captain Seb Salinas.
The Wolfpack went on to lead the whole game before beating the Lightning by 18 points to improve to a 10-1 record on the season and remaining on top of the table and unbeaten at HBF Arena.
Lakeside slips to a 4-7 record having now lost to both Grand Finalists from 2017 this weekend.
Rob Huntington was the star of the night for Joondalup top-scoring with 26 points and four assists while shooting 10/13 from the field, 2/2 from three-point range and 4/4 from the free-throw line.
Brian Sullivan added 22 points and six rebounds with Jalen Billups contributing 18 points and nine rebounds, and Trian Iliadis 14 points and three steals while nailing 4/8 from downtown.
Bryan Michaels moved into the starting line-up for the Lightning and put up 25 points to go with three rebounds on shooting 10/17 from the floor and 5/10 from three-point territory.
Daniel Alexander added 16 points, four rebounds and two assists for Lakeside with Rowan Mackenzie contributing 13 points and five rebounds, and Michael Garbellini 11 points.
Neither Jarrad Prue nor John Isenbarger scored, but Prue had 12 points and Isenbarger six assists.
Saturday night then concluded with the Redbacks hosting the Slammers at Belmont Oasis in the first match between the two teams who played out such a fascinating quarter-final battle in 2017.
The Slammers had won their first couple of games of the season coming into the clash against the defending champions as well, but the Redbacks proved too strong going on to record the 25-point victory.
The win improves the Redbacks to a 9-3 record on the season while the Slammers slip to 2-8 ahead of hosting the Perry Lakes Hawks on Sunday.
Ben Smith continued his big weekend for the Redbacks with 24 points, eight rebounds and three assists on shooting 8/14 from the field and 6/10 from three-point territory.
Mo Barrow also contributed 24 points, nine rebounds and four assists on 12/17 shooting while Shawn Redhage finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots.
Zac Gattorna also had 15 points and seven rebounds, Jackson Hussey 14 points, five rebounds and four assists, and Joel Wagner 13 points and nine assists.
Michael Lay had a big night for the Slammers top-scoring with 33 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists on shooting 14/21 from the field and 4/8 from beyond the arc.
Clive Weeden added 20 points and five rebounds with Travis Durnin contributing 12 points and eight boards, and Brian Voelkel 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
WEEK 9 MEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Rockingham Flames 87 lost to Kalamunda Eastern Suns 99
Willetton Tigers 89 defeated East Perth Eagles 71
Lakeside Lightning 94 lost to Perth Redbacks 95
Geraldton Buccaneers 107 defeated Cockburn Cougars 89
Goldfields Giants 105 defeated Mandurah Magic 104
Joondalup Wolves 96 defeated Lakeside Lightning 78
East Perth Eagles 91 lost to Stirling Senators 94
Perth Redbacks 120 defeated South West Slammers 95
South West Slammers v Perry Lakes Hawks – Eaton Recreation Centre 12.00pm