THE Rockingham Flames impressed on their home floor while the Joondalup Wolves and Geraldton Buccaneers made another statement and the Lakeside Lightning, Goldfields Giants, East Perth Eagles and Mandurah Magic were winners in Round 2 of the Men’s SBL.
Round 2 of the Men’s SBL got underway with a standalone Friday night fixture at Mike Barnett Sports Complex with the Rockingham Flames beating the Perry Lakes Hawks 107-90 in a rematch from last year’s semi finals.
There were then six matches on Saturday night with 12 of the 14 clubs taking part in the action beginning at Willetton Basketball Stadium with the Lakeside Lightning beating the Willetton Tigers 90-71.
The Goldfields Giants also beat the Perth Redbacks 83-76, the Geraldton Buccaneers defeated the South West Slammers 105-55, the East Perth won a thriller 84-82 against the Cockburn Cougars, the Joondalup Wolves downed the Warwick Senators 101-77 and the Mandurah Magic prevailed 95-79 against the Kalamunda Eastern Suns.
That all means that after two rounds of the 2019 season, the Joondalup Wolves are looking supremely impressive at 3-0 while the Geraldton Buccaneers, Lakeside Lightning and East Perth Eagles are all 2-0.
The Goldfields Giants sit at 2-1 while the Warwick Senators, Rockingham Flames and Willetton Tigers are 1-1.
The Mandurah Magic and Kalamunda Eastern Suns are 1-2 while the Cockburn Cougars, Perth Redbacks, Perry Lakes Hawks and South West Slammers all hold 0-2 win-loss records.
SINCLAIR MCDONALD’S ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 107 defeated PERRY LAKES HAWKS 90
It had blockbuster Friday night all over it at Mike Barnett Sports Complex in a standalone fixture and it ended with the Rockingham Flames beating the defending champion Perry Lakes 107-90.
The Flames and Hawks took part in a fascinating and intense semi-final series that went three games before Perry Lakes won Game 3 on their home floor before going on to win the championship.
This was their first meeting since that so there was some natural fascination from players and observers alike because of that even with the changes to both groups.
They were both coming off Round 1 losses too with Rockingham losing in Geraldton to the Buccs while Perry Lakes lost its Grand Final rematch to the Joondalup Wolves, so there was a little bit extra riding on it.
To top that off, it was an emotional and special of occasion with the Flames paying tribute to Anthony Exeter who tragically passed away in a horrific accident, with this the first home game giving Rockingham the chance to honour him and his family.
Premier Mark McGowan was also on hand so the stage was set for a big occasion and it was the Flames who came out hot with a 59-point first half to take a 24-point advantage into the break.
Rockingham went on to win the game by 17 points for the first win under new coach Ryan Petrik despite the absence of Jarryd Griffin, Callum Beard, Brad Robbins and Greg Hire.
Captain Ryan Godfrey was tremendous for Rockingham with 27 points, nine assists and six rebounds on shooting 10/17 from the field and 5/10 from three-point territory.
Josh Ritchart added 22 points and 10 rebounds with Luke Travers contributing 22 points and nine boards, Caleb White 11 points, three assists and two steals, Justin Beard 11 points and seven rebounds, and Chudier Pal eight points, eight boards and three assists.
Perry Lakes slipped to 0-2 to start their championship defence with the loss despite 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists from Lochlan Cummings.
Captain Ben Purser played all but a minute of the game and contributed 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds while Brian Carlwell produced 16 points and five boards.
Kyle Sovine added 12 points for Perry Lakes and Ryan Smith 12 points, four rebounds and two steals.
WILLETTON TIGERS 71 lost to LAKESIDE LIGHTNING 90
The Lakeside Lightning maintained their undefeated start to the new season going to Willetton Basketball Stadium to beat the Willetton Tigers 90-71 on Saturday night.
Willetton was playing its first home game of the season with their stadium undergoing the redevelopment but it was Lakeside and former Tigers captain Kyle Armour that came in and took away the 19-point victory.
Both teams were coming off Round 1 victories with the Tigers beating Cockburn and the Lightning defeating the Magic a week earlier. It was Lakeside who was able to back it up to win on the road on the back of an impressive second half.
It was a tight first half with the Lightning only leading 47-43 before Lakeside took charge in the third quarter holding Willetton to just 11 points in the third quarter and 28 in the second half. The Lightning scored 43 points in the second half on the way to the 19-point win.
Lakeside finished the game with 47 rebounds to 37 while also having 21 assists to 11 turnovers for 32 field goals and shooting 45 per cent from the field. The Lightning also shot 12/37 at 32 per cent from three-point range.
Willetton shot 24/71 at 33 per cent from the floor and 9/33 at 27 per cent from three-point territory.
Kyle Armour marked his return to Willetton as an opposition player with 23 points, six assists and three rebounds on shooting 7/11 from the floor and 4/5 from beyond the arc.
Jobi Wall also had 23 points, four rebounds and three steals for the Lightning, Rowan Mackenzie 22 points, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals, Nick Palleschi 10 points, four assists and three boards, and Jarrad Prue six points and 20 rebounds.
Jackson Hussey did all he could to try and lead the Tigers to a win finishing with 27 points, six rebounds and two assists. He was the only Willetton player to score in double-figures though.
NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES GOLDFIELDS GIANTS 83 defeated TEXTURE WA PERTH REDBACKS 76
LACKOVIC PUMPED FOR FULL STRENGTH 2019 REDBACKS
The Goldfields Giants showed plenty of good signs on the road in Round 1 and backed that up at home on Saturday night beating the Perth Redbacks 83-76.
The Giants started the new season with Wayne Creek in charge as coach with an eight-point loss to Joondalup before beating Kalamunda by 33 points in Round 1.
Meanwhile, an undermanned Redbacks fell to a 35-point loss at home to the Warwick Senators in what was the biggest loss in Nik Lackovic’s time as coach.
It took Goldfields until the second half to break the game open but they were able to finish strongly to improve to a 2-1 record on the season to record the seven-point victory in front of their home fans in Kalgoorlie.
The Giants led 21-18 at quarter-time before the Redbacks turned it around and led 42-40 at half-time. Goldfields got rolling in the second half outscoring Perth 43 to 34 to win by seven.
Dave Humphries had another impressive game for the Giants with 26 points, 13 rebounds and four steals, hitting 5/10 from three-point range.
Patrick Burke was a strong contributor too with 20 points, seven rebounds and two steals with Jay Bowie contributing 18 points, five assists and four rebounds in his first game back on his old home floor in Giants colours.
Brandon Holloway also had 11 points and four assists while Manylok Malek contributed four points, eight boards, three assists and three blocked shots.
The Redbacks were still short of being at full strength with Lee Roberts tied up playing in Argentina, Jourdan DeMuynck yet to arrive and Marshall Nelson not getting back in town in time to get to Kalgoorlie, instead watching the Kalamunda-Mandurah action.
Kyle Bowen did return, though, fresh off being part of the Perth Wildcats NBL championship with 22 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks while playing almost 38 minutes.
Captain Joel Wagner finished with 18 points and three assists while Lachlan Bertram added 12 points and Ronan Coppin eight to go with three rebounds.
QUADRIO EARTHMOVING GERALDTON BUCCANEERS 105 defeated PRINT SYNC SOUTH WEST SLAMMERS 55
The Geraldton Buccaneers remained at home for the second straight week to start the season and took full advantage with a thumping 105-55 win over the South West Slammers.
The Buccs might have been disappointed with the way their 2018 season ended in the quarter finals after finishing on top of the standings, but they have wasted no time making an early statement in 2019 under new coach Dayle Joseph.
The Buccaneers backed up their opening round win over Rockingham with a commanding performance on Saturday night against a Slammers team who would have had a long trip back to Bunbury following the 50-point defeat.
It was a tight start to the game with scores tied at 18-18 by quarter-time. But the Buccs turned it on in the second quarter with 37 points to 14.
Geraldton added another 26 points to nine in the third quarter and 24 to 14 in the fourth to end up winning by 50 points.
The Buccs finished the game with 56 rebounds to 32 including 25 offensive boards for 20 second chance points.
Geraldton also had 25 assists while forced South West into 25 turnovers and had 31 points off those.
The Buccaneers shot 41/81 at 50 per cent from the field but only 6/22 at 27 per cent from downtown. The Slammers finished off going at 19/63 at 19/63 from the floor and 5/24 at 20 per cent from long-range.
The Buccs are one of the teams now at full strength early in the season with the arrival of Colter Lasher who put up 22 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Willie Conner also had 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals with Liam Hunt contributing 15 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocks, and Aaron Ralph 15 points and seven rebounds.
Dylan Myers finished with 12 points with Brayden Inger finishing with nine points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals while captain Matt Wundenberg came in as well for six points and 11 rebounds in just nine minutes.
Michael Lay produced 13 points, five assists, four steals and two rebounds for a Slammers team still awaiting the return of Brian Voelkel.
Chris Douglas had 11 points and six rebounds with James Goodlad finishing with nine points and five boards, Brody England seven points and Tyler Livingston seven points in only 17 minutes.
CMTG EAST PERTH EAGLES 84 defeated PRESTIGE HONDA MELVILLE COCKBURN COUGARS 82
The thriller of the second round of the 2019 season took place at Herb Graham Recreation Centre with the East Perth Eagles beating the Cockburn Cougars 84-82.
The Eagles have made the move to the Mirrabooka home this season and it was an impressive turnout for the first home game of 2019 with those in attendance treated to a terrific men’s encounter.
East Perth came into the game having won in Bunbury to start the season while Cockburn lost narrowly at home to Willetton setting the stage for the game.
Little separated both teams the majority of the night with the Cougars leading by two points at quarter-time while scores were locked away at 38-38 at half-time.
Cockburn did pull away in the third quarter with 24 points to 17 to lead 62-55 at three quarter-time, but East Perth finished impressively.
In the end, it was three-pointers from Andrej Donlagic, Drew Williamson and Sunday Dech in the final two minutes that got East Perth over the line with that 9-4 run to finish the contest in style.
Cameron Williams top-scored for the Eagles with 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals while Drew Williamson finished with 16 points, three boards, two assists and two steals including nailing all three of his three-point attempts.
Sunday Dech contributed 14 points, 13 rebounds and four assists for East Perth too with Andrej Donlagic adding nine points and five boards, and Jermaine Malie seven points, five rebounds and three assists.
Gavin Field once more top-scored for the Cougars with 22 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocked shots.
Hayden Bell contributed 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists while Jaarod Holmes added 13 points and six boards, Matt Vinci 11 points and three blocks, and Seva Chan six points, seven assists and three rebounds.
CHAMBERS FRANKLYN JOONDALUP CITY WOLVES 101 defeated BETHANIE WARWICK SENATORS 77
The Joondalup Wolves couldn’t have been more impressive on Saturday night beating the Warwick Senators 101-77 in the Battle of Joondalup at HBF Arena.
On the back of having played in the last four Grand Finals, the Wolfpack have been on fire to open the 2019 season. In the opening round, they beat the Perry Lakes Hawks and Goldfields Giants, and now they’ve backed it up by beating the Senators by 24 points on Saturday night.
That was a Warwick team that would have been feeling good following a 35-point road win over the Perth Redbacks, but they weren’t able to get a measure of revenge on the team that knocked them out of the semi finals in 2018.
The Wolves led by just two points at quarter-time but then pulled away in the second period with 30 points to 15 to lead 49-32 at half-time. They went on with the job from there to end up winning by 24 to go 3-0 over the opening two rounds.
Earnest Ross backed up his Player of the Week performance from Round 1 with another impressive showing made up of 21 points, six rebounds and five assists on shooting an efficient 7/11 from the field and 3/6 from beyond the arc.
Import guard Ridell Camidge also finished with 18 points, three steals and two rebounds while captain and 422-game veteran Seb Salinas continued his good start to his 17th season with 19 points, five rebounds, and two assists inducing hitting 5/8 from deep.
Kevin Davis also had 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals for the Wolfpack with Rob Huntington contributing six points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Justin King top-scored with 23 points and nine rebounds for the Senators with Caleb Davis adding 15 points and nine boards, Ngor Manyang 11 points, Wani Swaka Lo Buluk nine points and four rebounds, and Cody Ellis eight points, seven boards, three assists and two blocks.
KALAMUNDA EASTERN SUNS 79 lost to MANDURAH MAGIC 95
After being overrun twice in the opening round, it was the Mandurah Magic finishing strongly with a 52-point to 28 second half to beat the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 95-79 on Saturday night.
The Eastern Suns started well enough on their home floor on Saturday night leading Mandurah 22-19 by quarter-time and still being up 51-43 by half-time and seemingly in control of the contest.
But things all changed after half-time with the Magic putting together some impressive basketball at both ends of the floor.
Their defensive intensity rose and on the back of that they held Kalamunda to just 28 points for the second half.
Shaun Stewart then found the right balance between taking his own shots and using his extensive skill set to make plays for his teammates with the Magic putting up 52 points of their own to go from eight points down at the half to winning by 16.
Mandurah ended up reeling in 19 offensive rebounds for 19 second chance points on top of scoring 48 points in the paint as well as forcing the Suns into 20 turnovers.
It was quite a good shooting night from both teams with the Magic going at 50 per cent from the field and 34 per cent from three with the Suns ending up at 46 per cent from the floor and 34 per cent from three. But Mandurah took seven more shots and got to the line 13 more times.
Shaun Stewart again had an outstanding night for Mandurah with 34 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and five steals on shooting 11/22 from the field and 10/12 from the free-throw line.
Slammers recruit Travis Durnin stepped up too for 23 points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks including hitting 5/10 from three-point range.
Akau Deng played 33 minutes for 14 points and seven rebounds with Marvin Smith contributing 12 points, six boards, two assists and two steals despite being limited to 20 minutes with foul trouble.
Cousteau Kyle was another player to emerge with eight points, six rebounds and six assists.
Import guard Josh Braun couldn’t have done much more for Kalamunda finishing with 33 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals on shooting 12/22 from the field, 5/12 from deep and 4/4 at the charity stripe.
Louis Timms had 15 points, five rebounds, five blocks, four assists and two steals for the Eastern Suns with Logan Viskovich adding 11 points, and Ryan Blanchett nine points and five rebounds.