Tag: lewis thomas

NBL1 West wrap: Round 9

IN ROUND 10 of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 West competition, Perry Lakes Hawks asserted their dominance across both competitions with impressive wins, including a top of the table victory in the men’s division.

WOMEN’S:

Perry Lakes Hawks had a good weekend in Round 9, triumphing in both their clashes over Lakeside Lightning and South West Slammers. The Hawks started off the weekend with a Friday victory over the Lightning, getting up 91-74, before smashing the Slammers on Saturday evening with a 66-point shellacking on the road. In the tighter 17-point win, Perry Lakes took control from the start and lead by eight points at the first break, then won each quarter after that to secure the victory. They also won the four quarters against the Slammers who were competitive for a term – scoring 18 points in the first – but then proceeded to only score 13 over the next three quarters – including just two in the second and fourth quarters – to go down 97-31.

Megan McKay had a couple of memorable outings, putting up 22 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and three steals against Lakeside Lightning, then added 22 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two assists in just 19 minutes against the South West Slammers. Natalie Burton did a lot of damage against the Slammers with 24 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals, having a quieter 11 points, six rebounds and two assists against the Lightning. Millicent McCarthy (20 points, four rebounds and two steals) was lively from long-range against the Lightning, but only managed the eight points, through eight assists, five steals and three rebounds, against the Slammers.

There was not much to smile about from South West’s perspective, with Zaya Lilly Black battling hard to score a team-high seven points, as well as six rebounds. Cian Parsons was the top player with 13 rebounds – 11 defensive – to go with six points, matched on a scoring front by Imogen Van Iaere (six points, seven rebounds). The more competitive Lightning had the impressive Ashleigh Isenbarger who finished with 25 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists, while Kyrah Daniels (13 points, four assists, two steals and two blocks) and Jae Flynn (12 points, three rebounds) also hit double-digit points.

Another team that picked up two wins on the weekend – both on the road – was East Perth Eagles who knocked over Rockingham Flames by six points (83-77) and then Willetton Lightning by 13 points (87-76). In a battle of the two losers from Friday night, the Lightning bounced back to record a three-point win over Rockingham Flames (72-69) on Saturday. Meanwhile in other results, Cockburn Cougars defeated Mandurah Magic by 13 points, Warwrick Senators smashed Perth Redbacks by 35 points, and Joondalup Wolves grabbed the win against Eastern Suns by 12 points.

ROUND 9 RESULTS:

Perry Lakes Hawks (91) def. Lakeside Lightning (74)
Rockingham Flames (77) def. by East Perth Eagles (83)
Cockburn Cougars (69) def. Mandurah Magic (56)
Perth Redbacks (58) def. by Warwick Senators (93)
South West Slammers (31) def. by Perry Lakes Hawks (97)
Willetton Tigers (76) def. by East Perth Eagles (87)
Lakeside Lightning (72) def. Rockingham Flames (69)
Eastern Suns (54) def. by Joondalup Wolves (66)

MEN’S:

A top of the table clash between Perry Lakes Hawks and Lakeside Lightning went the way of the now first placed Hawks, as Perry Lakes got up by 16 points. Playing on Friday night, the Hawks were sluggish at the start as the visitors got away to a five-point lead at quarter time, and were out by eight at the main break. Reeling them in immediately after half-time, the Hawks scored 22-10 in the third term to take a four-point advantage into three quarter time, before piling on 25 to 13 in the final term to win 97-81.

Lewis Thomas lead the way for the Hawks with a double-double of 25 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and two assists. Also contributing well across the floor was Ben Purser (21 points, seven assists and five rebounds), whilst Ryan Smith (18 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Mitchell Clarke (12 points, eight assists and four rebounds) also impressed. Andrew Ferguson (eight points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks) was strong off the boards.

For the Lightning, Julius Bowie took control of scoring with 22 points and four rebounds, one of four players to rack up double-digit points. Jack Isenbarger (19 points, two assists), Kyle Armour (17 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Rowan Mackenzie (15 points, seven rebounds) were also impressive.

Turning around the result, the Lightning took the win over Rockingham Flames on Saturday, getting up by 17 points, 101-84. They won the first half by nine points, then finished strongly with a 26-18 last term to win comfortably. Mackenzie managed the 26 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Isenbarger pipped him for 28 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Bowie had 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists. For the Flames, Cirkook Makuac Riak (22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists), Ryan Godfrey (14 points, four assists and three rebounds) and Justin Beard (seven points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two assists) were among the best players.

In a much easier win than their Friday night victory, Perry Lakes Hawks secured a 27-point win over South West Slammers on the road. Matthew Leary (16 points, four rebounds and two assists) did well, stepping up with Ferguson (19 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals), Clarke (15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals) and Smith (14 points, five rebounds) in the big win. For the Slammers, Mitchell Keller (15 points, six rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks) and Ngor Nai (10 points, three rebounds and two steals) were the double-digit scorers.

In other results, Warwick Senators suffered a disappointing loss to Perth Redbacks by 14 points, as East Perth Eagles went down in both their clashes to Rockingham Flames (52 points) and Willetton Tigers (26 points). Mandurah Magic proved too good for Cockburn Cougars (13 points), while Goldfields Giants came away with the eight-point victory over Geraldton Buccaneers, and Eastern Suns suffered back-to-back defeats to Joondalup Wolves (18 points) and Mandurah Magic (14).

ROUND 9 RESULTS:

Perry Lakes Hawks (97) def. Lakeside Lightning (81)
Rockingham Flames (105) def. East Perth Eagles (53)
Cockburn Cougars (78) def. by Mandurah Magic (91)
Geraldton Buccaneers (62) def. by Goldfields Giants (70)
Perth Redbacks (83) def. Warwick Senators (69)
South West Slammers (64) def. by Perry Lakes Hawks (91)
Willetton Tigers (90) def. East Perth Eagles (64)
Lakeside Lightning (101) def. Rockingham Flames (84)
Eastern Suns (75) def. by Joondalup Wolves (103)
Mandurah Magic (83) def. Eastern Suns (69)

 

Picture credit: Eric Paul Goldie

NBL1 West wrap: Round 5

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 West competition was back to its full strength in the third round of action. Whilst technically Round 5 due to the two-week hiatus following the West Australian lockdown, the most recent weekend of play featured more games than the return Round 4.

WOMEN’S:

Perth Redbacks (82) def. East Perth Eagles (71)

Perth Redbacks bounced back from a loss last game to hold on and defeat East Perth Eagles at home by 11 points. A strong first half was credited with the Redbacks’ win, putting up 48 points to 31, and whilst the Eagles won the second half by six, it was a case of too little, too late and the home team got up, 82-71. Maddison Allen racked up a huge double-double of 10 points and 18 rebounds – 13 defensive – for the Redbacks, while Makailah Dyer (19 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Jessica Jakens (14 points, seven rebounds and three assists) were also productive in the win. Mary Teresa Goulding top-scored in the game for the Eagles with 23 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and five steals, while Opal Mader (15 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two steals) picked up a double-double, and Tahlia Fedjo recorded 15 points and two rebounds.

Warwick Senators (72) def. by Joondalup Wolves (78)

In the first of two victories for the Joondalup Wolves over the weekend, the visitors handed the Warwick Senators their second loss of the season. The Wolves won the first three quarters to hold a 12-point advantage after three quarters, and whilst the Senators won the final term 18-12, it was not enough to overturn the result and Joondalup won 78-72. Kayla Steindl was a clear best-on with 28 points, eight rebounds and three steals for the Wolves, aided well by Amber Land (12 points, nine rebounds and six assists) and Neseya Parker-Williams (11 points, 12 rebounds). Stacey Barr lead the way for the Senators with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists, Tayla Hepburn (10 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) picked up a double-double, while Chloe Forster (15 points, eight rebounds) was also lively.

Joondalup Wolves (69) def. Mandurah Magic (44)

Joondalup Wolves went back-to-back with a win over Mandurah Magic to make it four consecutive victories to open the NBL1 West season. The Wolves took control from the get-go and won every quarter, with the first (21-11) and fourth (17-9) quarters being particularly dominant on their way to a 25-point victory, 69-44. Land topped the scoring charts with a double-double of 14 points, 11 rebounds and four steals, while Steindl (10 points, six rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals) and Georgia Denehey (10 points, two rebounds and two assists) were among the key contributors in the Wolves’ win. Casey Mihovilovich (16 points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists) was the dominant Magic shooter, while Serika Shillingsworth (eight points) was the next best.

Willetton Tigers (80) def. Perry Lakes Hawks (55)

Willetton Tigers easily accounted for Perry Lakes Hawks, winning all four quarters by at least four points in each term to record an 80-55 victory. The Tigers won by eight, four, eight and five points in each of the respective quarters, in order to post a 25-point win at Willetton Basketball Stadium. Samantha Lubcke was the clear dominant shooter putting up 26 points and seven rebounds, though best-on had to go to Alex Sharp who managed a double-double of 16 points and 20 rebounds – nine offensive – as well as seven assists. Desiree Kelly (16 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Emma Gandini (14 points, six rebounds and three steals) were the other prominent scorers for the Tigers. Morgan Ballantyne had the 11 points, three assists and two rebounds, while Natalie Burton (10 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Megan McKay (seven points, seven rebounds and four steals) were other prominent Hawks.

Lakeside Lightning (98) def. South West Slammers (48)

There was no reprieve for the South West Slammers in yet another big loss, this time to Lakeside Lightning who broke through for their first win of the year following back-to-back losses. The Lightning put the foot down from the first tip-off piling on 46 points to 20 in the opening half, then 52 points to 28 in the second half to run out 50-point winners, 98-48. Lakeside’s Emma Clarke (22 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals) was the clear standout, while Mikayla Pirini (17 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals), Savannah Coleman (16 points, nine rebounds and three steals) and Jae Flynn (15 points, seven assists and three rebounds) were all impressive in the huge victory. Cian Parsons (23 points, 15 rebounds and two assists) racked up a massive double-double in the loss to be a lone hand up front, as Skye Palmer was next best with eight points, three assists and two rebounds.

Eastern Suns (45) def. by Cockburn Cougars (63)

Cockburn Cougars continued their winning run with a third consecutive victory to open the season, defeating Eastern Suns by 18 points. The Cougars won each quarter, but it was the third (17-6) that was the big difference in the end, with the 13-point differential there ultimately leading to the low-scoring 63-45 triumph on the road. Jessie Edwards (25 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two blocks) was impressive with a double-double for the Cougars, while Taylah Simmons (15 points, five assists and four rebounds) and Molly Mathews (six points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals) were also lively. For the Suns, Jewel Williams top-scored with 14 points, as well as five rebounds and two steals, while Courtney Mansfield (nine points, four rebounds) and Mia Jacobs (nine points, five rebounds and two assists) tried hard.

Eastern Suns (71) def. by Willetton Tigers (98)

Willetton Tigers handed Eastern Suns back-to-back losses in Round 5 thanks to a strong first and third terms on their way to a big 27-point victory. The Tigers piled on 34 points to 22 in the first term, and then 30-10 in the third, to build an unassailable lead. The Suns cut the deficit back by six in the last term, but the damage was done and the Tigers got up, 98-71. Lubcke had a day out wiht 37 points, 10 rebounds and two assists, while Sharp also picked up a double-double of 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Kelley (12 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Gandini (11 points, nine rebounds and two assists were other important players once again. For the Suns, Williams had a team-high 18 points with three rebounds, while Rebecca Motroni (15 points, two assists) and Mansfield (11 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals) worked hard across the four quarters.

MEN’S:

Perth Redbacks (79) def. East Perth Eagles (65)

Perth Redbacks have accounted for East Perth Eagles in both the first and third quarters by a combined 19 points which proved the difference between the sides during the Redbacks’ 14-point victory at home. The Eagles rallied in the second term to come close at half-time, but a strong second half resulted in the Redbacks securing the 79-65 win. Louis Timms top-scored with 22 points, seven rebounds and two assists, whilst Isaac Gattorna-Hargrave (20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks) and Tevin Jackson (17 points, nine rebounds and two assists) were other top performers on the day. Mitch Benger (15 points, six rebounds and four assists) and Logan Thwaites (15 points, five rebounds) were the key scorers for the Eagles, while Andrej Donlagic (nine points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals) was also well-balanced across the court.

Warwick Senators (100) def. Joondalup Wolves (78)

The clash of the two unbeaten sides went the way of the home team, as Warwick Senators claimed an impressive 22-point win over Joondalup Wolves. The Senators trailed by three points at half-time, but then dominated the second half by knocking down 60 points to 35 and running away with the 100-78 victory. Justin King (28 points, nine rebounds and three assists) was best-on for the Senators, while Cody Ellis (20 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals) and Caleb Davis (15 points, six assists and five rebounds) worked hard. For the Wolves, Lochlan Cummings managed the 17 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists, while Jacob Formosa (15 points, six rebounds and four assists) and Trian Iliadis (12 points, three rebounds and two assists) also reached double-figure points in the match.

Geraldton Buccaneers (85) def. Rockingham Flames (82)

After losing last week, Geraldton Buccaneers bounced back with a narrow win over Rockingham Flames. The home team held a narrow three-point lead at half-time and six-point lead at three quarter time, and whilst the Flames stuck with them until the end, the home team held on to win by three points, 85-82. Mathiang Muo did not miss a minute of action with 34 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Aaron Ralph (16 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two steals) picked up a double-double. Mathew Wundenberg (11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Taine Wattie (11 points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals) were others who stepped up to the plate. The Flames had their fare share of points scorers in the win, with Travis Durnin (18 points, nine rebounds), Callum Beard (17 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Greg Hire (14 points, 12 rebounds and three assists) all prominent.

Joondalup Wolves (110) def. Mandurah Magic (104)

They needed overtime to get it done, but the Joondalup Wolves bounced back from a loss the night before to post a six-point thrilling win over Mandurah Magic. The Wolves trailed by five points at quarter time and seven at the half, before closing down that lead to be level at the final buzzer. A strong 16-10 overtime period resulted in the Wolves getting up 110-104 in a classic contest. Cummings did not miss a minute with 45 minutes on court for 29 points, five rebounds and three assists, including five of 10 from three-point range. Iliadis (20 points, six steals, four assists and three rebounds), Robert Huntington (20 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Jonathan Wade (16 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals) were all impressive. Jerami Grace was the top points scorer for the Magic with 25, as well as five assists and four rebounds, while Fred Williams (12 points, five assists and four rebounds) and Xavier Garnett-Shaw (16 points, nine rebounds and two assists) were also solid despite the narrow defeat.

East Perth Eagles (73) def. by Goldfields Giants (86)

A fast start by Goldfields Giants has helped the visitors post a 13-point win over East Perth Eagles, the Eagles’ second loss of the weekend. The Giants poured on 26 points to 12 in the opening term and lead by 15 points at half-time. While the Eagles did hit back in the third quarter, the Giants steadied in the last to secure the 86-73 victory. Tom Atkinson (19 points, seven rebounds) top-scored for the Giants, while Julian Pesava (10 points, 10 rebounds and three assists) secured a double-double, and Cooper Creek (seven points, 13 rebounds and five blocks) put on a defensive show. Jarrad Anastasio (16 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals) was the dominant player for the Eagles, with Thwaites (17 points, eight rebounds) and Junior Tshikele (14 points, four assists and three rebounds) also among the top scorers.

Willetton Tigers (68) def. by Perry Lakes Hawks (86)

Perry Lakes Hawks stepped up to produce a four-quarter effort and knock off Willetton Tigers by 18 points on the road. The Hawks won every quarter, with a 14-point differential in the second half the main catalyst to the 86-68 triumph. Lewis Thomas (23 points, eight rebounds and four assists) was the dominant scorer, while Ben Purser (11 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals) and Andrew Ferguson (11 points, seven rebounds and two assists) were also impressive. Damien Scott put up 24 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals, as Michael Vigor (10 points, 11 rebounds) had a double-double, and Hunter Clarke (10 points, three rebounds) also managed double-figure points for the Tigers.

Lakeside Lightning (121) def. South West Slammers (52)

There was no mercy for cellar dwellers South West Slammers during Lakeside Lightning’s smashing 69-point win. Scoring at least 28 points in every quarter, and keeping the Slammers to 14 points or less in three of the the quarters with the end result being a 121-52 win in favour of the Lightning. Corey Shervill top-scored with 25 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals, whilst Jarrad Prue racked up a huge double-double of 14 points, 17 rebounds – seven offensive – three steals and two blocks, and both Kyle Armour (18 points, six assists, three steals and two rebounds) and Jack Isenbarger (18 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals) were also standouts in the win. Caleb Van De Griend (21 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks) was the key playmaker in the heavy defeat, while Ngor Nai had the 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals in the Slammers’ loss.

Eastern Suns (94) def. by Cockburn Cougars (115)

Cockburn Cougars picked up their first win of the season in the first of two games over the weekend, knocking off Eastern Suns by 21 points at Ray Owen Sports Centre. The Cougars trailed by five points at half-time but then destroyed the Suns in the second half, adding as much as 69 points to 43 – including a 38-17 final stanza – to win 115-94. Gavin Field (22 points, nine rebounds and five assists) was prolific, as Nic Pozoglou (16 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks) picked up a double-double, and the likes of Josh Hunt (19 points, six rebounds), Jaarod Holmes (16 points, six rebounds, and two assists) and Seva Chan (16 points, six assists and two rebounds) were all strong. Chris Johnson (30 points, four rebounds and four steals), Chuatwech Reath (22 points, four steals) and Ryan Blanchett (21 points, seven rebounds) were the triple threat on the scoring front for the Suns in defeat.

Cockburn Cougars (88) def. Goldfields Giants (74)

Going back-to-back in Round 5, the Cougars have built momentum with a second win, and a first one at home this season, defeating Goldfields Giants by 14 points. The Cougars trailed by two points at quarter time, but won the last three quarters – the second by 10 points – to secure the 88-74 victory. Pozoglou was the dominant scorer with a double-double of 24 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks, while Chan (11 points, seven assists three rebounds and two steals) and Kye Chamberlain (nine points, eight rebounds) were also impressive throughout the game. Pesava (26 points, eight rebounds and three assists) and Atkinson (16 points, two rebounds and two steals) were again the prime movers for the Giants in Round 5, while Fletcher Klasztorny (seven points, eight rebounds and three assists) also impressed.

Eastern Suns (77) def. by Willetton Tigers (103)

Willetton Tigers have handed Eastern Suns back-to-back losses with a dominant 26-point triumph on Sunday. The Tigers eclipsed the Suns early with a 57-34 opening half, and whilst the Suns were more competitive in the second half – only conceding three more points than their own – they still suffered a 103-77 defeat. Clarke (21 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Connor Mincherton (20 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals) combined for some big numbers, whilst Vigor (14 points, 15 rebounds and four assists) picked up a double-double, and Scott (16 points, four assists and three rebounds) also impressed. Corey Easley had the 17 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Suns, while Johnson (12 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks) and Blanchett (12 points, three rebounds and two assists) were the next highest points scorers.

Picture credit: Michael Farnell / Sports Imagery

2021 NBL1 West preview: Round 5

THERE are no shortages of classic contests across both the women’s and men’s competitions this weekend in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 West, as we preview the Warwick Senators and Joondalup Wolves clash in the women’s league, whilst looking at the Perry Lakes Hawks travelling to Willetton Tigers in the men’s division.

WOMEN’S:

Looking at this week’s matches it is hard to look past the Warwick Senators hosting the Joondalup Wolves. The home team has won its past two matches, and will take to Warwick Stadium tonight to host a Wolves outfit that is unbeaten from two games. The Senators will just have the one game to focus on this weekend, but the Wolves will need to back up against a Mandurah Magic side that will take to the court with a 1-2 record. If the Wolves lose both clashes, they will join both the Senators and Magic at two wins from four games.

The Wolves have some great depth at the center spot, with Kayla Steindl being the impressive leader in there. The Perth Lynx shooter did only play the one game thus far, but put up 24 points, 14 rebounds, two steals and two assists last wee in the Wolves’ win over the Eastern Suns. Expect her to be a huge factor in tonight’s clash, teaming up with even more experienced center Amber Land (11.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.0 steals). Another Lynx talent in 19-year-old Neseya Parker-Williams has made a promising start to the 2021 NBL1 West season, dropping 14.5 points. 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 blocks in the first two games. The other Wolves player to watch is Chelsea Belcher, with the guard recording 13 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals from her two games this season.

Warwick Senators have a couple of gun shooters in Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard and Stacey Barr who have set the competition alight in 2021. Clinch Hoycard has dropped a remarkable 24.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 4.5 steals and 2.6 blocks in an all-round complete performance, making it count from the field with a 55.8 per cent accuracy. Barr is not far behind with 22.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.0 steals, shooting at just under a 48 per cent clip from the field. Veteran Nicole Jorre de St Jorre has defied her 39 years of age with a playmaking effort of eight assists to accompany her 5.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game. Her clean hands have allowed the likes of Tayla Hepburn (16.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks) and 18-year-old Chloe Forster (15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists) to go to work on the offensive end.

In other matches, the Eastern Suns play back-to-back games in search of their first win, taking on Cockburn Cougars (2-0) and Willetton Tigers (1-1) on Saturday and Sunday respectively. The other Friday night clash tonight is between the Perth Redback and East Perth Eagles in the respective team’s only clashes of the weekend. In the remaining two fixtures, Willetton Tigers (1-1) host Perry Lakes Hawks (1-0), while something has to give between the two winless bottom sides in Lakeside Lightning (0-2) and South West Slammers (0-4).

FIXTURES:

Perth Redbacks (1-1) vs. East Perth Eagles (2-1)
Warwick Senators (2-1) vs. Joondalup Wolves (2-0)
Joondalup Wolves (2-0) vs. Mandurah Magic (1-2)
Willetton Tigers (1-1) vs. Perry Lakes Hawks (1-0)
Lakeside Lightning (0-2) vs. South West Slammers (0-4)
Eastern Suns (0-1) vs. Cockburn Cougars (2-0)
Eastern Suns (0-1) vs. Willetton Tigers (1-1)

MEN’S:

The match of the round in the men’s is the Willetton Tigers hosting the Perry Lakes Hawks. While the Senators and Wolves clash promises to be equally as impressive in the men’s as it is in the women’s, the Tigers and Hawks clash will see one of the sides move to 3-0 this season. The head-to-head will be the Hawks’ only clash of the weekend, while the Tigers will travel to take on the Eastern Suns on Sunday.

Previewing the home team first, the Tigers have had two top scorers thus far, with 18-year-old Roosevelt Williams dropping 21 points, six rebounds and two assists in his first game back on April 17, shooting at an elite 88.9 per cent from the field. Damien Scott – 10 years his senior – has been the prime scorer for Willetton, knocking down 23.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.0 steals and 1.5 blocks, with a 57.6 per cent shooting efficiency. Add in the likes of developing 19-year-olds Dylan Hampson (8.0 points, 2.5 rebounds) and Hunter Clarke (6.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals) and the future is bright for the Tigers.

Unlike the Tigers, instead of having two dominant shooters, the Perry Lakes Hawks have five players who have averaged double-figure points across the Hawks’ two games. Leading the way is Ben Purser, with the experienced forward knocking down 16 points, 9.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.5 steals. The back court has plenty of depth with Mitchell Clarke (16.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals), Cooper Hamilton (13.5 points, 2.0 assists and 1.5 rebounds) and Matthew Leary (13.5 points, 3.0 steals and 2.0 rebounds) all putting up good scoring numbers in the first two games. Center Andrew Ferguson is averaging an impressive 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 blocks per game, whilst only coming in for the Hawks’ second game, Lewis Thomas has shot the lights out with 15 points at 83.3 per cent efficiency, as well as four rebounds and three assists in the win over Perth Redbacks.

In other fixtures, the Suns not only face the Tigers, but the Cockburn Cougars (0-2) as well, whilst the Perth Redbacks and East Perth Eagles go head-to-head tonight. The Eagles then host Goldfields Giants tomorrow, while the Wolves have a second game up against Mandurah Magic (2-1). The remaining fixtures sees the Geraldton Buccaneers (0-1) up against the Rockingham Flames (2-1), and the Lakeside Lightning (1-1) hosting the winless South West Slammers (0-4).

FIXTURES:

Perth Redbacks (0-2) vs. East Perth Eagles (1-2)
Warwick Senators (3-0) vs. Joondalup Wolves (2-0)
Geraldton Buccaneers (0-1) vs. Rockingham Flames (2-1)
Joondalup Wolves (2-0) vs. Mandurah Magic (2-1)
East Perth Eagles (1-2) vs. Goldfields Giants (1-1)
Willetton Tigers (2-0) vs. Perry Lakes Hawks (2-0)
Lakeside Lightning (1-1) vs. South West Slammers (0-4)
Eastern Suns (0-1) vs. Cockburn Cougars (0-2)
Eastern Suns (0-1) vs. Willetton Tigers (2-0)

Picture credit: NBL1

2021 NBL1 West wrap: Round 4

AFTER a fortnight off due to various State Government restrictions, the National Basketball League (NBL)1 West competition tipped off for Round 4 and some teams made their entrance into the new competition, whilst others established themselves with big wins or heavy losses.

WOMEN’S:

Mandurah Magic (50) def. by Cockburn Cougars (71)

Cockburn Cougars made it back-to-back wins to tip-off the season, taking care of Mandurah Magic by 21 points. The Cougars dominated the first half to race out to a 24-point lead, and that went out to 28 by the break, before a low-scoring 13-point final term resulted in Cockburn getting the job done 71-50. Jessie Edwards led the way for the winners with 14 points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals, as Taylah Simmons (13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Olivia Bassett-Scarfe (12 points, five rebounds) were also busy. Serika Shillingsworth was the only double-digit Magic scorer with 13 points, two rebounds and two steals, while Casey Mihovilovich finished with seven points, five assists, five steals and three rebounds.

Warwick Senators (111) def. South West Slammers (32)

Warwick Senators showed no mercy to a struggling South West Slammers, dominating every quarter on their way to a 79-point shellacking. The Senators piled on at least 25 points in every quarter, and kept the Slammers to single-digits in three of the four terms during the 111-32 victory. Stacey Barr (24 points, 10 rebounds and three assists) and Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard (24 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and six steals) top-scored with double-doubles, as Tayla Hepburn (17 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks, two assists and two steals) also racked up a double-double. Zaya Lilly Black (nine points, four rebounds and two steals) was the prominent scorer for the Slammers, while Imogen Van Iaere finished with five points and seven rebounds in the match.

Lakeside Lightning (75) def. by East Perth Eagles (80)

East Perth Eagles won a tight one on the road over Lakeside Lightning, getting up by just the five points. The Eagles led by 14 points at half-time before the home team hit back to cut the deficit over the second half. Unfortunately for Lakeside, the Lightning just fell short, going down 75-80. Mary Teresa Goulding had 26 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two assists, while Opal Mader (17 points, six rebounds) and Tahlia Fejo (14 points, seven rebounds and six steals) were also prominent. For the Lightning, Ashleigh Isenbarger was a clear standout with 21 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and four steals, while Emma Clarke (16 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals), and Mikayla Pirini (11 points, four assists and two rebounds) were also busy.

Rockingham Flames (85) def. Willetton Tigers (72)

Rockingham Flames’ dominant third quarter of 27-11 has helped kick the home team into gear for a big 13-point win over Willeton Tigers. The Flames trailed by a point at half-time, but took control in the third term, and while the Tigers managed to win the last quarter, the damage was done and Rockingham took home the win, 85-72. Jorjah Smith (20 points, five rebounds) and Tayah Burrows (19 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals) both had some prominent scores, while Christina Boag (12 points, eight rebounds and three assists) also impressed. For the Tigers, Alex Sharp shot 24 points and picked up 14 rebounds and four assists, as Samantha Lubcke (16 points, eight rebounds and two assists) and Hayley Winter (15 points, four rebounds and three assists) also shared the load.

Perth Redbacks (70) def. by Perry Lakes Hawks (74)

Making their long-awaited return into the season after byes and lockdowns, Perry Lakes Hawks got off to the perfect start with a four-point victory over Perth Redbacks. The Hawks did most of their work in the first half, racing out to a seven-point lead at half-time, with the teams fairly evenly matched in the second half, and the Redbacks cutting the final deficit back by three for a 74-70 result. Madeleine Dennis scored 22 points, 12 rebounds and three assists in a starring role, teaming up well with Megan McKay (21 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists), while Natalie Burton had the eight points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Makailah Dyer finished with 23 points, six assists and three steals for the losers, while Jessica Jakens had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Raya Thompson the 12 points, three steals and two rebounds.

Joondalup Wolves (78) def. Eastern Suns (65)

Joondalup Wolves made it two wins on the trot in the NBL1 West, handing the Eastern Suns a defeat in the Suns’ first game for the season. The Wolves started strongly to lead by four points at quarter time, only for the visitors to turn it on in the second and race out to a commanding seven-point advantage. The Suns came out after half-time with renewed vigour to dominate the second half 48-28 and run out 13-point winners, 78-65. Kayla Steindl had a team-high 24 points and 14 rebounds, as well as two assists and two steals, whilst Neseya Parker-Williams (12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Amber Land (11 points, nine rebounds and two assists) were also among the best for the Wolves. Jewell Williams was a shooting machine for the Suns, dropping seven of 11 triples on the opposition, for 32 points, four rebounds and two assists while Courtney Mansfield was impactful across the court with 13 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two steals in the loss.

South West Slammers (39) def. by Rockingham Flames (80)

Rockingham Flames made it a good weekend of NBL1 action and compacted more pain onto the struggling South West Slammers with a dominant 41-point victory. The Flames kept the Slammers to single-digit points in the last three quarters, and whilst they only scored 10 themselves in the final term, had secured the win and enable heavy rotations in the process during the 80-39 win. Burrows dropped 28 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steaks in the win, with Boag (15 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Alexandra Ciabattoni (14 points four rebounds, five assists and two steals) also outstanding. Black had another impressive outing in tough circumstances for the Slammers, putting up 11 points and six rebounds, while Karinda Farrant had 10 points, three rebounds and three steals.

MEN’S:

Joondalup Wolves (84) def. Eastern Suns (61)

Coming from three points down at half-time, the Joondalup Wolves finished on a wave of momentum to easily account for Eastern Suns in the Suns’ first match of the season. The Wolves won by 23 points, courtesy of a 50-24 second half which saw them take complete control and win 84-61. Lochlan Cummings scored 20 points – including four of nine from long-range – three assists and two rebounds in the win, while Jonathan Wade (18 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Sioeli Vaiangina (13 points, 10 rebounds) both picked up double-doubles. Chauatwech Reath had a team-high 14 points, while Chris Johnson (11 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Bang Majok (11 points, three rebounds) also hit double-figure points.

Perth Redbacks (51) def. by Perry Lakes Hawks (96)

Perry Lakes Hawks doubled their win tally with a comprehensive 45-point smashing of Perth Redbacks, handing the Redbacks their second consecutive loss to open the season. The Hawks won every quarter, including three of them by at least 12 points or move, to run out 96-51 victors in the end. Mitchell Clarke knocked down 22 points with three rebounds, while Ben Purser (14 points, 10 rebounds and three assists) and Robert Cassir (nine points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals) were also lively. Lewis Thomas had 15 points, four rebounds and three assists, and Andrew Ferguson made it a really consistent five with nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. For the Redbacks, Louis Timms (15 points, six rebounds and two steals) and Joel Wagner (12 points, four rebounds and two assists) were both hard workers in defeat, while Lachlan Bertram (seven points, eight rebounds) got involved off the boards.

Mandurah Magic (88) def. Cockburn Cougars (81)

Mandurah Magic bounced back from a loss in their previous game to move to a 2-1 record and hand Cockburn Cougars their second consecutive loss in a tight seven-point encounter. Mandurah trailed by five points at quarter time and four points at half-time, but then piled on 28-19 in the third term to set up a memorable 88-81 win. Jerami Grace had a night out for the Magic with 33 points – six of nine from three-point range – six rebounds and four steals, while Xavier Garnett-Shaw had 15 point, six rebounds and two assist, and both Ben Smith (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Brian Carlwell (15 points, five rebounds) were prominent in the win. Jaarod Holmes (23 points, five rebounds and three steals) was the best for the Cougars, while Gavin Field (15 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Nic Pozoglou (15 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists) were also impressive in defeat.

Goldfields Giants (103) def. Geraldton Buccaneers (69)

In a battle of two Round 1 losers, Goldfield Giants got on the board with a comfortable 34-point win over Geraldton Buccaneers at home. The Giants won every quarter, and did their best work in the opening half, smashing their opponents in the second term in particular with a 35-13 quarter, eventually leading to an easy 103-69 victory. Deng Kuany (28 points, six rebounds and two steals) and Julian Pesava (25 points, seven rebounds and four assists) did the bulk of the damage for the Giants, while Jerome Reid chipped in with 19 points – five of eight from long-range – and three rebounds. Taine Wattie stood up for the Buccaneers with 19 points – five of eight from three-point range – and two assists, while Mathiang Muo (12 points, 13 rebounds and three assists) collected a double-double and Tomas Dobson (13 points, three rebounds and two assists) also hit double-figure points.

Warwick Senators (96) def. South West Slammers (60)

Warwick Senators turned up the heat on the South West Slammers, running away with a 36-point win. The home team won every quarter in the match, and two of the terms by 11 points, on their way to a 96-60 triumph. Caleb Davis helped himself to 20 points, four rebounds and three assists in the win, whilst Justin King (18 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Cody Ellis (15 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks) were also impressive for the Senators. Ngor Nai (15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks) and Cody Hill (14 points, five rebounds and four assists) both did the majority of the scoring for the Slammers, in what was another big loss.

Lakeside Lightning (121) def. East Perth Eagles (60)

Speaking of big wins, Lakeside Lightning showed no mercy against East Perth Eagles to get on the board in season 2021, smashing the Eagles by 61 points. In front of home fans on Saturday night, the Lightning piled on 99 points in the first three quarters as the Eagles only managed the 44 in that time. The final term was a little closer, but the 121-60 result was a huge percentage booster for the Lightning. Corey Shervill (29 points, six rebounds and two assists) and Jack Isenbarger (29 points, three assists and two rebounds) combined for 15 of 20 from three-point range in a long-range shooting spectacular. Kyle Armour (19 points, eight assists) was a key playmaker for the Lightning, while Jarrad Prue only had the two points, but racked up 17 rebounds – eight offensive – along with three assists and two blocks on the night. Matt Vinci (nine points, three rebounds) and Isaac Offereins (nine points, four rebounds) were the equal top scorers for the losers.

Rockingham Flames (65) def. Willetton Tigers (83)

Willetton Tigers survived a mini fightback by Rockingham Flames to secure an 18-point win on the road in a battle of two undefeated 2-0 sides. The Tigers raced out to a 50-27 lead at half-time, though the Flames cut the deficit to six by the next change, only for Willetton to stand up under pressure and win the final term 14-12 and secure the 83-65 victory. Damien Scott (25 points, five steals, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks) did a bit of everything on court, while Michael Vigor picked up a double-double through 24 points and 12 rebounds. Andrew Black (11 points, six rebounds and three assists) was also prominent for the Tigers. Brendan Redhead (17 points, three rebounds) was the chief scorer for the Tigers, as Cirkook Makuac Riak (12 points, nine rebounds and two assists) and Travis Dumin (11 points, nine rebounds) also had a say off the boards in the game.

South West Slammers (52) def. by Rockingham Flames (91)

Coming off a defeat the night before, Rockingham Flames set the Eaton Rec Centre alight with a dominant 91-52 victory on the road against South West Slammers. The home team was no match for the red-hot Flames, as Rockingham won every quarter, including a 46-21 second half to run away with the 39-point win and sentence the Slammers to their fifth straight loss. Makuac Riak had 20 points, 11 rebounds and two assists, while Dumin (17 points, eight rebounds) and Callum Beard (11 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals) were also prominent. Hill (18 points, two rebounds) and Rhys Barrett (10 points, two rebounds and two assists) hit double-figure points, as Mitchell Keller proved a menace off the boards with 13 rebounds to go with six points and two assists for the Slammers.

Picture credit: Eric Paul Goldie

NBL1 South Men’s team summary: Geelong Supercats

IN light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Geelong Supercats will not be competing in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South Conference this year. As such, while Draft Central intended to do a preview on all teams leading up to the delayed start, for those that have chosen not to participate due to the threat, we will instead complete a team summary from last season and what they might look to improve on for 2021.

2019 in Review:

Finished: 6th
Wins: 12
Losses: 8
Home: 6-4
Away: 6-4

What went right:

  • Mid-season purple patch, winning six out of seven games between Rounds 12 to 18
  • Demarcus Gatlin was dominant
  • Clean with possession and on defence
  • Rebounding

There was a lot more than went right for the Geelong Supercats than went wrong in season 2019, with the team still reaching the second week of the finals series. Their mid-season purple patch where they won six out of a possible seven games – and the only loss was by four points to minor premiers, Ballarat Miners – helped them get into the finals series. At either end of the season the Supercats were a little inconsistent, but at their best they knew how to put on the pressure on, ranked second in steals and third in blocks, as well as number one in offensive and total rebounds. Most importantly, the Supercats produced the least turnovers of any side on average, with less than 10 per game. In otherwords, once they won the ball, they rarely coughed it up on the transition play. Looking at individuals, Demarcus Gatlin was absolutely superb throughout the season, and was named the inaugural 2019 NBL1 Men’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) for his troubles. Whilst others were also impressive during the season, more often than not, the American import was unstoppable and has really found a home in Geelong.

What went wrong:

  • Scoring power
  • Shooting accuracy

For a team that was so strong defensively, one would imagine they would be in title contention. They were, but there was one little problem – scoring. The Supercats averaged 80.7 points per game last season, the lowest of any side. Their scoring volume was 13 points less than the top side Frankston Blues, and 12 points less than premiers Nunawading Spectres. The reason for the low scoring was not due to not having enough chances however, it was more the accuracy of the shots put up, with the Supercats ranked in the bottom two for all scoring methods. They averaged just 46.5 per cent from the two-point range, and a lowly 26.4 per cent from three-point range – the only side less than 30 per cent in season 2019. With a 6.26 per cent accuracy from the free-throw line, the Supercats were also not making enough of getting fouled by the opposition when they went to the basket. These areas are linked and with the addition of an additional scorer, it will no doubt help them in the long run.

Top Players:

Demarcus Gatlin

Aside from collecting the MVP award for his outstanding season, Gatlin added to his trophy cabinet with NBL1 All-Stars selection following 20.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game. While his free-throw (52.9 per cent) and three-point accuracy (20.5 per cent) could improve a lot, he had so many opportunities that he was bound to put up some big numbers. Supported by a host of teammates throughout the season, Gatlin has become part of the furniture at the Supercats and a real dominant player off the boards. Still in his mid 20s, Gatlin is a player who will likely be up in MVP conversations for some time yet.

Lewis Thomas

Picking up the second most points, as well as the most rebounds in his side, Thomas used his 202cm frame well off the boards with nine rebounds per game, starting every match with Gatlin. He also averaged 15.8 points, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game as a real solid contributor, teaming up with the American throughout the season. He was one of only two players to record a greater than 70 per cent free-throw efficiency, and was also clean with ball-in-hand.

Ma’alo Hicks

Hicks might not have been as prolific as his two teammates on the scoring front with just 10.4 points per game, but he was considered just as deadly across the court, picking up 8.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He is the oldest of the trio, and the center/forward covers the court well for a 203cm player. Like Gatlin his accuracy across the three scoring areas could improve, but he was a reliable player on the court.

Young Gun:

Cohen Blythe

Only 22 at the start of last season, Blythe was able to gain some crucial minutes on court in season 2019, even if the stats might not show it. He managed to play in every single game – a feat only Gatlin and Thomas can also lay claim to – while starting five times. He finished with an average of 2.2 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.9 steals, but was averaging 12.4 minutes per game, the third most of the bench players that gave fans an indication that he could develop into a strong player for the future.

Christmas list for 2021:

Geelong Supercats would love to recruit a playmaker or see one of the already strong core group step up and assist in the areas lacking. If they can find a proficient and deadly shooter for 2021, then that would add an extra element to their roster without taking away from their defensive prowess. They have the talent to go all the way, and showed it throughout the season, but if they can add the last piece to their puzzle, then watch out next season.

Summary:

The Geelong Supercats statistically were the best defensive side and the worst offensive one, but in saying that, the old saying goes that defence beats offence, and that is how they played. Luring teams into a low-scoring slog, the Supercats would often win off the back of sturdy defence that locked down on key opposition players and setups, but ultimately when the game opened up in the finals, the Supercats could not quite generate enough scoring power to get the job done. They will no doubt look to add more scores on the board for 2021 and be a serious contender in 12 months time.

NBL1 Men’s finals review: Semi-Finals

TWO tight contests decided the remaining two preliminary finalists with Nunawading Spectres getting up over Geelong Falcons, and Bendigo Braves continuing the run from eighth spot to down Kilsyth Cobras and move through to the final four. Ballarat Miners and Frankston Blues are waiting respectively for their opponents next weekend to determine the National Basketball League (NBL)1 Men’s decider.

NUNAWADING SPECTRES 23 | 16 | 24 | 19 (82)
GEELONG SUPERCATS 30 | 18 | 12 | 16 (76)

Nunawading Spectres have made it through to a Preliminary Final to face Ballarat Miners after a come-from-behind six-point victory over Geelong Supercats. The Supercats opened the scoring with a 30-23 first term, then extended the lead to nine by the main break to give the visiting fans some hope of an upset. But soon the crowd was up and about as Nunawading clicked into gear, posting 24 points to 12 in the third term to regain the lead and the momentum heading into the final quarter. They continued that momentum into the last to score 19-16 and win 82-76 in a thrilling contest. Simon Conn posted a game-high 21 points as well as nine rebounds and two assists, while Dain Swetalla picked up a double-double thanks to 16 points and 11 rebounds. Tom Wright (18 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Lucas Walker (17 points, eight rebounds) were also impressive in the win. Geelong had its own spread of scorers, with Lewis Thomas (16 points, five rebounds and two assists) and Ma’alo Hicks (16 points, nine rebounds) the top scorers for the Supercats. Demarcus Gatlin stepped up for a double-double of 14 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while Nick Owusu finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.

KILSYTH COBRAS 18 | 27 | 18 | 41 (104)
BENDIGO BRAVES 33 | 22 | 25 | 35 (115)

Bendigo Braves further established themselves as a genuine title contender despite finishing in eighth spot, overpowering Kilsyth Cobras to send the fourth placed side out in straight sets. The Braves dominated the first term to lead by 15 points at quarter time, before Kilsyth hit back to cut the deficit back to 10, before it went back out to 17 by the last change. Despite a ridiculously high scoring final term which resulted in 76 points combined on the board, it would be Kilsyth who won the battle (41-35), but Bendigo that won the war with a 115-104 victory. Ray Turner could not be tamed with a remarkable 37 points and 12 rebounds, while teammate Deonte Burton was not far behind with 24 points and 12 defensive rebounds, as well as eight assists in the massive upset. Mathiang Muo scored 24 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Daniel Hansen also reached double figures with a stat line of 15 points, six rebounds and five assists. For the Cobras, Isaac Turner posted a team-high 33 points, as well as two rebounds and two steals, while Felix Van Hofe (14 points, five rebounds) and Sean MacDonald (14 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals) both assisted with scoring, as did Chris Patton (13 points, four rebounds). Now the Braves face Frankston Blues in the Preliminary Final for a spot in the decider.

NBL1 Men’s finals wash-up: Week 1 – Braves upset Tigers as favourites win elsewhere

BENDIGO Braves are through to the semi-finals after the eighth placed side upset fifth placed Melbourne Tigers in an elimination final at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic (MSAC) in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 first week of finals. The Braves will face Kilsyth Cobras who went down to minor premiers Ballarat Miners, whilst in the other semi-final, Nunawading Spectres will host Geelong Supercats.

GEELONG SUPERCATS 32 | 18 | 18 | 17 (85)
DANDENONG RANGERS 13 | 32 | 15 | 19 (79)

Geelong Supercats have kept their NBL1 title dreams alive with a see-sawing six-point win over Dandenong Rangers at home. The Supercats powered to a massive 19-point lead at quarter time, piling on 32 points in a big opening term. Whatever was said at the break must have helped the Rangers as they returned serve with 32 points of their own in the second quarter to cut the deficit to just five at the main break. The Supercats steadied in a lower scoring third term to lead by eight at the final break before holding on despite the away side’s best efforts, to win 85-79. Lewis Thomas posted up 26 points, three rebounds, two assists, four steals and two blocks, while Demarcus Gatlin had 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in the win. Nick Owusu (16 points, five rebounds) and Anthony Williams (13 points) were also productive on the scoring end. For the losers, Dexter Kernich-Drew posted a team-high 20 points, as well as two rebounds and four steals, but it was Sam Froling who almost hauled his team across the line with 18 points and 16 rebounds – 13 defensive – as well as four blocks. Lucas Barker was creative across the court with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Tim Lang narrowly missed out on a double-double with 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

BALLARAT MINERS 22 | 23 | 20 |15 (80)
KILSYTH COBRAS 21 | 12 | 21 | 12 (66)

Ballarat Miners’ dominant second term of 23 points to 12 set up a 14-point win over a brave Kilsyth Cobras. The Miners move through to the Preliminary Finals after the victory, which saw them win three of the four quarters, but the 11-point second term differential was the ultimate factor in the win. The minor premiers now move through with a week off to play the winner of Nunawading Spectres and Geelong Supercats, while the Cobras face the Bendigo Braves who upset the Melbourne Tigers yesterday. Marqueze Coleman proved the impact bench players can have, coming off the pine to post a game-high 22 points, as well as seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Kuany Kuany (18 points, six rebounds and two steals) contributed strongly, but both Josh Fox (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Deng Acuoth (10 points, 10 rebounds) picked up double-doubles in the victory. For the Cobras, Peter Hooley also had an impact off the bench collecting an equal team-high 16 points, as well as six rebounds – five defensive, while Isaac Turner also collected 16 points. Tohi Smith-Milner was a cause for concern off the boards with 13 points and 11 rebounds – eight defensive.

FRANKSTON BLUES 37 | 27 | 20 | 23 (107)
NUNAWADING SPECTRES 19 | 28 | 23 | 27 (97)

A fast-starting Frankston Blues outfit has set up a huge 10-point win over a fast-finishing Nunawading Spectres side. In one of those rare anomalies, Frankston won just one of the four quarters, but it was a dominant term, piling on 37 points to 19 in the first quarter to race out to an 18-point lead at the first break. From there Nunawading worked its way back into the contest, but could only cut back the deficit by one at the main break, down to 14 by the final break and eventually 10 at the final buzzer to be 107-97 winners at the end. Damon Bozeman was the standout player on the court with 28 points, six rebounds and three assists for Frankston, while Najeal Young had 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Majok Majok (18 points, eight rebounds) and Igor Hadziomerovic (14 points, eight rebounds) were again prolific off the boards. For Nunawading, Tom Wright picked up a team-high 21 points, three rebounds and three assists, whilst Simon Conn (17 points, 13 rebounds and two assists) was massive in trying to get his team across the line. Jack Saunders (15 points) and Costa Hronopoulos (14 points) were important coming off the bench in the loss. Now the Blues move through to the Preliminary Finals with a week off, while Nunawading host Geelong Supercats in the semi-finals.

MELBOURNE TIGERS 21 | 23 | 17 | 15 (76)
BENDIGO BRAVES 15 | 22 | 29 | 20 (86)

Bendigo Braves fairy-tale run continued on the weekend, showing they were far from making up the numbers in the finals series, toppling Melbourne Tigers despite a slow start. The Tigers were well on top at MSAC, an arena they had turned into a fortress since their only loss of the season there – ironically against Bendigo in Round 1 – to lead by six points at the first break and then extend that lead to seven by the major break. The scoring spread of the Braves kicked into gear in the third term as they piled on 29 points to 17 to retake the lead by five points, then they went on with the game in the final term with a 20-15 final quarter to win, 86-76. Ray Turner continued his great season form with 27 points and 15 rebounds, as well as two blocks and a steal. He was far from alone for the Braves however as Mathiang Muo (24 points, five rebounds) and Deonte Burton (20 point, nine rebounds, six assists) were both dominant close to the post. For the Tigers, Nic Pozoglou finished his season off strongly with 21 point, seven rebounds and a steal, while William Hickey and Jack Purchase both finished the game with 19 points and nine rebounds. The result meant Bendigo move through to face Kilsyth Cobras in the semi-finals, while Melbourne Tigers head to the off-season, unable to advance past the first week of finals despite the fifth placed finish.

NBL1 Men’s finals preview: Qualifying and Elimination finals

FIFTEEN rounds down and eight teams remain in the hunt for the inaugural National Basketball League (NBL)1 Men’s title. Four games play out over the weekend, with Ballarat Miners securing the minor premiership and up the other end, Bendigo Braves sneaking into the finals in eighth.

EF2: GEELONG SUPERCATS vs. DANDENONG RANGERS
Saturday July 27, 7.00pm
Geelong Arena

Last time they met: Geelong Supercats (74) defeated Dandenong Rangers (69)

In a fairly even contest, Geelong took home the points at the same venue they will square off at on Saturday night, with an 18-12 third term the real difference between the sides. Lewis Thomas (21 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Demarcus Gatlin (15 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) were the best for the Supercats, while Dexter Kernich-Drew (16 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Tim Lang (15 points, 11 rebounds) never stopped trying for the Rangers.

Recent form:

Geelong Supercats have been inconsistent in the run home, winning four of the past seven, but two of those three losses came against minor premiers Ballarat Miners, while the third was against a desperate Bendigo Braves outfit in the final round.

Dandenong Rangers have won four of their past five games after dropping the two games prior to that, donning the same win-loss ratio as the Supercats.

Key Players:

Demarcus Gatlin (Geelong Supercats) – 20.7 PPG | 7.4 RPG | 3.9 APG | 2.4 SPG

The prolific 193cm guard has been a steadying influence for the Supercats this season, rarely having a poor game, and most importantly able to pad up stats across all the key areas. It is no surprise that Gatlin looms as the wildcard for the Supercats, particularly off the boards with Lewis Thomas and Ma’alo Hicks the other dangers to watch for the Rangers.

Lucas Barker (Dandenong Rangers) – 15.3 PPG | 5.2 RPG | 6.8 APG | 2.0 SPG

Dandenong has an even spread of contributors, with the Rangers often having different top scorers each week. Barker has been the one consistent force across the season, with just he and Tim Lang being the only players to start in all 20 of the matches. Barker is more of the playmaking type, assisting his teammates almost seven times per game, whilst hitting the scoreboard and getting off the boards despite being 185cm.

How will it play out?

Remarkably Geelong are the lowest scoring team in the competition despite sitting sixth, averaging just 80.8 points per game. However the Supercats are also the second best defensive team behind the Miners, keeping their opponents to a stingy 79.8 points per game. It shows that if the Supercats are to win, it will likely be a low-scoring contest, whereas Dandenong prefer higher scoring contests, ranked fourth overall for most points (91.7 per game) and eleventh for points conceded (88 per game).

QF1: BALLARAT MINERS vs. KILSYTH COBRAS
Saturday July 27, 7.30pm
Mars Minerdome

Last time they met: Kilsyth Cobras (71) defeated by Ballarat Miners (87)

It has been almost two months since the Miners and Cobras faced off on the court, as Ballarat got up by 16 points, surviving a third quarter challenge from the home side to run away with the contest 31-17 in the final term to win 87-71. Jerry Evans Jr (22 points, five rebounds) and Josh Fox (19 points, 18 rebounds) were sensational for the winners, while Isaac Turner (20 points) and Peter Hooley (12 points, nine rebounds) were the best for Kilsyth.

Recent form:

After dominating the season with just two losses in the opening 13 rounds, the Ballarat Miners have not won since July 6, dropping back-to-back games to Waverley Falcons and Melbourne Tigers. It may not be a huge concern considering they had top spot locked up for some time, but they do not have the most impressive form coming into the finals.

Kilsyth have had a mixed bag of results leading into finals with four wins from the past seven games, suffering a heavy loss to Frankston Blues in Round 14, but managing wins over finals sides Dandenong Rangers and Nunawading Spectres in the past few weeks.

Key Players:

Jerry Evans Jr (Ballarat Miners) 19.2 PPG | 7.6 RPG | 1.8 APG | 1.9 SPG | 0.7 BPG

The 208cm forward is a man mountain and hard for any side to stop on his day, with more than a quarter of his points coming from the line after being fouled heading to the basket. He is not a huge threat from beyond the arc, but he gets right under the post and makes opposition sides nervous with his offensive drives, and has been Ballarat’s key scorer during the season.

Tohi Smith-Milner (Kilsyth Cobras) 15.7 PPG | 8.4 RPG | 2.1 APG | 0.9 SPG | 0.5 BPG

The Melbourne United forward-center is similar to Evans Jnr in the fact that he stands at 206cm and is a hard man to move. There were some nervous moments in the late part of the season when he had an ankle concern, but he bounced back to finish the season strongly and looms as the key in a well-rounded Cobras attack. Hooley and Turner are among the others to watch.

How will it play out?

Ballarat Miners are a defence-first side, averaging the lowest points conceded by a mile, restricting their opponents to just 76.2 points per game, whilst ranked sixth overall for points scored with 90.2 per game. The Cobras have made it into the top four off the same philosophy, ranked fourth for least points conceded (84.1), but a lowly eleventh for points for (85.8). It means the clash is likely to be low-scoring, but chances are that Ballarat will be able to find more ways to the basket with so many scoring options.

QF2: FRANKSTON BLUES vs. NUNAWADING SPECTRES
Saturday July 27, 7.30pm
Frankston Basketball Stadium

Last time they met: Nunawading Spectres (73) defeated by Frankston Blues (86)

In the game that was played early on in the season, but ultimately handed Frankston the home final, the Blues started strongly to lead by nine at the first break, and then broke even with the Spectres in the third term before running out 13-point winners. Five players reached double-figure points and at least six rebounds for the Blues, led by Majok Majok (18 points, six rebounds) while Najeal Young (15 points, 12 rebounds) picked up a double-double. For Nunawading, Costa Hronopoulos shot 21 points, five rebounds and two assists, while Simon Conn (16 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks) was consistent across the board.

Recent form:

Frankston Blues have had a remarkable revival since starting the season at 1-4, winning 13 of the next 15 games to not only secure a finals berth, but become a genuine contender when the whips are cracking. With nine wins in their past 10 games, the Blues are the most in-form side in the competition winning their past eight matches.

Nunawading Spectres have won seven of their past 10 and whilst they lost the right to a home final due to the head-to-head loss to Frankston, the Spectres are surprisingly better on the road than at home. With a mediocre 5-5 home record, the Spectres have not had such trouble when bonding on the road with nine wins from 10 games and the only loss coming against Kilsyth Cobras. With four wins from the past five games, the Spectres are heading into the finals series in fairly strong form.

Key Players:

Damon Bozeman (Frankston Blues) 20.0 PPG | 4.8 RPG | 2.6 APG | 1.6 SPG

The 190cm guard is one of three Frankston players to have started in every game this season, giving the Blues great consistency throughout the year. With just over 51 per cent accuracy from the field, Bozeman could have averaged even more than his 20 points per game, but he gets the numbers across the board, particularly defensively with 1.6 steals per game, and 78 of his 96 rebounds coming off the defensive board.

Simon Conn (Nunawading Spectres) 19.4 PPG | 10.2 RBG | 2.1 APG | 0.7 SPG | 0.7 BPG

The huge 206cm centre will be a real issue for Frankston, as he positions himself well under the boards to be one of the most prolific rebounders in the competition. Nunawading has not had a consistent line-up the whole year, with Conn’s 19 starts the most of any player. Of his 19.4 points per game, 81.5 per cent come from the field, with most of them close to the basket. Not a renowned three-point shooter with just four triples made in season 2019, Conn is one who teammates look to close to the rim given his accuracy.

How will it play out?

Unlike the first two finals, expect this to be a high-scoring extravaganza. Ranked first (Frankston – 94.2 points for per game) and second (Nunawading – 92.8 points per game) for points for, both these sides know how to win big and put plenty of pressure on the opposition guards. Nunawading is the slightly better defensive side, ranked seventh in the competition for least points conceded (84.6 per game) to Frankston’s ninth placed ranking (87.8).

EF1: MELBOURNE TIGERS vs. BENDIGO BRAVES
Sunday July 28, 1.00pm
Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC)

Last time they met: Melbourne Tigers (69) defeated by Bendigo Braves (73)

You have to go back to the opening round of the season to see these two sides going head-to-head with Bendigo Braves getting up in a four-point thriller over the Tigers. They had control for most of the day, with the home side piling on 14 points to eight in the final term to cut the deficit to just four by the buzzer. Ray Turner scored 16 points, 14 rebounds and four assists in Bendigo’s win, while Matthew Andronicos (16 points, seven rebounds) was also busy. For the Tigers, Nic Pozoglou was the standout with 18 points, 12 rebounds, four steals and two blocks, while partner-in-crime Dane Pineau had 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Recent form:

After three consecutive losses – including a heartbreaking one-point defeat to Frankston, Melbourne Tigers found form in the remaining weeks, winning their three last games heading into finals to secure a top eight spot.

Bendigo had to dig deep to make finals, winning four of the past five to scrape into the top eight and steal eighth spot. They toppled the Geelong Supercats in the final round which would give them confidence after less than convincing wins over league battlers Knox Raiders and Diamond Valley Eagles, as well as a loss to Albury Wodonga Bandits.

Key Players:

Nic Pozoglou (Melbourne Tigers) 19.2 PPG | 10.2 RPG | 3.3 APG | 1.9 SPG | 0.6 BPG

The Illawarra Hawks forward might have only managed five NBL games in the 2018/19 season, but if his form is anything to go by in the NBL1, expect him to find himself a part of the action more often. Pozoglou averaged 19.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, one of the few to end the season with a double-double average. He also set up teammates and won the ball back from the opposition, being a one-man show when times were tough, and enjoying a great partnership with Pineau when the two were in together on 13 occasions.

Ray Turner (Bendigo Braves) 22.9 PPG | 12.3 RPG | 2.0 APG | 1.0 SPG | 1.3 BPG

The 206cm forward will be up there in contention for the league best and fairest after a massive season for the Braves. Like Pozoglou, Turner finished the season with a double-double average with 22.9 points and 12.3 rebounds, whilst having a couple of assists, and a steal and block per game. At his height he is hard to contain, particularly close to the basket, and he gets it done at both ends with the bulk of his rebounds coming off the defensive boards. His free throw percentage is a little low compared to others at just under 70 per cent, but he knows how to put the points up regardless of whether he makes it to the line.

How will it play out?

Melbourne Tigers are ranked tenth overall for points for (86.9 per game), but still well ahead of Bendigo Braves (84.5) who sit in the bottom four. Defensively it is the other way around with Bendigo third overall for least points conceded (82.5 per game) compared to Melbourne who is still relatively strong defensively (84.5). Melbourne are capable of putting up a big score, but also matching the Braves defensively, and in terms of home and away records, with the Tigers winning 10 of a possible 11 games at MSAC – the last time they lost at home was the opening round to Bendigo – they have turned their home court into a fortress. Bendigo is mediocre on the road with five wins from 10 games.

NBL1 Men’s Round 15 review: Frankston grabs home final as Bendigo sneak in

WAVERLEY Falcons will be left wondering what could have been after back-to-back losses knocked the Falcons out of the top eight, missing out on finals by three points after going down to both Tasmanian sides and allowing Bendigo Braves back into the contest. In the standalone Friday night game, everything went according to play in the first term against Hobart Huskies for the Falcons to race to a 10-point lead, but the Huskies took control of the home court advantage to cut into the deficit and eventually run out on top with 13 more points in the second half. Jalen Adams put on a show for the home fans, sinking 35 points at a remarkable 84.2 per cent from the field, whilst picking up nine rebounds, three assists and two bocks. Tad Dufelmeier (18 points, six rebounds and eight assists) and Zachary White (17 points, six rebounds and three blocks) were also prominent for the Huskies. Dylan Travis was phenomenal for the Falcons, posting up 40 points along with four rebounds, three assists and three steals though it was all for nought, while Deondre McWhorter (16 points, 12 rebounds and three assists) also picked up a double-double. In the eight-point loss to North West Thunder to seal their fate, the Falcons again had a couple of big contributors with Travis (30 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals) everywhere, while Bennie Lewis (33 points, three assists and two blocks) assisted with the scoring power, as McWhorter almost picked up another double-double with 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Nick Banyard sank 29 points and had 16 rebounds along with three assists for the Thunder, while Paul Campbell also picked up a double-double in the win, thanks to 15 points and 14 rebounds as well as five assists.

The team that benefited from Waverley’s demise was Bendigo Braves who caused an upset win against Geelong Supercats, denying the Supercats a double chance in the process. The Braves won each of the four quarters on their way to an impressive 84-67 victory that just might be the spur they needed heading into finals. Mathiang Muo posted 30 points, five rebounds and two assists, while Ray Turner was superb again with a double-double of 20 points, 12 rebounds and two assists. Deonte Burton (13 points, six rebounds and six assists) was the other Brave to make double-figure points. For the Supercats, Demarcus Gatlin impressed again with 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Lewis Thomas (15 points, seven rebounds) and Ma’alo Hicks (12 points, six rebounds) tried hard.

Meeting the Braves in the first final is Melbourne Tigers who stood up when required, downing minor premiers Ballarat Miners by eight points, then toppling Eltham Wildcats by 12 the next day to lock up fifth spot, narrowly missing out on a double chance. The Tiers’ fast start against the Miners was key, as they piled on 27 points to 14 in the first term, and lead by 14 at the main break. The Miners hit back to cut the final margin to single digits, but it was a case of too little, too late. Dane Pineau and Nic Pozoglou went to town off the boards for the Tigers, combining for a mind-boggling 38 rebounds – more than the entire opposition side – whilst posting 18 points apiece and sharing in seven assists. Michael Luxford (seven assists) and Mike Wells (13 points) also played supporting roles in the win. For the Miners, it marked back-to-back losses heading into finals which might be a concern, but Marqueze Coleman (24 points, four rebounds and six assists), Sam Short (19 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Jerry Evans Jr (12 points, 11 rebounds) still had solid games. In the 82-70 victory over Eltham, Pineau had a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Pozoglou picked up 16 points and seven rebounds, as well as three assists and four steals. Young star William Hickey helped himself to a double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, while Jack Purchase (11 points, four rebounds and four assists) was also impressive. For the Wildcats, Adam Doyle picked up 16 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Geremy McKay (13 points, 11 rebounds) had a double-double and Ovie Magbegor (12 points, eight rebounds) was also solid off the boards.

Dandenong Rangers also played two matches over the weekend, but with mixed results, going down to Kilsyth Cobras to lose out on a potential double chance, before managing to secure seventh with an important win over Ringwood Hawks on Sunday. In the narrow defeat to Kilsyth, the Rangers lead at half-time before the Cobras piled on 27 points to 17 in the third term to set themselves up for a vital win. Tohi Smith-Milner sank 28 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the win, while Isaac Turner (23 points, three rebounds and two assists) and Sean MacDonald (16 points, five rebounds and seven assists) were both busy. For the Rangers, Dexter Kernich-Drew (22 points, four rebounds and five assists) was the top scorer, while Sam Froling (20 points, 10 rebounds) picked up a double-double, a feat Lucas Barker narrowly missed out on (eight points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals). In the Rangers’ five-point victory over Ringwood in overtime, the players shared the points around with Froling (18 points, seven rebounds and four assists) topscoring, while Kernich-Drew (17 points, three rebounds and three assists) and Josh Oswald (17 points, eight rebounds) found plenty of points from the field, as did Barker (14 points, seven rebounds and nine assists) who again narrowly missed out on a double-double, and almost a triple-double. Shaun Clarke (24 points, nine rebounds) and Matthew Fennell (23 points, 15 rebounds) did the bulk of the damage for Ringwood along with Adrien Sturt (20 points, six rebounds and three assists).

Frankston Blues secured second spot with a vital 14-point win over Southern Sabres on Sunday. The Blues looked comfortable throughout the four quarters to win the first three terms and eventually get the points, 97-83. Majok Majok scored 21 points and had nine rebounds, while Alister Macdonald (13 points, three steals) and Igor Hadziomerovic (12 points, seven rebounds) were both busy across the court. For the Sabres, Rhys Carter stood up with 24 points, 10 rebounds and five steals, while Kingsley Box (15 points, five rebounds) and Sam McDaniel (13 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and two steals) were impressive. The Sabres had a second loss the day before, going down to Diamond Valley Eagles by just three points in a heartbreaker after leading throughout the match. Carter (18 points, four rebounds and six assists) and McDaniel (16 points, eight rebounds) were again prominent in defeat, while Jamie Batish had 11 points and three rebounds. Logan Hovey was the standout player on the court, picking up a double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Anthony Odunsi (20 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals), Joel Spear (15 points, four rebounds, five assists) and Ben Allen (13 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals) were all prominent.

In the other games, Knox Raiders claimed a narrow three-point win over Albury Wodonga Bandits, while Nunawading Spectres finished the regular season with a win to give themselves a chance at second spot prior to Frankston’s win, after also getting up by three points over Eltham Wildcats. In Knox’s win, Adam Thoseby scored 20 points and had six rebounds, whilst Torren Jones was massive for the Bandits in defeat with 26 points and 14 rebounds. For the Spectres, Simon Conn (23 points, 18 rebounds) was one of four players to reach double-figure points on his side in the victory, while McKay (24 points, 10 rebounds) also picked up a double-double despite Eltham’s second defeat of the weekend.

Round 15 results:

Hobart Huskies 98 defeated Waverley Falcons 95
Albury Wodonga Bandits 96 defeated Knox Raiders 99*
Geelong Supercats 67 defeated by Bendigo Braves 84
Kilsyth Cobras 94 defeated Dandenong Rangers 86
North West Thunder 103 defeated Waverley Falcons 95
Diamond Valley Eagles 85 defeated Southern Sabres 82
Eltham Wildcats 94 defeated by Nunawading Spectres 97*
Ballarat Miners 78 defeated BY Melbourne Tigers 86
Dandenong Rangers 111 defeated Ringwood Hawks 106
Southern Sabres 83 defeated by Frankston Blues 97
Melbourne Tigers 82 defeated Eltham Wildcats 70

Final ladder:

1 Ballarat Miners 16-4
2 Frankston Blues 14-6 (lower percentage but head-to-head record has Blues slot into second)
3 Nunawading Spectres 14-6
4 Kilsyth Cobras 12-8
5 Melbourne Tigers 12-8
6 Geelong Supercats 12-8
7 Dandenong Rangers 11-9
8 Bendigo Braves 11-9

9 Hobart Huskies 10-10
10 Waverley Falcons 10-10
11 Diamond Valley Eagles 9-11
12 Albury Wodonga Bandits 8-12
13 North West Thunder 8-12
14 Knox Raiders 8-12
15 Basketball Australia CoE 8-12
16 Ringwood Hawks 6-14
17 Eltham Wildcats 6-14
18 Southern Sabres 5-15

Finals Week 1:

Ballarat Miners vs. Kilsyth Cobras
Frankston Blues vs. Nunawading Spectres
Melbourne Tigers vs. Bendigo Braves
Geelong Supercats vs. Dandenong Rangers

NBL1 Men’s Round 13 review: Ballarat Miners juggernaut rolls on

THE Ballarat Miners continue to reign supreme in the National Basketball League (NBL)1, showcasing another strong 97-69 win at home against the Geelong Supercats. Despite opening decently in the first term to trail by six, the Supercats’ were let down in the second, with Ballarat increasing their lead to 18 points by the main break. Forward, Joshua Fox came close to a double-double in the win with 21 points, nine rebounds, two assists and 66 per cent shooting from inside the arc. His teammates, Kuany Kuany (23 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Jerry Evans Jr (21 points, seven rebounds and three assists) also impressed at home. For the Supercats, Lewis Thomas led the way, dropping 16 points with eight rebounds and two assists in the loss, but pulled up poorly with his shooting efficiency (6-17). Teammate, DeMarcus Gatlin, also impressed with 17 points, three rebounds and two assists – making up for his team’s poor shooting with 7-11 for the night.

The Geelong Supercats managed to clean up their work on the road in their second outing, defeating the Ringwood Hawks 77-88. The Supercats only conceded the one term in the win, besting the home side comfortably in the opening half. Despite hitting back in the second, Ringwood’s efforts could not get them to the line. As we enter Round 14, the win drops the Supercats in 4th while the Hawks continue to struggle at the bottom in 17th. Cousins was huge in Geelong’s win, earning 26 points, eight rebounds and five assists with a 56 per cent field goal (FG) efficiency. Teammates, Anthony Williams (22 points, three rebounds and four assists), Ma’alo Hicks (11 points and five rebounds) and Thomas (10 points, nine rebounds and seven assists) also impressed for Geelong. Matthew Fennel (16 points and eight rebounds) and Adrien Sturt (15 points and eight rebounds) led scoring for Ringwood and protected the paint well. Off the bench, Jacob Gibson and Trevor Latham, impressed with 15 and 13 points respectively – Latham hitting 6-7 from just 18 minutes.

The Ballarat Miners continued to dominate the round with an 89-60 win over the Hobart Huskies at home. The Miners opened with a 28-18 first term before closing their lead out to 13 points at the main break. Hobart pulled closer in the second (17-14) and third terms (19-15) but were blown away in the fourth (25-13) to lose by 29 points. Evans Jr dropped a double-double in victory with 21 points and 11 rebounds – putting him 10th for PPG for the league. Teammates, Deng Acuoth (14 points, eight rebounds and two assists), Sam Short (15 points, three rebounds and eight assists) and Fox (14 points, seven rebound and five assists) also came close to double-doubles but fell short despite impressive numbers. Jalen Adams led for the Huskies with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Tad Dufelmeier followed close on 11 points and seven rebounds. In Hobart’s first game they faced the Kilsyth Cobras at home and won 80-62. Both sides impressed in the opening half, sitting 35-35 at the main break. Though the Huskies proved too good, surging to a 45-27 half to close out the game. Dufelmeier controlled the floor with 22 points, seven rebound and six assists, while Adams hit a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Jacob Richards was also a highlight, hitting 18 points, six rebounds and three assists across 24 minutes. For Kilsyth, Tohi Smith-Milner earned a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, alongside guard, Isaac Turner, who dropped 15 points in the loss.

The Kilsyth Cobras followed up their first loss in Tasmania with an important 81-86 win over the North West Thunder. Despite opening the first half three points better than the visitors, the Thunder’s sub-par third term (16-22) may have cost them the game, with the Cobras shooting clean across four terms (21-21-22-22). Milner came close to a double-double in the win, securing 25 points, nine rebounds and two assists alongside teammate, Turner (24 points), who followed close on the board. The pair were assisted well by guard, Michael Wearne (15 points, four rebounds, five assists), and forward, Chris Patton (14 points, seven rebounds and four assists), opening up the offense with their playmaking ability. In the loss, Jordan Bowling, was immense for the Thunder, dropping 25 points, 13 rebounds and four assists on his way to a double-double. Nicholas Baynard (16 points, 13 rebounds and four assists) and Joseph Chilcott (14 points) were similarly impressive.

In the tightest game of the round, the Frankston Blues come out on top in a 99-98 thriller against the Melbourne Tigers. The game opened in Frankston’s favour, outscoring Melbourne 52-46 in the first half, scoring 50 points from the paint for the game. Melbourne responded well in the second half, scoring 25 points from turnovers, coming extremely close with a 18-27 final term. Igor Hadziomerovic dominated on the board for the Blues, scoring 25 points with three rebounds and five assists, while teammate, Najeal Young, dropped a double-double with 20 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. Damon Bozeman also impressed for the Blues with 18 points and seven rebounds. Michael Wells was unstoppable for the Tigers, scoring 39 points with three rebounds and two assists at 59 per cent FG efficiency. Michael Luxford was also impressive with 23 points, four rebound and three assists, while Nic Pozoglou had 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the loss.

Frankston followed up their impressive win over Melbourne with a second over the Southern Sabres (119-92) at home – making it six in a row for Frankston. The Blues blitzed the Sabres in the second term, dropping a massive 38 points to 21 to take a 22-point lead into the half. The Blues dominated in the paint (58-points) and off the fast break (26) but struggled defensively at times, allowing more scores from turnovers (18). The Sabres kept close in the second half but failed to shorten the margin from the second term. Young could not miss for the Blues, dropping 25 points with an 84 per cent FG efficiency, four rebounds and two assists. Bozeman finished similarly with 26 points at 70 per cent FG efficiency, six rebounds and three assists, while Alister Macdonald impressed off the bench with 17 points and four rebounds from 21 minutes. For the Sabres, Samuel Mcdaniel led with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists, with David Barlow (13 points, four rebounds and six assists) and Ryan Beisty (12 points and six rebounds) also impressing in the loss.

The Bendigo Braves gain some much-needed separation from the Diamond Valley Eagles with a tight 86-84 win at home. The win puts Bendigo in 7th spot – only one win off 5th, while Diamond Valley place in thirteenth, just win ahead of 16th. Despite the Eagles big second term (21-30), the effort fell short with Bendigo winning the remaining quarters. Ray Turner dominated the game for the Braves, recording a double-double with 31 points, 16 rebounds and three assists, while Mathiang Muo also held his own with 17 points. Logan Hovey recorded a double-double, earning 27 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for the Eagles, while Anthony Odunsi held up with 17 points. The loss marks Diamond Valley’s third consecutive defeat, worsening their record on the road with two wins and seven losses.

Following the tight affair in Bendigo, the Albury Bandits continue the night with a huge 110-71 win over the Eltham Wildcats. Despite the 39-point margin, the Wildcats kept close in the first term, scoring 25 points to 27. They went on to lose touch in the second (28-12), conceding 20 points from turnovers and 16 points from second chances for the game. Ken-Jah Bosley starred in the win with 31 points, four rebounds and five assists, alongside Torren Jones, who recorded a double-double with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Coming off the bench, Deba George recorded a double-double with 20 points, four rebounds and 13 assists. In the loss, Josh Sykes picked up 21 points and seven rebounds, while guard, Justin Aver, finished with 11 points, six rebounds and four assists.

The Knox Raiders cop a huge 40-point loss (66-106) against the Nunawading Spectres, who were successful in protecting their near-perfect record on the road (8-1-0). The Spectres shut down the game early, scoring 40 points to 15 in the second term to take a 28-point lead into the main break. With 55 points scored from the bench, Lucas Walker recorded a huge double-double with 27 points and 10 rebounds, alongside Jack Saunders (12 points) and Andrew Steel (13 points, two rebounds and three assists) who also starred off the bench. Of the starters, Costa Hronpoulos (15 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Simon Conn (14 points and seven rebounds) impressed the most for the Spectres. Mike Rose led for the Raiders with 12 points, three rebounds and four assists – Simon Grant (10 points, eight rebounds and two assists) and James Hunter (10 points, two rebounds and two assists) also impressing.

In the last game of the round the Dandenong Rangers move to sixth on the table following an 82-95 win over the Waverley Falcons. The Falcons did well to cut the margin to five points by the end of the third, but lost touch in the fourth; Dandenong managing 21 points from turnovers and 12 from fast breaks for the game. Dexter Kernich-Drew performed well with 28 points, five rebounds and four assists, alongside Matt Kenyon (18 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Lucas Barker (12 points, six rebounds and six assists) who also had good games. The Waverley Falcons had big performers in Dylan Travis (24 points, seven rebounds and six assists) and Deondre Mcwhorter (23 points and 12 rebounds). Michael Harper (12 points, six rebounds and four assists) and Bennie Lewis (13 points) also impressed in the loss.

Round 13 results:

Ballarat Miners (97) defeated Geelong Supercats (67)
Hobart Huskies (80) defeated Kilsyth Cobras (62)
North West Thunder (81) defeated by Kilsyth Cobras (86)
Frankston Blues (99) defeated Melbourne Tigers (98)
Bendigo Braves (84) defeated Diamond Valley Eagles (82)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (110) defeated Eltham Wildcats (71)
Ballarat Miners (89) defeated Hobart Huskies (60)
Knox Raiders (66) defeated by Nunawading Spectres (106)
Ringwood Hawks (77) defeated by Geelong Supercats (88)
Frankston Blues (119) defeated Southern Sabres (92)
Waverley Falcons (82) defeated by Dandenong Rangers (95)