WHILE the Joondalup Wolves extended their Men’s SBL winning streak to 11 to open Round 13 on Friday night and the Lakeside Lightning took theirs to five, the East Perth Eagles stopped their losing slide at five beating the Kalamunda Eastern Suns.
There were three matches in the Men’s SBL on Friday night to open Round 13 of the 2018 SBL season and each was decided by single-figures in the finish.
The Friday night fixtures saw the Joondalup Wolves make it 11 straight wins and consolidate top spot, beating the Cockburn Cougars 85-76 at Wally Hagan Stadium.
The Lakeside Lightning then made it five consecutive wins as they eye off a top four position defeating the Stirling Senators 93-87 at Lakeside Recreation Centre.
And the East Perth Eagles ended a five-game losing run to stay in the playoff race beating the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 106-98 at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre.
The league-leading Wolves came to Wally Hagan Stadium on Friday night marking the first visit back to The Den for Jalen Billups who made such an impact for the Cougars in 2017.
Little separated the two teams all night too after they had clashed in the Grand Final of 2016, with Cockburn prevailing, and in the quarter finals last year where Joondalup won in three games.
The Wolves biggest lead was 13 on an 11-0 run while the Cougars biggest advantage for the evening was three.
But in the end the Wolfpack had just too many weapons to win by nine points and make it 11 straight to remain atop the Men’s SBL standings at 16-1. The Cougars have now lost three straight since Clint Steindl fractured his wrist and remain outside a playoff position at 6-10.
Jalen Billups marked his return to his home floor of last year in style putting up 27 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists for Joondalup on 12/19 shooting.
Brian Sullivan added 23 points, four rebounds and three assists too for the Wolves while nailing 5/11 from long range.
Rob Huntington also had 11 points and three rebounds, Reece Maxwell 10 points and five boards and Trian Iliadis 10 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Gavin Field continued his standout season for the Cougars with the captain delivering another 21 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists while playing all 40 minutes.
Julian Pesava also had 18 points and nine rebounds for Cockburn, Seva Chan 14 points and four boards, Jaarod Holmes 12 points and six rebounds.
Two teams desperate to try and break into the top eight then locked horns at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre with East Perth hosting Kalamunda.
The Eagles were on a five-game losing slide but came out firing with 24 points to 13 in the first quarter and then another 33 to 27 in the second to lead 57-40 at half-time.
The Eastern Suns had a crack at a comeback but East Perth held on for the eight-point win to steady at a 6-11 record while Kalamunda slipped to 7-10 with both still outside of a playoff position.
Jonathan Morse delivered a big game for the Eagles with 25 points and 15 rebounds with recent arrival Anthony Golden also contributing 20 points and three boards while nailing 5/7 from beyond the arc.
Aiden Murphy shifted to the bench and produced 17 points with Drew Williamson adding 15 points and 11 assists, and Andrej Donlagic 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals.
Kevin Davis made his return to Morley where he played with East Perth last season and top-scored for Kalamunda with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Kerrod Horn added 20 points and four assists for the Eastern Suns, Louis Timms 20 points and 11 rebounds, Courtney Belger 17 points, nine assists and five steals, and Ryan Blanchett eight points and seven rebounds.
And lastly on Friday night at Lakeside Recreation Centre, the in-form Lightning hosted the Senators as they tried to close in on their fourth position in the standings.
That set the stage for a tantalising match up and it was Stirling who started well having lost its last two matches. They led 24-19 at quarter-time but the Lightning were back within one by half-time and up by five at three quarter-time and went on to win by six.
The result improves the Lightning to a 9-7 record with five straight wins while the Senators have lost three in succession and are 9-8.
John Isenbarger came up huge for Lakeside with the shooting guard producing 28 points on 6/11 shooting from three-point territory and 11/21 from the field.
Daniel Alexander added 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists while Matt Vinci contributed 14 points and six assists, Bryan Michaels nine points and eight rebounds, and Jarrad Prue four points and 19 boards, including 10 at the offensive end.
Caleb Davis came up big for a Senators team minus Corban Wroe, finishing the evening with 23 points and four rebounds including going 4/9 from deep.
Cody Ellis added 19 points, four rebounds and three assists for Stirling while Justin King had 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals, and Robert Anshila 14 points and 13 boards.
WEEK 13 MEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Cockburn Cougars 76 lost to Joondalup Wolves 85
East Perth Eagles 106 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 98
Lakeside Lightning 93 defeated Stirling Senators 87
Geraldton Buccaneers v Perth Redbacks – Active West Stadium 7.30pm
Goldfields Giants v Rockingham Flames – Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium 7.30pm
South West Slammers v Willetton Tigers – Eaton Recreation Centre 8.00pm
Stirling Senators v East Perth Eagles – Warwick Stadium 8.00pm
Mandurah Magic v Perry Lakes Hawks – Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre 8.00pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Lakeside Lightning – Ray Owen Sports Centre 8.30pm