CLINT Steindl was back in the line-up for the Perry Lakes Hawks but it was the supporting cast of the defending champions that was behind Friday night’s 102-80 victory over the Kalamunda Eastern Suns at Bendat Basketball Centre.
Steindl returned after hurting his back last weekend for the Hawks and took just seconds to fire up his first triple of the night. That missed but Brian Carlwell grabbed the offensive board and put it back and that set the tone for the night.
The talented Eastern Suns kept fighting led by Louis Timms and Josh Braun, but the all-round contributions from Perry Lakes proved too much as they ran out 22-point winners to improve to 7-3 on the season.
The Eastern Suns are now 5-6 ahead of a Saturday night home clash with the Lakeside Lightning.
The match up of the night was always going to be the battle of shooting guards between Clint Steindl and on-fire Kalamunda import Josh Braun. The tone for that was set when Steindl took that first shot just seconds after tip-off.
Despite Carlwell getting the offensive board and putback for the Hawks, the Suns started well and it was on the back of going inside to start with Louis Timms and Ryan Blanchett finishing well.
Steindl then drained a triple but Blanchett responded in kind for the Eastern Suns. When Timms converted a three-point play the Suns led 10-7 in a good start against the defending champs.
They still led until Ryan Smith came on and continued his hot shooting form from long-range. Kyle Sovine too provided Perry Lakes with a spark inside and then four quick points from wily veteran Dan Thomas saw the home team up 27-20 after one.
Carlwell knocked down a trailing three-pointer to put Perry Lakes up 10 to start the second period before Timms kept the Suns in touch with a couple of inside baskets.
Carlwell was producing a huge first half for the Hawks, though, controlling things inside and when Steindl knocked one down from beyond the arc, the margin was 13 as Mark Utley called a timeout.
He got an immediate response with consecutive Braun three-pointers to keep the margin to single-figures. Despite Braun converting an alley-oop and hitting a three to close the first half, it went against the tide and Perry Lakes went into half-time up 62-44.
Kalamunda did continue to battle through the second half, but could never get close enough to seriously threaten Perry Lakes who led by as much as 22 points and with getting 50 points off the bench, their depth shone through.
Ryan Smith top-scored for the Hawks in just 23 minutes off the bench with 20 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots including going 6/10 from beyond the arc.
Brian Carlwell dominated the first half and finished the night with an efficient 18 points and 10 rebounds in exactly 20 minutes.
Clint Steindl put up 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals while Kyle Sovine contributed 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
The strong contributions for Perry Lakes continued with Ben Purser’s 10 points, five assists and four rebounds along with seven points and four boards from Cooper Hamilton, and Rob Cassir’s five points, four rebounds and two assists.
Louis Timms finished the night with 25 points, 15 rebounds and three assists for Kalamunda with Ryan Blanchett contributing eight points, Logan Viskovich eight points and three rebounds, Corey Easley five points, eight boards and six assists, and Carl Aylett five points and three assists.
Josh Braun had a fascinating battle with Clint Steindl and Ryan Smith throughout the night as the star import shooting guard continued the strong start to his SBL career even if he didn’t feel he played well personally.
Braun finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocked shots on 8/21 shooting from the field, 5/7 from three-point range and 5/7 from the foul line.
Speaking after the game, Braun just feels the difference between Kalamunda getting closer to teams like Perry Lakes is sticking to what they need to do for closer to the whole 40 minutes.
“We started off strong but then let them get hot. They have a lot of good shooters on their team and they shot the ball really well. We need to do a better job of scrambling to find their shooters, that’s the big thing,” Braun said.
“But you can see they are defending champions for a reason with big guys inside as well, but the big thing for us is our shot selection on the offensive end and then finding their shooters on defence and making sure we rebound the ball when they do miss. They had too many second chance points and open looks.”
Braun and the Eastern Suns don’t have long to stew over the loss to the Hawks but he is confident they can turn things around on Saturday night against the Lakeside Lightning at Ray Owen Sports Centre.
“The one thing about when you have a loss and you have Friday-Saturday games, it’s a quick turnaround and you have a chance to get back on the winning ways right after a loss. We hope to do just that tomorrow,” Braun said.
“We have to be resilient and move on quickly, and take the negatives from tonight and let them fuel us and learn from it. That’s the big thing. We have a good bunch with a lot of talented guys, and I think if we continue to work well together and play the right way, there’s nobody we can’t beat.
“It’s just a matter of putting together a game of four quarters together where we do all right things the entire game. The sky is the limit for us, it’s just a matter of getting those pieces together and doing it the right way for a full four quarters.”
MEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 8
ID Athletic Perry Lakes Hawks 102 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 80
CMTG East Perth Eagles 79 lost to Texture WA Perth Redbacks 114
Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames 99 lost to Bethanie Warwick Senators 110
Texture WA Perth Redbacks v Print Sync South West Slammers – Belmont Oasis 6.00pm
Willetton Tigers v Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames – Willetton Basketball Stadium 7.00pm
Northern Star Resources Goldfields Giants v Prestige Honda Melville Cockburn Cougars – Niels Hansen Basketball Centre 7.30pm
Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers v Mandurah Magic – Active West Stadium 7.30pm
Bethanie Warwick Senators v Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves – Warwick Stadium 8.00pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Lakeside Lightning – Ray Owen Sports Centre 8.30pm