ROUND 5 of the Country Basketball League (CBL) North West competition tipped off over the weekend with Bendigo Braves featuring heavily across the men’s and women’s competitions.
NORTH WEST MEN’S:
In the North West Men’s competition, top of the table Bendigo Braves had a mixed bag of results, retaining top spot by two points, but Maryborough Blazers – who have the bye – have two games in hand and remain undefeated. Kyneton Tigers got the win over the Braves to remain in contention for finals, whilst Bacchus Marsh Lions and Castlemaine Cannons both grabbed their second wins of the season by knocking off now-last placed Mildura Heat.
In a highly anticipated clash on Saturday night, Kyneton Tigers got up to defeat Bendigo Braves by 15 points. There were plenty of players who hit the court that night, as Iggy Spiller (15 points), Jai Everitt (12), Carson McSweeney (11) and Thomas Scott (10) all reached double-figure points. Bendigo’s Lachlan O’Brien knocked down 17 points in a match-high scoring effort.
Bendigo bounced back from the Saturday night loss to post a win on Sunday courtesy of a tag-team effort from O’Brien (14 points) and Connor Mayman (13). Steven Bowen (18 points) led the way for Swan Hill Flyers, while Henry Thompson (13) and Torben McFarlane (12) also contributed strongly.
In the other Saturday game, Castlemaine Cannons grabbed their second win by defeating Mildura Heat by 10 points in a bottom three clash. Sam Beks had a day out putting up 34 points in a starring performance, while Aidan Brohm (16) and William Teasdale (10) also hit double-figure points. For the Heat, Ethan Deale (15 points) led the way, while Kyle Newey (13), Tarryn Shaddock (13), Jack Bakewell (11) and Noah Valentich (10) shared it around in the loss.
In Mildura Heat’s second game, they went down by one point to Bacchus Marsh Lions in the longest road trip in the CBL. The Lions went toe-for-toe with the Heat throughout the contest, getting up in a thriller, 54-53. Daniel Jackson top scored for the Lions with 14 points, while Jordan Kirk and Justin Runge finished with 10 in the win. Newey and Nicholas Matulic both scored eight points for the Heat in defeat.
ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Castlemaine Cannons (86) defeated Mildura Heat (76)
Kyneton Tigers (71) defeated Bendigo Braves (56)
Bacchus Marsh Lions (54) defeated Mildura Heat (53)
Swan Hill Flyers (69) defeated by Bendigo Braves (72)
NORTH WEST WOMEN’S:
Bendigo Braves broke even across their two matches in a battle of the top three sides to sit second after four games heading into the last fortnight of the regular season. The Braves took down the top of the table Kyneton Tigers, before dropping a match to Swan Hill Flyers the day after in what was a big weekend for the Braves. Back-to-back road trips would have played a part, but the Braves were consistent putting up 55 points on both occasions.
In their eight-point win over Kyneton, Caitlin Richardson led the way with 16 points, while Hayley Harrington (11) and Piper Dunlop (10) also scored into double figures. Adrienne Cameron was a lone scorer for the Tigers, dropping 19 points in the loss, with Amelia Jarvis‘ eight the next highest.
Heading further north to take on Swan Hill, it was Dunlop who stepped up with 21 points to be the star on the day, as Harrington (10) and Brianna Burt (eight) were the next highest scorers. The Flyers shared the points around, with Natasha Kelly (13 points) top scoring, ahead of Arlee Bennett (11) and Madeleine Jeans (10).
ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Kyneton Tigers (47) defeated by Bendigo Braves (55)
Swan Hill Flyers (58) defeated Bendigo Braves (55)
Picture credit: Kyneton Tigers