NBL1 Men’s round four recap: Cobras streak away at the top as two games go to overtime

KILSYTH Cobras have extended their National Basketball League (NBL)1 unbeaten streak to six as they move two wins clear of Ballarat Miners – the only other undefeated side. In other results, Ringwood Hawks overcame Eltham Wildcats in a double-overtime victory, while Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (CoE) knocked off title contender, Albury Wodonga Bandits, and North West Thunder won a high-scoring thriller, 121-116.

The Cobras claimed wins against Geelong Supercats and Melbourne Tigers over the weekend in two impressive performances. In the first game, Kilsyth led from start to finish, shaking off Geelong in the second half after leading by six points at half-time. The Cobras scored 41 points to 30 in the last half to run out 95-78 winners. Peter Hooley had a standout game for the winner, recording 21 points, six assists and three rebounds, while Chris Patton also managed 21 points, while also collecting four rebounds and four assists. Every Cobras player recorded at least two rebounds in an even spread, with Sean MacDonald (eight as well as nine points), and Felix Van Hofe (six and six) leading the way. For the Supercats, Demarcus Gatlin was unstoppable with 34 points, 11 rebounds – eight defensive – and three steals, but it was not enough to get his side over the line. Anthony Williams (15 points) and Ma’alo Hicks (13 points, eight rebounds and four assists) were others who reached double-figure points. In the Cobras other win, they also shook off the Tigers in the second half, scoring 45 points to 30 after leading by just five at the main break. Tohi Smith-Milner was the star with 18 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, while Hooley again equal top-scored with 18 points, three rebounds, four assists and one steal. Patton (14 points and 11 rebounds) and Owen Odigie (16 points and eight rebounds) were others who impressed for the winners. For Melbourne, Nic Pozoglou continued his unbelievable season form with 28 points, 14 rebounds – 13 defensive – and two steals, while Mike Wells (13 points) and Michael Luxford (11 points) were others who reached double-figure points.

Melbourne Tigers did not have a great weekend, going down to Dandenong Rangers away as well in a 40-point defeat. The Rangers shut down Pozoglou who scored just the 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the loss, with the points more evenly spread from the losing side. Maxwell Vitala scored a team-high 14 points, as well as three rebounds and three assists, while Van Merbin had 11 points and seven rebounds. Mike Wells (11 points) and Derrick McDonald (10) were other top scorers for the Tigers. For the dominant Rangers, they also had a spread of scorers with a massive six players scoring 10 or more points. Sam Froling was the biggest scorer with 17 points, seven rebounds and two assists, while Tim Lang (16 points, five rebounds and two assists) and Tyler Robertson (16 points, three rebounds) were also busy. Matt Kenyon recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Declan Soukup set up his teammates with eight assists. It was the second win across the weekend for the Rangers who knocked off Frankston Blues last Wednesday night. The Rangers trailed at quarter and half-time but put together a 20-11 third term to lead by five at the final break and eventually recorded and 11-point win. Keil Leaupepe had a game-high 25 points, nine rebounds and two assists in a big game, while Lucas Barker finished with 17 points, two rebounds and three assists. Froling assisted off the boards with eight rebounds and 14 points, while Lang was the main creator in the forward half with four assists as well as 11 points and three rebounds. For Frankston, Najeal Young scored 22 points, five rebounds and four steals, while Igor Hadziomerovic had the 16 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals in a great all-round game. Damon Bozeman was the other player who featured highly on the scoresheet with 13 points.

The Basketball Australia CoE have been inconsistent given the average age of the side, but their performance against Albury Wodonga Bandits opened eyes, handing the previously undefeated Bandits a loss with a stunning final term. Trailing by 10 points at half-time and three points at the final break, the CoE powered home in the last term to score 24 points to 16 on their way to a 94-89 victory. Alex Ducas had 26 points, three rebounds and two assists, while Hunter Goodrick was the standout player with 18 points, 12 rebounds – 10 defensive – and two blocks. Isaiah Lee also had an impressive game, registering 14 points, three rebounds and four assists. For the Bandits, Ken-Jah Bosley‘s unbelievable season continued, posting a round-high 40 points as well as seven rebounds – six defensive and an assist. Torren Jones was remarkable off the boards with 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Deba George scored 17 points, four assists, three steals and two assists, but the trio scored 77 of the team’s 89 points. The luck was not on the CoE’s side earlier in the round, going down to Geelong Supercats in a heartbreaking one-point loss. Leading by 14 points at half-time, the young stars tied with the Supercats piling on 26 points to nine in the third term to survive in a 73-72 win. Ducas and Goodrick were again prominent, recording 19 points and five rebounds each, while Lee posted 15 points, five rebounds and four assists in the narrow defeat. Will Tattersall was the other big performer with 13 points and five rebounds. For the winners, Gatlin was again busy with 21 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals, leading the way from Williams (18 points, five rebounds) and Lewis Thomas (13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and five steals).

The Hobart Huskies had a weekend to forget in their trip to Victoria, losing to previously winless Southern Sabres and Diamond Valley Eagles. The Sabres never looked like losing in the match, opening up a 22-point lead at the final change before the Huskies piled on 31 points to 19 in the final term to cut the final deficit to 10. Jalen Adams did all he could for the Huskies with 28 points, six rebounds and three steals, but with Jacob Richards (17 points and two assists) the only other player reaching double-figure points, it was difficult for the visitors. David Barlow was prominent in tandem with Sam McDaniel as the damaging Sabres duo helped themselves to a combined 50 points, 12 rebounds and four steals, while Barlow showed his playmaking abilities with a game-high seven assists. Kingsley Box posted 17 points for the winners, as well as seven rebounds and three assists, while Jayden Weldon and Rhys Carter had a combined 24 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Against the Eagles, the Huskies again had to play catch up, trailing by 18 points at the half. The Huskies made up ground to cut the final break deficit to six, but could not catch the home side, going down 97-88. Adams had another huge game for the losing side with 31 points, seven rebounds and seven steals, while Matthew Young recorded 16 points as the next highest scorer. The Eagles shared the load across the team with Liam Thomas having a double-double with 27 points and 14 rebounds, while Logan Hovey sank 25 points and seven rebounds. Darcy Harding (17 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Matt Reynolds (10 points, five assists).

Ballarat Miners remained undefeated with a big win over Knox Raiders, 90-68 at the State Basketball Centre on Saturday night. Sam Short led the Miners’ scoring with 18 points, as well as four rebounds and four assists, while Josh Fox and Jerry Evans Jnr feasted off the boards. Both had 16 points by the end of the night, as Evan Jnr helped himself to 14 rebounds, and Fox registered 10. Marqueze Coleman was also busy on the night with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. For the Raiders, James Hunters scored a team-high 16 points to go with six rebounds, while Damon Heuir and Mike Rose both had 11 points and seven rebounds, and Simon Grant helped himself to 11 point ands six rebounds.

While the Blues lost their first game of the round to Dandenong, they bounced back with an upset win over Nunawading Spectres, handing the Spectres their second loss of the season. Majok Majok was prominent with 18 points, six rebounds and two assists in the 86-73 win, while Young was huge off the back boards with 12 rebounds as well as 15 points and four steals. Bozeman and Hadziomerovic were also among the top scorers, posting 17 points and six rebounds apiece, while combining for three steals. Barker had the 12 points, six rebounds and three assists in the win. For Nunawading, Costa Hronopoulos finished with a game-high 21 points, five rebounds and two assists, while Simon Conn (16 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks) had a consistent performance once again. Dain Swetalla almost recorded a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds, as well as five assists, but could not help the Spectres get the points in the win.

The most thrilling match of the round occurred at The Rings between Ringwood Hawks and Eltham Wildcats with the Hawks taking the game in a 112-106 double-overtime win. Leading by five at the first break, the Hawks found themselves nine behind by the main break, then hit the front by one at the last change, only for Eltham to catch them in a high scoring final term to level the scores at 81 points apiece. It took two overtimes, but eventually the Hawks took home the win in front of a home crowd by six points. Jacob Gibson landed 32 points for the Hawks, as well as three rebounds, two assists and three steals, while Matthew Fennell finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds in a terrific double-double effort; also recording four assists and two blocks. Joey Miller and Adrien Sturt also had unbelievable games, registering 14 points apiece, as Miller also had 14 assists and Sturt recorded nine rebounds.

The other overtime game of the round with a high scoring thriller between North West Thunder and Waverley Falcons, with the visiting Tasmanian team getting a win on the road, 121-116. They looked to have the game in the bag with an 11-point lead at three quarter time, only for the Falcons to storm home with a 28-17 final quarter and level the scores. Luckily the Thunder managed to score 19-14 in overtime to still record a memorable win. Lachlan Dent had a day out with 36 points, four rebounds, eight assists and two steals for the Thunder, while Tre Armstrong continued his great season form with 21 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Jordan Bowling (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Nick Banyard (14 points, six rebounds) also stood tall while Paul Jackson was huge with 13 points and 11 rebounds. For the Falcons, Chris Arkell and Bennie Lewis shared in 51 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, while Dylan Travis registered 19 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals.

In the remaining game of the round, Bendigo Braves toppled North West Thunder, giving the Thunder a 1-1 record over Round 4. Ray Turner led the way for the Braves in the 93-76 win in what proved to be a topsy-turvy momentum-swinging match. Turner scored 32 points and 15 rebounds in a massive performance, while Deonte Burton had 15 points and 10 assists to also record a double-double. Matthew Andronicos (13 points, three rebounds) and Daniel Hansen (11 points, four rebounds) were also prominent for the winning side. For the Thunder, Banyard was the top scorer with 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Armstrong (12 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Dent (11 points, five rebounds) were again among the Thunder’s best.

Round 4 results:

Frankston Blues 74 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 85
Basketball Centre of Excellence 72 defeated by Geelong Supercats 73
Geelong Supercats 78 defeated by Kilsyth Cobras 95
Dandenong Rangers 106 defeated Melbourne Tigers 66
Southern Sabres 107 defeated Hobart Huskies 97
Bendigo Braves 93 defeated North West Thunder 76
Nunawading Spectres 73 defeated by Frankston Blues 86
Knox Raiders 68 defeated by Ballarat Miners 90
Ringwood Hawks 112 defeated Eltham Wildcats 106
Albury Wodonga Bandits 89 defeated by Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 94
Diamond Valley Eagles 97 defeated Hobart Huskies 88
Kilsyth Cobras 92 defeated Melbourne Tigers 72
Waverley Falcons 116 defeated by North West Thunder 121

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