IT was statement night on Friday in the Men’s SBL to open Round 14 with the Perry Lakes Hawks, Perth Redbacks and Lakeside Lightning all winning big while the Rockingham Flames bounced back to defeat the Mandurah Magic.
The four matches fixtured for Friday night always promised some fascinating results and while they might not have been too close on the scoreboard, the respective wins for the Hawks, Redbacks and Lightning all sent a message while the Flames did what was needed after last week.
Friday night in the Men’s SBL saw the Perry Lakes Hawks continue their form turnaround after a five-game losing run making it three straight beating the Willetton Tigers 92-70.
It was then a Grand Final rematch at Belmont Oasis and it was a similar result to last year’s championship decider with the Perth Redbacks beating the league-leading Joondalup Wolves 99-66.
The Lakeside Lightning responded from a disappointing loss to Kalamunda last Saturday night to impressively beat the Cockburn Cougars on Friday night 122-85 with the Rockingham Flames responding to a big loss in Kalgoorlie by defeating the Mandurah Magic 83-76.
Each Friday night contest in the Men’s SBL had plenty at stake but none more so than the Grand Final rematch at Belmont Oasis between the Redbacks and Wolfpack.
The Redbacks might have lost their past two games coming into Friday night and the Wolves might have been on an 11-game winning streak, but there was little to be read into those form lines during the contest.
Perth came out of the blocks with the defending champions putting up 23 points to 13 in the first quarter and they went into half-time leading 49-34.
It was more of the same in the second half from the Redbacks outscoring the Wolves 50 points to 32 to come away with the emphatic 33-point victory.
That improves Perth to a 12-6 record in third spot while Joondalup slips to 16-2 ahead of their clash on Saturday night at HBF Arena against the second placed Geraldton Buccaneers.
It was the evenness of the performance that stood out from the Redbacks with six players scoring in double-figures led by 17 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks from Lee Roberts.
Shawn Redhage also had 17 points, six rebounds, six assists and three blocks with Jackson Hussey contributing 15 points and seven assists, Michael Vigor 14 points, six boards, six assists and three blocked shots, Zac Gattorna 12 points and three rebounds, and Ben Smith 12 points and four boards.
Jalen Billups finished the night with 17 points and nine rebounds for the Wolves with Trian Iliadis adding 17 points and four boards. Brian Sullivan also had 13 points and four rebounds.
Perry Lakes then put its improved recent form on the line against Willetton at Bendat Basketball Centre, and the Hawks put in a dominant second half to come away with the 22-point victory.
The win is a third straight for Perry Lakes following a five-game losing slide and consolidates them inside the top eight at 9-8 while the loss sees Willetton slip to 9-8 as well.
Jacob Holmen came up big for the Hawks with the reigning MVP producing 25 points, eight rebounds and three steals on 11/21 shooting from the field.
Lochlan Cummings added 16 points, four rebounds and three assists for Perry Lakes with Ben Purser adding 14 points and six boards, Ryan Smith 11 points, six rebounds and three assists, and Brian Carlwell 10 points and six boards.
Damien Scott top-scored for the Tigers with 23 points and four rebounds while import big Badou Diagne had 16 points and 10 boards. Andrew Black finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, and Kyle Armour four points and six assists.
Rockingham then played host to Mandurah at Mike Barnett Sports Complex with the Flames trying to bounce back from a horror trip to Kalgoorlie last week and the Magic attempting to stop a three-game losing slide.
It was a tight affair most of the way but the Flames did enough to come away with the seven-point win to improve to a 10-8 record and consolidate a playoff spot while the Magic are now 3-13 with four successive losses.
Curtis Washington bounced back to some good form for Rockingham finishing with 26 points and seven rebounds with Greg Hire back in the team certain felt with 20 points and nine boards.
Illawarra Hawks guard Kevin White also had 12 points, four rebounds and three assists for Rockingham with Ryan Godfrey contributing 11 points, seven assists and four boards.
Shaun Stewart top-scored for Mandurah with 21 points and nine rebounds with Damon Ballantyne adding 16 points and four boards, and Chudier Pal 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Jamal Shabazz scored eight points on 3/11 shooting with Akau Deng also scoring eight points.
Lakeside then showed that last Saturday night’s hefty loss to Kalamunda might just have been a blip on the radar with the responding in style against Cockburn on Friday at Lakeside Recreation Centre.
After a high-scoring opening term by both teams, the Lightning pulled away in the second term to be up 55-41 by half-time. They then finished the job with 41 points to 20 in the fourth quarter to come away with the emphatic 37-point victory.
It improves the Lightning to a 10-8 record having won five of their last six while the Cougars slip to 6-11 and have lost all four straight since losing Clint Steindl to a fractured wrist.
Daniel Alexander proved his quality with a monster performance for the Lightning with 43 points, eight assists and seven rebounds on shooting 15/28 from the field, 6/13 from three-point range and 7/7 at the foul line.
John Isenbarger also had 25 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals for Lakeside on 5/9 shooting from downtown.
Bryan Michaels contributed 14 points, three rebounds and three assists, Matt Vinci 11 points and Jarrad Prue eight to go with 27 rebounds, 12 of which were offensive.
Gavin Field (28 points, four rebounds, four assists) and Julian Pesava (28 points, seven boards, four blocks, three assists) did all they could to help the Cougars be competitive but they just didn’t get enough support. Seva Chan did add 14 points and seven assists and Jaarod Holmes eight points.
WEEK 14 MEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Perry Lakes Hawks 92 defeated Willetton Tigers 70
Perth Redbacks 99 defeated Joondalup Wolves 66
Lakeside Lightning 122 defeated Cockburn Cougars 85
Rockingham Flames 83 defeated Mandurah Magic 76
Willetton Tigers v Goldfields Giants – Willetton Basketball Stadium 7.30pm
Joondalup Wolves v Geraldton Buccaneers – HBF Arena 7.30pm
South West Slammers v East Perth Eagles – Eaton Recreation Centre 8.00pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Rockingham Flames – Ray Owen Sports Centre 8.30pm
Cockburn Cougars v Goldfields Giants – Wally Hagan Stadium 12.00pm
Perry Lakes Hawks v Geraldton Buccaneers – Bendat Basketball Centre 12.00pm
Stirling Senators v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Warwick Stadium 2.00pm