THERE were two big wins each in Round 13 of the Men’s SBL for the Rockingham Flames and Perry Lakes Hawks while the Joondalup Wolves and Geraldton Buccaneers consolidated top two spots and the Willetton Tigers kept themselves in the top eight hunt.
Things are really becoming fascinating in the top four hunt and then battle over spots in the lower half of the top eight 13 rounds into the 2019 Men’s SBL season.
The Wolfpack shot further clear in top spot while the Buccs won at home on Saturday night, the Flames won twice inside 24 hours as did the Hawks to keep the fight for top four positions fascinating with the Warwick Senators and Lakeside Lightning in that hunt.
That leaves the Giants clinging to a spot after a third straight loss while the Redbacks won to stay eighth, the Tigers won again to stay in touch and the Eastern Suns missed a chance to exert further pressure.
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Round 13 in the Men’s SBL began on Friday night with the Rockingham Flames beating the Mandurah Magic 82-70, the Perry Lakes Hawks defeating the Lakeside Lightning 96-92 and the Perth Redbacks prevailing 108-98 over the East Perth Eagles.
There were then five big matches on Saturday night starting with the Willetton Tigers staying in touch for a playoff berth beating the Cockburn Cougars 92-70 at Willetton Basketball Stadium.
There were two huge regional contests too with the Joondalup Wolves beating the Goldfields Giants 85-82 in Kalgoorlie, and then the Geraldton Buccaneers defeating the Warwick Senators 84-75 at Active West Stadium.
The Perry Lakes Hawks then shook off a more competitive South West Slammers 99-85 while the Lakeside Lightning beat the Shaun Stewart-less Mandurah Magic 93-66 and the Rockingham Flames won for the second time in 24 hours beating the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 108-98.
MEN’S SBL ROUND 13
SINCLAIR MCDONALD’S ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 82 defeated MANDURAH MAGIC 70
They still weren’t at full strength and suffered an injury scare late, but the Rockingham Flames put in a strong performance on their home floor on Friday night especially to dominate inside in an eventual 82-70 victory over the Mandurah Magic.
On paper, the Flames full squad might be the most talented and intimidating in the Men’s SBL this season but the fact is coach Ryan Petrik has only had everyone available in two of 16 games to date and they again were without key players on Friday night.
Despite the absence of Luke Travers and Brad Robbins, and then a lower leg injury scare to import guard Caleb White late in the game, Rockingham still produced a strong performance against Mandurah at Mike Barnett Sports Complex.
It was a hot start from the Flames as they raced to a 12-2 lead which included six points from Caleb White made up of an and-one play and a three-pointer. Then when Josh Ritchart hit from downtown, Rockingham was in control up 15-4.
The Flames maintained a 26-14 lead by quarter-time and while the Magic produced an impressive second quarter, Rockingham was still on top 47-38 by half-time thanks to a huge two-handed slam from Ritchart as time expired.
Mandurah made a couple of runs throughout the second half but could never quite get close enough to seriously threaten and despite the scare of Caleb White leaving the game late with a lower leg injury, Rockingham cruised to the 82-70 victory.
Rockingham’s size inside proved tough to counter with Chudier Pal, Josh Ritchart and Greg Hire combining for 41 rebounds. As a team they finished with 57 to 39 from Mandurah to go with 40 points inside the paint to 32.
Ritchart top-scored for Rockingham with 21 points, eight rebounds and two steals with his 9/14 field goals including a handful of huge dunks.
Caleb White produced 19 points, six rebounds and four assists before getting hurt while Pal contributed nine points and 11 rebounds, and Hire nine points, 12 boards and nine assists.
Captain Ryan Godfrey also had nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Rockingham, Jarryd Griffin six points and five boards, and Justin Beard six points and six rebounds.
Shaun Stewart did all he could to keep the Magic in the contest finishing with 28 points, five assists and three rebounds including hitting 4/8 from downtown.
Marvin Smith added 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals for Mandurah while Cousteau Kyle contributed nine points, Aaron Keating nine points and three rebounds, and Travis Durnin seven points, 10 boards and three assists.
LAKESIDE LIGHTNING 92 lost to ID ATHLETIC PERRY LAKES HAWKS 96
Lakeside and Perry Lakes proved last year in the quarter finals that they can put together terrific contests, and Friday night was no different at Lakeside Recreation Centre with the Hawks prevailing in the end by four points.
Both the Lightning and Hawks are locked in a battle for a top four position too raising the stakes for the contest.
Perry Lakes started well with Shawn Redhage and Ryan Smith combining for the first four points of the game and then they led 7-2 with a triple from Cooper Hamilton.
The Hawks still went on to lead 26-23 by quarter-time before they again went up seven with early second quarter baskets from Brian Carlwell and Clint Steindl.
Five quick points from Ben Purser grew Perry Lakes lead to nine points heading towards half-time and despite some late first half triples form Jack Isenbarger and Jobi Wall, the Hawks worked their way further on top to be up 12 at the major break.
Perry Lakes maintained that advantage to still lead by 11 points at three quarter-time but Lakeside was always going to make a charge. They quickly closed to within seven to start the last quarter with scores from Jarrad Prue and Kyle Armour before Perry Lakes responded with a three from Ben Purser.
Kyle Sovine then hit another three for the Hawks as their lead grew to 13 but little over a minute later and the Lightning closed that to five following an 8-0 run courtesy of two triples to Wall, and a basket to Armour.
But in the end a huge three-point play from Purser was critical with 2:30 left and it was only a Wall three on the buzzer that saw Lakeside finish with four points of Perry Lakes.
The Hawks won the game despite losing the rebound battle by 17 but they had 25 assists on their 37 field goals and did well taking care of the ball with nine turnovers.
By dominating the glass including 21 offensive boards for 20 second chance points and shooting 14/39 from three-point range, it’s a game the Lightning will feel they did a lot right in despite never being in front.
Shawn Redhage had his best game since joining Perry Lakes with the Perth Wildcats NBL legend delivering 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists while shooting 11/18 from the field, 3/6 from three-point range and 4/4 from the foul line.
Ben Purser was terrific also for the Hawks with 20 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals while Kyle Sovine delivered 14 points and three assists, Cooper Hamilton 13 points, and Ryan Smith 10 points and five rebounds.
Jobi Wall top-scored for Lakeside with 28 points and six rebounds including going 8/14 from three-point territory.
Jack Isenbarger added 18 points and four rebounds for the Lightning, Michael Vigor 17 points and three boards, Kyle Armour 12 points, three rebounds and three assists, Rowan Mackenzie 11 points, four boards and three assists, and Jarrad Prue six points and 22 rebounds.
TEXTURE WA PERTH REDBACKS 108 defeated CMTG EAST PERTH EAGLES 98
The emerging stars of the Perth Redbacks under the guidance of their wily captain shook off not having an import on Friday night to score a crucial and hard earned 10-point victory over the East Perth Eagles.
With the Redbacks needing to win to maintain their position in the top eight and having to do so with the departure of one import Jourdan DeMuynck and the second import Lee Roberts yet to suit up in 2019, so it was always going to be fascinating how the night panned out.
East Perth were an opponent that couldn’t be sneezed at either under new coach Colin Driscoll despite coming to Belmont Oasis on Friday night on a four-game losing run.
The Eagles then came out and stared strongly to lead 30-22 by quarter-time to put the heat back on the Redbacks to respond, which they did and by half-time East Perth narrowly clung to a 51-48 advantage.
The Redbacks then got rolling in the third quarter and they put on 31 points while limiting the Eagles to 19 and then they maintained their edge through the final term to claim the 108-98 victory.
The Redbacks played well ending up pulling in 51 rebounds to 33 and shooting well going 37/73 at 50 per cent from the field, 14/30 at 46 from downtown and 20/28 from 71 per cent from the free-throw line.
East Perth took care of the ball well for just nine turnovers and scored 54 points in the paint while shooting solidly too going 38/80 at 47 per cent from the floor, 10/23 at 43 per cent from three and 12/17 at 70 per cent from the stripe.
In the end, it was the Redbacks’ three emerging stars and captain who proved the difference.
Marshall Nelson showed why he deserves another look in at NBL level putting up 42 points, six assists and five rebounds on a remarkably efficient 13/16 shooting from the floor, 7/9 from three-point range and 9/9 from the foul line.
Zac Gattorna also showed his potential with 24 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots for the Redbacks while Majier Garang produced 12 points and 22 rebounds.
Then in SBL game 351, Joel Wagner led the Redbacks tremendously with 12 points and 10 assists.
East Perth had some impressive performers as well with Cameron Williams top-scoring with 20 points and seven assists.
Dennis Tawhiti added 17 points and four rebounds for the Eagles, Drew Williamson 17 points and five boards, Jordan Wellsteed 15 points and five rebounds, Shaquille Maharaj 11 points and two boards, and Aiden Murphy 10 points, four rebounds and three assists.
WILLETTON TIGERS 92 defeated PRESTIGE HONDA MELVILLE COCKBURN COUGARS 70
The Willetton Tigers continued their improved form to keep them in the finals hunt with a 22-point victory over the Cockburn Cougars at Willetton Basketball Stadium on Saturday night.
Following a run of losing seven of eight games, the arrival of new import Chris Galbreath has coincided with a streak of improved form now for the Tigers that sees them sitting just outside the top eight.
Saturday night’s win against Cockburn improves Willetton to an 8-10 record in ninth position to have them just behind the eighth place Perth Redbacks who are 8-9 with the two teams to lock horns this Friday night at Belmont Oasis.
The Tigers came out firing in the opening quarter with 25 points to nine in the first quarter. Even though the Cougars steadied in the second term, Willetton still led 41-32 at half-time.
Willetton then went on with the job in the second half with 23 points to 17 in the third period and 28 to 21 in the fourth to claim the 92-70 win and to have now won four of the last five games with the only loss coming at the hands of the second place Geraldton.
The Cougars are now on a nine-game losing streak with a 3-13 record.
Jackson Hussey had a strong night for Willetton finishing with 25 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals on the back of shooting 11/18 from the field.
Damien Scott added 22 points, six rebounds, four steals and four assists too for the Tigers while Mo Barrow produced 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals, and Connor Mincherton five points and three steals.
The Tigers’ win came with Chris Galbreath limited to just seven points for two points, two rebounds and two blocks.
Jaarod Holmes top-scored for Cockburn with 19 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists while Gavin Field contributed 12 points and nine boards, Jake Harris nine points, three rebounds and three assists, and Hayden Bell nine points and six boards.
NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES GOLDFIELDS GIANTS 82 lost to CHAMBERS FRANKLYN JOONDLAUP CITY WOLVES 85
The Joondalup Wolves had to come from behind but delivered a terrific fourth quarter to score a terrific road win in Kalgoorlie on Saturday night against the Goldfields Giants to move clear on top of the table.
The Giants have been one of the big improvers this season and were back on their home floor at Niels Hansen Basketball Centre looking to bounce back from road losses in Round 12 to top four teams Lakeside and Warwick.
But bouncing back against the league-leading Wolfpack even on their home floor was going to be no easy task.
And for three quarters, Goldfields looked capable of an important win that would see them move two games clear inside the top eight.
The Giants led 25-20 by quarter-time and still held a 44-39 lead by half-time. They then extended their advantage to 64-56 by three quarter-time.
But it was game on immediately to start the fourth period with a three to Reece Maxwell and layup to Ridell Camidge to make it a three-point ball game.
A three-point play to Jay Bowie did steady the Giants with an eight-point lead again halfway through the period and that then became 11 when Bowie knocked down a three as well.
But the Wolves weren’t done with yet and it was Kevin Davis who sparked them with a stunning individual run of eight quick points capped off by a dunk with 2:30 left that forced Giants coach Wayne Creek into the timeout.
It didn’t help with an immediate turnover before a Maxwell steal and Ben Ironmonger layup to make it a one-point game. Davis scored another layup with 45 seconds left to put the Wolfpack in front but Bowie responded for the home side with a huge three.
Then coming out of a timeout, Earnest Ross drained a three for the Wolves to put them up one before a Patrick Burke miss for the Giants. Camidge then iced the game at the foul line when a turnover cost Goldfields a chance to even get a shot off to attempt the game equaller.
Ridell Camidge again top-scored for the Wolfpack with 22 points and four rebounds with Kevin Davis finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds with 10 of those points coming in the fourth quarter.
Reece Maxwell delivered a season-high 14 points too for the Wolves while Earnest Ross produced 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals, and Seb Salinas 11 points and three assists.
Jay Bowie top-scored for the Giants with 20 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals on an efficient 7/11 shooting from the field, 3/7 from deep and 3/3 from the foul line.
Patrick Burke produced 19 points and nine rebounds too for Goldfields while Mayo Malek contributed 14 points, eight boards and four assists, David Humphries 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists, and Brandon Holloway 10 points and four assists.
QUADRIO EARTHMOVING GERALDTON BUCCANEERS 84 defeated BETHANIE WARWICK SENATORS 75
The Geraldton Buccaneers and Warwick Senators’ clash at Active West Stadium on Saturday had all the hallmarks of one of the games of the season between two teams vying for a top two position.
In the end it was the Buccs who led the whole way and at one stage did lead by as much as 16 points, but the Senators wouldn’t go away and did their best at a comeback in the final quarter.
However, Geraldton held on for the 84-75 victory which leaves both teams holding 12-4 records at the end of Round 13 as they continue to battle over that second position behind the league-leading Joondalup Wolves.
The Buccaneers opened up a 27-24 lead by quarter-time and then the home team extended that advantage to 51-42 by the half-time interval.
It was a low-scoring third quarter from both sides with just the combined 26 points but Geraldton extended its lead to three quarter-time to 13 points.
Colter Lasher then extended the Buccs lead to 15 points to start the fourth quarter. Soon after Aaron Ralph made it a game high 16-point lead before the Senators staged a fightback.
It started with a pair of Caleb Davis triples. When he nailed another the Senators were only nine points down with six minutes left but when the Buccs responded with a 6-0 run they had done enough to record the eventual nine-point victory.
Geraldton dominated the boards with 48 rebounds to 32 which saw them end up attempting 13 more field goals as well as two more free-throws for the game which proved decisive.
New Buccs import DeAngelo Isby delivered his third straight standout performance since making his debut with 27 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 10/17 from the floor and 3/5 from deep.
Liam Hunt continued his tremendous form for the Buccaneers with 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals while Marcus Alipate contributed 12 points and four steals, Colter Lasher 11 points, and Aaron Ralph seven points and eight rebounds.
Caleb Davis top-scored for the Senators with 18 points, seven rebounds and five steals with Justin King contributing 13 points and four boards, Rob Anshila 12 points and seven rebounds, Ash Litterick nine points and six boards, and Jay Thwaites nine points and three rebounds.
ID ATHLETIC PERRY LAKES HAWKS 99 defeated PRINT SYNC SOUTH WEST SLAMMERS 85
The South West Slammers might still be winless after Saturday night’s loss to the defending champion Perry Lakes Hawks, but with a couple of extra bodies they put in a much more spirited showing in honour of Michael Lay’s 200th game in the SBL.
Perry Lakes came into the Saturday night contest at Bendat Basketball Centre after a strong win 24 hours earlier on the road to the Lakeside Lightning which kept them in touch with a top four spot.
The Hawks then needed to keep the momentum going against a Slammers team winless and having lost by 60 to the Wolfpack last week, but desperate to bounce back and with the additions of Mitch Keller and Cory Richardson back into the line-up, who would combine for 50 handy minutes.
While Perry Lakes was on top virtually the whole game and at one stage even went on a 13-0 scoring run and led by 19 points, South West put in a significantly more competitive performance.
The Hawks did lead 28-18 by quarter-time and remained on top 57-44 by half-time.
Shawn Redhage scored four quick points to open the second half for Perry Lakes to stretch the lead to 15, but from there the Slammers worked back into it.
They were still down 13 by three quarter-time but then an and-one play from Terrell Carter to open the fourth term cut Perry Lakes’ lead to 10. A huge Mitch Keller putback dunk then got the Slammers up and going with Brody England also slamming one home to make the margin eight.
Michael Lay’s free-throw after a tech foul on Rob Cassir had them within touch down just seven. But that would be the closest the Slammers got with the Hawks steadying with big buckets to Kyle Sovine and Ryan Smith before a Brian Carlwell offensive board and putback snuffed out any chance of the upset.
Perry Lakes went on to win 99-85 with six players scoring in double-figures led by 20 points from Clint Steindl including going 4/7 from three-point range.
Ben Purser added 18 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and three steals for the Hawks while Shawn Redhage produced 15 points, six assists and three boards, Ryan Smith 15 points and eight rebounds, Kyle Sovine 11 points and eight boards, Cooper Hamilton 10 points, and Brian Carlwell eight points.
Michael Lay produced a huge performance for the Slammers in his 200th game with 26 points, five assists and three rebounds.
Terrell Carter added 26 points, 113 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals as well while Tyler Livingston contributed 15 points and four boards, Cory Richardson eight points and five rebounds, and Mitch Keller four points and three boards in his first SBL game since 2015.
MANDURAH MAGIC 66 lost to LAKESIDE LIGHTNING 93
The Mandurah Magic battled on Friday in Rockingham but then losing Shaun Stewart for Saturday night’s home clash with the Lakeside Lightning was always going to prove a challenge tough to overcome.
Both teams played on Friday night with the Magic losing in Rockingham by 12 points while the Lightning lost a tight home clash with the Perry Lakes Hawks by four.
But then Mandurah lost dynamic point guard Shaun Stewart for the clash at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre on Saturday. With Lakeside’s team possessing Kyle Armour, Jack Isenbarger and Rowan Mackenzie, the timing could hardly have been worse.
The Lightning needed to win to stay in touch with the top four as well and came out starting strongly to lead 24-14 by quarter-time, but the Magic dug deep and produced an impressive second term to cut Lakeside’s lead to just two at the major break.
But the Lightning rose to the challenge and dominated the second half, outscoring the Magic 52 points to 27 to claim the 93-66 win.
The victory improves Lakeside to 11-5 on the season in fifth position while Mandurah is 4-12 in 12th.
Ben Lee came out and produced his best game of the season for Lakeside with 17 points including hitting 4/11 from three-point territory.
Jobi Wall added 14 points for the Lightning too while Jack Isenbarger produced 14 points and six assists, Kyle Armour 12 points and six assists, Jarrad Prue 10 points and 19 rebounds, Michael Vigor nine points, seven assists and six boards, and Rowan Mackenzie nine points and three rebounds.
Cousteau Kyle stepped in to start for the Magic in the absence of Shaun Stewart and did well finishing with 17 points, three rebounds and two steals on 6/11 shooting from the floor.
Marvin Smith top-scored for Mandurah with 22 points and eight rebounds while Travis Durnin contributed 10 points and five boards, and Riley Parker seven points, four rebounds and three assists.
KALAMUNDA EASTERN SUNS 98 lost to SINCLAIR MCDONALD’S ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 108
The final game of the weekend took place at Ray Owen Sports Centre with a triple-double from Greg Hire and 40 points from Josh Ritchart helping the Rockingham Flames to a road win over the Kalamunda Eastern Suns.
Rockingham was coming off a good home win over Mandurah on Friday without Luke Travers and then they lost Caleb White for Saturday’s clash with Kalamunda after he injured his lower leg against the Magic late in the game.
The Eastern Suns were then fresh and waiting for them and it was a frantic first quarter from both sides as they combined for 63 points with Rockingham leading 34-29 by quarter-time.
The Flames kept that pace going in the second period with another 31 points but they also restricted the Suns to just 12 points to go into half-time leading 65-41.
The game was effectively over as a result and Rockingham would go on to lead by as much as 35 points in a dominant display before Kalamunda finished strongly including going on a 16-0 run before falling 10 points short having stunning got within five with four minutes remaining.
Josh Ritchart produced the best performance of his SBL career for Rockingham with 40 points, four assists and three rebounds while shooting 11/23 from the field, 6/11 from three and 12/14 from the foul line.
Greg Hire is about to head off for the FIBA 3×3 World Cup in Amsterdam but left with a triple-double for the Flames with 20 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists while shooting 8/11 from the floor.
Chudier Pal added 15 points and eight rebounds while Ryan Godfrey produced 12 points and six assists, Jarryd Griffin 10 points and five boards, and Justin Beard nine points and six rebounds.
The big three for the Eastern Suns all delivered impressive performances by the end of the night with Josh Braun finishing with 27 points and eight rebounds, Javion Blake 22 points and 10 assists, and Louis Timms 19 points, six boards and three steals.
Ryan Blanchett added 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals for Kalamunda while Carl Aylett scored nine points and Corey Easley had five points and six rebounds.