HERITAGE Round in the Men’s SBL began on Friday night with three matches that saw the Perry Lakes Hawks keep its winning form going, the Stirling Senators consolidate a playoff spot and the Joondalup Wolves retain top spot.
It was an important night to open Heritage Round on Friday night for all six competing clubs either sitting inside the top eight or trying to break in.
The action saw the Perry Lakes Hawks make it six straight wins beating the Rockingham Flames 82-79.
The Stirling Senators got back on the winner’s list too and consolidated a position inside the top eight by beating the Cockburn Cougars 99-90 and the Joondalup Wolves putting together an emphatic performance, defeating the East Perth Eagles 100-74.
MEN’S SBL PREVIEW – HERITAGE ROUND
THREE YEARS ON AND CLARKE’S SUNS MAKING EXCITING PROGRESS
Friday night in the Men’s SBL for Heritage Round began at Mike Barnett Sports Complex with the Flames hosting the Hawks.
Precious little separated the two sides all evening with plenty at stake and the biggest lead at any stage was 11 points going the way of Perry Lakes.
But it was always destined to go down to the wire and that’s the way it panned out.
Perry Lakes were again up by 10 points with just under five minutes to play, but Rockingham wasn’t going to go down wondering. Curtis Washington drilled a three, Greg Hire added one of his own and then Kevin White chimed in from downtown too to make it a one-point ball game.
Scores were all level with two and-a-half minutes left when Justin Beard capitalised on a tech foul call against the Hawks’ Ryan Smith but Lochlan Cummings drilled a three to put Perry Lakes three points up soon after.
Cummings and Ben Purser were then able to seal the win for Perry Lakes at the foul line as they won by three to have now won six straight to improve to a 12-8 record while Rockingham slips to 11-10.
Young Hawks point guard Mitch Clarke came up big in the absence of injured veteran Dan Thomas to top-score for his team with 19 points.
Lochlan Cummings finished with 17 points, three rebounds and three steals for Perry Lakes, Brian Carlwell 14 points and 13 boards, Jacob Holmen 13 points and 16 rebounds, and Ben Purser nine points, 13 boards and six assists.
Curtis Washington finished with a game-high 27 points and seven rebounds for the Flames while Greg Hire contributed 15 points, 16 boards and eight assists, and Ryan Godfrey 11 points and three rebounds.
Then at Warwick Stadium, it was another big game on Friday night with the Senators trying to stay in the top eight and the visiting Cougars attempting to break into it.
The Senators regained Corban Wroe from injury but were again missing Cody Ellis and made a good start to lead the Cougars by four points at quarter-time and six at the half.
Cockburn did fire back in the third period to be just three points behind at three quarter-time, but Stirling had the answers down the stretch on their home floor to score the crucial nine-point victory.
The win improves the Senators to an 11-10 record while the Cougars at 8-12.
Adelaide 36ers recruit Caleb Davis had a monster performance for Stirling leading his team to the win with 36 points, five rebounds and three steals while shooting 12/20 from the field and 7/12 from three-point territory.
Justin King also produced 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Senators, Robert Anshila 17 points, 11 boards and four assists, and Jay Thwaites eight points.
Julian Pesava top-scored for Cockburn with 25 points and 10 rebounds including hitting 4/8 from beyond the arc.
Jaarod Holmes finished with 16 points while Brandon Sebirumbi contributed 16 points and six rebounds, and Gavin Field 14 points, eight boards and four assists.
The Eagles and Wolves then locked horns at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre with East Perth trying to break into the top eight and Joondalup to retain top position.
The Wolfpack made a statement early and were never headed leading by 11 points at quarter-time and then being 58-43 to the good by half-time.
Joondalup then held East Perth to just six points in the third quarter while scoring 23 themselves to set up the eventual 26-point triumph.
Jalen Billups delivered a strong performance for the Wolfpack with 26 points and six rebounds with Rob Huntington contributing 18 points, four boards and four assists, Damian Matacz 16 points and five boards, and Trian Iliadis 13 points, four assists, three steals and three rebounds.
Jonathan Morse ended the night with 21 points and eight rebounds for East Perth while Aiden Murphy had 14 points and Drew Williamson 12 along with six boards, three assists and three steals.
WEEK 16 MEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Rockingham Flames 79 lost to Perry Lakes Hawks 82
Stirling Senators 99 defeated Cockburn Cougars 90
East Perth Eagles 74 lost to Joondalup Wolves 100
Geraldton Buccaneers v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Active West Stadium 7.30pm
Mandurah Magic v Goldfields Giants – Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre 7.30pm
Perry Lakes Hawks v South West Slammers – Bendat Basketball Centre 8.00pm
Willetton Tigers v Lakeside Lightning – Willetton Basketball Stadium 8.00pm
Cockburn Cougars v Perth Redbacks – Wally Hagan Stadium 8.00pm
South West Slammers v Goldfields Giants – Eaton Recreation Centre 12.00pm
Perth Redbacks v Mandurah Magic – Belmont Oasis 2.00pm