RIDELL Camidge delivered the most scintillating individual performance of the season on Saturday night as the league-leading Joondalup Wolves hammered the winless South West Slammers by 60 points at HBF Arena.
It always had the potential of being a tough night for the Slammers as they made the journey from Bunbury to Joondalup and arriving with a winless record up against a Wolfpack team on top-of-the-table.
The Slammers could have done with the presence James Allen, Chris Douglas, James Goodlad and Cory Richardson to help in their competitiveness but the Wolfpack too were missing Trian Iliadis and then lost Earnest Ross in the opening minutes.
But the Wolves’ depth is their great strength and with Ridell Camidge leading the way with a dazzling individual performance, the home team delivered a relentless performance to end up winning 115-55 to make it five straight wins and consign the Slammers to a 14th consecutive defeat.
Whether he was dropping three-point bombs in a brilliant shooting display or taking the ball hard to the ring and either needing to be fouled or finishing strongly at, or above, the rim, Camidge produced the best individual display of the SBL season to date.
He finished the night with 46 points, three rebounds, three steals, two assists and a block on the back of shooting 15/27 from the field, 8/19 from three-point territory and 8/8 from the foul line to more than cover the absence of Ross and Iliadis.
In fact, he threatened to outscore the Slammers on his own for most of the night before coach Ben Ettridge sat him for the final seven minutes of the contest.
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Wolfpack coach Ben Ettridge couldn’t speak more highly of not only what Camidge produced on Saturday night, but the way he’s settling in overall.
“He is working it out. The kid is a scorer and has played in some big time programs, and put up some numbers there,” Ettridge said.
“It was always going to take him a while to work out the ups and downs of being a pro, and living away in a different country. But credit to the boys for getting around him and helping him get through those couple of flat spots.
“He’s now shooting the ball really well and he just provides us that weapon where he’d be the first option on most teams, but he’s the third option on ours. He is as pure a shooter as we’ve had. We thought Brian Sullivan was phenomenal and Brian is a better ball-handler, but Ridell is as pure a shooter as you can get.”
The Slammers’ one previous visit to HBF Arena in 2018 was a Sunday afternoon to forget with the Wolves winning 97-48 so those few players backing up again on Saturday night knew how ugly things could potentially get if they didn’t bring their A-game against the Wolfpack.
It would prove another long night despite the arrival of Terrell Carter to give them a presence inside and experienced point guard Michael Lay back in the line-up, but the Slammers actually started encouragingly.
Carter and Lay scored to help put them up 9-6 which became 12-8 with a Tyler Livingston triple, and with Earnest Ross leaving the game with a sore back after taking a hard fall, there was the makings of a strong showing from the Slammers.
They even still led 17-15 when Lay knocked down a triple heading towards quarter-time but Ridell Camidge knocked down two more threes to give him three for the opening quarter, and Sam Curtis nailed two from downtown as well.
That saw the Wolves finish the quarter on a 12-0 run to lead 27-19.
Things then started to get ugly in the second quarter as the Slammers managed just the seven points while the Wolfpack put up 30 including another 10 points from Camidge to give him 27 for the half.
Camidge then came out in the third quarter a man possessed starting with a three-pointer and then knowing his shot was falling and the Slammers had to close out hard, he started taking the ball to the rack and doing so emphatically.
He capped it off with a thunderous dunk that shook HBF Arena and in the end, the Slammers had to foul him on the way to the hoop to avoid more such finishes. Camidge added another 13 points in that third quarter with the Wolves’ lead growing to 85-45 by three quarter-time.
Camidge was threatening to become the first player this SBL season to break the 50-point barrier when he nailed two more threes to start the fourth term, but he had to settle for the 46 which was still the highest individual score of 2019.
But with Camidge sitting, it was a chance for other Wolves players to have some fun and that saw Sean Easther knock down two triples, Sam Curtis nail two more from downtown inside 15 seconds, Joel Offereins do some impressive things and the same for Lachlan Strelein.
There was no let up from the Wolves who finished the game with a 15-2 run to win 115-55 and improve to 13-3 on the season while the Slammers are 0-14. They have lost their two visits to HBF Arena as well by a combined 109 points.
On top of Camidge’s 46-point night for Joondalup, Sam Curtis had the best game of his 66-game SBL career with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists while hitting four threes.
Seb Salinas showed he has plenty of gas in the tank with 12 points and three assists in his 423rd appearance while Joel Offereins made his first start and had six points, six rebounds and two assists.
Sean Easther produced a season-best 11 points, five rebounds and three steals as well with the Wolfpack showing their depth with Reece Maxwell also adding seven points, five steals and four assists, and Damian Matacz seven points, three rebounds and two assists.
For Ettridge, he was happy to see different players step up and grab their opportunities with Iliadis not there, Ross getting hurt early and them not having to rely on Kevin Davis too much inside.
“It’s about us having opportunities with different people in front of us. It’s that point of the year where it’s just a grind and you’re in the middle of winter and there’s still 10 weeks to go,” Ettridge said.
“It’s about finding different ways to motivate and credit to the boys, they didn’t go out there and disrespect the Slammers. They went out and played hard, and played them the way we wanted to play them.
“We shot the ball exceptionally well which blew it out a bit more but it’s always tough unfortunately when you have a couple of injuries. But we’ll manage those through the week and hopefully be ready by next Saturday.”
It was tough going for the Slammers and first-year coach John Triscari who has craved this opportunity to coach in the Men’s SBL for some time.
Tyler Livingston top-scored with 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals while Terrell Carter had 14 points and six rebounds despite being hindered by foul trouble.
Michael Lay added seven points and five assists in his 199th SBL appearance with Lucas Goff contributing five points and two blocks, Brody England four points and five rebounds, and Phoenix O’Neill four points and five boards.
MEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 12
Kalamunda Eastern Suns 89 lost to ID Athletic Perry Lakes Hawks 94
Texture WA Perth Redbacks 83 lost to Lakeside Lightning 101
Mandurah Magic 93 defeated Prestige Honda Melville Cockburn Cougars 77
CMTG East Perth Eagles 86 lost to Bethanie Warwick Senators 106
Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames 83 lost to Willetton Tigers 93
Willetton Tigers 92 lost to Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers 101
Lakeside Lightning 92 defeated Silver Lake Resources Goldfields Giants 87
Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves 115 defeated Print Sync South West Slammers 55
Bethanie Warwick Senators 115 defeated Silver Lake Resources Goldfields Giants 87
Prestige Honda Melville Cockburn Cougars 65 lost to Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers 99
MONDAY – ALL-STAR GAME
Australian All-Stars 113 defeated World All-Stars 112