THERE were three matches in the Men’s SBL on Friday night with tight wins for the Rockingham Flames and Perry Lakes Hawks while the South West Slammers impressed on the road beating the Mandurah Magic.
It’s a huge long weekend of action in the Men’s SBL spread over four days and culminating with the All-Star Games on the WA Day Monday public holiday at Bendat Basketball Centre.
The three matches on Friday night saw the Rockingham Flames continue their winning form since the arrival of Illawarra Hawks NBL captain Kevin White, beating the Cockburn Cougars 77-75.
The South West Slammers had an easier time of it beating the Mandurah Magic 101-78 while the Perry Lakes Hawks snapped a five-game losing run defeating the East Perth Eagles 100-92.
The Friday night Men’s SBL action began at Wally Hagan Stadium with the Cougars hosting the Flames in a battle of two teams locked in a fight over spots in the bottom apart of the top eight.
Cockburn started the game strongly too to lead 23-17 by quarter-time but Rockingham steadied to be only three points down by half-time.
The Cougars looked capable of setting up a match-winning advantage during the third quarter but once more the Flames responded in the fourth period to force the game into overtime.
And in the extra period, the Cougars pulled ahead on a three from Julian Pesava with 22 seconds remaining. But on the subsequent play out of a timeout, Justin Beard was fouled and made two free throws for Rockingham to put them up by one.
Beard then stole the ball from Cougars captain Gavin Field and was again fouled, where he made the first and then on missing the second Jarryd Griffin grabbed the offensive board and that was the game with the Flames winning by two points.
The Flames got the win despite being without Greg Hire who at the same time was being presented as the 2018 West Australian of the Year Youth Award. They were also missing imposing import Curtis Washington.
Not only did Justin Beard make the winning plays, but also had 28 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots for Rockingham while playing 45 minutes and shooting 9/18 from the floor, 3/6 from deep and 7/11 from the free-throw line.
Luke Roberts also had 10 points and five rebounds for the Flames, Kyle Beard 10 points and nine boards, Callum Beard 10 points and seven rebounds, Jarryd Griffin nine points, 11 boards, four assists and three steals, and Kevin White eight points, six assists and four rebounds.
Gavin Field top-scored for the Cougars with 18 points, 16 rebounds and five assists on 7/13 shooting.
Julian Pesava added 16 points and seven rebounds for Cockburn, Seva Chan 15 points, seven steals, six assists and five boards, and Jakob Knight 11 points and eight rebounds.
Then at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre, it was a contest featuring two teams trying to stay in the playoff race with the Magic hosting the Slammers with both entering the clash with 3-10 records.
The Slammers delivered a strong opening quarter with 29 points to 20 and they carried on in the second to lead 54-40 at half-time. That 14-point advantage turned into a 23-point victory for South West.
It improved the Slammers to a 4-10 record on the season to stay in contention for a playoff berth while the Magic’s job got all that much harder at 3-11.
Brandon Thompson was an offensive beast for the Slammers finishing the night with 29 points on shooting 10/14 from the field, 5/7 from three-point territory and 4/5 from the charity stripe.
Michael Lay finished with 21 points, five assists, three rebounds and three steals too for South West with Brian Voelkel contributing 19 points, 16 boards, 11 assists and three steals in a tremendous triple-double including shooting 6/9 from the field and 7/7 at the free-throw line.
Clive Weeden also had 15 points and 10 rebounds with Sam Sopolinski contributing nine points and four boards.
Jamal Shabazz was the game’s high-scorer with the Mandurah import putting up 32 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Shaun Stewart also had 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Magic while Chudier Pal produced eight points and eight rebounds, and Damon Ballantyne eight points and five assists.
And lastly on Friday night, it was East Perth hosting Perry Lakes at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre with the Eagles on a four-game losing run and the Hawks having lost five straight.
East Perth was desperate to break its four-game winning run and win for the first time with new arrival Anthony Golden in the line-up. That saw the Eagles lead 32-28 by quarter-time and still be up by three at both half and three quarter-time.
But the Hawks were determined to break their own five-match losing form and put in a spirited fourth quarter with 28 points to 17 to come away with the eight-point victory.
The win improves Perry Lakes to a 7-8 record on the season and entrenched in the top eight while East Perth slips to 5-11 with the fifth consecutive defeat.
Jacob Holmen delivered his best performance since joining the Hawks with the reigning league MVP putting up 30 points, 11 rebounds, three blocked shots and two assists on 10/18 shooting from the field and 9/10 from the foul line.
Lochlan Cummings found some shooting form too with 22 points, seven rebounds and two assists on 8/13 from the field, 2/4 from long range and 4/6 from the stripe.
Ben Purser also had 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Hawks, and Ryan Smith 16 points, four boards and two assists while making 3/6 from three-point range.
Drew Williamson once again top-scored for East Perth with another 26 points, four assists and three rebounds with Jonathan Morse contributing 20 points, 16 boards and six assists.
Anthony Golden also had 17 points and four rebounds.
WEEK 12 MEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Cockburn Cougars 75 lost to Rockingham Flames 77
Mandurah Magic 78 lost to South West Slammers 101
East Perth Eagles 92 lost to Perry Lakes Hawks 100
Geraldton Buccaneers v Goldfields Giants – Active West Stadium 7.30pm
Joondalup Wolves v Stirling Senators – HBF Arena 8.00pm
Lakeside Lightning v Willetton Tigers – Lakeside Recreation Centre 8.00pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Perth Redbacks – Ray Owen Sports Centre 8.30pm
Goldfields Giants v Geraldton Buccaneers – Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium 7.30pm
Men’s All-Star Game
North v South – Bendat Basketball Centre 2pm