THE Joondalup Wolves remained unbeaten to start the 2019 Men’s SBL season handing the East Perth Eagles their first defeat on Friday night with the Lakeside Lightning staying the other team yet to taste a loss while the Goldfields Giants and Rockingham Flames kept gathering steam.
It was a big weekend of Men’s SBL action starting on Friday night with the Lakeside Lightning beating the Perth Redbacks 96-67, the Joondalup Wolves downing the East Perth Eagles 93-84 and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns defeating the Willetton Tigers 88-62.
There were then six matches on Saturday night beginning with the Rockingham Flames beating the Cockburn Cougars 120-90 on the back of a Greg Hire triple-double.
The Goldfields Giants won a thriller 88-85 over the Warwick Senators with the Perry Lakes Hawks coming from behind to beat the Perth Redbacks 108-97 and the East Perth Eagles thumping the Mandurah Magic 99-48.
The Willetton Tigers bounced back beating the South West Slammers 86-79 and the Geraldton Buccaneers downed the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 117-88.
The round then concluded on Sunday afternoon at Bendat Basketball Centre with the Perry Lakes Hawks celebrating the 300th game of Ben Purser by beating the Geraldton Buccaneers 104-97.
That all means that following Round 3 there is just the two undefeated teams left in the Men’s SBL with the Joondalup Wolves improving to 4-0 and the Lakeside Lightning 3-0.
The Geraldton Buccaneers, East Perth Eagles and Goldfields Giants are just behind at 3-1 while the Rockingham Flames sit at 2-1.
The Perry Lakes Hawks improved to 2-2 with the Willetton Tigers also 2-2 ahead of the Kalamunda Eastern Suns who are 2-3.
The Warwick Senators are 1-2 and Mandurah Magic are 1-3 while the Cockburn Cougars (0-3), Perth Redbacks (0-4) and the South West Slammers (0-3) are the three winless teams.
LAKESIDE LIGHTNING 96 defeated TEXTURE WA PERTH REDBACKS 67
The Lakeside Lightning’s brilliant start to the new season continued on Friday night with a 96-67 thumping of the Perth Redbacks at Lakeside Recreation Centre.
Having already beaten Mandurah and Willetton to open the season, the Lightning continued their momentum with the 29-point victory over the champions of two years ago who now remain winless as a result.
The Redbacks were able to stick with the Lightning early but Lakeside pulled away in the second quarter to lead 46-32 by half-time.
Perth limited the damage again in the third quarter but then Lakeside finished tremendously with 21 points to 10 in the final term to come away with the 29-point victory.
The Lightning continue to be without Jack Isenbarger and Michael Vigor, but are clicking nicely three rounds into the new season and on Friday night, they were on song from three-point range shooting 18/38 at 47 per cent.
Lakeside also dominated the boards with 56 to 33 including 22 offensive boards for 28 second chance points.
It was the number of strong contributors the Lightning had that was key to their performance with Kyle Armour top-scoring off the bench with 17 points, eight assists and four rebounds.
Jobi Wall added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists with Rowan Mackenzie contributing 15 points, five assists and four boards, Ben Lee 12 points, Jarrad Prue 11 points and 14 rebounds, and Nick Palleschi seven points, four rebounds and two assists.
The Redbacks continue to be short on manpower. While they regained Marshall Nelson they lost Kyle Bowen and are still awaiting the arrival of imports Lee Roberts and Jourdan DeMuynck.
Nelson had a solid performance first up with 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists including shooting 5/9 from three-point range.
Majier Garang added 11 points, four rebounds, two steals and two blocks as well for the Redbacks.
CMTG EAST PERTH EAGLES 84 lost to CHAMBERS FRANKLYN JOONDALUP CITY WOLVES 93
For the fourth time already this Men’s SBL season, the Joondalup Wolves took the best from their opponents and were able to assert their class and authority, this time beating the East Perth Eagles 93-84 on Friday night.
It was always set to be a fascinating contest at Mirrabooka’s Herb Graham Recreation Centre with both East Perth and Joondalup entering the clash undefeated after the opening two rounds.
The Eagles started impressively too on their new home floor taking it right up to the Wolves, leading 24-21 by quarter-time.
They continued that during the second term and went into the half-time break with a 52-46 advantage and plenty of momentum after a string of steals and turnovers largely forced by exciting new point guard Cameron Williams.
But the Wolves made the adjustments at half-time and controlled the game most of the way through the second half highlighted by their 30-point third period to end up winning by nine points to improve to 4-0 on the season.
Kevin Davis showed just what a difference-maker he can be for the Wolves on his return to the club, putting in his best performance of the new season. He was clearly energised against the team he spent 2017 with and was a force on the glass and above the rim especially.
He finished the night with 23 points, 17 rebounds, four assists and four steals, with 12 of his boards coming on the offensive end.
Ridell Camidge continued his impressive start to his SBL career with the combo guard delivering 22 points, six rebounds and two steals with Earnest Ross producing 21 points, six boards, four assists and three steals.
Captain and 423-game veteran Seb Salinas is another to start the season impressively for the Wolfpack with another 12 points.
Sunday Dech top-scored for the Eagles with 32 points, seven rebounds and two assists on 12/22 shooting from the field and 4/10 from three-point territory.
Captain Drew Williamson finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists for East Perth with Cameron Williams contributing 11 points, six boards, five assists and five steals, Andrej Donlagic nine points and three rebounds, and Jermaine Malie eight points.
WILLETTON TIGERS 62 lost to KALAMUNDA EASTERN SUNS 88
UTLEY PUTS IT ON SUNS PLAYERS TO RESPOND STRONGLY
If Mark Utley was after a strong response from his Kalamunda Eastern Suns, he couldn’t have asked for more than their 88-62 victory over the Willetton Tigers on Friday night.
Kalamunda started the season with a good win in Mandurah but then suffered home losses to Goldfields and Mandurah by a combined 49 points as they prepared to head to Willetton Basketball Stadium on Friday night.
The Tigers were also looking for a response to a 19-point loss at home to Lakeside the previous Saturday night, but it was Kalamunda that hit back impressively.
The Suns led 28-23 by quarter-time and were still on top 49-44 at half-time. But the Eastern Suns then delivered a dominant second half holding Willetton to just 18 points while scoring 39 themselves and winning the game by 26 points.
Utley got the response he was after on the boards from the Eastern Suns as they collecting 49 rebounds to 37 from Willetton on top of scoring 44 point in the paint to 30.
Louis Timms produced a monster performance for the Suns with 29 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and two steals while shooting an efficient 11/16 from the field, 3/5 from three-point territory and 4/4 from the foul line.
Josh Braun was a strong performer too with another 23 points, 12 rebounds and three assists with Corey Easley contributing 12 points and four assists, Ryan Blanchett 10 points, four rebounds and two assists in his 100th SBL appearance and Carl Aylett four points, five assists, five steals and four rebounds.
Jackson Hussey had 18 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals for Willetton but was their only double-figure scorer on the night. Mo Barrow added nine points and three rebounds, and Damien Scott nine points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals.
PRESTIGE HONDA MELVILLE COCKBURN COUGARS 90 lost to SINCLAIR MCDONALD’S ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 120
Saturday night’s action in the Men’s SBL began at Wally Hagan Stadium with the Cockburn Cougars hosting the Rockingham Flames.
It was the only game of the weekend for both teams with the Cougars shooting for their first win of 2019 while the Flames were looking to build on the momentum from their big win the previous Friday night against the Perry Lakes Hawks in a semi-final rematch.
Rockingham came out strongly, though, to lead by nine points at quarter-time and still led 53-46 by half-time.
The Flames then turned up the heat in the third quarter with 34 points to 19 in the third quarter, and another 33 points to 25 in the fourth win by 30 points and improve to 2-1 on the season while the Cougars slipped to 0-3.
It was a standout shooting night from Rockingham with them piling on 120 points on just 75 field goal attempts. They shot at 60 per cent from the field as well as hitting 13/29 from three-point range at 44 per cent.
On top of their work from beyond the arc, 62 of the 120 points for the Flames came inside the paint.
On those 45 field goals, they had 34 assists as well while collecting 52 rebounds to just 37 from Cockburn. The Cougars also did reasonably well shooting the three ball hitting 13/32 at 40 per cent but despite taking 11 more shots than the Flames, they lost by 30.
Greg Hire showed what sort of an impact the retired four-time NBL championship winner is going to be capable of having putting up a triple-double in 27 minutes off the bench. He finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on 7/12 shooting.
Josh Ritchart was terrific despite only playing 18 minutes amassing 28 points and 10 rebounds on 10/14 shooting from the floor and 2/4 from three-point territory.
Caleb White put up 20 points too including hitting 4/8 from downtown while Ryan Godfrey delivered 16 points, nine assists and six rebounds, Chudier Pal 14 points and 10 boards, and Luke Travers 10 points, four assists and two steals.
Gavin Field again did all he could to keep the Cougars in the game finishing with 27 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals.
Jaarod Holmes is also in some of the best form of his 141-game career with 22 points, four assists and three rebounds with Seva Chan contributing 15 points, three boards, three assists and two steals, and Steven Van Lit eight points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES GOLDFIELDS GIANTS 88 defeated BETHANIE WARWICK SENATORS 85
The Goldfields Giants continued their winning form going at home to the Bethanie Warwick Senators, winning a thriller 88-85 on Saturday night at Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium.
The Giants lost their first game of the season on the road to the Joondalup Wolves, but beat Kalamunda the next day and then also won their home-opener last Saturday night against the Perth Redbacks.
The Senators had won their first game of the season too over the Redbacks while losing last week to the Wolves so it had been a similar start to the season for both clubs entering Saturday night’s meeting in Kalgoorlie.
Little separated the two teams most of the night too with scores tied at 22-22 at quarter-time before the Giants went into half-time leading narrowly 43-40.
The Senators took over in the third quarter and led 65-60 and the visitors led by five still after a Cody Ellis three and pair of Justin King free-throws midway through the final quarter.
A Wani Swaka Lo Buluk layup still had Warwick leading by five with four minutes left but by a minute and-a-half later the Giants had tied scores on the back of Jay Bowie hitting two free-throws.
A Manylok Malek dunk then put Goldfields up two after Caleb Davis was called for an offensive foul, but King responded for the Senators to tie scores back up with a little over a minute remaining.
A three-second call on Davis again saw a Senators turnover with the Giants capitalising with a Malek jumper and Brandon Holloway free-throws. King got to the rim and scored again for Warwick before Goldfields led 88-85 after a David Humphries free-throws with the Senators having the last play.
Out of a timeout, Cody Ellis attempted the game tying three but it wouldn’t fall and the Giants won by three to improve to 3-1 while the Senators are 1-2.
Patrick Burke top-scored for Goldfields with 23 points and seven rebounds with Jay Bowie finishing with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists, Manylok Malek 13 points and four boards, David Humphries 11 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals, and Brandon Holloway 11 points and seven assists.
Cody Ellis ended up top-scoring for Warwick with 24 points and five rebounds. Justin King also had 22 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals for the Senators with Caleb Davis contributing 16 points and eight rebounds, Wani Swaka Lo Buluk six points, five boards and five assists, and Ash Litterick six points and 11 rebounds.
TEXTURE WA PERTH REDBACKS 97 lost to ID ATHLETIC PERRY LAKES HAWKS 108
The Perth Redbacks hosted the Perry Lakes Hawks on Saturday night with both teams hunting for their first win of 2019, and it was the Hawks prevailing 108-97 coming from behind at three quarter-time.
The two teams are the last two champions in the Men’s SBL but haven’t had the best of starts to the 2019 season. The undermanned Redbacks have lost to the Senators, Giants and Lightning coming into Saturday night’s game at Belmont Oasis.
Meanwhile, Perry Lakes had lost its first two games of its championship defence to the Wolves and Flames, teams they beat on the way to the title in 2018.
That meant there was plenty on the line when they locked horns and both teams came out hot in a 61-point opening quarter with the Redbacks leading 31-30 at quarter-time.
The Redbacks remained on top by half-time too leading 55-50 and they narrowly still led 75-74 by three quarter-time.
But the Hawks then dominated the last quarter with their quality coming to the fore against a Redbacks team still missing Kyle Bowen, Lee Roberts and Jourdan DeMuynck.
The Hawks piled on 34 points to 22 in the last quarter to come away with the 11-point win to open their account for 2019 while the Redbacks slipped to 0-4.
Clint Steindl made his Hawks debut fresh off being signed during the week on the back of winning an NBL championship with the Perth Wildcats. He warmed into the contest nicely finishing with 30 points and four rebounds including going 8/13 from three-point range.
Perry Lakes had plenty more contributors too with Brian Carlwell adding 14 points and eight rebounds, Kyle Sovine 13 points and four boards, Mitch Clarke 13 points, four assists and four rebounds, Lochlan Cummings 13 points, six boards and three assists, and Ben Purser 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Marshall Nelson showed how far he has developed from two years in the NBL with the Illawarra Hawks after playing in the Redbacks 2017 championship as well, finishing the night with 31 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and five steals.
Zac Gattorna added 18 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two assists for Perth with Jayden Coburn contributing 16 points, three rebounds and two assists, Joel Wagner 10 points and eight assists, and Majier Garang eight points and seven rebounds.
MANDURAH MAGIC 48 lost to CMTG EAST PERTH EAGLES 99
The Mandurah Magic’s struggles on their home floor continued on Saturday night with the East Perth Eagles heading down the freeway and coming away with the 99-48 victory.
Mandurah deserved to be feeling good coming into the game having won the previous Saturday night at Kalamunda while they prepared to host an East Perth team coming off its first loss of the season against the Wolves on Friday.
But as coach Aaron Trahair talked about before the game, for whatever reason the Magic men have struggled on their home floor during his tenure as coach and that trend continued on Saturday night.
The Magic didn’t start too badly despite East Perth leading 26-19 by quarter-time. Even by half-time the game was still up for grabs with the Eagles leading 47-34.
It was a remarkably poor offensive performance from Mandurah in the second half with East Perth turning up the heat defensively to help force them into just 14 points the entire second half.
East Perth turned it up offensively too with 32 points in the fourth quarter to go on and win by 51 points to improve to a 3-1 record on the season while Mandurah slips to 1-3.
The numbers across the board were pretty good for the Eagles shooting 48 per cent from the field to go with 46 rebounds, 20 assists and just the nine turnovers. They dominated inside with 58 points in the paint and got good contributions all-round with 45 points off the bench.
It was the opposite case for the Magic with them shooting just 16/65 at 24 per cent from the field and 4/23 from three-point range at 17 per cent. They did rack up 49 rebounds but had 28 turnovers.
Emerging point guard Aiden Murphy top-scored for the Eagles with 17 points, four assists and three rebounds with fellow starting guard Cameron Williams delivering 14 points, three assists, three steals and two rebounds.
Ned Seery produced 13 points and five rebounds off the bench with Andrej Donlagic contributing 12 points and five boards, Sunday Dech 11 points and five rebounds, and Jordan Wellsteed 10 points, three rebounds and two blocked shots.
Travis Durnin top-scored for the Magic with 13 points and eight rebounds including hitting 3/7 from downtown but no other teammate scored more than seven points. Shaun Stewart went 2/19 from the field for seven points, six rebounds and five assists while fellow import Marvin Smith didn’t suit up.
PRINT SYNC SOUTH WEST SLAMMERS 79 lost to WILLETTON TIGERS 86
The South West Slammers put in a better showing but weren’t quite able to bounce back from losing by 50 points in Geraldton, with the Willetton Tigers instead responding with an 86-79 win at Eaton Recreation Centre.
The Slammers had a long week coming off a 50-point loss in Geraldton last Saturday night ahead of hosting the Tigers on Saturday in front of their home fans.
Willetton was significantly motivated too after their disappointing home loss to Kalamunda on Friday but only one of the teams was going to be able to get the bounce back they were hoping for.
The Tigers were in control most of the way leading 23-19 by quarter-time and still leading 49-39 by half-time. The Slammers tried to mount a comeback but couldn’t quite ever get over the hump with Willetton winning by seven points to improve to 2-2 on the season while the Slammers are 0-3.
Mo Barrow produced his best performance of the season since joining Willetton over summer with 22 points, 11 rebounds and three assists while fourth-gamer Connor Mincherton was the surprise packet with 19 points in 22 minutes off the bench, shooting 4/7 from three-point territory.
Lachie Evans moved into the starting line-up in the absence of Jackson Hussey and responded with 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
There was also no Marcanvis Hymon for the Tigers with Travis Fee stepping up to deliver 11 points and two assists with Damien Scott contributing seven points and Michael Garbellini seven to go with four rebounds and three assists.
Michael Lay did all he could to try and lift the Slammers to the win finishing with 33 points, six assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Brian Voelkel returned for his first game of the season while Tyler Livingston went out. Voelkel had 12 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and two steals with Chris Douglas contributing 11 points and four blocked shots, and Cory Richardson seven points, three steals and three rebounds.
KALAMUNDA EASTERN SUNS 88 lost to QUADRIO EARTHMOVING GERALDTON BUCCANEERS 117
The Geraldton Buccaneers hit the road for the first time in 2019 and began their weekend in Perth impressively beating the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 117-88 on the back of a massive second half.
The game had plenty of intrigue surrounding it with the Eastern Suns returning home after winning well at Willetton on Friday night while the Buccs were on the road for the first time in 2019 on the back of strong home wins over the Flames and Slammers.
The Eastern Suns then came out playing well too, holding the Buccaneers to just 13 points with the home side leading by eight points at quarter-time.
Kalamunda still led 44-36 at half-time so the challenge was ahead of Geraldton to keep their unbeaten start to the season going.
To the credit of the Buccaneers, they did respond impressively after half-time piling on 38 points in the third quarter and 43 in the fourth. They also held the Suns to 44 points in the second to come away with the 29-point win after having been eight points down at the long break.
After the Suns had responded in many of the areas coach Mark Utley hoped on Friday night against Willetton, it didn’t quite happen after half-time on Saturday with the Buccs finishing the game with 20 more rebounds and taking 12 extra field goals as a result.
The Buccaneers ended up shooting well going 43/87 at 49 per cent from the field and 17/39 at 43 per cent from beyond the arc with 31 assists on those 43 made field goals.
Aaron Ralph showed what a sharpshooter he continues to be with 372 games under his belt and nailed 7/13 from downtown for 26 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Brayden Inger also nailed 4/8 from beyond the three-point line for 18 points, four assists and three rebounds with Marcus Alipate finishing with 18 points and six assists.
Liam Hunt added 17 points, 11 rebounds and four assists for the Buccaneers with Colter Lasher contributing 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals, Willie Conner 13 points, two assists and two steals, and Matt Wundenberg five points and 10 boards.
Josh Braun continued his superb start to the season for the Eastern Suns with 29 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Louis Timms finished with 14 points and five rebounds, Ryan Blanchett 11 points, six boards and four assists, Corey Easley 11 points, three rebounds and three assists, and Carl Aylett 10 points, nine assists, three boards and three steals.