THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 South men’s ladder is fairly tight between the top sides, middle teams and league battlers as back-to-back wins for a number of teams saw plenty of sides change places following Round 4 of competition.
Hobart Chargers (74) def. Eltham Wildcats (72)
Hobart Chargers were able to give their home fans something to cheer about, downing the Eltham Wildcats in a thriller by two points. Leading by 11 points at quarter time, the Chargers actually lost the next three quarters by one, four and four points, but that only equated to nine, and the home team got up, 74-72. Jonathan Mines (21 points, four rebounds) led the way, with Koen Sapwell (15 points, 10 rebounds) picking up a double-double, and Zachary White (10 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks) also prominent for the winners. Adam Doyle stood out for the Wildcats, scoring 19 points, eight rebounds and two assists, whilst Justin Aver (14 points, five rebounds and two steals), Ovie Magbegor (11 points, 12 rebounds) and Simon Bradbury (10 points, 13 rebounds) all stood out despite the narrow loss.
Sandringham Sabres (86) def. by Diamond Valley Eagles (98)
Diamond Valley Eagles handed Sandringham Sabres their fourth straight loss, winning by 12 points thanks to a strong effort after quarter time. The visitors trailed by two points at the Southern Basketball Stadium at quarter time, but then won each of the final three terms by four, six and four points to get up, 98-86. Blake Owili lead the way with 29 points and 10 rebounds, while Ngor Manyang (19 points, three rebounds and two steals), Darcy Harding (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Ryan Bowkett (11 points, four rebounds) were all double-digit scorers. For the Sabres, Nicholas Gabsch (22 points, six rebounds and three steals) impressed, as did Kuany Kuany (19 points, nine rebounds and two steals) and Tom O’Brien (14 points, two assists and two steals).
Geelong Supercats (66) def. Nunawading Spectres (65)
Geelong Supercats have won a thriller over Nunwading Spectres, getting up by one point at home despite a late charge from the visitors. The Spectres led by a point at quarter time, then the Supercats were up by a point at half-time and then five points at the final break, before the Spectres hit back to draw within a point at the final buzzer. He only made one of two free throws with six seconds left, but it was enough for Owen Odigie to help his team to victory by that margin, 66-65. Isaac Turner (18 points, three assists and two rebounds), Jack Macdonald (16 points, three rebounds and three assists) and Mawut Macar Deng (13 points) all had scoring impacts in the match. For the Spectres, Dain Swetalla picked up a massive double-double of 15 points and 16 rebounds, while Daniel Baxter (11 points, five rebounds and four assists) and Simon Conn (seven points – only three of 12 from the field – six rebounds and three assists) both worked hard through the contest.
Ballarat Miners (77) def. by Frankston Blues (89)
In the battle of the 2-2 sides, Frankston Blues held their nerve to win 89-77 in a come-from-behind victory over Ballarat Miners. Having to do it on the road, the Blues fell three points behind in the first term, but won the final three quarters by 15 points to win by 12 in a strong performance. Lachlan Barker (34 points, five rebounds) and Dylan Stith (33 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and two blocks) were unbelievable in the win, whilst Lucas Baker chipped in with 11 points, seven assists six rebounds and two steals. Jock Perry top-scored for the Miners with 17 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, while Deng Acuoth (15 points, eight rebounds, five blocks and two assists) and William Hickey (15 points, five rebounds) were other prominent scorers in a losing side.
Bendigo Braves (100) def. Melbourne Tigers (62)
Two sides with opposite formlines coming in, Bendigo Braves showed why they are a contender for the NBL1 South men’s title, easily accounting for Melbourne Tigers by 38 points. The Braves won every quarter by between four and 11 points to secure the 100-62 win. Ray Turner notched up yet another double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Nelson Larkins (10 points, seven assists and six rebounds), Brennan Rymer (10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists) and Jake Lloyd (12 points, five rebounds) were all prominent players in multiple facets. Dogukan Elyazar (12 points) and Keenan Willie (10 points eight rebounds and two steals) were the only two players to reach double figures as Felix van Hofe had an off shooting night, hitting just three of 15 from the field on his way to nine points, six rebounds and two assists.
Dandenong Rangers (91) def. by Mt Gambier Pioneers (97)
Mt Gambier Pioneers kept themselves level with the top sides thanks to a hard-fought six-point win over Dandenong Rangers. The Pioneers trailed by three points at quarter time and six points at the main break, but stepped up in the second half to win it 50-35 and secure the six-point win themselves, 97-91. Duom Dawam (27 points, nine rebounds and four assists) top-scored, followed by Titus Robinson (21 points, eight rebounds and four blocks) and Nick Marshall (19 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals) in an even team performance for the Pioneers. The home side had a number of strong contributors as well, with Sean Macdonald stepping up with 24 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Oliver Hayes-Brown (17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists) picked up a double-double, as did Lawson Eales (15 points, 10 rebounds).
North West Tasmania (87) def. Eltham Wildcats (69)
North West Tasmania dealt Eltham Wildcats a second loss in Round 4, defeating the visitors by 18 points at Elphin Sports Stadium. The Wildcats started strongly to lead by four points at quarter time, and three at the main break, but were blown away in the second half, as the Thunder piled on 50 points to 29 to run away with the 87-69 win and collect their fourth victory of the season while handing the Wildcats their fourth loss of 2021. Mason Bragg picked up a double-double of 15 points, 12 assists four rebounds and two steals, while Joseph Chilcott (18 points, three rebounds), Joel Beveridge (11 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Paul Campbell (10 points, five rebounds and two assists) were also busy. For the Wildcats, Doyle was again a star, knocking down 26 points – including five of nine from three-point range – as well as five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Aver (12 points, four rebounds) and Sam Whelan (11 points, three assists and two rebounds) were also busy for the losers.
Albury-Wodonga Bandits (69) def. by Kilsyth Cobras (98)
Kilsyth Cobras have handed Albury-Wodonga Bandits their fifth straight loss, winning all four quarters on the way to a 29-point victory. The Cobras only led by a point at quarter time and four points at half-time, but each quarter created more separation, and in the end, the visitors won the second half 56-31 for a 98-69 win. Adrian Tomada (22 points, two assists) was the top scorer for the Cobras, but he had plenty of support from the likes of Ben Ursich (18 points, three rebounds), Corey Jeffs (15 points, four rebounds and four assists) and Deng Riak (12 points, seven rebounds and two steals). Mitchell Dance hit 18 points and had six rebounds and four assists for the Bandits, while John Crnogorac picked up a double-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds and two assists, and Jacob Cincurak had 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Ringwood Hawks (92) def. Knox Raiders (73)
Leapfrogging their opponents by getting the win, Ringwood Hawks secured a 19-point win in front of home fans against Knox Raiders. The Hawks won the first half by 15 points, and while the Raiders cut the deficit to eight at the final break, the home team broke away again with a 25-14 quarter to run out 92-73 winners and grab their second win of the season. CJ Asuncion-Byrd (20 points, two rebounds and two steals) top-scored for the Hawks, Ricardo Martin (16 points, two rebounds) was also prominent, while Matthew Fennell (15 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) and Matthew Snow (13 points, 10 assists and five rebounds) both picked up double-doubles. Simon Grant (18 points, four rebounds and three assists) was busy for the Raiders, while Jack Roberts (13 points, three rebounds and two assists) and Abraham Nyok (11 points, seven rebounds) were also prominent in defeat.
Waverley Falcons (99) def. Geelong Supercats (95)
After winning a thriller the day before, Geelong Supercats were on the end of a heartbreaking loss, going down to Waverley Falcons by four points in overtime. The Supercats led by five points at the main break, but the Falcons caught them by the final buzzer, then won the overtime 14-10 after a late Jake Heath triple, and a Turner turnover proved costly for the Supercats in the 99-95 Falcons’ win. Durrell McDonald was impressive with 28 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Heath (22 points, five rebounds and four assists), Tristan De Zwart Forsyth (19 points, eight rebounds and two assists) and Michael Harper (13 points, six rebounds) had strong scoring efforts. Turner finished with a match-high 29 points, as well as two assists and two rebounds, while Gabriel Hadley (19 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals), Odigie (18 points, 13 rebounds and five assists) and Macdonald (15 points, four rebounds and two assists) were also prominent.
Nunawading Spectres (92) def. Dandenong Rangers (81)
Nunawading Spectres handed Dandenong Rangers their fifth consecutive loss, winning the first three quarters to go up by 18 points at the final break, before a spirited consolation effort in the last term by the Rangers cut the final deficit to 11 points. Swetalla was the standout with a double-double in the 92-81 victory, racking up 27 points, 10 rebounds and three steals, while Luke Van Rijn (15 points, two rebounds), Jack Gandolfo (14 points, two rebounds and two assists) and Peter Hooley (10 points, seven rebounds and four assists) were all busy. Macdonald hit 27 points for the losers with four rebounds and two steals, while Hayes-Brown managed a point better and a double-double with 28 points and 13 rebounds in the match to be the only two majors scorers for the Rangers.
Melbourne Tigers (95) def. by Mt Gambier Pioneers (123)
Winning their second game on the road this weekend and handing their opponents their second loss, Mt Gambier Pioneers proved too strong for Melbourne Tigers in a high-scoring 28-point victory. The Pioneers piled on 123 points – scoring more then 30 points in three of the quarters – to win 123-95, only reduced back to the 28-point final margin thanks to a 30-18 last quarter in favour of the Tigers. Marshall was running hot with 32 points – five of 10 from long-range – as well as five assists three rebounds and two steals, while Dawam had 20 points and 11 rebounds in a double-double effort. Tom Kubank (20 points, five rebounds) was lively, while Kyle Tipene finished with 17 points and four assists on the day. For the Tigers, Lachlan Anthony top-scored with 17 points, while Willie (14 points, nine rebounds and five assists) and von Hofe (15 points, six rebounds and two assists) were impressive despite the defeat.
Picture credit: Rachel Louise / Ian Knight Photography