WAVERLEY Falcons leapfrogged Nunawading Spectres following the Falcons’ on the road win against the Spectres as Round 10 of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 men’s division was completed. It was one of two wins the Falcons picked up over the weekend, also accounting for the Eltham Wildcats by 14 points in their other contest.
Heading into the match with a 5-3 record, the Falcons started well to lead by two points at quarter time and three points at half-time. The Spectres clawed back to reduce the deficit back to just two at the final break, but a barn-storming last quarter resulted in the visitors piling on 30 points to 23 and running away with an 88-79 victory.
Daniel Dillon put up 24 points in 30 minutes, as well as had six assists and five rebounds in an impressive effort for the Falcons. Partner-in-crime Dexter Kernich-Drew managed the 21 points – including three of five from long-range – with three assists and two rebounds. Elijah Tillman (16 points, six rebounds), Tristan De Zwart Forsyth (10 points, six rebounds and two assists) and Bennie Lewis (10 points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks) also reached double-figure points.
The Spectres had four players in double-figure points range, lead by the ever-reliable Dain Swetalla who picked up a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds on the night. Jack Gandolfo (15 points, four rebounds and three assists), Simon Conn (14 points, three rebounds) and Peter Hooley (12 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals) were also among the top scorers.
In the Falcons’ Sunday afternoon win over the Wildcats, Waverley started well again to lead by six points at quarter time, but a disappointing second term had them down by a point at the half. They regained composure after half-time, piling on 56 points to 41 to run out 14-point victors, 108-94 at Waverley Basketball Stadium.
Kernich-Drew had a whopping 38 points – including serving up eight of 10 three-pointers – six rebounds and five assists in the win. De Zwart Forsyth (20 points, eight rebounds), Dillon (11 points, six rebounds and five assists) and Lewis (11 points, six rebounds and four assists) all picked up double-figure points for the second time on the weekend. Adam Doyle (20 points, five assists and three rebounds) and Justin Aver (20 points, four assists) were the top scorers for the Wildcats, whilst Ben Waldren managed the 18 points and two rebounds.
In other results, Bendigo Braves had a forgettable trip down south, losing to both the Hobart Chargers (118-95) and North West Tasmania Thunder (82-70). The results moved the Braves to 5-5 for the season after starting so promisingly, whilst both Tasmanian sides sit inside the top four at first and fourth. Second placed Frankston Blues and third placed Geelong Supercats also record comfortable wins on the weekend, with border restrictions keeping fifth placed Mt Gambier Pioneers from competing.
In the battle of the lower sides, Albury-Wodonga Bandits grabbed their second and third wins of the season to move up the table to clearly above the bottom four, having accounted for fellow battlers, Eltham Wildcats (eight points) and Sandringham Sabres (six). Ballarat Miners kept the Bandits at arms-length with a 15-point win over last placed Melbourne Tigers, whilst in the other result, Knox Raiders edged close to the mid-table logjam with a third win, this time coming against Ringwood Hawks by 23 points.
ROUND 10 RESULTS:
Hobart Chargers (118) def. Bendigo Braves (95)
Geelong Supercats (101) def. Sandringham Sabres (76)
North West Tasmania (82) def. Bendigo Braves (70)
Frankston Blues (111) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (93)
Knox Raiders (103) def. Ringwood Hawks (80)
Nunawading Spectres (79) def. by Waverley Falcons (88)
Eltham Wildcats (85) def. by Albury-Wodonga Bandits (93)
Ballarat Miners (50) def. by Kilsyth Cobras (61)
Diamond Valley Eagles (78) def. by Geelong Supercats (116)
Waverley Falcons (108) def. Eltham Wildcats (94)
Sandringham Sabres (83) def. by Albury-Wodonga Bandits (89)
Melbourne Tigers (77) def. by Ballarat Miners (92)
Picture credit: Ian Knight Photography