EASTER Thursday action is always one of the highlights of any SBL season and this year’s instalment was no different in the Men’s action with victories for the Warwick Senators, Mandurah Magic, Cockburn Cougars, Rockingham Flames, Kalamunda Eastern Suns and Perry Lakes Hawks.
The Round 6 Easter Thursday action saw six games in the Men’s SBL made up of 12 teams taking part while the Geraldton Buccaneers and Goldfields Giants had the bye ahead of playing one another twice in Kalgoorlie and Geraldton in Round 7.
All six games had their own reason for intrigue starting with the Joondalup Wolves hosting the Rockingham Flames at HBF Arena, with Rockingham scoring the 98-92 road win.
The Perry Lakes Hawks kept their winning form going too, beating the Willetton Tigers 98-81 while the Cockburn Cougars made it a third straight victory defeating the Lakeside Lightning 102-88.
The Kalamunda Eastern Suns were also impressive beating the East Perth Eagles 94-80 with the Mandurah Magic returning to the winner’s list beating the South West Slammers 94-88 and the Warwick Senators defeated the Perth Redbacks 106-84.
EASTER SPOTLIGHT | COUGARS DOWN LIGHTNING FOR THIRD STRAIGHT
DAMIEN SCOTT REACHES 250
ROUND 6 MEN’S SBL PREVIEW
TALLER, LONGER GROUP GIVE SENATORS A NEW LOOK
PERSISTENCE KEY FOR MAGIC GETTING BACK ON TRACK
PLENTY FOR WOLFPACK TO BE PROUD OF IN ROUND 5
ROUND 5 MEN’S SBL RECAP
Following six rounds in the Men’s SBL, the Easter Thursday results leave the Geraldton Buccaneers on top of the table with a 5-1 record, ahead of the Joondalup Wolves (6-2), Rockingham Flames (5-2) and Perry Lakes Hawks (5-2).
The Warwick Senators and Lakeside Lightning both hold 4-2 records with the Goldfields Giants (4-3) and East Perth Eagles (4-4) rounding out the top eight.
The Kalamunda Eastern Suns (4-5) are just outside ahead of the Cockburn Cougars (3-4), Willetton Tigers (3-5), Mandurah Magic (2-5) and Perth Redbacks (2-6). The South West Slammers remain winless after eight games.
BETHANIE WARWICK SENATORS 106 defeated TEXTURE WA PERTH REDBACKS 84
The Warwick Senators continued their winning form on their home floor dominating the second half against the Perth Redbacks to come away with the 22-point victory at Warwick Stadium.
The Senators hadn’t played a home game until Round 4 but have now won all three games at Warwick Stadium, backing up the victories over Willetton and Mandurah with he 106-84 win over the Redbacks on Easter Thursday.
The Senators started strongly to lead 31-25 by quarter-time but the Redbacks were doing well to stick with them by half-time despite the absence of Kyle Bowen, Jourdan DeMuynck and Lee Roberts.
Warwick led 54-48 at half-time but then continued to pull away throughout the second half with 28 points to 23 in the third quarter and then another 24 to 13 in the fourth to win and improve to 4-2 on the season while the Redbacks slipped to 2-6.
It was an impressive performance all-round from the Senators as they ended up shooting 42/79 from the field at 53 per cent, 10/24 from three-point range at 41 per cent and collecting 48 rebounds to go with 26 assists to 13 turnovers along with 52 points in the paints.
Six Warwick players ended up scoring in double-digits led by Caleb Davis with 24 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
Ash Litterick also had 17 points and nine rebounds with Rob Anshila contributing 17 points, six boards and four assists, Cody Ellis 14 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals, and Ngor Manyang 12 points, four boards and three assists.
Marshall Nelson did all he could to keep the Redbacks in the contest finishing with a career-best 42 points, four assists and three rebounds on shooting 14/22 from the field, 9/14 from three-point territory and 5/6 from the foul line.
Zac Gattorna added 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals for Perth with Jayden Coburn finishing with 11 points, Majier Garang eight and eight rebounds, and Joel Wagner six points, nine assists, six rebounds and two steals.
MANDURAH MAGIC 94 defeated PRINT SYNC SOUTH WEST SLAMMERS 88
Two teams desperate for a win locked horns at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre and it was the Mandurah Magic who bounced back from three tough losses to keep the South West Slammers winless with the six-point win.
Mandurah came into the contest on the back of three heavy losses by a combined 129 points against East Perth, Perry Lakes and Warwick while the Slammers had lost their opening seven matches and were still without triple-double machine Brian Voelkel for the Easter Thursday showdown.
The Slammers then came out firing giving themselves hope of a first win of the season under new coach John Triscari while turning the pressure back on a Magic team looking for an improved showing on their home floor.
That saw South West lead 27-17 by quarter-time but Mandurah was able to turn things around in the second quarter. The Magic ended up scoring 31 points to 20 in the second term to take advantage and lead 48-47 leading into half-time.
The Magic did threaten to open up a match-winning lead during the third quarter going up eight when ex-Slammer knocked down a three. But by three quarter-time, the Slammers had stayed in touch to be down just five.
Mandurah’s lead was out to 10 to start the fourth quarter when Marvin Smith drained a three. It was out to an 11-point ball game with five minutes remaining but the Slammers weren’t going away.
A Tyler Livingston jumper had them within four and then Michael Lay hit a three to make it a three-point ball game. However, a tech foul against Livingston saw his night over and then the Magic were able to ice the game at the foul line for the six-point win.
The numbers were greatly improved for the Magic on what they had produced the past three games. They shot 48 per cent from the field to go with 45 rebounds, 18 assists and just nine turnovers.
The Slammers didn’t play too badly either shooting at 43 per cent while pulling in 41 rebounds and having just 12 turnovers, but they missed the all-round presence and contribution of Brian Voelkel.
Shaun Stewart had a night out for the Magic finishing with 38 points, six rebounds and three assists, but most encouraging was Marvin Smith’s display made up of 26 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three blocked shots and two steals.
Travis Durnin also had 15 points, six rebounds and three assists against his former team with Cousteau Kyle contributing eight points.
Tyler Livingston was tremendous for the Slammers with 31 points and nine rebounds while Michael Lay continued his standout season despite the winless opening with 29 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Brody England continued to emerge for the Slammers with the increased opportunity delivering another 16 points and 11 rebounds.
PRESTIGE HONDA MELVILLE COCKBURN COUGARS 102 defeated LAKESIDE LIGHTNING 88
The Cockburn Cougars continued their resurgence after a tough start to 2019 with an impressive 102-88 win over the Lakeside Lightning.
Cockburn did lose its opening four games of the season meaning their double-header last weekend was crucial to avoiding a disastrous start.
The Cougars responded with the impressive wins against the Eastern Suns and Slammers but they were going to have to go up another gear on Easter Thursday on their home floor against the Lightning.
Lakeside won its first three games of the season before losing to the Joondalup Wolves, but they responded last Friday night to beat the Willetton Tigers meaning they headed into Thursday’s clash sitting pretty at 4-1.
Lakeside then came out and produced a stunning opening to the game scoring the first eight points made up of threes from Nick Palleschi and Rowan Mackenzie, and another layup from Mackenzie.
Jaarod Holmes eventually got the Cougars on the board with his team’s first four points and when Seva Chan drained a triple, the home team was quickly back into the contest and they then led 10-9 with a Gavin Field three-pointer.
Field then made it 12-9 with Cockburn on a 10-0 run before going on to lead 24-17 by quarter-time.
The Cougars continued that momentum in the second quarter and were in control of the contest at half-time leading 48-37.
Lakeside started the second half impressively too starting with a Palleschi triple and Kyle Armour jumper but Cockburn had regained a 13-point lead by the time Chan drained another from long-range.
Field hit another from downtown to put Cockburn up by 14 but Lakeside kept fighting and were soon within seven before ex-Lakeside guard Matt Vinci started to feel it and nailed a three.
He converted a three-point play directly after that and added another and-one before three quarter-time to help the Cougars lead 73-64 despite Lakeside hitting the quarter’s last five points thanks to Armour.
It was all Cockburn in the fourth quarter with the home team going on to lead by as much as 22 points before winning by 14 points to improve to 3-4 on the season while the Lightning are now 4-2.
It was a hot shooting night for the Cougars with the home side ending up going 40/66 from the field at 60 per cent along with 12/27 from three-point territory at 44 per cent on the back of 30 assists.
The Lightning didn’t shoot too badly either going 35/75 from the field at 46 per cent but in the end Cockburn knocking down 12 triples to go with 52 points inside the paint saw them able to make the most of a Lakeside team down on size in the absence of Jarrad Prue and Michael Vigor.
Gavin Field had another monster game for the Cougars finishing with 32 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals while shooting 13/20 from the field, 3/8 from downtown and 3/4 from the foul line.
He received enormous support too led by former Lakeside point guard Matt Vinci enjoying his first game against the team he played 125 games with. He ended up with 15 points in just 22 minutes while draining three triples.
Seva Chan had an impressively efficient night too with 15 points and seven assists, shooting 6/9 from the floor and 3/5 from deep.
Jake Harris added 12 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals for Cockburn with Eric Milam adding 12 points and four rebounds, and Jaarod Holmes 10 points, four boards and four assists.
Rowan Mackenzie started the game hot for Lakeside and ended up top-scoring with 27 points, five assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Jobi Wall, fresh off his Player of the Round showing, had 19 points, seven rebounds and three steals for the Lightning with Kyle Armour contributing 17 points and four assists, and Josh Davey 13 points and eight rebounds.
CHAMBERS FRANKLYN JOONDALUP CITY WOLVES 92 lost to SINCLAIR MCDONALD’S ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 98
All eyes were on HBF Arena for a mouth watering clash between the Joondalup Wolves and Rockingham Flames, and it sure didn’t disappoint with the Flames coming away with the tight and tense six-point road victory.
There was a quite a rivalry building last year between the two teams and had they met in the Grand Final it promised to be quite the heated affair. That didn’t quite happen but there’s still plenty of feeling there between both clubs.
Add in the fact that they had both made strong starts to the season with the Wolves winning six of their seven games and the Flames four of their six, then there was plenty on the line when they locked horns in front of a packed HBF Arena.
Rockingham managed to lead 24-20 by quarter-time but things were tight going into half-time with the Flames holding a narrow 49-47 advantage into the locker room.
Rockingham then pulled away in the third quarter putting up 29 points while holding the Wolfpack to 22. That helped the Flames to a game-high 11-point lead and despite a strong fight back by the Wolves, the visitors were able to hold them out to win by six points.
The return for Rockingham of Greg Hire helped them to an advantage on the boards with 45 to 37 overall, but the Flames made it pay with 18 offensive boards from which they scored 22 second chance points.
Hire had a big night against his former club finishing with 20 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and two steals for Rockingham.
Josh Ritchart also had 26 points and eight rebounds for the Flames while Caleb White finished with 17 points and Chudier Pal delivered 14 points and five boards.
Captain Ryan Godfrey also had 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the winners.
Earnest Ross continued his hot form from last Sunday against Kalamunda with another 33 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for the Wolves.
Kevin Davis added 22 points, seven rebounds, three steals, three blocks and two steals for the Wolfpack with Trian Iliadis contributing 11 points and three rebounds, and Damian Matacz 11 points and three boards.
ID ATHLETIC PERRY LAKES HAWKS 98 defeated WILLETTON TIGERS 81
The defending champion Perry Lakes Hawks continued their impressive form making it five straight wins beating the Willetton Tigers by 17 points at Bendat Basketball Centre.
After losing its first two games of the season, the Hawks have been on a roll winning four straight coming into the Easter Thursday clash including handing both the Joondalup Wolves and Geraldton Buccaneers their first losses of the season.
Willetton had lost its last couple coming into the clash but were buoyed with the inclusion of captain Andrew Black for the first time this season and with vice-captain Damien Scott celebrating his 250th SBL appearance.
Perry Lakes started well to take a 27-22 lead into quarter-time before the reigning champs opened up a handy lead in the second term with 30 points to 20 to lead 57-42 at half-time even with the departure for the NZ NBL of Lochlan Cummings.
The Tigers found something after half-time and produced an impressive third quarter to close the deficit to just four heading into the fourth. But Perry Lakes responded with 22 points to nine to win the game 98-81 and improve to 5-2 while the Tigers slipped to 3-5.
It was a hot three-point shooting night again for Perry Lakes as they went 14/27 at 51 per cent from long range while also pulling in 56 rebounds to 42 from Willetton.
Ryan Smith stepped up in the absence of Cummings to be the star for Perry Lakes with 34 points, five rebounds and four assists on 8/10 from three-point range.
Ben Purser added 14 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Hawks with Kyle Sovine also contributing 13 points and seven boards, Clint Steindl 11 points and six rebounds, Brian Carlwell nine points and seven boards, and Cooper Hamilton eight points.
Jackson Hussey tried to lift the Tigers with 24 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals with Mo Barrow contributing 17 points, five boards and three assists.
Damien Scott finished with 16 points and six rebounds in his 250th game with Scott Elder adding 13 points and eight rebounds, and Marcanvis Hymon eight points and six boards.
CMTG EAST PERTH EAGLES 80 lost to KALAMUNDA EASTERN SUNS 94
East Perth and Kalamunda have been two teams difficult to read early in the 2019 season but it was the Eastern Suns who impressed on Easter Thursday coming away with the 14-point win at Herb Graham Recreation Centre.
East Perth came into the game having won last week over the Slammers but having lost Sunday Dech while welcoming back 106-game stalwart Dennis Tawhiti while Kalamunda was looking to bounce back from losses in Round 5 to the Cougars and Wolves.
It was Kalamunda that came out ready to make a statement and they did so by scoring 24 points in the first quarter and holding East Perth to just 13.
East Perth did put up 29 points in the second quarter but Kalamunda still held a 50-42 advantage at the long break.
The Eagles moved further back into the contest during the third quarter to be just two points down at the last term, but it was the Eastern Suns who delivered with the game on the line with 33 points in the final quarter to 21 to end up winning 94-80.
With the Suns shooting at just 38 per cent from the field and the Eagles 32 per cent, there were plenty of missed shots to go around and that saw Kalamunda pull in 64 rebounds to 53 while also getting to the line 32 times and making 21.
Josh Braun continued the brilliant start to his SBL career leading the Eastern Suns to the win with 30 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Ryan Blanchett stepped up for a huge performance too with 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists on 7/11 shooting from the floor, 2/3 from deep and 4/7 from the foul line.
Louis Timms added 19 points, 17 rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots for the Suns with Logan Viskovich adding 12 points and five boards.
Cameron Williams finished with 27 points, six rebounds and four assists for East Perth on 9/27 shooting from the floor and 5/15 from three-point range.
Dennis Tawhiti added 17 points and 11 boards in his first game since 2017 while Andrej Donlagic contributed 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals, Drew Williamson 10 points, three boards and three steals, and Aiden Murphy seven points, 10 rebounds and three assists.