FRESH off a cracking overtime win on Friday night, the Perry Lakes Hawks kept their West Coast Classic momentum going with another 89-57 win against the Mandurah Magic on Saturday.
Aside from a hiccup on the road to the Lakeside Lightning, Perry Lakes has been able to put a strong West Coast Classic together over the opening three rounds which was capped off on Saturday night at Bendat Basketball Centre.
With the leadership and experience of Ben Purser, Rob Cassir and Ryan Smith, and then emerging trio Mitch Clarke, Bailey Cole and Cooper Hamilton and some exciting young players, it’s a West Coast Classic group put together impressively with an eye to the now, and to the future.
Coach Matt Parsons deserves enormous credit for that and now he has his team clicking nicely. They’ve proven they can win thrillers after getting over the Warwick Senators and Willetton Tigers, and now can also ram home an advantage like they did Saturday night over the remarkably young Magic.
Mandurah coach Aaron Trahair deserves recognition too for the way he is using the West Coast Classic to develop for the future by giving opportunities to play big roles to players that might otherwise never have in the SBL, including former Cougar Tom Atkinson and ex-Bucc Josh Hunt.
But against this well put together Perry Lakes line-up, they couldn’t quite keep up the fight as the evening rolled on with the Hawks starting strongly to lead 28-19 by quarter-time.
That advantage had grown to 50-34 by half-time with the Hawks ending up with a lead as large as 32 during the evening which just happened to be the final margin as they scored the 89-57 victory.
The Hawks again loved taking the three ball jacking up 36 attempts and making 12 while pulling in 58 rebounds to 49 from Mandurah.
East Perth recruit Matthew Leary had a tremendous night for the Hawks putting up 20 points to go with six rebounds while captain Ben Purser shows what a remarkable all-round player he continues to be with 19 points and four boards.
Bailey Cole put up 13 points, four rebounds and two assists as well for the Hawks with Cooper Hamilton contributing 10 points and five rebounds, Mitch Clarke nine points and six assists and Harry Imison eight points and two boards.
Imison sure wasn’t shy on attempting the three ball and ended up going 1/9 from beyond the arc.
Rob Cassir produced three points, five steals, four rebounds and two assists as well for Perry Lakes with Austin Kisselev contributing five points and five boards.
Tom Atkinson has had a remarkable three weeks now in the West Coast Classic having never really had a chance to play regular minutes in the SBL previously at Cockburn.
But he has more than proven himself someone to keep your eye on and while he only shot 5/16 on Saturday against Perry Lakes, he still managed to finish with 17 points, 15 rebounds and four assists.
Josh Hunt is another player who was biding his time behind quality and experienced players at the Buccaneers, but he’s thriving on joining the Magic with another 11 points, three rebounds and two blocked shots.
Aaron Kearing is a big that the Mandurah can bank on to be a real presence for years to come at both ends of the floor, and he delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots.
Isaiah Walley-Stack also had five points for the Magic and Cousteau Kyle four.
Perry Lakes will now play the South West Slammers at Eaton Recreation Centre next Saturday night while Mandurah will be hosting the Joondalup Wolves also on Saturday.
WEST COAST CLASSIC 2020 – MEN
Perth Redbacks 95 defeated East Perth Eagles 78
Willetton Tigers 94 lost to Perry Lakes Hawks 96
Joondalup Wolves 80 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 76
Perth Redbacks 86 defeated Geraldton Buccaneers 85
Goldfields Giants 82 defeated Rockingham Flames 69
Warwick Senators 88 defeated Joondalup Wolves 76
Cockburn Cougars 85 defeated Lakeside Lightning 81
East Perth Eagles 82 defeated South West Slammers 69
Perry Lakes Hawks 89 defeated Mandurah Magic 57
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Geraldton Buccaneers – Ray Owen Sports Centre 12.00pm