THE National Basketball League (NBL)1’s Central division returned from a week off in style, as sides resumed hostilities with plenty of interesting results to unpack.
Norwood Flames v Sturt Sabres
The Sturt Sabres have continued their strong season, defeating the Norwood Flames by 37 points at the ARC Campbelltown on Saturday night. A 25-9 opening term set up a dominant performance, and the Sabres only built the lead from there. They currently sit in second place, just one win behind top spot. For the winners, Jade Johnson was once again impressive, finishing with 24 points on an impressively efficient nine makes from 11 attempts from the field, and hit six shots from downtown. For the Flames, Genna Anderson exploded off the bench with 35 points and 11 rebounds, but unfortunately did not receive enough help from teammates.
The Sturt Sabres remain undefeated after seven matches, thanks to their 20-point triumph over the Norwood Flames at the ARC Campbelltown on Saturday night. The visitors were dominant from the first quarter, gaining a 24-point lead in the first half. Despite a final quarter fadeout which saw the Flames outscore their opponents, they were still strong enough to hold on for the win. For the Sabres, Joel Spear impressed with 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in a solid all-around performance, while CJ Turnage dropped 18 points for the Flames.
South Adelaide Panthers v Forrestville Eagles
The South Adelaide Panthers proved too strong for their opponents in the Forrestville Eagles, as they left Marion Basketball Stadium with a 16-point victory on Saturday night. The game was tightly contested for the first three quarters, with just five points separating the sides heading into the final term, but the Panthers burst away in the final term to claim their sixth win of the season. For the Panthers, Olivia Thompson was immense, finishing with 31 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. For the Eagles, Brooke Basham was impressive with 24 points.
A strong second term set up a strong win for the Forrestville Eagles, taking down the South Adelaide Panthers by 24 points at Marion Basketball Stadium on Saturday night. The Eagles outscored their opponents 24-9 in the second term and rode this momentum for the remainder of the game. For the Eagles, Gregory Mays was huge with 27 points as he sparked his side’s offence, while Alex Starling impressed for the Panthers with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Southern Tigers v North Adelaide Rockets
The Southern Tigers did enough to get past the North Adelaide Rockets on Saturday night, claiming a seven-point victory at Morphett Vale Basketball Stadium. The Rockets led by two points at half-time, but a strong third quarter from the Tigers got them back in front, and the Rockets could not reduce the margin before the final buzzer sounded. For the Tigers, Morgan Yaeger and Teige Morell combined for 49 points to form a damaging offensive duo. For the Rockets, Jess Good was outstanding with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
The Southern Tigers have won a thriller, taking down the North Adelaide Rockets by just four points at Morphett Vale Basketball Stadium on Saturday night. The Tigers trailed by seven points at half-time, but rallied in the third term to take the lead through some exciting play, and were able to hold on for the remainder of the game. For the Tigers, Cameron Coleman impressed with 19 points, while Jack Purchase delivered 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets in a promising display despite the loss.
West Adelaide Bearcats v Woodville Warriors
West Adelaide delivered a clinical display, taking down the Warriors by 41 points at Port Adelaide Recreation Centre on Saturday night. The Warriors couldn’t keep up with their opponents, as the Bearcats were able to as they please for all four quarters, taking home their fourth win of the season to move them up the ladder. For the Bearcats, Jennie Rintala dominated the boards, bringing down 13 rebounds, while Emily Winter top scored for the Warriors, pouring in 13 points on a tough day.
The West Adelaide Bearcats were able to cause a slight upset, taking down the Woodville Warriors by 12 points at Port Adelaide Recreation Centre on Saturday night. Despite heading into the clash lower on the ladder, the Bearcats simply outplayed their opponents, never letting the Warriors outscore them for a quarter and constantly forcing their opponents into bad shots. For the Bearcats, Earnest Ross poured in 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Joe Jackson was great despite the loss, finishing with 20 points and 16 rebounds.
Eastern Mavericks v Central Districts Lions
The Eastern Mavericks were able to score their first win of the season, smashing the Central Districts Lions by 49 points at St Francis de Sales Community Sports Centre on Saturday night. The Mavericks were clinical for the entire match, walking over an Eastern Mavericks side that is still searching for their first win. For the Mavericks, Mollie McKendrick was so close to pouring in a triple-double, finishing the match with 11 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists and six steals in a fantastic individual performance. For the Lions, Meaza Otto caught the eye with 11 points and a couple of steals.
The Central Districts Lions delivered a dominant performance, defeating the Eastern Mavericks by 22 points at St Francis de Sales Community Sports Centre on Saturday night. The Lions faced a danger game, as they were facing a Mavericks side that was still searching for their first win. They didn’t fall to the pressure and did what was required to claim their third win of the 2021 season. For the victors, Shaquille Maharaj poured in 29 points and six assists in the win, while Lachlan Knibbs gave 23 points for the Mavericks.
Picture credit: C S Photographic