THERE were thrillers galore in the Men’s SBL with one-point wins for the Perth Redbacks and Lakeside Lightning, a two-point win for the Willetton Tigers, six-point victory for the Joondalup Wolves, seven-point triumph for the Mandurah Magic and nine-point Geraldton Buccaneers win.
With six of the eight matches of Round 10 decided by single-figure margins, it was an exciting weekend in the Men’s SBL.
It got underway on Friday night with the blowout where the Warwick Senators beat a Gavin Field-less Cockburn Cougars 97-44 at Warwick Stadium. The Rockingham Flames also won big over the South West Slammers 96-64.
It was a lot tighter at Willetton Basketball Stadium with the Joondalup Wolves narrowly beating the Willetton Tigers 79-73.
FORLANO RIGHTFULLY PROUD OF 150 GAMES, GIANTS CAPTAINCY
FORDE BACKS EAGLES TENACITY TO BEGIN TO SHINE THROUGH
ROUND 10 MEN’S SBL PREVIEW
FULL STRENGTH FLAMES OFFER GLIMPSE OF POTENTIAL
KING FOCUSED ON BRINGING BANNER TO WARWICK
Then on Saturday night there were two massive regional fixtures and both were tight affairs, starting with the Geraldton Buccaneers bouncing back to beat the Perry Lakes Hawks at Active West Stadium.
It was then a one-point nail-biting win for the Lakeside Lightning over the Goldfields Giants at Kalgoorlie’s Niels Hansen Basketball Centre.
The Mandurah Magic won its third game of the season defeating the Cockburn Cougars 91-84 while the Willetton Tigers defeated the East Perth Eagles 96-94 and in the other one-point thriller, the Perth Redbacks beat the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 92-91 at Ray Owen Sports Centre.
ROUND 10 MEN’S SBL SEASON
BETHANIE WARWICK SENATORS 97 defeated PRESTIGE HONDA MELVILLE COCKBURN COUGARS 44
Round 10 in the Men’s SBL got underway on Friday night at Warwick Stadium and with the Warwick Senators the hottest team in the league and the Cockburn Cougars minus Gavin Field, it always appeared a big ask for the visitors.
That’s how it played out too with the Senators cruising to an eighth straight victory with the eventual 53-point triumph.
The Senators came into the game on top of the Men’s standings at 8-2 with the longest and potentially deepest squad in the competition.
While the Cougars have been competitive, they had lost their past three games and then being without superstar captain Gavin Field proved a hurdle too much to overcome on Friday night.
The Senators set the tone early with 28 points to 13 in the opening quarter and then added another 20 to 13 in the second period to lead 48-26 by half-time.
Warwick didn’t let up holding Cockburn to just five third-quarter points and going on a 14-0 run themselves to end up leading by as much as 55 points during the second half and ending up winning the game 97-44.
The win improves the Senators to 9-2 on the season with seven consecutive wins while the Cougars slip to 3-8 with four straight defeats.
The Senators finished the game with 20 more rebounds than the Cougars while forcing Cockburn into 21 turnovers from which they scored 25 points.
Warwick didn’t shoot the ball well from deep going just 5/17 at 29 per cent but they did go 42/77 at 54 per cent from the field overall. The Cougars shot just 17/64 at 26 per cent from the floor and 4/24 at 16 per cent from beyond the arc.
It was another night full of plenty of contributors for the Senators with Rob Anshila top-scoring from the bench with 20 points, six rebounds and three blocks on shooting 9/12.
Justin King added 16 points and five rebounds with Caleb Davis producing 13 points, seven boards and three assists, Oliver Cross 10 points and two assists, Wani Swaka Lo Buluk eight points and four rebounds, Ash Litterick eight points and seven boards, and Cody Ellis seven points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
It was tough going for the Gavin Field-less Cougars with Seva Chan finishing with nine points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists, and Jake Harris nine points.
WILLETTON TIGERS 73 lost to CHAMBERS FRANKLYN JOONDALUP CITY WOLVES 79
The Joondalup Wolves went to Willetton Basketball Stadium on Friday night and came away with a hard fought six-point win over a desperate Willetton Tigers outfit.
Willetton played host to Joondalup with the Tigers having welcomed new import Chris Galbreath last week but still suffering a second straight loss to enter Round 10 at 4-8 while the Wolves were 9-3 and looking to maintain their top two position.
The Wolfpack came out on fire in the first quarter with 32 points and that gave them a 17-point edge by quarter-time.
It was the complete opposite in the second period with the Wolves scoring just the eight points and the Tigers putting up 19 to make it just a six-point ball game at half-time.
Things remained close throughout the second half but Willetton couldn’t quite get over the hump with Joondalup hanging on for the 79-73 win to improve to 10-3 on the season while Willetton slipped to 4-9 having lost three in-a-row.
Willetton did a lot right to give themselves a chance winning the rebound battle by three, having just seven turnovers and 21 assists on their 32 field goals made. But ultimately they only shot 37 per cent from the field and went 4/28 from deep while remarkably only attempting six foul shots.
The Wolves also shared the ball well with 22 assists on 27 made field goals while shooting better going 42 per cent from the field and 37 per cent from deep along with getting to the line 20 times, where they made 15.
Earnest Ross top-scored for the Wolfpack with 16 points, eight rebounds and two assists while Kevin Davis produced 14 points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.
Trian Iliadis started for the Wolves and put up 14 points while hitting 4/6 from downtown with Seb Salinas adding eight points and four rebounds, Ridell Camidge eight points and four rebounds, and Reece Maxwell seven points, four boards and three assists.
Mo Barrow top-scored for the Tigers with 19 points and nine rebounds with Scott Elder contributing 16 points and 12 boards, Damien Scott 15 points, four rebounds and four assists, and Chris Galbreath 12 points, eight boards, four assists, three blocked shots and two steals.
PRINT SYNC SOUTH WEST SLAMMERS 64 lost to SINCLAIR MCDONALD’S ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 96
The Rockingham Flames were fresh off a big win over Perry Lakes heading south against the winless South West Slammers and ended up cruising to the 32-point victory on Friday night.
The Slammers came into the contest at Eaton Recreation Centre having lost their opening 11 matches of the season under new coach John Triscari and still without new import signing Terrell Carter.
Then with Rockingham coming to town, it all looked an uphill battle with the Flames fresh off a big win over the Hawks the previous Friday night while at full strength for the first time in 2019.
They weren’t quite at full strength on Friday night with Luke Travers and Brad Robbins unavailable, but Rockingham was still able to produce a commanding performance.
The Flames started up by opening a seven-point lead by quarter-time and then with 30 points to 17 in the second term, that stretched to 50-30 by half-time.
The Slammers actually narrowly outscored the Flames in the third quarter but then Rockingham finished off with 28 points to 15 in the last quarter to end up winning 96-64 to improve to 9-4 on the season, while South West is now 0-12.
Rockingham finished with 21 more rebounds on the night including 22 offensive boards and scoring 16 second chance points.
Josh Ritchart had an impressive night for the Flames with 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks while shooting 8/15 from the field.
Caleb White added 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Flames while Greg Hire was a man possessed in preparation for more 3×3 action for Australia coming up, ending the night with 17 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists and two steals while going 6/10 from the floor and 3/3 from deep.
Ryan Godfrey contributed 16 points and four assists too with Justin Beard adding five points and six rebounds.
Tyler Livingston did all he could for the Slammers putting up 34 points and six rebounds with Michael Lay adding nine points, five rebounds, five steals and four assists, and Brody England nine points and 11 boards.
PRESTIGE HONDA MELVILLE COCKBURN COUGARS 84 lost to MANDURAH MAGIC 91
The Cockburn Cougars and Mandurah Magic were two teams desperate to win in the Men’s SBL on Saturday night, but it was the visiting Magic who got what they were after with the seven-point victory.
Cockburn was back in action for the second time inside 24 hours, this time at Wally Hagan Stadium, but were once more without inspirational captain Gavin Field and couldn’t find a way to victory without him.
Mandurah came into the game having lost four straight but it was their only appearance of the weekend while Cockburn had lost to the Senators the previous evening at Warwick Stadium.
The Cougars started well enough to lead by three points at quarter-time and six points at half-time. But the Magic got rolling in the third quarter putting up 28 points to 16 and that was enough to set up the eventual 91-84 victory.
The win snaps a four-game losing slide for Mandurah with the Magic now holding a 3-9 record. The Cougars have now lost five straight to sit at 3-9 as well following 10 rounds of the 2019 season.
Travis Durnin produced his best performance since joining the Magic this season ending the night with 24 points and 11 rebounds including going 5/12 from three-point range and 7/7 from the free-throw line.
Marvin Smith had a good night too with 24 points and six rebounds for Mandurah while Shaun Stewart finished with 21 points and eight assists, Damon Ballantyne 12 points and Akau Deng six along with seven rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals.
Jaarod Holmes top-scored for Cockburn with 22 points and 10 rebounds with Seva Chan contributing 18 points, 10 assists and five boards.
Hayden Bell delivered 15 points and three rebounds for the Cougars with Jakob Knight adding nine points, three rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.
QUADRIO EARTHMOVING GERALDTON BUCCANEERS 88 defeated ID ATHLETIC PERRY LAKES HAWKS 79
The Geraldton Buccaneers and Perry Lakes Hawks might be seen as championship contenders this season but both had disappointing losses to attempt to rebound from on Saturday night in Geraldton.
Geraldton suffered a shock loss on its home floor last Saturday night to the Kalamunda Eastern Suns, scoring a season-low 66 points in the process.
The Buccs were back at Active West Stadium on Saturday night, but it was going to be a fascinating evening against the defending champions, Perry Lakes.
The Hawks added Perth Wildcats NBL legend Shawn Redhage to its roster in Round 9 but lost both games at home to Rockingham and Goldfields to arrive in Geraldton on that two-game losing streak and looking to bounce back.
The Hawks came out hot as well putting up 27 points in the first quarter to lead by eight at quarter-time.
The Buccaneers hit back in the second term, though, scoring 28 points and holding Perry Lakes to just 10 to head into half-time with a 47-37 advantage.
The Buccs were able to hold onto that lead throughout the second half to end up winning 88-79 to improve to 8-3 on the season. The Hawks have now lost three straight since the arrival of Redhage to sit at 7-6 in their title defence.
In what turns out to be his last game for the Buccs, import guard Willie Conner put up 21 points on 8/15 shooting from the field and 2/4 from three-point territory.
Liam Hunt added 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Buccs with Marcus Alipate contributing 16 points, four assists and three boards, Colter Lasher 15 points and 12 rebounds, Brendan Dinardo nine points and five boards, and Matt Wundenberg eight points and six rebounds.
Shawn Redhage put up good numbers in his third game for Perry Lakes with 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists on 10/18 shooting while Clint Steindl added 14 points, five rebounds and five assists but shot just 3/12 from long-range.
Ben Purser added 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Hawks with Mitch Clarke contributing nine points and four boards, and Ryan Smith eight points, five rebounds and three assists.
NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES GOLDFIELDS GIANTS 97 lost to LAKESIDE LIGHTNING 98
The Goldfields Giants were likely in their best patch of form since their stunning second half of the 2015 season heading into Saturday night clash with Lakeside, but the Lightning left Kalgoorlie with a thrilling one-point victory.
The Giants have lost just the one home game so far this season and that was to the Rockingham Flames and they were coming off good wins in Kalgoorlie recently against Geraldton and Cockburn leading into impressive Round 9 road wins against the Perry Lakes Hawks and Perth Redbacks.
Winning on the road against the last two champions in less than 18 hours meant the Giants deserved to be feeling good heading into Friday night’s clash with the Lightning at Niels Hansen Basketball Centre.
But Lakeside has assembled a strong line-up themselves and look to be a genuine title threat this season despite coming off a loss last Saturday night away to the East Perth Eagles.
The stage was set for a terrific contest on Saturday night and it didn’t fail to deliver.
Lakeside did lead by a game-high 10 points midway through the fourth quarter on the back of a 14-3 run to start the period on the back of five points each from Jobi Wall and Jack Isenbarger, and four from Kyle Armour.
That led Wayne Creek into a timeout for the Giants with five minutes left and they responded with six quick points to just trail by four, and then it was a two-point ball game after a Patrick Burke layup leading Dave Daniels to a Lakeside timeout.
Jay Bowie tied scores up soon after before Isenbarger hit a massive three for Lakeside. Burke responded for the home side with an and-one play before Isenbarger once more hit a triple.
This time it proved enough to win the game for the Lightning as Bowie’s game-winning attempted three for the Giants wouldn’t fall in a heart stopping contest.
Both teams had outstanding shooting nights in a high quality contest. Lakeside finished up going 37/72 from the floor at 51 per cent and 22/49 at 44 per cent from three-point range. They got to the foul line just three times and had 25 assists on 37 field goals.
The Giants went at 35/59 at 59 per cent from the field and 12/29 from deep at 41 per cent on top of getting to the line 18 times for 15 free-throws. But they had 18 turnovers from which the Lightning scored 19 points.
Jack Isenbarger had a stunning night for the Lightning in just his third game back from his horrific broken leg. He put up 37 points, four rebounds and four assists while nailing 11/18 from three-point range.
Jobi Wall added 22 points and three assists for the Lightning while Kyle Armour contributed 20 points, 10 assists and five steals, Rowan Mackenzie 14 points and four assists, and Jarrad Prue two points and 13 rebounds.
Jay Bowie finished the night with 23 points and 13 assists for Goldfields with Patrick Burke delivering another 16 points and eight rebounds.
Mayo Malek continued to impress with 23 points, six rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals while David Humphries had 21 points, six boards and four assists.
CMTG EAST PERTH EAGLES 94 lost to WILLETTON TIGERS 96
East Perth and Willetton are two teams looking on at the top eight from the outside meaning there was plenty at stake when they locked horns at Herb Graham Recreation Centre on Saturday night.
East Perth snapped a four-game losing run last Saturday night with an impressive win over Lakeside while Willetton came to the Mirrabooka venue having lost at home to the Wolves on Friday night to have lost three straight.
That set the tone for a tight battle on Saturday night and that’s what eventuated with normal time unable to separate the Eagles and Tigers.
There was never more than 10 points that separated the two teams all night with the Tigers appearing in control for much of the fourth quarter.
They were still up with 6:30 left by four after a Damien Scott jumper and then by five with 3:15 left after another four quick Willetton points from Scott.
But Cameron Williams came out and knocked down a three-pointer for East Perth despite Willetton still looking set for the win after a layup from Jackson Hussey and then a triple from Andrew Black.
That had the Tigers leading by seven with just over a minute left. The Eagles weren’t done with and Williams hit a quick layup to make the deficit five and he hit another soon after to make it four.
But at the foul line, Hussey knocked down both to keep the Tigers up six before Drew Williamson nailed a quick-fire three for East Perth. Out of a Willetton timeout, Scott turned it over and Williamson knocked down another three in remarkable fashion to level scores.
Mo Barrow missed for the Tigers and after a timeout, Williamson had the chance to win the game for East Perth, but his three wouldn’t fall. But it had already been a stunning performance from the captain to get scores level and for the Eagles to force overtime.
It was East Perth’s turn to try to hold onto a lead in the extra period when up four with two minutes left. But Barrow hit two free-throws and then Chris Galbreath tied scores up with less than a minute left.
Galbreath then made another layup before Williams responded for East Perth. Barrow made two free-throws to give Willetton the 96-94 lead and that remained the final score when Williams missed his prayer attempt on the buzzer.
It was a big win for the Tigers as they improve to 5-9 on the season while the Eagles slip to 5-8.
Mo Barrow produced his best performance with Willetton made up of 27 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three assists including making all 11 of his free-throw attempts.
Damien Scott added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers while Jackson Hussey produced 16 points, five boards and five assists, Chris Galbreath 16 points, 11 rebounds and six steals, and Connor Mincherton 11 points and three boards.
Drew Williamson continues to show he’s far from ready to retire with 25 points and five rebounds for East Perth with Cameron Williams finishing with 21 points and five assists.
Shaquille Maharaj also had 17 points for the Eagles while Aiden Murphy delivered 11 points and four rebounds, and Dennis Tawhiti nine points and six rebounds.
KALAMUNDA EASTERN SUNS 91 lost to TEXTURE WA PERTH REDBACKS 92
The last game of the round took place at Ray Owen Sports Centre with another nail-biter between the Perth Redbacks and Kalamunda Eastern Suns.
The Eastern Suns were fresh off a tremendous road win last Saturday night in Geraldton against the Buccaneers and while the Redbacks lost last up at home to the Goldfields Giants, they had won four straight prior to that.
Both teams were making their only appearances of the round as well and were locked on 6-7 records making the stakes even higher for the contest.
Kalamunda started strongly with a 28-21 opening quarter and the home side maintained their edge to lead 53-47 at half-time.
The Eastern Suns maintained their lead still up by seven heading into the fourth quarter as well but the Redbacks weren’t done with.
The Suns still led by nine after a Logan Viskovich triple against his former team with six minutes left before a Marshall Nelson steal and dunk gave the Redbacks some momentum.
That got Nelson going as he nailed a three with two minutes left to bring the Redbacks within four points and when he converted an and-one play a minute later, the margin was just two.
Jourdan DeMuynck then hit the game-winning triple for the Redbacks on the assist from captain Joel Wagner.
The Eastern Suns had one more chance to win but turned the ball over from the timeout and time ran out.
Marshall Nelson hit 30 points and eight rebounds for the Redbacks with Majier Garang producing the best performance of his career with 22 points and 13 rebounds on 8/11 shooting.
Joel Wagner finished with 15 points and six assists for Perth while Jourdan DeMuynck had 12 points and six assists, and Zac Gattorna 11 points and 11 rebounds.
New Kalamunda import Javion Blake had an efficient night of 22 points and 10 assists made up of 8/12 shooting from the field, 2/5 from three-point range and 4/7 at the foul line.
Logan Viskovich enjoyed a night out against his old side with 20 points and six rebounds with Louis Timms contributing 19 points and eight rebounds, Josh Braun 11 points and eight boards, and Carl Aylett nine points and four rebounds.