THE Rockingham Flames won a cracking contest over the Joondalup Wolves on Friday night in the Men’s SBL but the Wolfpack hit back 24 hours later to retain top spot while the Geraldton Buccaneers continued their hot form despite a scare at home from the Willetton Tigers.
There was plenty of intriguing and important action across Round 15 of the Men’s SBL including the Perry Lakes Hawks and Lakeside Lightning continuing to make a charge for a top four spot with both recording wins against the Warwick Senators across the weekend.
Changes continue to be the order of the day at the East Perth Eagles as they split a double-header while the South West Slammers finally broke through for their first win of 2019 at the expense of a Goldfields Giants team that missed a chance to consolidate themselves further for a playoff spot.
The Kalamunda Eastern Suns also stayed in touch of a playoff berth while the Perth Redbacks fell further back despite the presence of 2017 Grand Final MVP Lee Roberts for the first time in 2019.
ROUND 15 SPOTLIGHT | BRAUN, BLAKE’S SUNS HOLD OFF WILLIAMSON’S EAGLES
ALL-ROUND STAR BRAUN LOVING LIFE DOWN UNDER
BOWIE BACK AT GIANTS TO REPLICATE FIRST SEASON MAGIC
BLACK CAN’T HIDE PRIDE IN TIGERS’ FIGHTING SPIRIT
ROUND 15 MEN’S SBL PREVIEW
ROBBINS SCRATCHING THE ITCH AFTER PREMATURE RETIREMENT
ROB CASSIR | 250 SBL GAMES
MICHAEL LAY | 200 SBL GAMES
SUCCESS, SELF-EDUCATION HAS PARSONS PRIMED FOR NEXT LEVEL
Those were just some of the main storylines to come out of Round 15 in the Men’s SBL that began on Friday night with the Perry Lakes Hawks beating the Warwick Senators 100-76, the East Perth Eagles defeating the Mandurah Magic 107-83 and the Rockingham Flames downing the Joondalup Wolves 77-68.
Saturday evening got underway with the Cockburn Cougars beating the South West Slammers 91-77 before the Goldfields Giants started their road double beating the Mandurah Magic 99-94.
The Geraldton Buccaneers just survived the Willetton Tigers 80-77 while the Joondalup Wolves bounced back to beat the Perth Redbacks 99-71, the Lakeside Lightning defeated the Warwick Senators 76-73 and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns prevailed 122-112 against the East Perth Eagles.
Then on Sunday, the lone fixture provided to be the drought breaker for the South West Slammers who won their first game of the season under coach John Triscari, beating the Goldfields Giants 79-74 at Eaton Recreation Centre.
Following Round 15 of the Men’s SBL season, the Joondalup Wolves (16-4) remain on top ahead of the Geraldton Buccaneers (14-4) and Rockingham Flames (14-5).
There’s then a logjam fighting over fourth spot with the Lakeside Lightning (13-5) currently occupying it ahead of the Warwick Senators (13-6) and Perry Lakes Hawks (12-7).
The Goldfields Giants (11-9) and Willetton Tigers (9-11) round out the top eight with the Kalamunda Eastern Suns (8-11) and Perth Redbacks (8-12) just outside.
The East Perth Eagles (6-14), Cockburn Cougars (5-14), Mandurah Magic (5-15) and South West Slammers (1-18) round out the standings.
ROUND 15 MEN’S SBL
BETHANIE WARWICK SENATORS 76 lost to ID ATHLETIC PERRY LAKES HAWKS 100
Two teams expected to be genuine title threats locked horns on Friday night at Warwick Stadium and it was the defending champion Perry Lakes Hawks who prevailed over the Warwick Senators even in the absence of Clint Steindl.
The Hawks were coming off a narrow loss in Kambalda against the Goldfields Giants but had won four games prior to that while the Senators brought a run of winning three of their previous four games into the contest.
And with Warwick looking to stay in the top four and Perry Lakes trying to break into it, it set the stage for a tremendous Friday night battle.
But it was the Hawks that got going first in the opening half and by putting up 27 first quarter points, they led 27-19 by quarter-time.
Perry Lakes added another 28 points to 15 in the second period and the game was threatening to be all over by half-time with the visitors leading 55-34.
There was no let up from the Hawks either in the second half and they would go on to lead by as many as 28 points on the night before settling on the 24-point victory.
It was Perry Lakes’ only game of the weekend as they improve to 12-7 on the season while the Senators are 13-5 with a game at Lakeside to come on Saturday night.
It was a tremendous shooting night by Perry Lakes who went 41/81 at 50 per cent from the field and 14/26 at 53 per cent from three-point range. Warwick didn’t do too shabbily either with 32/79 at 40 per cent from the floor and 7/25 from three at 28 per cent in a game featuring just 16 free-throws.
With Clint Steindl in China playing with the NBL Select Team, Ryan Smith moved into the starting line-up again and delivered 17 points and eight rebounds for the Hawks while knocking down 4/7 from three-point range.
Cooper Hamilton then also hit 3/4 from deep off the bench for nine points.
Ben Purser also delivered 17 points and four assists while Kyle Sovine produced 13 points, four assists and three rebounds, Rob Cassir 10 points, six boards and four assists, Shawn Redhage nine points and five assists, and Mitch Clarke seven points and three rebounds.
The Senators continue to struggle a little in the absence of Wani Swaka Lo Buluk but Caleb Davis top-scored with 17 points and four rebounds on 4/9 shooting from long-range.
Justin King finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, Rob Anshila 13 points, 12 boards and four assists, and Ngor Manyang 11 points.
CMTG EAST PERTH EAGLES 107 defeated MANDURAH MAGIC 83
Playoffs might have been out of reach for East Perth and Mandurah coming into Friday night’s clash at Herb Graham Recreation Centre, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t plenty on the line with the Eagles continuing to undergo plenty of changes.
East Perth had made another adjustment to its coaching staff with 257-game club legend John Taylor taking the reins in the absence of Colin Driscoll and following the departure of main assistant Dave Jackson.
The Eagles also brought back last year’s import guard Anthony Golden to join Cameron Williams in the backcourt while Dennis Tawhiti sat out and Shaquille Maharaj was no longer there, so it might be late in the season, but there have been plenty of on-going changes for East Perth.
It seemed to all work and come together nicely for the Eagles on the night. They started well putting up 30 points to 18 in the first quarter against the Magic and were never seriously headed from there.
At one stage, East Perth went on a 13-0 run and led by as much as 24 points before winning 107-83 to snap a six-game losing run and record their sixth win of the season to leave the Magic at 5-15.
Cameron Williams produced an impressive performance for the Eagles made up of 25 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Jordan Wellsteed added 14 points, six assists, five rebounds, three steals and three blocks as well showing his all-round talents with Jarrad Anastasio impressive as a big inside with 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocks on 6/9 shooting.
Drew Williamson added 13 points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists for East Perth with Kieran Berry contributing 12 points, Anthony Golden 11 points and seven rebounds, Aiden Murphy seven points and five assists, and Jermaine Malie seven points, five rebounds and four assists.
The Magic were again without superstar point guard Shaun Stewart but there was plenty of excitement around the debut of Jerami Grace. The son of Perth Wildcats NBL legend Ricky delivered 17 points and five assists in 22 minutes in quite the encouraging first appearance.
Aaron Kearing continued to impress too for Mandurah with 21 points, 14 rebounds, five blocked shots, four assists and three steals with Travis Durnin adding 18 points and 14 boards, and Riley Parker 10 points.
SINCLAIR MCDONALD’S ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 77 defeated CHAMBERS FRANKLYN JOONDALUP CITY WOLVES 68
The Rockingham Flames continued to emerge as a genuine championship threat this season handing the Joondalup Wolves their first defeat since May 4 at Mike Barnett Sports Complex on Friday night.
The Flames had strung three wins together coming into hosting the league-leading Wolfpack but the Wolves arrived in Rockingham on an eight-game winning run having not lost since falling to the Warwick Senators back on May 4.
That set up quite the tantalising battle on Friday night and it was the Flames who started strongly leading 27-16 by quarter-time.
But the Wolves worked back into the contest outscoring the Flames 19-16 in the second term and then continuing that momentum in the third with 22 points to 16 to head into three quarter-time with Rockingham’s lead cut to 59-57.
However, the Flames took control of the final period to outscore the Wolves 18 points to 11 to end up winning 77-68 and make it four straight wins to move up to a top four position with a 14-5 record.
The Wolves remain on top at 15-4 with a home clash with the Redbacks on Friday night.
Caleb White had missed Rockingham’s last two games through injury but he returned in style on Friday to finish with 21 points including going 5/9 from three-point territory.
Chudier Pal had a good night also finishing with 19 points and nine rebounds for Rockingham with Luke Travers producing 14 points, seven rebounds, four blocks and three assists, Justin Beard 10 points and seven boards, and Ryan Godfrey seven points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Earnest Ross top-scored for the Wolfpack with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Trian Iliadis delivered 17 points and seven boards.
Kevin Davis added 11 points and eight rebounds for the Wolves with Lachlan Strelein contributing five points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
PRESTIGE HONDA MELVILLE COCKBURN COUGARS 91 defeated PRINT SYNC SOUTH WEST SLAMMERS 77
The South West Slammers might have thought they could win their first game of the season on Saturday night at Wally Hagan Stadium, but the Cockburn Cougars would have none of it ending up winning 91-77.
The Slammers came into the contest having lost their first 17 games of the season under coach John Triscari and the Cougars were coming off a terrific win over the Perth Redbacks which was their fourth win of 2019 to snap a 10-game losing slide.
For three quarters it was a tight contest as well with Cockburn leading by a point at quarter-time, while still leading by a point at half-time and then stretching that lead to four by three quarter-time.
The Cougars then pulled away further in the fourth term with 24 points to 14 to run out 14-point winners and improve to 5-14 on the season while handing the Slammers an 18th consecutive defeat.
Gavin Field was terrific for the Cougars finishing the evening with 30 points, 10 rebounds and six assists on the back of shooting 9/20 from the field, 4/9 from three-point territory and 8/9 from the free-throw line.
Jaarod Holmes continued the best season of his career with another 20 points and seven rebounds too with Jakob Knight producing 17 points and seven rebounds for Cockburn, and Jake Harris six points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
Tyler Livingston had a big night for the Slammers with 31 points and seven rebounds while Terrell Carter contributed 28 points and 16 rebounds.
Lucas Goff added six points and five rebounds, and Michael Lay four points, nine assists, five boards and two steals.
MANDURAH MAGIC 94 lost to NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES GOLDFIELDS GIANTS 99
The Goldfields Giants came to Mandurah on Saturday night to begin their tricky road double and the Magic made them earn it, but they finished strongly to win 99-94.
The Magic were back at home at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre on Saturday night having lost to East Perth on Friday at Mirrabooka and awaiting them was a travelling Giants team needing to win to maintain their edge inside the top eight.
Both teams were missing a star with the Magic still without Shaun Stewart while the Giants were missing Jay Bowie as well for the road trip.
While Goldfields did hold a three-point edge at quarter-time, but by half-time Mandurah had turned the tide to lead 41-37 at half-time.
The Magic continued to hold a three-point advantage as well heading into the fourth period but the Giants knew what the match meant to the context of their season and would score 32 points in the last term to manage to record the five-point victory.
The win improves the Giants to an 11-8 record on the season ahead of the trip to Bunbury on Sunday morning while the Magic are 5-15 having lost their previous three matches.
Dave Humphries had a big night for the Giants with 31 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals while in the absence of Bowie, Jerome Reid came up big for 16 points, five rebounds and two assists while knocking down 4/9 from three-point territory.
Patrick Burke added 16 points, four rebounds and two assists for Goldfields with Brandon Holloway contributing 13 points and seven assists, Mayo Malek 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Fletcher Klasztorny eight points, three boards, three steals and two assists.
While Marvin Smith was impressive for the Magic with 28 point and six rebounds, all the excitement surrounded the first home appearance of Jerami Grace, the son of Ricky.
Coming off his stunning debut the night before against East Perth, he was superb once more with 20 points, nine assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Travis Durnin also had 21 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals for Mandurah, Riley Parker 18 points and four assists, and Aaron Kearing five points, seven rebounds, four blocked shots and three assists.
QUADRIO EARTHMOVING GERALDTON BUCCANEERS 80 defeated WILLETTON TIGERS 77
The Geraldton Buccaneers kept their winning form going but the Willetton Tigers also continued their impressive form despite leaving Active West Stadium with a three-point defeat on Saturday night.
The Buccs came into the game on a five-game winning streak and having looked particularly impressive since the arrival of new import DeAngelo Isby.
But the Tigers headed to Geraldton in good form too winning five of their past six matches despite continuing to suffer a rough injury run including likely losing import big Chris Galbreath for at least the rest of the regular season with a broken bone in his foot.
Both teams were in good form coming into the clash and had already played out an entertaining affair at Willetton Basketball Stadium just a few weeks earlier, and this game didn’t disappoint.
It was tight all the way through with Willetton leading 39-31 by half-time but Geraldton turning it around to lead 54-53 by three quarter-time.
When DeAngelo Isby knocked down a three, the Buccs did lead by seven early in the last term but the Tigers responded to that with a 6-0 run.
Connor Mincherton then came up big for Willetton with a triple to keep it a one-point game and when he made that a four-point play, scores were all locked up.
Mincherton’s breakout performance continued when he hit another three to keep scores level with three minutes left.
Willetton then took the lead with 30 seconds remaining when Jackson Hussey scored a layup against the club he started his SBL journey with. But Marcus Alipate responded with a triple for the Buccaneers to go up two before the Tigers went into a timeout with one possession left.
Damien Scott got a good look but it wouldn’t fall from downtown forcing the Tigers to foul and Alipate iced the game for the Buccaneers for the 80-77 win.
Colter Lasher finished up with 21 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals for Geraldton while Liam Hunt contributed 18 points, 13 boards and three assists.
DeAngelo Isby produced another 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists while Marcus Alipate contributed eight points and seven assists, and Aaron Ralph six points, six rebounds and two steals.
Connor Mincherton produced a stunning night for the Tigers finishing with the best game of his career made up of 24 points and seven rebounds while nailing 6/6 from three-point territory.
Mo Barrow added 15 points and six rebounds for Willetton with Jackson Hussey contributing 13 points, five boards and four assists, Damien Scott 13 points and six rebounds, and Michael Garbellini eight points.
Willetton did well to give themselves a chance to win with Scott Elder unable to play and compete inside after his brave performance a week earlier to play hurt in the win over the Redbacks.
CHAMBERS FRANKLYN JOONDALUP CITY WOLVES 99 defeated TEXTURE WA PERTH REDBACKS 71
The Joondalup Wolves bounced back from a rare loss to consolidate top spot in the Men’s SBL with a 99-71 win over the Perth Redbacks at HBF Arena on Saturday night.
The Wolfpack came into the game having lost in Rockingham the previous night which snapped their eight-game winning run while the Redbacks came into the game needing a win having lost their last two to slip outside the top eight.
It was a Grand Final rematch from 2017 and there’s certainly no love lost between the two teams and just to add to that, the MVP from that championship decider Lee Roberts lined up for the Redbacks for his first appearance of 2019.
But the Wolves started strongly to lead by six points at quarter-time and then they further extended their advantage in the second period to go into the half-time break leading 50-36.
Joondalup continued to pull away in the second half with 23 points to 19 in the third term, and 26 points to 16 in the last quarter and that saw the Wolfpack claim the 28-point victory.
The win improves the Wolves to a 16-4 record on the season to remain clear in top spot while the Redbacks have now lost three consecutive matches to 8-12 in 10th position.
Ridell Camidge had another impressive performance for the Wolfpack finishing with 26 points on the back of shooting 10/25 from the floor and 5/14 from three-point territory.
Earnest Ross added 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Wolves with Ben Ironmonger contributing 16 points and seven assists, and Rob Huntington nine points and four assists.
Kevin Davis delivered six points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists, Trian Iliadis six points and three boards, Seb Salinas six points, four rebounds and four assists, and Sam Curtis six points.
Lee Roberts came into the Redbacks line-up and top-scored with 20 points and eight rebounds on 8/15 shooting from the floor.
Zac Gattorna added 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists but it was a quieter night for Marshall Nelson who had just 10 points, three boards and three assists.
Joel Wagner did have nine points, six rebounds and six assists with Majier Garang contributing six points and five rebounds.
LAKESIDE LIGHTNING 76 defeated BETHANIE WARWICK SENATORS 73
The Lakeside Lightning scored a thrilling three-point victory over the Warwick Senators at Lakeside Recreation Centre on Saturday and that saw them replace the Senators in the top four at the end of the round.
Lakeside came into the game with some good momentum while Warwick had lost on Friday at home to Perry Lakes and for the first time in 2019, were struggling a little.
That set the tone for an important game for both clubs in the context of their seasons as they battle over a spot inside the top four.
It turned out to be a bit of a low-scoring grind which doesn’t necessarily suit the way either team plays, and the first half saw both teams play at a decent pace with Lakeside leading 24-22 by quarter-time before Warwick turned it around to tie scores up by half-time.
There was only 28 points combined in the third quarter with the Lightning holding a two-point lead at three quarter-time but it just felt like a game always destined to go down to the wire.
Scores were still all tied up with four minutes remaining on a Justin King pull up jumper for the Senators before Michael Vigor answered in the block for Lakeside.
Jack Isenbarger stretched the Lightning lead to four with three minutes to go and then they were up five when Jobi Wall knocked down a three-pointer.
King did score the last basket of the game to make it a three-point margin with 45 seconds left. But neither team hit a shot the rest of the night and Lakeside prevailed 76-73 to replace the Senators in the top four by the end of Round 15.
Jack Isenbarger top-scored for the Lightning with 20 points and four rebounds with Jarrad Prue instrumental with another 16 points and 14 rebounds while going a perfect 8/8 from the field.
Jobi Wall finished with 13 points and three rebounds too for Lakeside with Michael Vigor contributing 11 points and six assists, Rowan Mackenzie 10 points, four boards, four steals and two assists, and Kyle Armour six points, seven assists and four rebounds.
Caleb Davis finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Senators with Justin King producing 17 points, 10 boards and five assists, Ash Litterick 10 points and seven rebounds, Cody Ellis 10 points and five boards, and Rob Anshila nine points and five rebounds.
KALAMUNDA EASTERN SUNS 122 defeated CMTG EAST PERTH EAGLES 112
The Kalamunda Eastern Suns survived a late scare from the East Perth Eagles at Ray Owen Sports Centre on Saturday night and look to have overcome the fright of a knee injury to star big man Louis Timms to stay in the Men’s SBL playoff race.
Coming into the game following competitive showings but losses to the defending champion Perry Lakes Hawks and top four teams Rockingham Flames and Warwick Senators, the Eastern Suns weren’t playing too badly but needed to get back to winning.
The Suns started well too in an up-tempo first quarter which consisted of 57 points. They scored 34 of those to lead 34-23 with Josh Braun on fire putting up 14 points on his own.
Kalamunda kept that momentum going in the second quarter and it was a host of other Suns players stepping up including an individual 7-0 run from Logan Viskovich made up of a three-pointer, layup and alley-oop finish on a pass from Javion Blake.
But East Perth wasn’t going away and when Kieran Berry a three on the buzzer, it cut Kalamunda’s lead at the major break 67-51.
Despite Drew Williamson firing well for the Eagles, Cameron Williams taking the ball hard to the rack and Jordan Wellsteed showing what he’s capable of, the Eastern Suns remained in control of the contest in the second half.
The only scare was when Timms fell awkwardly on his knee with four minutes to go in the third quarter, but still by the time Corey Easley hit from downtown, they led 118-99 with 2:15 left.
That’s where it got interesting. Williams found Jarrad Anastasio for an alley-oop finish before Williams hit a pair of free-throws after a turnover, and then Williamson hit a jumper.
Another turnover and tech foul handed Williamson a gimme and then suddenly on another Suns turnover, Williamson hit another buck.
On the in-bounds pass, Williamson got his hands to it but couldn’t quite keep it in. Had he been able to and if East Perth scored, it would have been a two-possession game. Instead, a tech foul was called on Williamson with Blake converting and the Eastern Suns held on for the critical win.
Josh Braun delivered another terrific performance for the Eastern Suns finishing with 37 points, six rebounds and four assists on the back of shooting a remarkably efficient 13/16 from the field, 5/7 from three-point range and 6/6 from the foul line.
Javion Blake was tremendous too for Kalamunda with 27 points, 14 assists, five rebounds and three steals while shooting 9/17 from the field and 7/9 from the charity stripe.
Louis Timms was having a good night with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists before going off while Ryan Blanchett also delivered 15 points, six boards and five assists, and Logan Viskovich 15 points and three rebounds.
The Suns also started captain Jono Diaz in his 197th game for some extra energy and he provided seven points and two assists.
The Eastern Suns put up 122 points and shot a stunning 46/74 at 62 per cent from the field, 12/22 from three at 54 per cent and 18/23 at 78 from the foul line.
East Perth captain Drew Williamson was outstanding with 33 points, five rebounds and five assists on the back of a brilliant shooting night of 12/18 from the floor and 7/11 from three-point range.
Cameron Williams had a strong game too for the Eagles with 26 points, seven assists, six steals and three rebounds while Jordan Wellsteed was impressive with 16 points and four boards.
Jarrad Anastasio showed he has the ability to be a productive centre in the league with 14 points and five rebounds while Jermaine Malie contributed 11 points, six rebounds and four assists, and returning import Anthony Golden seven points, four boards and three assists.
PRINT SYNC SOUTH WEST SLAMMERS 79 defeated NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES GOLDFIELDS GIANTS 74
It always loomed as a tricky game starting on Sunday morning at Eaton Recreation Centre for the Goldfields Giants and that’s how it played out with the South West Slammers recording their first win of 2019.
Since a horror 60-point loss at HBF Arena against the Joondalup Wolves, the Slammers have put together more competitive performances against the Hawks, Magic, Flames and Cougars coming into hosting the Giants on Sunday, with the earlier tip-off time of 11am.
The Slammers did lose on Saturday night at Cockburn while Goldfields escaped Mandurah with a narrow defeat so it was a short turnaround for both teams to get ready at Eaton on Sunday morning.
The Slammers managed to start well and led 23-19 by quarter-time but the Giants worked their way on top in the second term and went into half-time leading 42-39 to appear in control of the contest despite only leading by the three points.
But South West likely then delivered its best quarter of the season in the third term putting up 26 points themselves while holding Goldfields to just the nine points.
The Slammers would go on a 12-0 run and end up leading by as much as 16 points before then holding off the inevitable Giants fightback in the last quarter to win 79-74.
It was the first win of the season for the Slammers after 18 consecutive losses while it could be a costly defeat the Giants who slip to 11-9 as a result in seventh position in the standings.
Cory Richardson came up huge for the Slammers in the breakthrough win with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Michael Lay continued his fine season with another 18 points, nine rebounds, six steals and four assists while Tyler Livingston contributed 17 points and 10 boards, and Terrell Carter 13 points and five rebounds.
Mitch Keller continues to be a more than handy inclusion over recent weeks with another six points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Dave Humphries top-scored for the Giants again in the absence of Jay Bowie with 22 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and two assists.
Mayo Malek added 14 points and eight rebounds for Goldfields, Patrick Burke 11 points and three boards, Jerome Reid six points and seven rebounds, Brandon Holloway six points and two steals, and Fletcher Klasztorny six points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.