THE two hottest teams in the Men’s SBL went at it on Saturday night at Bendat Basketball Centre and Lakeside and Perry Lakes put on quite the show with the Hawks producing a stunning comeback only for the Lightning to win on the back of Ben Lee’s fourth triple.
Lakeside came into the game on top of the Men’s SBL on an eight-game winning having also won a heartstopper at home to the Kalamunda Eastern Suns on Friday night while Perry Lakes came into Saturday night on its own six-match winning streak to stay in the top four hunt.
The game then turned out to be one of the best and most intense contests of the season and if it’s a preview of a potential playoff contest between the two, then that will provide for can’t miss basketball.
Lakeside was on top for most of the evening but Perry Lakes refused to go away but 11 Clint Steindl points in the space of a minute and-a-half, and then a Cooper Hamilton triple soon had Perry Lakes on top with less than a minute left.
But Ben Lee then connected from deep to level scores and then a foul after a missed Steindl shot on the rebound from Ryan Smith on Jack Isenbarger would decide the game as he made the first free-throw with Lakeside in the bonus.
When he missed the second, it didn’t quite give the Hawks enough time to get a good look at the winner and Lightning won 96-95 to make it two Round 19 wins by a grand total of three points.
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With both teams on impressive winning streaks with Lakeside having won eight straight and Perry Lakes six in-a-row and both looking to finish the regular season in the top four, it was always going to be a game with plenty on the line.
Like on Friday against Kalamunda, Lakeside was minus Kyle Armour as point guard and despite a couple of early threes from Rowan Mackenzie, Lakeside started well with Clint Steindl hitting a couple of early jumpers.
But when Ben Lee nailed his first triple of the night, Lakeside went up 16-10 and still led 28-23 by quarter-time thanks to a Jack Isenbarger triple on the buzzer.
It took Perry Lakes less than two minutes of the second term to regain the lead starting with a layup from Shawn Redhage and five quick Ben Purser points.
A four-point play to Steindl pushed the Hawks back up by two but with the work of Michael Vigor and Jarrad Prue pivotal inside, the Lightning worked their way back on top as they led by the smallest of margins at half-time 50-49.
Prue opened the second half with a three-point play on the back of yet another offensive board. Mackenzie then stretched Lakeside’s lead by hitting from downtown and when Vigor did the same, their advantage grew to nine.
Purser was doing everything he could in an inspirational performance to keep Perry Lakes close, but the Lightning were feeling it and Isenbarger hit another from beyond the arc to go up nine. Jobi Wall did the same to make it 12 before Lee kept it at 12 when he also hit from long-range.
Lee hit another to put Lakeside up 13 heading towards three quarter-time with them still leading by that margin heading into the fourth.
Four quick Redhage points kept Perry Lakes in touch early in the fourth before Ryan Smith hit from deep to bring the Hawks back within eight. Purser then got to the rack to make it a six-point ball game and when Cooper Hamilton connected from deep, the home side was just down three.
Redhage would foul out with 3:30 remaining and four points the difference with Lakeside going back up by seven with three Mackenzie free-throws which was immediately answered by a triple from Steindl.
Steindl then made three from the stripe before hitting another three-pointer to put Perry Lakes on top 92-90 with two minutes remaining.
Mackenzie answered for Lakeside to level scores before Hamilton hit a massive three for Perry Lakes to make it 95-92. Lee responded up the other end for Lakeside with 29 seconds left.
The Hawks ran down the clock to try and take the last shot but Steindl’s two wouldn’t fall and then Isenbarger grabbed the rebound, Smith fouled him and the game was over with Lakeside winning 96-95.
Lightning centre Michael Vigor sure is enjoying his move to Lakeside this season having been a championship winner in 2017 at the Perth Redbacks.
In a big week for him having signed to play in Italy for the first time later this year, Vigor couldn’t be happier with Lakeside’s two wins this weekend even if they were both heartstoppers to keep them top of the table with a game remaining at home to Rockingham on Friday night.
“We always talk about how much you learn from being in big games and close games, and what you get from trying to beat the top teams. To have a game like tonight against what I think is a top four side in Perry Lakes, to come up with a win was just huge,” Vigor said.
“It’s a huge weekend for us. We’ve been on a bit of a roll lately winning nine in-a-row now but we knew this was always going to be a tough weekend with both teams very good sides and on their own winning streaks.
“Then to have Kyle down for the weekend and for guys to step in and step up, it really took a team effort and they are a huge two wins for us. I think it locks in top three at least for us so we are pretty happy with this weekend.”
There were plenty of standout performers in the win for Lakeside led by the inside presence of Michael Vigor and Jarrad Prue. Vigor had 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists, and Prue eight points and 27 boards on the back of 36 on Friday night.
Then in the backcourt, Rowan Mackenzie delivered 24 points, four rebounds and three assists, Jack Isenbarger 23 points with 5/11 from three and Ben Lee 14 points on 4/7 from downtown.
Jobi Wall also chimed in with 10 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Clint Steindl had a big night for Perry Lakes with 27 points, six rebounds and five assists while hitting 5/10 from beyond the arc.
Ben Purser had a huge performance for the Hawks too with 23 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists with Brian Carlwell contributing 10 points and three boards, Ryan Smith 10 points and five rebounds, Shawn Redhage nine points and four boards, and Cooper Hamilton eight points.
MEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 19
Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves 108 defeated Prestige Honda Cockburn Cougars 73
Willetton Tigers 104 defeated Print Sync South West Slammers 63
Bethanie Warwick Senators 94 defeated Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames 85
Lakeside Lightning 82 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 80
Texture WA Perth Redbacks 97 defeated Mandurah Magic 78
ID Athletic Perry Lakes Hawks 95 lost to Lakeside Lightning 96
Print Sync South West Slammers 56 lost to Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers 103
Northern Star Resources Goldfields Giants 125 defeated CMTG East Perth Eagles 107
Mandurah Magic v Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers – Waroona Recreation Centre 12.00pm