Tag: nbl1 mens

NBL1 South Men’s team summary: Hobart Chargers

IN light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South Conference has been cancelled this year. As such, while Draft Central intended to do a preview on all teams leading up to the delayed start, it will instead be a team summary from last season and what they might look to improve on for 2021. Today’s edition looks at Hobart Chargers mens side that narrowly missed out on finals with a 50 per cent win-loss record.

2019 in Review:

Finished: 9th
Wins: 10
Losses: 10
Home: 8-3
Away: 2-7

What went right:

  • Home games record
  • Won five of the last seven
  • Free-throw accuracy (74.1 per cent, ranked fifth overall)
  • Disciplined (15.9 personal fouls per game, the second least in the competition)
  • Steals (8.7 per game, ranked third overall)

Hobart had a number of positives to come out of a season that ultimately fell short of reaching the finals. The Chargers won eight of a possible 11 home games to create some sort of a fortress on the Apple Isle, and one of those losses came against fellow Tasmanian side, North West Thunder which meant Hobart was eight from 10 against Victorian teams at home. They also won five of the last seven, and were among the most disciplined sides in the competition. Hobart committed an average of 15.9 personal fouls per game, which put the Chargers second overall for least fouls committed, while also ranked third in steals, showing they were switched on and able to pick-pocket their opposition. While their accuracy from the field could improve, Hobart had the fifth highest free-throw accuracy which meant when they got to the line, they were usually reliable.

What went wrong:

  • Road trips, winning just two of nine
  • Lost consecutive games in the first month
  • Three-point shooting (31 per cent per game, ranked 16th overall)
  • Rebounding (11.2 offensive and 34.7 total ranked 18th and 17th overall respectively)

As good as the Chargers were at home, their road trips were something to forget, only winning two of a possible nine games and picked up losses against struggling sides such as Southern Sabres and Diamond Valley Eagles in amongst a five-game losing streak at the start of the season. While they only dropped five games after being 1-5 down at the early stages of 2019, it was catch-up from then on, and they also fell into another mini-hole mid-season with three consecutive losses. A one-point defeat to Melbourne Tigers in the penultimate round was heartbreaking. Statistically, the Chargers struggled with rebounding, ranking last for offensive rebounds and 17th for total rebounds, whilst they also sat 16th overall for three-point shooting in 2019.

Top Players:

Jalen Adams

The standout Hobart player across the board, Adams was able to play all 20 games and was on court 32.3 minutes per match. He teamed up well with partner-in-crime Tad Dufelmeier for the most part, and the pair did the bulk of the damage to opposition sides. Adams averaged 22.7 points per game, as well as team-highs in offensive rebounds (2.4), defensive rebounds (4.7), total rebounds (7.1) and steals (2.0) per game. He led the way for the Chargers and was consistently among the best on court and the go-to man when it came to shooting. He was predominantly a two-point shooter however, with just 33.3 per cent from long-range.

Tad Dufelmeier

Unfortunately Dufelmeier only managed the 14 games with the Canberra-born talent having spent time in the United States honing his craft. He averaged 18.8 points per game, shooting at an impressive 60.2 per cent from the field and 35.1 per cent from three-point range, as well as recording 80.0 per cent from the foul line. His performances were enough to see him achieve his dream of being signed by an NBL club, playing five games with Cairns Taipans in the 2019/20 season. Along with his points, Dufelmeier also averaged 6.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game to be a damaging player who could have been the difference had he managed more games in 2019.

Zachary Wright

After the top two players the points drop off, but White was still able to put up 9.5 points per game, but more critically, 6.1 rebounds to be equal second with Dufelmeier in the team for that stat. He did not put up as many attempts for the Chargers, but was efficient with 63.5 and 84.6 per cent from two-point range and free-throws where the 201cm forward often got to by using his frame close to the basket. He was ranked third overall in the team for efficiency and used his experience well as the most senior member.

Young Gun:

Jacob Richards

The teenager was a huge positive to come out of the year for the Chargers, averaging 10.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists from 22.4 minutes on court. He played every game and was able to put up the second most field goals of any player on his side, with 69 from 110 attempts. His accuracy of 62.7 per cent was strong, though he only averaged the 27 per cent and 66.7 per cent from three-point range and the free-throw line which indicates areas of improvement. As a 200cm forward, Richards was able to learn off Wright and share the load, which he will no doubt be better for in the long run.

Christmas list for 2021:

A third volume shooter. Adams and Dufelmeier was a dominant force when paired up, but the latter still missed four games during the season, and most of the successful sides had at least three dominant shooters, With the duo combining for almost half of the team’s season points average, they need to add an extra shooter, particularly one who can penetrate from long-range and that will add an extra element to the side.

Summary:

The Hobart Chargers – or Huskies as they were known during the season – had a couple of really impressive stars who shone when on court and caused all sorts of headaches for the opposition. They just lacked depth across the board and despite being ultra-competitive throughout the season, fell short of finals. If they are able to add a player or two who can share the scoring load in 2021, then watch out.

NBL1 South Men’s team summary: Frankston Blues

IN light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South Conference has been cancelled this year. As such, while Draft Central intended to do a preview on all teams leading up to the delayed start, it will instead be a team summary from last season and what they might look to improve on for 2021. Today’s edition looks at Frankston Blues mens side that finished top two and won through to a home preliminary final before going down to Bendigo Braves.

2019 in Review:

Finished: 2nd (Preliminary final loss)
Wins: 14
Losses: 6
Home: 7-3
Away: 7-3

What went right:

  • Won 14 out of 16 matches leading into the preliminary final
  • Six players averaging double-figure points
  • Offence (93.5 points per game, the best in the league)
  • Shooting accuracy (39.3 per cent three-point ranked first overall, 53.3 per cent two-point ranked fourth overall)
  • Defensive rebounds (29.0 per game ranked second overall)

Frankston was certainly a high-octane filled side with some powerful scorers who were deadly from inside or outside the arc. The Blues averaged the most points of any side, putting up 93.5 per game across the season, helped by the fact that they were also among the most accurate. In 2019, Frankston topped the list of sides from three-point range with a 39.3 per cent accuracy, as well as a 53.3 per cent efficiency from two-point range, ranked fourth overall.

Defensively the Blues also impressed off the boards with a top two finish in rebounds per game up that end, recording 29 per game. In terms of their season perspective, the Blues overcame a slow start to win 14 of the last 16 games before their ill-fated preliminary final loss. Just as strong at home as away with 7-3 records at both and 6-1 and 7-1 respectively after the first five games, the Blues ended up with a whopping six players totalling double-figure points and five of those had more than five rebounds per game as well.

What went wrong:

  • Lost four of the first five games
  • Preliminary final
  • Assists (13.8 per game ranked 17th overall)
  • Blocking (2.2 per game ranked 15th overall)

Not many would have guessed the Blues would have made finals let alone earned a double chance and won in the first week of the post-season series after their rocky start. Losing four of the first five games – but strangely beating one of the title contenders in Geelong – the Blues had to play catch-up for a while before getting back on track. Making it all the way to the preliminary final, they fell short against a red-hot Bendigo Braves outfit, no doubt a game the Blues would love to have again. Statistically the Blues fared lowly in blocks (15th overall) and assists (17th overall), with the former not too much of a concern considering the high volume of shots Frankston was putting up, but the latter is an area to work on for the future.

Top Players:

Damon Bozeman

The leading points scorer for the Blues, Bozeman helped himself to 20.2 points per game during the season. Bozeman was able to shoot from anywhere with efficiencies of 54.1 and 43.9 per cent from two and three-point range, symbolising the team’s dead-eye accuracy. Despite playing 29 minutes per game in the season, he was only the fourth highest player in that area such was the shared court time. Like many of his teammates, he did not waste the opportunity, picking up 5.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals for his troubles.

Igor Hadziomerovic

A 193cm guard, Hadziomerovic performed consistently throughout the year and became a reliable source of scoring across the board with similar accuracy to his teammates. He was predominantly a big man who could get to the basket, but also produce the jump shot where he averaged 53 per cent from two-point range and 73.3 per cent when he got to the foul line. Critically, Hadziomerovic also nailed 41.4 per cent of his three-point attempts and topped his side in assists with 2.9, while being handy in rebounds (5.6) and steals (1.0)

Najeal Young

Playing the least minutes of the top six players, Young still had his fair share of points with 14 per game from 25.8 minutes per match. He still finished top three in rebounds with 7.2 per game, including 1.9 from the offensive boards, while picking up 1.7 assists and a team-high 1.7 steals per game. At 198cm, the then 25-year-old was able to use his frame to advantage and put pressure on the opposition. He was predominantly one who got close to the basket with all bar one of his field goal successes coming from outside the arc.

Young Gun:

Lachlan Barker

The then 22-year-old talent came into the year as one of a number of strong performers who could start in his own right alongside more experience names. Barker averaged 28.3 minutes per match as he put up numbers of 12.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He shot at 41.3 per cent accuracy from long range, which was almost better than his could-be-improved accuracy of 41.5 per cent from two-point range. When fouled, the 188cm guard hardly ever missed with an elite 87.2 per cent accuracy from the line.

Christmas list for 2021:

A playmaker. Frankston had an abundance of talent when it came to scoring and rebounding, and while that worked for them for the most part, the highest assist-driven player was Hadziomerovic with 2.9. If the Blues could find a player who is able to dish out dimes with ease, then that would add a different element to the game, because they had the rare ability to have five players on court who could both score and rebound the ball, so they would not lose out by picking up a playmaker in the process.

Summary:

The Frankston Blues were an exciting team in 2019 with five players recording more than 10 points and five rebounds per game, and the top six sharing at least 25 minutes on court per match. They came so close but ultimately fell short of the NBL1 title, something they will be in the running for again with most of their players still in their primes.

NBL1 Men’s finals review: Preliminary Finals

IN a remarkable weekend of National Basketball League (NBL)1 action, the top two teams are out of the premiership race with both Ballarat Miners and Frankston Blues defeated at home in the preliminary finals. The Miners exited thanks to a determined Nunawading Spectres who bounced back from a qualifying final loss to Frankston, to earn a spot in the decider. In the other game, Bendigo Braves somehow have made it to the grand final coming from eighth, knocking out the second placed Frankston Blues.

BALLARAT MINERS 18 | 16 | 15 | 19 (68)
NUNAWADING SPECTRES 26 | 15 | 16 | 18 (75)

Nunawading has survived an almighty comeback from minor premiers Ballarat Miners to salute on the road in its preliminary final, and make the 2019 NBL1 Men’s decider. The Spectres lead for practically the entire game, taking the lead midway through the first term and getting out to as much as a 15-point lead with less than five minutes remaining in the third term. Nunawading held firm in that term to extend its three quarter time lead out to eight points – the same margin it had been at quarter time. The Miners rallied as you would expect in the final term, as they piled on 11 points to two for the home crowd to get up and about. But the Spectres refused to give in, getting back on top, ad while the Miners had a one-point advantage thanks to a Kuany Kuany lay-up with less than three minutes left to the clock, it was all Nunawading from there, scoring eight of the last nine points to win, 75-68. Dain Swetalla was superb throughout to continue his remarkable finals series, posting 27 points, 10 rebounds and an assist, shooting at 64.3 per cent from the field, as well as making all of his seven free throws. Tom Wright scored 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Simon Conn also reached double figures with 12 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Shane McDonald was the playmaker with nine points and nine assists, while Costa Hronopoulos was prominent near the boards with eight rebounds, as well as four points and three assists. Josh Fox was the top scorer for Ballarat with 22 points, five rebounds and two assists, while Kuany helped himself to 13 points and five rebounds.Sam Short (11 points, six rebounds and five assists) and Jerry Evans Jr (10 points, eight rebounds) were the other two who stood out on the scoring end. Unfortunately for Ballarat, a remarkable season falls one game short of the ultimate decider, while for Nunawading, its dreams of holding up the title remain very much alive.

FRANKSTON BLUES 20 | 10 | 13 | 24 (67)
BENDIGO BRAVES 21 | 23 | 16 | 25 (85)

While the other preliminary final could have gone either way, there was little doubting that Bendigo Braves were deserved winners in their clash on the road with Frankston Blues. The eighth placed side has earned a spot in the 2019 NBL1 decider despite just scraping into eighth and having to have three consecutive road trips during the finals. Travelling to MSAC, Kilsyth and now Frankston held no fears for the Braves who are running on serious adrenaline. The Blues are normally good starters and whilst they did have an old-fashioned arm-wrestle with the Braves in the first term to trail by one point at quarter time, their woes in the middle patches of games – as had been the case in their qualifying final win over Nunawading – came back to bite them as they managed just 23 points to the Braves’ 39 to open up a 17-point lead at the final break. The Blues found their groove again in the final term but it was too little, too late for the home side, losing the term by one and the game by 18 as the Braves advanced through to the grand final in what is one of the great finals stories. Mathiang Muo top scored for the Braves, piling on 25 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Deonte Burton had 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals in a great all-round game. Ray Turner was enormous defensively, having 13 rebounds – 11 up the defensive end – as well as 16 points and two steals, while Chris Hogan had 13 points and three rebounds in the win. For Frankston, Damon Bozeman was the clear standout with 16 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks, while Igor Hadziomerovic finished with 15 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Najeal Young (11 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals) also reached double-figure points, as did Daniel Trist off the bench (12 points, seven rebounds). At the end of the day though, it was the remarkable work of Bendigo across the court winning both the rebounding and assists stats, and shooting more comfortably from the field – 45.2 per cent to 35.2 per cent. They now advance through to the grand final against Nunawading.

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 weekend preview: Round 15

ONLY two matches over the final round of National Basketball League (NBL)1 action is considered a “dead rubber” with the other 10 matches having something on the line for at least one of the competing sides. There is everything on the line from the first game with Hobart Huskies and Waverley Falcons going head-to-head with the loser all but out of the finals race barring some favourable results for Waverley. The Huskies must win to have any hope, whilst a third consecutive win for Waverley keeps then in contention, with the next day’s game against bottom four side North West Thunder also crucial to play finals.

Inside the top eight, the teams holding onto spots with 10 wins ahead of the Falcons are Dandenong Rangers, Melbourne Tigers and Bendigo Braves. The Rangers travel to face Kilsyth Cobras with the home side needing to win to be any hope of a double chance, then Dandenong host sixteenth placed Ringwood Hawks on Sunday. Kilsyth must also hope Geelong Supercats lose, who host Bendigo Braves, The conundrum for the Braves is, a loss and they almost certainly miss out on finals given Waverley has a game in hand.The Tigers travel to top-of-the-table Ballarat Miners, but realistically can only drop out of the top eight with Bendigo and Waverley both winning, and they have a second chance against lowly bottom two side, Eltham Wildcats.

In terms of top four calculations, three of the sides are locked in with Ballarat, Nunawading Spectres and Frankston Blues, with the Blues’ percentage likely to be enough to see them finish above Geelong even with the most unlikely of losses against last placed Southern Sabres. The importance of a win for Frankston will be grabbing a home final against Nunawading, and avoiding the remote possibility that they do drop to fourth and face Ballarat on the road. Nunawading face an equally lowly side in Eltham Wildcats this round so chances are the top three will not move. The two games that will not have any bearing on the finals race are twelfth placed Albury Wodonga Bandits hosting fourteenth placed Knox Raiders, and eleventh placed Diamond Valley Eagles hosting last placed Southern Sabres.

Round 15 fixture:

Friday, July 19:

Hobart Huskies (10th, 9-10) vs. Waverley Falcons (9th, 10-8)

Saturday, July 20:

Geelong Supercats (4th, 12-7) vs. Bendigo Braves (8th, 10-9)
Diamond Valley Eagles (11th, 8-11) vs. Southern Sabres (18th, 5-13)
Kilsyth Cobras (5th, 11-8) vs. Dandenong Rangers (6th, 10-8)
North West Thunder (15th, 7-12) vs. Waverley Falcons (9th, 10-8)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (12th, 8-11) vs. Knox Raiders (14th, 7-12)
Ballarat Miners (1st, 16-3) vs. Melbourne Tigers (7th, 10-8)
Eltham Wildcats (17th, 6-12) vs. Nunawading Spectres 2nd, (13-6)

Sunday, July 21:

Southern Sabres (18th, 5-13) vs. Frankston Blues (3rd, 13-6)
Dandenong Rangers (6th, 10-8) vs. Ringwood Hawks (16th, 6-13)
Melbourne Tigers (7th, 10-8) vs. Eltham Wildcats (17th, 6-12)

If favourites win, finals positions:

1st Ballarat Miners
2nd Nunawading Spectres
3rd Frankston Blues
4th Geelong Supercats
5th Kilsyth Cobras
6th Waverley Falcons
7th Dandenong Rangers
8th Melbourne Tigers

Week 1 finals:

QF: Ballarat Miners vs. Geelong Supercats
QF: Nunawading Spectres vs. Frankston Blues
EF: Kilsyth Cobras vs. Melbourne Tigers
EF: Waverley Falcons vs. Dandenong Rangers

NBL1 weekend preview: Round 14

A huge weekend of National Basketball League (NBL)1 kicks off tomorrow night with the 16th placed Eltham Wildcats hosting the Basketball Australia CoE in 15th at Eltham High School. With only two rounds left of the regular season, teams are more determined than ever to lock down a top-four position. The Bendigo Braves will follow up the night, facing the Albury Wodonga Bandits and hoping to keep their top-eight spot as we near the end of the season.

On Saturday, the Hobart Huskies open the fixture against Basketball Australia. The Huskies sit just one spot out of the eight, hoping to get an easy win against the lower-ranked side. The Nunawading Spectres will look to hold their spot in second against a formidable, fifth-placed Kilsyth Cobras. The night continues with the Ringwood Hawks going up against North West Thunder at home, with the Knox Raiders looking likely to ruin Bendigo’s final chances with a win at home. The Ballarat Miners should have an easy outing at home where they face the 10th placed Waverley Falcons, while Albury Wodonga Bandits shape up for their second game of the weekend against a finals ready, Dandenong Rangers. With teams knocking one win behind Dandenong in ninth and 10th, the Rangers will hope to avoid a poor result.

On Sunday, the Diamond Valley Eagles open things up with a home-game against the North West Thunder. Kilsyth Cobras look to go back-to-back against the Frankston Blues, with a win over the dominant side likely snaring them a top-four spot – while a win for the Blues sees them contest for second spot at seven consecutive wins. To continue the night, the Southern Sabres take on Basketball Australia, with the Waverley Falcons hoping for their second positive result for the weekend over the Knox Raiders – still being a small chance of making finals. Similarly, the Melbourne Tigers face the Hobart Huskies in a must-win game for the final match of the round. A win for either side drastically betters their chances come finals, while a loss possibly ruining their contention.

Round 14 Fixtures:

Friday July 12:

Eltham Wildcats (16th, 6-11) vs. Basketball Australia CoE (15th, 7-10)
Bendigo Braves (7th, 9-8) vs. Albury Wodonga Bandits (11th, 7-10)

Saturday, July 13:

Hobart Huskies (9th, 8-9) vs. Basketball Australia CoE (15th, 7-10)
Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 13-5) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (5th, 10-7)
Ringwood Hawks (17th, 5-13) vs. North West Thunder (12th, 7-10)
Knox Raiders (14th, 7-10) vs. Bendigo Braves (7th, 9-8)
Ballarat Miners (1st, 16-2) vs. Waverley Falcons (10th, 8-8)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (11th, 7-10) vs. Dandenong Rangers (6th, 9-8)

Sunday, July 14:

Diamond Valley Eagles (13th, 7-11) vs. North West Thunder (12th, 7-10)
Kilsyth Cobras (5th, 10-7) vs. Frankston Blues (3rd, 12-6)
Southern Sabres (18th, 4-13) vs. Basketball Australia CoE (15th, 7-10)
Waverley Falcons (10th, 8-8) vs. Knox Raiders (14th, 7-10)
Melbourne Tigers (8th, 9-8) vs. Hobart Huskies (9th, 8-9)

In the women’s competition, the Bendigo Braves kick off the round against the Albury Wodonga Bandits with the intention of taking top spot back from the Geelong Supercats. The Braves boast a huge nine consecutive win streak, have suffered just one loss this season and sit three wins above third – locking in their top-two finish for finals. In eighth, a win for Bandits will keep finals alive, and with the Eltham Wildcats (ninth) facing the 16th placed, Basketball Australia to cap off Friday’s fixture, a win should keep the Wildcats from passing them.

On Saturday, we open the night with the Hobart Huskies hosting Basketball Australia in Tasmania, followed close by one of the games of the round with the Nunawading Spectres taking on the Kilsyth Cobras – both sides looking to snare a top-four finish. The Albury Wodonga Bandits will follow up the night against the Dandenong Rangers. The Rangers have suffered losses in their last two outings, and the Bandits will have likely come off a difficult contest against the Braves. A win keeps the finals alive for either team. The Waverley Falcons will continue Saturday’s fixture, travelling to Ballarat for a must-win contest against the Rush. Similarly, the Knox Raiders host the Bendigo Braves, where they hope to win with their top-four finish on the line. A team also contesting for a high finish are the Ringwood Hawks, who come up against the Launceston Tornadoes for the last of Saturday’s games.

We open the fixture on Sunday with the Diamond Valley Eagles facing the Launceston Tornadoes in a fight to stay off the bottom. The Kilsyth Cobras look to end the Frankston Blues finals chances and challenge for the top-four in the game following. The Southern Sabres continue with a match at home against Basketball Australia, while the Knox Raiders aim to knock off the Waverley Falcons on the road. The Melbourne Tigers will close out the Round 14 with a match at home against the Hobart Huskies.

Round 14 Fixtures:

Friday July 12:

Bendigo Braves (2nd, 16-1) vs. Albury Wodonga Bandits (8th, 9-8)
Eltham Wildcats (9th, 8-9) vs. Basketball Australia (16th, 3-14)

Saturday July 13:

Hobart Huskies (14th, 6-11) vs. Basketball Australia (16th, 3-14)
Nunawading Spectres (6th, 12-6) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (5th, 12-5)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (8th, 9-8) vs. Dandenong Rangers (7th, 10-7)
Ballarat Rush (13th, 7-11) vs. Waverley Falcons (11th, 7-9)
Knox Raiders (3rd, 13-4) vs. Bendigo Braves (2nd, 16-1)
Ringwood Hawks (4th, 13-5) vs. Launceston Tornadoes (17th, 3-14)

Sunday July 14:

Diamond Valley Eagles (18th, 2-16) vs. Launceston Tornadoes (17th, 3-14)
Kilsyth Cobras (5th, 12-5) vs. Frankston Blues (10th 7-11)
Southern Sabres (15th, 4-13) vs. Basketball Australia (16th, 3-14)
Waverley Falcons (11th, 7-9) vs. Knox Raiders (3rd, 13-4)
Melbourne Tigers (12th, 7-10) vs. Hobart Huskies (14th, 6-11)

NBL1 Men’s Round 12 review: Miners lock up double chance

BALLARAT Miners have secured the double chance in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition, moving four and a half games ahead of fifth placed Kilsyth Cobras with just four games remaining. The Cobras do have a game in hand meaning they could theoretically move past the Miners should they win all their games and Ballarat lose all their games, but they face fourth placed Frankston Blues on the run home meaning there is no way the Miners can drop out of the top four. Ballarat made it possible thanks to a narrow six-point win over Diamond Valley Eagles at home. The Miners never had it their own way, trailing by as much as seven points at the final break, before piling on 18 points to five in the final term to run out 79-73 victors. Kuany Kuany topscored with 19 points as well as six assists, four rebounds and three steals, while Josh Fox (12 points and 15 rebounds) and Deng Acuoth (11 points, 11 rebounds) picked up double-doubles and Jerry Evans Jr (14 points, nine rebounds and three assists) was not far off one either. Anthony Odunsi was the standout for the Eagles with 26 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Ben Allen (17 points, eight rebounds and three assists) was also solid for the losing side.

Diamond Valley Eagles had a second loss in a tough fixturing round – playing the top two sides – going down to second placed Nunawading Spectres, 97-109. The Spectres won every quarter, but by no more than five points in a tight contest that saw one of the title contenders prevail well. Tom Wright sank 27 points as well as eight rebounds and three assists for the winners, while Lucas Walker (15 points, nine rebounds), Simon Conn (15 points, eight rebounds) and Dain Swetalla (19 points, six rebounds) were all strong off the boards. Shane McDonald was the playmaker for the side with nine assists to accompany his 10 points and three rebounds in the win. Logan Hovey was a standout for the Eagles, finishing with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Matt Reynolds (15 points, four rebounds) and Odunsi (11 points, seven rebounds and five assists) were also productive in defeat. In the Spectres’ other game, they triumphed by three points over Ringwood Hawks in a thriller. Like the Miners, the Spectres were forced to come from behind, trailing by five points at the final break having lost the first three quarters. But as every great side does, Nunawading found a way and broke through for a home victory. Swetalla (19 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Conn (18 points, 10 rebounds) picked up double-doubles while Wright had another big game, posting 20 points, three rebounds and four assists in the win. Matthew Fennell (22 points, seven rebounds) and Adrien Sturt (19 points, six rebounds and two blocks) were the best for the losers.

After the narrow loss, Ringwood had to back up against Knox Raiders the next day, but were overwhelmed as the Raiders kept their finals hopes alive in the 114-97 win. Despite a dominant second term by the Hawks which saw them take a five-point lead into the main break, the Raiders had their measure, slamming home 65 points to 43 in a dominant second half performance on their way to a 17-point success. Damon Heuir led the way with 25 points, one of six Raiders to reach double figures as Cadarian Raines (18 points, 12 rebounds and three assists) picked up a double double and Mike Rose (18 points, six rebounds and nine assists) was not far behind. Sturt again impressed for the Hawks in defeat with 24 points and two rebounds, while Fennell picked up a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Jacob Gibson worked hard for 16 points, two rebounds and three assists.

Knox’s finals hopes remained alive thanks to losses to the teams just inside the eight such as Waverley Falcons (now ninth) and Melbourne Tigers (sixth but just half a game in front). The Falcons went down to cellar dwellers Southern Sabres in the final match of the round, losing 77-91. In a dominant last term, the Sabres came from three points down to post 27-10 and run away 91-77 winners. Sam McDaniel (15 points, 12 rebounds and four assists) picked up a double-double, while Rhys Carter (21 points, five rebounds and three assists), Jaden Weldon (14 points) and Callan McDonald (10 points, eight rebounds) were all busy. For the Falcons, Deondre McWhorter‘s double-double (20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks) caused headaches for the visitors, while Tim Liesting (21 points, three rebounds and three assists) and Dylan Travis (17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists) came close to a double-double himself.

The Tigers’ trip down south was not a pleasant one, dropping both games to North West Thunder (eight points) and Hobart Huskies (21 points) to now sit a game off fourth and only half a game inside the top eight. In the Thunder’s loss, the Tigers started strongly to lead by seven points at the first break, but the Thunder pulled back over the next three quarters to draw level by the final buzzer, then finish stronger in overtime scoring 15-7 to win 90-82. Nick Banyard posted 24 points, 15 rebounds and three assists in a massive game, while Jordan Bowling (16 points, 12 rebounds) also picked up a double-double. Kai Woodfall (21 points, three rebounds and two assists) and Reyne Smith (11 points, three rebounds, two assists and three steals) were also productive. Mike Wells (23 points, six rebounds and four assists) was impressive for the Tigers, but it was Nic Pozoglou back to his best, posting a double-double of 20 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and three steals to tighten the screws on the Thunder. Young star William Hickey helped himself to 16 points, six rebounds and three assists in one of his best games for the year. The Tigers were no match for the Huskies in their clash, as Hobart’s Jalen Adams produced a huge 28-point game, well aided by partner-in-crime Tad Dufelmeier (12 points, nine rebounds and seven assists) and Jacob Richards (13 points, nine rebounds and two assists) off the boards. Pozoglou again looked impressive with 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Hickey had 18 points and nine rebounds in defeat.

In one of the most crucial games of the round heading into the weekend, Dandenong Rangers were able to breathe a sigh of relief, defeating Kilsyth Cobras by 11 points at home. The Rangers trailed by a point at half-time but went on with it in the second half courtesy of a 45-33 performance. Lucas Barker (24 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists) was just one rebound off a triple-double, while Dexter Kernich-Drew (21 points, two rebounds) and Matt Kenyon (17 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals) were also solid. It was an even performance across the board for the Cobras despite the defeat, with Michael Wearne (17 points, four rebounds), Felix Van Hofe (17 points, five rebounds) and Tohi Smith-Milner (14 points, seven rebounds) all balancing between scoring and rebounding work. The Cobras loss opened the door for the resurgent Frankston who took the opportunity with both hands as they dismissed Albury Wodonga Bandits, 120-105 in a high-scoring contest on the road. In a remarkable final term, the Blues scored a competition-high 41 points in a quarter to race away with the victory. Damon Bozeman recorded an equal game-high 26 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals, while Daniel Trist (15 points, 13 rebounds) picked up a double-double, while Igor Hadziomerovic (19 points, five rebounds) and Majok Majok (14 points, eight rebounds and three assists) were also terrific. Torren Jones (26 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks) was the standout for the Bandits in the loss, while Deba George (24 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals) and Cirkook Riak (19 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals) also tried hard throughout.

In the other two games, Geelong Supercats proved too good for Southern Sabres, winning 89-78 thanks to Lewis Thomas (22 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals), Anthony Williams (20 points, two rebounds and five assists), Demarcus Gatlin (16 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals) and Ma’alo Hicks (14 points, 11 rebounds and two assists). The Sabres’ David Barlow (18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists) came agonisingly close to a triple-double, while McDaniel was busy again with 17 points and nine rebounds – almost a double-double. Meanwhile Bendigo Braves came from 14 points down at half-time to run out four-point victors on the road against Eltham Wildcats thanks to a 59-41 second half to remain in the eight by half a game. Ray Turner was the difference with 36 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks in a huge game for the Braves, well assisted by Mathiang Muo (16 points) and Daniel Hansen (13 points, four rebounds and six assists). Adam Doyle was the top scorer for the Wildcats, finishing with 22 points, seven assists and three rebounds, while Josh Sykes (19 points, eight rebounds, two steals and three blocks) and Geremy McKay (17 points, 12 rebounds and two assists) were their usual impressive selves.

Round 12 results:

North West Thunder 90 defeated Melbourne Tigers 82
Dandenong Rangers 95 defeated Kilsyth Cobras 84
Southern Sabres 78 defeated by Geelong Supercats 89
Nunawading Spectres 99 defeated Ringwood Hawks 96
Albury Wodonga Bandits 105 defeated by Frankston Blues 120
Hobart Huskies 102 defeated Melbourne Tigers 81
Ballarat Miners 79 defeated Diamond Valley Eagles 73
Eltham Wildcats 88 defeated by Bendigo Braves 92
Diamond Valley Eagles 97 defeated by Nunawading Spectres 109
Knox Raiders 114 defeated Ringwood Hawks 97
Waverley Falcons 77 defeated by Southern Sabres 91

NBL1 weekend preview: Round 12

WITH four rounds remaining in the regular season, National Basketball League (NBL)1 sides have between three and six matches remaining for the 2019 season. In the men’s competition, Ballarat Miners, Nunawading Spectres and Geelong Supercats will be contesting finals, while Southern Sabres and Ringwood Hawks are two sides out of the running. The mid-table log-jam makes it an enticing run home, with plenty of sides still well and truly in contention for not only finals, but a top four spot.

At the top, Ballarat Miners look as safe as houses to lock up the minor premiership, three games clear of the next highest in Nunawading and Geelong. The Miners host the tenth placed Eagles, whom have to then back up against the second placed Spectres in an unlucky weekend of fixturing for them. The two losses will likely end their finals hopes, and keep alive the likes of Knox Raiders (who face seventeenth placed Ringwood Hawks) and Bendigo Braves (who take on thirteenth placed Eltham Wildcats). Both Tasmanian sides face Melbourne Tigers, with the Tigers knocked out of the top four and keen to jump back in and secure a double-chance. Kilsyth Cobras hold fourth as it stands, and they have a massive clash against eighth placed Dandenong Rangers who are narrowly clinging onto a finals position.

Geelong have cellar dwellers Southern Sabres on Saturday, however the Sabres and Hawks both had wins last round to show that they could have bearing on the finals series even without participating in it. The Waverley Falcons also take on the Sabres, and a win is crucial to potentially gain breathing space inside the top eight. In the other game, sixteenth placed Albury Wodonga Bandits host sixth placed Frankston Blues, with the Bandits all but out barring a miracle, while the Blues will still be sniffing out a double-chance by continuing their great form of late.

Round 12 fixtures:

Friday, June 28:

North West Thunder (14th, 6-9) vs. Melbourne Tigers (5th, 9-5)

Saturday, June 29:

Dandenong Rangers (8th, 7-8) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (4th, 9-5)
Southern Sabres (18th, 3-11) vs. Geelong Supercats (3rd, 10-6)
Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 10-5) vs. Ringwood Hawks (17th, 5-10)
Eltham Wildcats (13th, 6-9) vs. Bendigo Braves (9th, 7-8)
Hobart Huskies (15th, 6-8) vs. Melbourne Tigers (5th, 9-5)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (16th, 6-9) vs. Frankston Blues (6th, 9-6)
Ballarat Miners (1st, 13-2) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (10th, 7-8)

Sunday, June 30:

Diamond Valley Eagles (10th, 7-8) vs. Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 10-5)
Knox Raiders (12th, 6-9) vs. Ringwood Hawks (17th, 5-10)
Waverley Falcons (7th, 8-6) vs. Southern Sabres (18th, 3-11)

In the women’s competition, Geelong, Bendigo Braves, Knox Raiders and Ringwood Hawks will all be contesting in the finals series, with Dandenong Rangers and Nunawading Spectres all but home and hosed, leaving two spots available from the remaining 12 teams. Of those teams, one can put a line through Diamond Valley Eagles, Launceston Tornadoes, Southern Sabres and Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence, with the writing on the wall for Ballarat Rush, Hobart Huskies and Waverley Falcons. Of the sides genuinely battling for a top eight spot, Kilsyth Cobras and Albury Wodonga Bandits hold the crucial seventh and eighth place, with Eltham Wildcats a game behind, while Frankston Blues and Melbourne Tigers sit tenth and eleventh as they try and find a way into the top eight.

Looking ahead to the Round 12 fixtures, it does not get much bigger than Albury Wodonga Bandits hosting Frankston Blues. A loss for the Blues almost certainly means finals is going to be a long shot, dropping three games out of the eight with what will be just four games remaining by the end of the round. In fact, if Albury Wodonga gets up, it will reduce the possible finalists down to as little as nine, if Melbourne Tigers suffer losses down in Tasmania. The Tigers are expected to notch up two wins against the lowly Hobart Huskies and Launceston Tornadoes, but even one loss would all but spell disaster for the Tigers’ finals hopes.

The other big match is between fifth placed Dandenong Rangers – who finally snapped their four-game losing streak with a win last round, up against seventh placed Kilsyth Cobras. A loss for the Rangers could make it tough to secure a double-chance, while a loss to the Wildcats could mean they slip two games outside the eight, and will likely need to win their last four to secure a finals spot. If Ringwood Hawks can hand Nunawading Spectres a loss, then the Hawks will go a long way to booking a double chance, while the Spectres top four hopes will be on the rocks. A win over Knox on Sunday will all but guarantee the Hawks a top four spot, but a win to Knox will see the top three locked up, barring a complete disaster.

Geelong and Bendigo sit pretty at the top of the table and do not have too much to be concerned about, with the Supercats likely to cruise past sixteenth placed Southern Sabres, while the Braves must overcome a desperate Eltham. In other matches, Ballarat Rush host Diamond Valley Eagles on Saturday, before the Eagles host Nunawading on Sunday, while Waverley also hosts Southern Sabres in the final game of the round.

Round 12 fixtures:

Friday, June 28:

Launceston Tornadoes (17th, 3-12) vs. Melbourne Tigers (11th, 6-8)

Saturday, June 29:

Dandenong Rangers (5th, 10-5) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (7th, 9-5)
Southern Sabres (16th, 3-11) vs. Geelong Supercats (1st, 15-1)
Nunawading Spectres (6th, 10-5) vs. Ringwood Hawks (4th, 11-4)
Eltham Wildcats (9th, 7-8) vs. Bendigo Braves (2nd, 14-1)
Hobart Huskies (13th, 5-9) vs. Melbourne Tigers (11th, 6-8)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (8th, 8-7) vs. Frankston Blues (10th, 6-9)
Ballarat Rush (14th, 5-10) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (18th, 2-13)

Sunday, June 30:

Diamond Valley Eagles (18th, 2-13) vs. Nunawading Spectres (6th, 10-5)
Knox Raiders (3rd, 12-3) vs. Ringwood Hawks (4th, 11-4)
Waverley Falcons (12th, 5-9) vs. Southern Sabres (16th, 3-11)

NBL1 Men’s Round 11 review: Hooley’s triple double sinks Spectres

A TRIPLE-double to Kilsyth Cobras’ Peter Hooley was the highlight of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 Round 11 competition, with some surprising results. The Cobras downed Nunawding Spectres by 12 points in what was a forgettable weekend for the visitors, also going down to Waverley Falcons at home. Kilsyth became the first home side to post victory over the Spectres this season, testament to Nunawading’s superior ability to get the job done on the road. The Cobras made sure they had the ascendancy early, taking a nine-point lead into half-time, then extending that by as much as 21 by the final break. The Spectres hit back in the final term to cut the final margin to 12, but it was a case of too little, too late. Hooley was dominant all over the court with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, while Tohi Smith-Milner (26 points, 13 rebounds, three assists), Isaac Turner (13 points, four rebounds) and Michael Wearne (13 points, two rebounds) were also important on the scoring end. For the Spectres, Costa Hronopoulos (25 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Simon Conn (22 points, seven rebounds and two assists) were the two who caused the most headaches for the home side.

Nunawading also suffered a devastating overtime loss to finals-bound Waverley Falcons, going down 101-94. The teams could not be split at the full-time buzzer after the Spectres remarkably came back from 15 points down at the main break to claw their way back and draw level. It was the Falcons who found the momentum in extra time, scoring 15 points to eight in the seven-point victory. Deondre McWhorter (33 points, five rebounds and two assists) and Dylan Travis (26 points, 10 rebounds and four assists) were dominant, while Bennie Lewis (15 points, nine rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks) was everywhere. For the Spectres, Conn had another superb game with 24 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Hronopoulos (21 points, eight rebounds and six assists) and Ben Ayre (20 points, six rebounds, eight assists and three steals) all found plenty of buckets on the attacking end. The day before, Waverley went down to a determined Diamond Valley Eagles side, 99-94. Trailing by as much as 14 points at the main break, the Falcons hit back in the second half, but could not force their way in front, going down by five points. Joel Spear was the star for the Eagles with 32 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals), while Logan Hovey (26 points, eight rebounds and two assists) and Anthony Odunsi (18 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals) were also prominent from a scoring perspective. McWhorter was best on court in the loss, posting a mammoth 37 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while Lewis (24 points, three rebounds and four assists) was able to contribute on the scoring end as was Tim Liesting (six points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks) off the defensive board.

A team that had a mixed weekend of results Ringwood Hawks, went down to Eltham Wildcats by 28 points, before securing a narrow seven-point win over Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (CoE). The Wildcats proved a bit too strong at home against the Hawks, winning all four quarters on their way to a 107-89 triumph. Adam Doyle was excellent for the home side, registering 31 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals, while Geremy McKay helped himself to 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the win. Ben Waldren (17 points), Dave Schaffert (17 points, two rebounds and three assists) and Josh Sykes (11 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks) also reached double-figure points in the victory. Adrien Sturt was the top scorer for Ringwood with 15 points, as well as four rebounds and two assists, while Shaun Clarke had 10 points and nine rebounds in a strong effort. In an even better performance, the Hawks toppled the CoE by seven points, having built up a 13-point lead at the main break, before holding on to eventually get home, 101-94. Sturt posted a round-high 42 points, as well as six rebounds and six assists, shooting at an impressive 66.7 per cent from the field, and 85.7 per cent from three-point range. Joey Miller (20 points, four rebounds, eight assists and three steals) and Matthew Fennell (17 points, six rebounds and two steals) were the other two notable scorers. Josh Bannan led the way for the CoE, finishing with 26 points, five rebounds, eight assists and four steals, while Angus Glover helped himself to 21 points, and Hunter Clarke finished with 17. Meanwhile the day before, Melbourne Tigers knocked off the CoE, 96-61 in a convincing victory. Mike Wells led the points scoring for the Tigers with 19, as well as four rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Dave Pineau (15 points, nine rebounds), Michael Luxford (15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists) and Nic Pozoglou (seven points, 16 rebounds and six teals) were impressive off the boards. For the CoE, Clarke was the dominant scorer with 16 points, nine rebounds and two assists, while Bannan had another 11 rebounds, and Kian Dennis shot 14 points and had three rebounds, three assists and two steals.

In the other game on Sunday, top-of-the-table Ballarat Miners moved three games clear on top thanks to a 10-point win over Albury Wodonga Bandits. Jerry Evans Jr had another day out with 28 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while Kuany Kuany (20 points, three rebounds and three assists), Josh Fox (15 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and three steals) and Deng Acuoth (seven points, 10 rebounds and four blocks) all worked hard in the victory. For the Bandits, Cirkook Riak managed 26 points and six rebounds, Deba George helped himself to 23 points, four rebounds and a game-high nine assists, while Torren Jones picked up a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds in the loss. There was some celebration over the weekend for the Bandits however, knocking off Southern Sabres by 23 points on the road. Jones (31 points, 17 rebounds and two steals) picked up another double-double, while partner-in-crime Ken-Jah Bosley posted 30 points, three rebounds and three steals. George was the other dominant scorer with 26 points, three rebounds, eight assists and two steals. In the Sabres loss, it was the usual duo of David Barlow (25 points, eight rebounds and two steals) and Sam McDaniel (21 points, four rebounds and two steals) who were among their best.

A team that maintained its percentage lead over the Bandits was Hobart Huskies, who knocked off Knox Raiders on Friday night in a three-point thriller. The Huskies came from 13 points down at quarter time to storm to the front in the third term and lead by three at the final break before a topsy-turvy final term saw that deficit remain by the final buzzer. Tad Dufelmeier posted 23 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and five steals, while Jalen Adams (17 points, eight rebounds), Zachary White (16 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals) and Jack Stanwix (17 points, three rebounds and three assists) were also busy in the match. Adam Thoseby (25 points) led the way for the Raiders, while James Hunter picked up a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, as did Cadarian Raines, registering 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Raiders rebounded from the loss to the Huskies to knock off the other Tasmanian side in North West Thunder, getting up by 13 points. Thoseby again top scored with 22 points and six rebounds, while Raines (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Hunter (10 points, 12 rebounds) picked up double-doubles in the second game as well. Lachlan Dent (12 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals) was solid for the Thunder, while Jordan Bowling (16 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals) was the losing side’s best. The Thunder was returning from an unsuccessful trip to Geelong on the Friday night, going down to the Supercats by five points in a gallant effort. The Thunder shocked the home crowd to lead by 11 points at quarter time, but by the main break, the Supercats were up by three in a change of fortunes. That margin was five by the final break and it was enough to see them hold on by that margin with an even final term. Ma’alo Hicks had 20 points, four rebounds, two assists and four steals in the win, while Lewis Thorne (18 points, 11 rebounds picked up a double-double) and Demarcus Gatlin (nine points, six rebounds and six assists) played an all-round game. Bowling again top scored for the Thunder with 19 points as well as seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Nick Banyard (16 points, nine rebounds) and Joseph Chilcott (15 points, seven rebounds and two steals) were also productive in defeat.

In the other game over the weekend, Frankston Blues got up over Dandenong Rangers by 12 points, knocking their neighbouring rivals down to eighth, and now sit just percentage outside the top four in a remarkable season revival. Lachlan Barker scored 23 points, nine rebounds and five steals, while Daniel Trist (18 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals), Najeal Young (15 points, nine rebounds and two steals) and Damon Bozeman (16 points, two rebounds and four assists) were all impressive for the Blues. Matt Kenyon (19 points, four rebounds and three assists) led the way for the Rangers, while Lucas Barker (15 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals), Tim Lang (14 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Dexter Kernich-Drew (10 points, 10 rebounds) were others who stood up despite the defeat.

Round 11:

Geelong Supercats 79 defeated North West Thunder 74
Hobart Huskies 89 defeated Knox Raiders 86
Melbourne Tigers 96 defeated Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 61
Southern Sabres 84 defeated by Albury Wodonga Bandits 107
Dandenong Rangers 82 defeated by Frankston Blues 94*
Diamond Valley Eagles 99 defeated Waverley Falcons 94
Bendigo Braves 84 defeated by Ballarat Miners 88
Kilsyth Cobras 99 defeated Nunawading Spectres 87
North West Thunder 61 defeated by Knox Raiders 74
Eltham Wildcats 107 defeated Ringwood Hawks 89
Ballarat Miners 103 defeated Albury Wodonga Bandits 93
Ringwood Hawks 101 defeated Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 94
Nunawading Spectres 94 defeated by Waverley Falcons 101