THE arrival of Kevin White inspired the Rockingham Flames to beat the Jay Bowie-less Willetton Tigers in the Men’s SBL on Friday night while the Joondalup Wolves kept winning the Stirling Senators knocked off the defending champion Perth Redbacks.
All three games in the Men’s SBL on Friday night possessed plenty of intrigue with the Joondalup Wolves ending up maintaining their advantage on top of the table beating the Perry Lakes Hawks 95-67.
The Rockingham Flames welcomed Illawarra Hawks NBL captain Kevin White into their line-up and came away with an impressive 107-86 win over a Willetton Tigers team still missing star import Jay Bowie.
The last game of the night saw the Stirling Senators also impress knocking off the defending champion Perth Redbacks, winning 94-89.
The bad news for the Flames of losing import Josh Ritchart to a broken foot turned into a positive when Kevin White arrived to join them for at least the next month bringing with him 185 games of NBL experience.
On the back of his presence and with Greg Hire and Curtis Washington dominant presences inside, the Flames proved too strong for the Tigers snapping their five-game losing slide in style to come away with the 21-point victory.
Despite losing five straight before Friday night, the win improves Rockingham to a 7-7 record ahead of also playing the East Perth Eagles on the road on Saturday. Willetton slips to 7-6 ahead of hosting the Stirling Senators on Saturday as well.
Hire delivered a huge performance for Rockingham finishing with 13 points, 17 rebounds and five assists on shooting 6/10 from the field.
Washington was also supremely impressive inside ending up with 31 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals while shooting 13/20 from the floor.
Justin Beard also scored 20 points and seven rebounds for Rockingham, Ryan Godfrey 20 points, nine assists and five boards, and White nine points, four rebounds and two assists in his first appearance in the SBL.
Badou Diagne stepped up for Willetton in the absence of Bowie to deliver his best performance of the season with 25 points and four rebounds on the back of shooting 9/13 from the field and 6/10 at the free-throw line.
Damien Scott added 16 points, four rebounds and four assists for the Tigers, Jake Burston 13 points, four boards and two assists, and Andrew Black eight points. Kyle Armour finished with seven points, six steals and three assists.
Perry Lakes hosted Joondalup at Bendat Basketball Centre also on Friday night with the Wolves playing at the venue for the first time since losing last year’s Grand Final to the Redbacks.
They erased some of those memories by winning an eighth straight match on the back of a dominant 33-24 first quarter. The Wolfpack went on to lead 62-46 at half-time and then held the Hawks to four points in the last period to end up winning by 28 points.
Joondalup improves to a 13-1 record as a result of the win ahead of hosting the Mandurah Magic on Saturday night at HBF Arena with Perry Lakes slipping to 6-7 with a fourth straight defeat ahead of taking on the defending champion Redbacks at Belmont Oasis on Saturday.
Jalen Billups put in a huge performance for the Wolves with the big man delivering 32 points and nine rebounds shooting 13/21 from the field.
Brian Sullivan added 16 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Wolfpack, Rob Huntington 10 points and four rebounds, Chris Clausen 10 points and Trian Iliadis nine points.
Ben Purser battled hard for the Hawks finishing with 19 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists with Ryan Smith contributing 15 points and six boards, and Jacob Holmen 14 points, six rebounds and three assists.
The final game of Friday night saw the Senators host the Redbacks at Warwick Stadium with Stirling trying to continue its rejuvenated form and Perth out to maintain touch with the top two teams.
The Senators had stopped a run of losing five of seven games by winning the previous two heading into the clash with a Redbacks team now having welcomed back Michael Vigor and Lee Roberts.
The defending champion Redbacks started strongly to lead 30-26 at quarter-time and 60-48 at half-time before the Senators got going after the break.
They outscored the Redbacks 46-29 through the second half to come away with the five-point win and improve to a 9-5 record ahead of a trip to Willetton on Saturday night. The Redbacks are now 10-4 before hosting Perry Lakes on Saturday.
Justin King put in a good showing despite not shooting well for the Senators still delivering 21 points and seven rebounds despite shooting just 4/15 from the field. He went 13/17 from the foul line.
Cody Ellis contributed 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals for Stirling too with Caleb Davis adding 15 points, seven boards, four assists and two steals, and Robert Anshila 14 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists.
Mo Barrow put up 25 points and five rebounds for the Redbacks shooting 9/14 from the floor, 2/3 from beyond the arc and 5/5 from the foul line.
Shawn Redhage put up 23 points to go with 11 assists and seven rebounds with Lee Roberts contributing 15 points and three boards, and Ben Smith 13 points, four rebounds and four steals.
WEEK 11 MEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Perry Lakes Hawks 67 lost to Joondalup Wolves 95
Rockingham Flames 107 defeated Willetton Tigers 86
Stirling Senators 94 defeated Perth Redbacks 89
Geraldton Buccaneers v South West Slammers – Active West Stadium 7.30pm
Goldfields Giants v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium 7.30pm
Perth Redbacks v Perry Lakes Hawks – Belmont Oasis 8.00pm
Joondalup Wolves v Mandurah Magic – HBF Arena 8.00pm
East Perth Eagles v Rockingham Flames – Morley Sport and Recreation Centre 8.00pm
Cockburn Cougars v Lakeside Lightning – Wally Hagan Stadium 8.00pm
Willetton Tigers v Stirling Senators – Willetton Basketball Stadium 8.00pm