Tag: nick banyard

NBL1 South Men’s team summary: North West Thunder

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 North West Thunder team that finished 13th overall after a promising start to the season.

2019 in Review:

Finished: 13th
Wins: 8
Losses: 12
Home: 5-6
Away: 3-6

What went right:

  • Offensive Rebounding (25.8 per game, ranked fourth overall)
  • Had seven teenagers out of a 13 player roster heading into the year
  • Defeated Waverley Falcons and Hobart Chargers twice
  • Had a win-loss record of 5-4 after nine games
  • Nick Banyard and Jordan Bowling’s seasons

Whilst the season might have finished in less than ideal circumstances for the Thunder, they certainly still showed plenty of promise throughout as they set themselves up for the future. Holding a 5-4 record early in the year after nine games, albeit from a yo-yo form line, the Thunder were able to take in the youngest team in the competition with seven of the 13 listed players still teenagers. With only one player – Paul Campbell – above 30-years-old and only two more above 25, it was quite a tough task for coach Sam Armstrong against more experienced sides. Nick Banyard led the way for his team throughout the season, as the 25-year-old 203cm center/forward had team-highs in points and rebounds, to provide a strong body off the boards, while Jordan Bowling could hold his head high not far behind. The Thunder also ranked fourth overall for offensive rebounds with 25.8 per game, and managed to topple Waverley Falcons and cross-state rivals, Hobart Chargers twice. Once the losses started mounting up it made it difficult for the Thunder, but there was still plenty to take out of it for the Ulverstone-based side.

What went wrong:

  • Lost seven of their last 11 games
  • Could not string back-to-back wins together and only won two games outside Tasmania
  • Offence (84.6 points per game, ranked 15th overall, two-point field goal percentage – 46.2 – ranked 18th overall)

The last half of the season fell away for the Thunder, losing seven of their last 11, to slip down the ladder and comfortably miss out on finals. The key reason was a lack of scoring, averaging just 84.6 points per game to be ranked 15th overall, and their two-point field goal percentage stood at 46.2 – the worst in the competition. Not being able to string back-to-back wins together would have been frustrating, but again understandable given the age bracket of the team, and the continuity issues that come with having to travel interstate regularly. They won just the two games outside Victoria in season 2019, something the Thunder will look to build on in 2021.

Top Players:

Nick Banyard

The top points scorer for the Thunder averaged 17.9 points per game, and almost a double-double for the season with 9.2 rebounds per match as well. Banyard averaged 2.9 assists and almost a steal per game with 45.1 per cent accuracy from the field. He shot just five of 24 three-point attempts, and was a bit shaky from the free-throw line (63.8 per cent) but you could not fault his work off the boards or his ability to put up a high volume of shots.

Jordan Bowling

Playing every game and one of only two players to start in every match, Bowling averaged 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Another one of North West Thunder’s 25-year-olds on the roster, Bowling teamed up well with Banyard and left plenty for the future, shooting at a higher rate at both the foul line (75 per cent) and three-point range (37.6 per cent). Bowling also averaged 2.8 assists and almost a steal per game across the season.

Paul Campbell

The experienced veteran was the oldest in the team entering the season and provided great presence to his younger teammates through a tough season. He took the court in every game, starting 14 times and averaging 9.6 points and 8.4 rebounds. Like every sensible 208cm center, Campbell did not attempt a three-pointer throughout the season, but he did finish with a high two-point accuracy of 64.3 per cent.

Young Gun:

Tre Armstrong

An exciting player with plenty of upside after being in the United States, Armstrong was a buzz for the Thunder throughout 12 games in the season. He averaged 16.3 points per game and was one of the more dominant three-point shooters across the competition with an average of 40.6 per cent. His field goal percentage as a whole was solid at 43.3 per cent, while he also finished the year with 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Having just exited his teenage years, Armstrong still has plenty to offer in the future, regardless of the level he plays at.

Christmas list for 2021:

Scoring power. The Thunder had a clear deficiency in this area, with only one of the top three scorers playing every game (Bowling). With the other two combining for 29 of a possible 40 games between them, North West Thunder just simply have to find another couple of avenues to goal to help with depth. If they can do that, the Thunder can compete with the higher echelon teams throughout the competition and look dangerous for season 2021.

Summary:

The North West Thunder might not have had an ideal start to their NBL1 history in 2019, but they showed when they have a full-strength squad that they are no pushovers. If they can make adjustments to the list for 2021, and the teenagers come on in the future, then watch out as they look to grow the group and develop them together.

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 14 review: Waverley upsets minor premiers to keep finals dream alive

JUST 10 teams remain in the hunt for National Basketball League (NBL)1 finals after a big round of action over the weekend. Seven of the nine games on Friday and Saturday were won by the visiting teams in what would have been a disappointing round for home crowds. Three of the top four is settled with Ballarat Miners, Nunawading Spectres and Frankston Blues all earning double chances this year, while Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence’s season is now complete, currently sitting thirteenth but could slip to sixteenth depending on results in the final round next weekend.

Waverley Falcons’ never-say-die attitude was the highlight on the round as they strung together back-to-back wins over Knox Raiders, and remarkably, minor premiers Ballarat Miners. The on the road win against the Miners was the Falcons best of the season, winning by 13 points on Saturday. The Falcons started and finished strongly which was enough to get them the win in the 90-77 game, as Deondre McWhorter (29 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) and Dylan Travis (21 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and two steals) went to work. Deng Acuoth (21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks) picked up a double-double for the Miners, while Sam Short (15 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals) was also prominent for the losing side. The Falcons then backed it up with a 10-point victory over Knox at home, with McWhorter (20 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and two blocks) and Travis (18 points, seven rebounds and five assists) again amongst the best, whilst Bennie Lewis top scored with 26 points. For the Raiders, Cadarian Raines (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Damon Heuir (15 points, six rebounds and four assists) were the two players to reach double-figure points.

Knox Raiders disappointing weekend was compounded by an earlier loss to Bendigo Braves, going down by just two points at home. Heuir again did all he could with 21 points, while James Hunter (13 points, seven rebounds) was the top player for the home side in the 2defeat. For the Braves, they had Ray Turner (26 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks) who was dominant once again, while Mathiang Muo (19 points, six rebounds) and Deonte Burton (12 points, five rebounds) were also busy in the win. The Braves bounced back from a home win the night before when they went down to Albury Wodonga Bandits on Friday. Bendigo led at quarter time but were overpowered after that to lose, 93-82. Muo (22 points, seven rebounds) again had some great work off the boards, while Turner (14 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Matthew Andronicos (13 points, four rebounds and two blocks) were also solid. The Bandits had too many scoring options however as Torren Jones (22 points, nine rebounds and four steals), Deba George (21 points, four rebounds, five assists and five steals) and Ken-Jah Bosley (20 points, four rebounds, seven assists and three steals) all combined to form a dominant scoring trio.

Basketball Centre of Excellence’s (CoE) weekend came to a close with one win from three games, defeating Eltham Wildcats on Friday night by four points, before going down to Hobart Huskies (18 points) and Southern Sabres (four points) in games on Saturday and Sunday respectively. In the CoE’s win over Eltham, Angus Glover (29 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals) was prominent, while Tamuri Wigness (18 points, three rebounds and six assists) and Hunter Clarke (12 points, seven rebounds and six assists) were also very good. For the Wildcats, Adam Doyle (24 points, three steals) top scored, while Dave Schaffert (21 points, two rebounds) also finished with a strong points tally. Geremy Mckay was the most dominant across the court with 12 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in the loss. In the CoE’s loss to Hobart, Clarke was the sole scorer over 20 points with 25, as well as four rebounds, whilst Josh Kunen came close to a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds, as did Kian Dennis (12 points, nine rebounds) and Wil Tattersall (eight points, nine rebounds). For the Huskies, Matthew Young (28 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals), Jalen Adams (26 points, two rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Tad Dufelmeier (18 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals) were brilliant once again. After leading at three quarter time, the CoE went down to cellar dwellers Southern Sabres on Sunday. Glover (21 points, five rebounds) and Wigness (22 points, four rebounds and 12 assists) were busy, as were Kunen (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Tattersall (18 points, eight rebounds). Damaging Sabres’ duo David Barlow (26 points, five rebounds) and Sam McDaniel (20 points, 10 rebounds) helped get their team home with strong performances.

Frankston’s remarkable winning streak continued on the weekend, making it seven consecutive victories following their win over Kilsyth Cobras. In completing the massive 35-point win, the Blues guaranteed themselves a double chance, sitting third on the table with a round to go. They shared the points around, as Lachlan Barker (19 points, three rebounds), Daniel Trist (15 points, 12 rebounds and three assists) and Damon Bozeman (14 points, five rebounds and three assists) were among six players who reached double-figure points. Isaac Turner was a lone hand for Kilsyth with the Cobras missing star Peter Hooley, and Tohi Smith-Milner suffering an injury early in the game, as Turner finished with 28 points and five rebounds. Also giving themselves best chance of a finals spot was Dandenong Rangers who overcame Albury Wodonga Bandits in a 21-point victory on the road. Sam Froling was terrific with 29 points, three rebounds and two assists, while Lucas Barker (21 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals) was the Rangers’ best. Bosley was the most prominent scorer for the Bandits with 20 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Jones racked up a mammoth 19 rebounds to go with his 13 points. Kilsyth did get a win on the weekend when they triumphed over top two side Nunawading Spectres by five points on the road. Turner posted 26 points, whilst Smith-Milner showed his importance to the Cobras with 18 points and 18 rebounds – 16 defensive – to be a serious problem for the Spectres. Tom Wright had a match-high 28 points for the Spectres, as well as five rebounds and five assists, while Lucas Walker (15 points, nine rebounds) was also prominent despite the loss.

Outside the Huskies’ win over the CoE, it was not a great weekend for the Tasmanian sides, with the Huskies going down to Melbourne Tigers by a heartbreaking one-point margin, while North West Thunder suffered defeats at the hands of Ringwood Hawks and Diamond Valley Eagles. The Huskies were blown away by the Tigers in the opening term, but hit back to trail by seven at the main break, and whilst they managed to get back on even terms, fell a points short by the final buzzer. Adams (30 points, eight rebounds) and Dufelmeier (28 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals) renewed their dominance on the court despite it not quite being enough. Melbourne had a quartet of big scorers, with Dane Pineau (31 points, 11 rebounds) and Nic Pozoglou (18 points, 12 rebounds) picking up double-doubles, as did Michael Luxford (12 points, 11 rebounds). North West Thunder capitulated after half-time, having raced out to a 17-point lead, only for Ringwood to pile on 59 points to 28 in a complete rout. Matthew Fennell (18 points, 10 rebounds) helped himself to a double-double for the Hawks, while Adrien Sturt (16 points, six rebounds and four blocks) and Jacob Gibson (16 points, three rebounds and three assists) were busy. For the Thunder, Nick Banyard (22 points, seven rebounds) top scored, whilst Jordan Bowling picked up a double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds. In the 14-point loss to Diamond Valley Eagles, Banyard and Bowling combined for 43 points, 22 rebounds, six assists and four steals as the two dominant players in the loss. The Eagles shared it around with three key scorers, led by Logan Hovey (25 points, nine rebounds and three assists) and Anthony Odunsi (25 points, two rebounds and six assists), while Ben Allen (22 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and three steals) had a double-double.

Round 14 results:

Eltham Wildcats 87 defeated by Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 91
Bendigo Braves 82 defeated by Albury Wodonga Bandits 93
Nunawading Spectres 82 defeated by Kilsyth Cobras 87
Albury Wodonga Bandits 83 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 104
Ballarat Miners 77 defeated by Waverley Falcons 90
Hobart Huskies 105 defeated Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 87
Ringwood Hawks 90 defeated North West Thunder 76*
Knox Raiders 78 defeated by Bendigo Braves 80
Kilsyth Cobras 58 defeated by Frankston Blues 93
Southern Sabres 92 defeated Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 88
Diamond Valley Eagles 104 defeated North West Thunder 90*
Waverley Falcons 83 defeated Knox Raiders 73
Melbourne Tigers 94 defeated Hobart Huskies 93*

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 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

NBL1 Men’s Round 10 review: Sabres show bite in upset, as Miners and Spectres win top-four clashes

SIX of a possible 10 National Basketball League (NBL)1 Men’s games were decided by 10 points or less in a thrilling round of action. Of those games, one included an overtime win to last placed Southern Sabres to upset the Dandenong Rangers, while both top four clashes lived up to expectations with a combined five points separating the sides.

The game of the round was Southern Sabres’ massive upset over the Dandenong Rangers, winning just their third game of the year, while handing the fifth placed Rangers a reality check. The 138-130 high-scoring victory saw the Sabres welcome back both David Barlow and Sam McDaniel, who along with Nicholas Gabsch who did as they pleased. Barlow had 30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals, only bettered in the points stakes by Gabsch, who finished with 32 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal. McDaniel was the playmaker in the attacking half, sinking 22 points while having 12 assists and five rebounds in a big return game. For the Rangers, Dexter Kernich-Drew helped himself to 28 points, two rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while Matt Kenyon (27 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and five steals) and Lucas Barker (22 points, six rebounds, 13 assists and two steals) were also impressive despite the defeat. The loss saw Dandenong drop two places down to seventh after wins to Kilsyth Cobras and Frankston Blues.

The Cobras accounted for Knox Raiders by 13 points in their game despite a really slow start. The Cobras trailed by 13 points at half-time, then something clicked to cut the deficit to seven by the last change, then run away with the game in the final term, shooting 34 points to 15 in a one-sided quarter. Isaac Turner was busy with 24 points, two rebounds, two assists and three steals, while Peter Hooley (15 points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals), Owen Odigie (15 points, five rebounds and three steals) and Tohi Smith-Milner (14 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals) were also productive for the Cobras. For the Raiders, Cadarian Raines were best on court with 19 points, seven rebounds and two assists, while Adam Thoseby also had 19 points, and Mike Rose finished with 10 rebounds and five assists to accompany his nine points. The Raiders were able to turn things around in their second game, leapfrogging the Eltham Wildcats after a 77-72 win over them at home on Sunday. Thoseby was strong in attack with 22 points, while Raiders picked up a casual 18 rebounds and 13 points, while Simon Grant had 12 rebounds and four assists on the day. Adam Doyle was the clear standout for the Wildcats with 32 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Josh Sykes (15 points, seven rebounds and five blocks), Ben Waldren (15 points, four rebounds) and Geremy McKay (11 rebounds, five assists and two steals) all contributed despite the loss.

It was a disappointing weekend for the Wildcats who suffered another narrow defeat the day before, going down to Diamond Valley Eagles by four points. The Eagles dominated the second term by nine points, and despite the Wildcats cutting the last break deficit to three points, could not get the win in the 82-78 defeat. Sykes picked up 25 points, eight rebounds, two steals and four blocks in the loss, while McKay (14 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals) and Doyle (13 points, six rebounds and four assists) enjoyed strong games. For the winners, Logan Hovey had 23 points, six rebounds and two assists, while Darcy Harding had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. Liam Thomas was big off the boards with 12 rebounds to go with his nine points, while Anthony Odunsi had 13 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win.

In the first game of the weekend, Frankston Blues continued their great form to knock off Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence on the road, and move up to sixth place on the table. The Blues proved too good over the four quarters despite slipping behind by seven points at the first break, piling on 33 points to 12 as a response in the second quarter. When challenged in the third, the Blues stepped it up again with a 28-17 final term to win, 100-78. Daniel Trist had 21 points and eight rebounds, while Najeal Young (19 points, seven rebounds), Damon Bozeman (17 points, six rebounds and six assists) and Lachlan Barker (16 points, two rebounds and two assists) continued their even contributions throughout games. Josh Bannan was the best for the young stars, adding 17 points and three rebounds, while Hyunjung Lee (14 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Hunter Clarke (10 points, five rebounds and four assists) also reached double figures.

In the two top four clashes, Ballarat Miners and Nunawading Spectres got the points over Geelong Supercats and Melbourne Tigers respectively in their victories. The Miners led throughout the game but never looked entirely comfortable, getting out to an eight-point lead at the final break before the home side cut the full-time deficit to just four in the 62-66 loss. Jerry Evans Jr (19 points, seven rebounds and four blocks) and Marqueze Coleman (17 points) were the key scorers for the Miners, while Josh Fox and Deng Acuoth shared in 26 rebounds while shooting seven points apiece. For the Supercats, Demarcus Gatlin had 22 points, eight rebounds, three assists and seven steals to do all he could for his side, while Lewis Thomas (12 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Nick Owusu (12 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals) were also productive. In Nunawading’s narrow one-point win over Melbourne, the Spectres came from a point down at the final break to post a 19-17 final term to just survive in a 81-80 victory. Simon Conn was best on court for the Spectres with 22 points and 14 rebounds, while Shane McDonald (16 points, two rebounds and five assists) and Costa Hronopoulos (11 points, seven rebounds) were also important in the win. Dane Pineau (22 points, 15 rebounds, six steals and two blocks) was superb in defeat for the Tigers, while Mike Wells (16 points, six rebounds and two assists) was also crucial.

Meanwhile Bendigo Braves all but ended Albury Wodonga Bandits’ chances of finals, while jumping into the top eight themselves courtesy of an on-the-road win at Lauren Jackson Sports Centre. The Braves dominated early to lead by 14 at half-time and were able to control play from there in the 93-83 victory. Deonte Burton (29 points, five assists and three steals) and Mathiang Muo (28 points, five rebounds and two assists) were the dominant scorers for the Braves, while Torren Jones (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Ken-Jah Bosley (16 points, seven rebounds and three assists) were prolific for the Bandits. In the all-Tasmanian battle, North West Thunder got up at home by 21 points over Hobart Huskies. Paul Campbell had his best game of the season with a remarkable 21 points, 21 rebounds, three assists and six blocks in a match-winning effort, while Jordan Bowling (19 points) and Nick Banyard (11 points, 11 rebounds and four assists) also reached double-figure points for the Thunder. Jalen Adams (16 points, five rebounds), Zachary White (10 points, five rebounds and two steals) and Jordan Hargrave (10 points, four rebounds and two assists) were the other ones who scored more than five points in a disappointing loss for the visitors. In the last game of the round, Waverley Falcons got the job done as expected against the lowly Ringwood Hawks in a 97-78 victory. Deondre McWhorter was the standout with 30 points, 19 rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Dylan Travis (18 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and four steals) was everywhere on the court. Despite the loss, Matthew Snow (21 points, seven assists and three rebounds) and Joey Miller (20 points, three rebounds) hung tough for the Hawks.

Round 10 Results:

Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 78 defeated by Frankston Blues 100
Dandenong Rangers 130 defeated by Southern Sabres 138
Geelong Supercats 62 defeated by Ballarat Miners 66
Kilsyth Cobras 90 defeated Knox Raiders 77
North West Thunder 75 defeated Hobart Huskies 54
Eltham Wildcats 78 defeated by Diamond Valley Eagles 82
Albury Wodonga Bandits 83 defeated by Bendigo Braves 93
Knox Raiders 77 defeated Eltham Wildcats 72
Nunawading Spectres 81 defeated Melbourne Tigers 80
Waverley Falcons 87 defeated Ringwood Hawks 78

NBL1 mid-season review: North West Thunder / Launceston Tornadoes

IN the mid-season break, Basketball Draft Central takes a look at each National Basketball League (NBL)1 team in both the men’s and women’s competition and will analyse how they have performed to date, some of their top performers, and the run home to see if they can make finals. Today we analyse the North West Thunder / Launceston Tornadoes, with the Thunder still in contention for a top eight spot if everything goes their way, while the Tornadoes are out of the finals race, but will be keen to finish strongly.

Men:

Position: 13th
Wins: 5
Losses: 7

Home: 2-4
Away: 3-3
Last 10: 5-5

Points For: 1048
Points Against: 1095
Percentage: 95.7
Points: 15

Summary:

It has been an inconsistent start to the season for the Thunder who recorded a pattern of a win then a loss up until three consecutive losses in the past three matches against Ballarat Miners and Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence in Round 8, and Geelong Supercats in Round 9. At that stage, the 5-4 record looked healthy enough, but now the Thunder have a 5-7 win-loss ratio and need to start putting wins on the board. Tre Armstrong (16.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 0.8 steals) started as a one-man show early, but received support from Nick Banyard (17.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists) since he has come into the team, while Jordan Bowling (13.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals) has also picked up with some impressive mid-season performances. Paul Campbell (11.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 0.9 assists) is a key player off the boards, while Lachlan Dent (9.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists) might not have big numbers, but has been creative on the attacking end.

The run home:

R10: Hobart Huskies (H)
R11: Geelong Supercats (A) | Knox Raiders (H)
R12: Melbourne Tigers (H)
R13: Kilsyth Cobras (G)
R14: Ringwood Hawks (A) | Diamond Valley Eagles (A)
R15: Waverley Falcons (H)

The Thunder have an all-Tasmanian battle at home against Hobart Huskies, before facing sides at polar ends of the table. It is hard to see the Thunder winning enough of the six games required to make finals given they have to take on Geelong Supercats, Melbourne Tigers and Kilsyth Cobras in successive weeks. The Thunder could have a chance of finals with less wins given the amount of matches they have with sides around them such as Waverley Falcons, Diamond Valley Eagles and Hobart Huskies, as well as Ringwood Hawks and Knox Raiders in the bottom three. If they can cause an upset to one of those top five teams, then top eight is certainly a chance.

Women:

Position: 15th
Wins: 3
Losses: 9

Home: 1-5
Away: 2-4
Last 10: 3-7

Points For: 980
Points Against: 1179
Percentage: 83.1
Points: 6

Summary:

The Tornadoes started the season okay with two wins in the first five games, but have won just one encounter from their past seven – a five-point win over Albury Wodonga Bandits. The other two wins have also been tight with a four-point win over Waverley Falcons and nine-point win over Hobart Huskies. They will be keen to find some form on the run home, but have had to rotate their roster a lot with just two players playing all 12 games. Sarah O’Neill is the only player to have started in every game and has been a shining light with 12.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.3 steals, while Brittany Hodges has starred across her nine matches, averaging a double-double with 17.7 points. 12.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists. Stephanie Gardner (18.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists) and Stella Beck (12.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.3 steals) are the other two who have stood out.

The run home:

R10: Hobart Huskies (H)
R11: Geelong Supercats (A) | Knox Raiders (H)
R12: Melbourne Tigers (H)
R13: Kilsyth Cobras (G)
R14: Ringwood Hawks (A) | Diamond Valley Eagles (A)
R15: Waverley Falcons (H)

The run home has the Tornadoes with teams mostly at either end, facing top three sides Geelong Supercats and Knox raiders in Round 11, but the Tornadoes’ final two games come against bottom five sides, Waverley Falcons and Diamond Valley Eagles. Kilsyth Cobras will be a tough clash, while Melbourne Tigers and Hobart Huskies are both mid-table teams striving to make finals. They need to win every match to make the top eight, which seems a touch out of reach.

NBL1 Men’s Round 9 review: Supercats win down south as Spectres and Tigers continue good form

GEELONG Supercats, Nunawading Spectres and Melbourne Tigers all maintained their winning streaks with important wins as Ballarat Miners slipped up against the in-form Frankston Blues, and now sit just one win clear of the Spectres in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 men’s competition. The Spectres travelled up to the border to face Albury Wodonga Bandits and came home with the win after a dominant first half put them 19 points clear at the main break. The home side fought back to cut it to a 13-point deficit at the final break, but the Spectres steadied to win by 18 points, 97-79. Dain Swetalla was the standout player with 34 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Tom Wright (12 points, five rebounds and four assists) and Andrew Steel (10 points, eight rebounds) were others who stood tall for the visitors. Emmanuel Malou picked up a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, as did Torren Jones (14 points, 11 rebounds), but the creativity up the forward half was left to Deba George (16 points, seven assists) and Ken-Jah Bosley (15 points, five assists and six rebounds) who combined for 12 of the team’s 14 assists.

The Bandits also suffered a loss at the hands of the red-hot Melbourne Tigers on Sunday, going down by 13 points at MSAC. The Bandits led by two points at quarter time, but it was all the Tigers after that, running out 104-91 winners. Nic Pozoglou continued his great form this season with a massive 34 points, 12 rebounds – eight offensive – and four assists, while Mike Wells (17 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals) and William Hickey (15 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks) were also impressive. For the Bandits it was a two-man show with Jones and Bosley doing all the damage. Jones had a massive 37 points and 21 rebounds – 12 defensive and nine offensive – while Bosley finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the loss.

Geelong Supercats had a fruitful trip down to Tasmania, recording back-to-back wins over Hobart Huskies and North West Thunder on Friday and Saturday. The Supercats recorded a nice 11-point win over the Huskies on Friday night, controlling the second term on their way to a 81-70 victory. The points were shared around but it was Ma’alo Hicks who caught the eye on the night thanks to 12 points, 18 rebounds and four assists, while Demarcus Gatlin (15 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals) and Lewis Thomas (12 points, nine rebounds, two assists and one steal) were prominent for the winners. Jacob Richards (14 points, three rebounds) top-scored for the Huskies, while Jalen Adams had nine points and seven rebounds, one less rebound than Zachary White who also picked up nine points, as well as three assists. In Geelong’s nine-point victory over the Thunder, Gatlin went on a spree, scoring 39 points and taking home four rebounds and six assists, while Thomas picked up a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds – 14 defensive. Hicks (11 points, nine rebounds) and Liam McInerney (10 points, seven rebounds) were also impressive off the boards. For the Thunder, Tre Armstrong (18 points, seven rebounds and three assists), Nick Banyard (18 points, six rebounds) and Paul Campbell (10 points, 11 rebounds) all showed strong signs in the tight loss.

Ballarat Miners had a mixed weekend with the top side downing Ringwood Hawks, before a surprise loss to Frankston Blues. In the big 22-point win over the Hawks, Ballarat won every quarter in a convincing performance as Kuany Kuany picked up a game-high 23 points as well as six rebounds. Deng Acuoth was superb off the boards with 16 rebounds and four assists, while Marqueze Coleman had 21 points, three assists and two steals. For the Hawks, Matthew Fennell continued his good defensive work with 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, while Jacob Gibson had 20 points, four rebounds and two assists, while Joey Miller (14 points, five rebounds and nine assists) was creative. In the defeat to Frankston, it was a 52-41 first half that caught the Miners off guard and while they managed to cut the deficit to seven points by the final break, could not quite get the win. Josh Fox was strong for the losing side with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Coleman had another 16 points as well as seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. For the Blues, Damon Bozeman was the star shooter with 27 points and four rebounds, while Majok Majok and Najeal Young shared 18 points and 19 rebounds in a superb team effort.

The Hawks did pick up a surprise win over the Braves however running out 74-68 winners on the back of a massive 23-13 last term having trailed at every break. Fennell had a big game with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks, while Adrien Sturt had 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Ray Turner was the standout player on the court in Bendigo’s defeat to the bottom two side, posting up 25 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and three blocks, while Matthiang Muo was also solid with 22 points and eight rebounds. The Braves’ loss came after a comfortable 27-point win over last placed Southern Sabres. Muo was busy once again with 25 points, five rebounds and two assists, while Turner had another all-round game, posting 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Nicholas Gabsch was the star for the Sabres, finishing the match with 22 points and five rebounds. Meanwhile Frankston’s upset win over Ballarat followed a shock loss to Diamond Valley Eagles, going down by 13 points to break their winning streak. The Eagles were in control for most of the contest after half-time, posting 48 points to 36 in the 99-86 vicotry. Logan Hovey led the points total with 25, as well as five rebounds for the Eagles, while Ben Allen had a double-double with 20 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. Anthony Odunsi (22 points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals) was the other prominent player for the winning side. Majok (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Young (eight points, 10 rebounds) were again the main Frankston rebounders, while Igor Hadziomerovic top-scored for the Blues with 17 points.

Another side that had mixed results over the weekend was Kilsyth Cobras, going down in a tight five-point loss to Eltham Wildcats, before posting an easy 33-point win over Waverley Falcons. The Cobras were on the back foot early with an 11-point quarter time deficit and while they managed to peg their way back, could not get in front. Geremy McKay was best-on for the Wildcats, posting 20 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while Josh Sykes (16 points, nine rebounds and three blocks) was prominent again, as was scorer Adam Doyle (17 points, four assists). For the Cobras, Chris Patton was the standout player with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Tohi-Smith Miller was the other player who impressed with 12 points and eight rebounds, one less rebound than Owen Odigie who picked up seven points and nine rebounds. There was no slow start against the Falcons, with the Cobras putting the result to bed by half-time and leading by as much as 37 points at the final break. They shared the points around with Sean MacDonald leading the way with 19 and three assists, while Patton had 13 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Odigie also had 12 rebounds to go with his nine points and three steals. In the other game of the round, Dandenong Rangers got the points against Knox Raiders, coming from behind to post a 81-76 win. The Rangers led by 17 points at quarter time but that had evaporated over the next two quarters as the Raiders led by seven at the final break. Just in time the visitors picked up and scored 22 points to 10 in the last term to secure a relieving five-point win. Dexter Kernich-Drew top-scored with 17 points, but it was the rebounding work of Sam Froling (15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Tim Lang (eight points, 11 rebounds and three assists)that was most impressive. For the Raiders, it was Mike Rose (21 points, six rebounds and two assists) and Adam Thoseby (20 points, five assists) who did the bulk of the scoring, well aided by Cadarian Raines (14 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks).

Results:

Hobart Huskies 70 defeated by Geelong Supercats 81
North West Thunder 85 defeated by Geelong Supercats 94
Diamond Valley Eagles 99 defeated Frankston Blues 86
Bendigo Braves 100 defeated Southern Sabres 73
Eltham Wildcats 79 defeated Kilsyth Cobras 74
Albury Wodonga Bandits 79 defeated by Nunawading Spectres 97
Ballarat Miners 101 defeated Ringwood Hawks 79
Knox Raiders 76 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 81
Ringwood Hawks 74 defeated Bendigo Braves 68
Frankston Blues 87 defeated Ballarat Miners 80
Waverley Falcons 68 defeated by Kilsyth Cobras 101
Melbourne Tigers 104 defeated Albury Wodonga Bandits 91

NBL1 Men’s preview: Round 8

AT the now midway point of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 season, a massive Round 8 of games sees another 14 matches in the men’s competition – equal to that of the Round 6 Mother’s Day Round. In this round, Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (CoE) play three games across two states, while North West Thunder also have a home-and-away approach over Saturday and Sunday. Diamond Valley Eagles, Knox Raiders, Ballarat Miners, Frankston Blues, Hobart Huskies, Dandenong Rangers and Bendigo Braves also all play two games in what is tipped to be a massive round of action.

The Round 8 action tips off tonight with the sixteenth placed Diamond Valley Eagles hoping to upset the inconsistent CoE. The future stars of Australian basketball have surprised plenty of teams this season, including knocking off two of the top three sides, but have also suffered some losses against lower ranked teams. Alex Ducas has been a star for the CoE, averaging 21.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game, and he will be crucial against the Eagles, Waverley Falcons and North West Thunder. The Eagles do not have a player averaging more than 16 points per game, with Logan Hovey‘s 15.3 and 5.6 rebounds the top Eagles shooter. The CoE will have to watch out for Waverley’s Deondre McWhorter who has been an impressive star this season, posting up 20 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 blocks, while for the Thunder, Nick Banyard has come into his own of late, averaging 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists for the Tasmanian side.

A huge game to watch this round is the second placed Nunawading Spectres hosting the seventh placed Bendigo Braves. The Spectres have been shaky at home with two wins from five games, while the Braves are equally as unconvincing on the road, posting two of their four losses there, and only the one win. Simon Conn is the only player to have started in every game for the Spectres, averaging 19.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, while Dain Swetalla has been impressive in his nine matches, averaging 18.2 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists across the season. Swetalla’s double-double average on court is only bettered by Ray Turner on the opposition side, with the Bendigo forward averaging 21.9 points, 12 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 blocks per game – ranked third for rebounds. The Braves also travel to face Dandenong Rangers on Sunday, who have five players in double-figure points, and four players averaging 4.7 rebounds or more. The Rangers have to find a way to tame Demarcus Gatlin (21.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.6 steals) and the Geelong Supercats, with the Supercats strong at home with a 4-2 record, but the Rangers are equally impressive on the road with a 3-1 record.

For the top-of-the-table Ballarat Miners, they host tenth placed North West Thunder, before a road trip to take on last placed Southern Sabres. There is a reason the Miners are top, with an impressive six players averaging double-figure points, and five players averaging at least 4.8 rebounds. Jerry Evans Jr is the top player of a competitive bunch, averaging 21.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Frankston Blues also have a home-and-away weekend, facing the Hobart Huskies at home on Saturday, before travelling to Ringwood on Sunday. The Blues are the most in-form team of the competition, having strung together an equal current competition-high of four consecutive wins. Damon Bozeman is one of six players to average double-figure points this season, currently posting up 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game. The Hawks are looking to make it two in a row against the Blues, with Matthew Fennell the current double-double leader at the club with 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.

The other in-form team of the competition is Melbourne Tigers, a side that has now won four consecutive games and comes into the round with a big match against fourteenth placed Knox Raiders on Sunday. The Raiders will be coming off a game against the Eagles on Saturday and keen to make it two wins for Round 8. Melbourne’s Dain Pineau‘s unbelievable form is a talking point in the competition, with the Tigers star averaging 16.8 points, 15.4 rebounds – ranked first in the league – and 2.9 assists, shading an impressive-in-its-own-right effort from Nic Pozoglou who has averaged 21.0 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.4 steals so far this season. Knox does not have a dominant shooter with no one averaging more than 15 points per game, instead relying on a team contribution and the likes of Cadarian Raines (11.3 points and 7.9 rebounds) and Mike Rose‘s (14.0 points and 6.6 rebounds) work off the boards.

In the other game, Albury Wodonga Bandits will look to turn their season around after a disappointing past month which saw them slip to thirteenth and four wins from nine games. They take on third placed Kilsyth Cobras who are also in a rut since being stunned by cellar dwellers Southern Sabres, dropping their past three matches to be 6-3. The Bandits have a top two shooter and top two rebounder at their possession with Ken-Jah Bosley (24.7 points per game) and Torren Jones (13.0 rebounds per game) the stars, while a further four players average more than 10 points per game, but two of them have played a combined eight games from four starts. Tohi Smith-Milner is the player to watch from Kilsyth, averaging a strong 15.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game from his nine matches.

Round 8 fixtures:

Friday, May 24:

Diamond Valley Eagles (16th, 3-7) vs. Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (11th, 5-6)

Saturday, May 25:

Albury Wodonga Bandits (13th, 4-5) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (3rd, 6-3)
Ballarat Miners (1st, 7-1) vs. North West Thunder (10th, 5-4)
Frankston Blues (9th, 5-4) vs. Hobart Huskies (12th, 4-5)
Geelong Supercats (5th, 6-5) vs. Dandenong Rangers (8th, 5-5)
Knox Raiders (14th, 3-5) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (16th, 3-7)
Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 7-3) vs. Bendigo Braves (7th, 5-4)
Waverley Falcons (4th, 6-3) vs. Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (11th, 5-6)

Sunday, May 26:

Dandenong Rangers (8th, 5-5) vs. Bendigo Braves (7th, 5-4)
Eltham Wildcats (17th, 3-7) vs. Hobart Huskies (12th, 4-5)
Melbourne Tigers (6th, 6-4) vs. Knox Raiders (14th, 3-5)
North West Thunder (10th, 5-4) vs. Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (11th, 5-6)
Ringwood Hawks (15th, 3-6) vs. Frankston Blues (9th, 5-4)
Southern Sabres (18th, 2-8) vs. Ballarat Miners (1st, 7-1)

NBL1 Men’s Preview: Round 6

A MASSIVE top-of-the-table clash highlights the biggest round in National Basketball League (NBL)1 history on Saturday, as Kilsyth Cobras having won six of the seven games thus far, take on the undefeated Ballarat Miners who are five from five and fresh off a smashing of Albury Wodonga Bandits. The Cobras had a shock loss to Southern Sabres last round and will be keen to bounce back, but the game is just one of 14 across the competition, the most for the season. Peter Hooley is a player to watch for the Cobras, averaging 19.3 points, 5.6 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game, while for the Miners, Jerry Evans Jr is averaging 20.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.0 assists per game.

Friday night under lights will see Hobart Huskies hosting Dandenong Rangers. The Huskies won their last clash, while Dandenong dropped its last game, but the Rangers will head in as favourites given their depth across the court. A lot of the workload for the Huskies falls on Jalen Adams (24.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 1.7 assists), however the introduction of Tad Dufelmeier (30 points, four assists and one steal on debut) could be the injection of talent needed for the Huskies who are still 2-5 from seven games. The Rangers will need to back-up from that game with a Saturday match against North West Thunder as part of the two-game Tasmanian road trip. Lucas Barker ( 17.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game) and Sam Froling (15.3 points, 7.3 rebounds per game) have been two players standing out so far this season for the Rangers. Nick Banyard has been on fire lately for the Thunder, averaging 18.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists, with the Thunder inside the top eight now.

After Ballarat’s first game against Kilsyth, they have to face Eltham Wildcats with the Wildcats not only facing the Miners, but Frankston Blues as well over the weekend. Grandy Glaze has been enormous on the glass averaging 11.5 rebounds – ranked third in the league – as well as 16.8 points. Frankston Blues have their own star rebounder with Majok Majok averaging 10.3 rebounds as well as 12.7 points. Elsewhere on Saturday, Geelong Supercats going up against a vengeful Albury Wondonga Bandits will be an entertaining game. Ken-Jah Boseley (26.8 points, 5.8 rebounds) was held to his lowest scoring game of the season last match in the Bandits’ huge loss to the Miners and will be keen to bounce back, while the Supercats have an even spread across the team and are in the log-jam of teams looking to break free from the pack. Demarcus Gatlin is the player to watch, averaging 22.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

Another side that plays two matches across the weekend is Waverley Falcons, coming up against Ringwood Hawks on Saturday, and Basketball Centre of Excellence (CoE) on Sunday. The Falcons sit balanced at 3-3 in eleventh, but would be hoping to bounce back after two losses last round at home. Deondre McWhorter has been in superb form for the Falcons, averaging 19.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, and will be keen to continue that form across the weekend. The Hawks have struggled of late, and look to Jacob Gibson on the scoring end, who is ranked sixth in the competition for points, averaging 22.3 per game. Likewise the CoE have a standout shooter in Alex Ducas (ninth in NBL1), averaging 21.0 points per game. The CoE also take on Knox Raiders the day before who are hoping to build on their last round win.

A team in form after having a horror start to the season is Diamond Valley Eagles, who have won their past two games after losing their opening four matches. The Eagles have struggled to score and average the second least points for this season. They have Joel Spear who is averaging 13.7 points per game, as well as 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists. They face Melbourne Tigers who have Nic Pozoglou in their line-up, ranked fifth for points and eleventh for rebounds in the competition, helping himself to 22.6 points and 9.4 rebounds so far in season 2019. The Eagles will need to contain him if they are to be any chance of victory. The Tigers will also take on Ringwood Hawks on the Sunday in what could be a percentage-boosting weekend coming up against the bottom two sides. The Eagles also face the Bandits in another tough match for them this weekend.

In the other games, Southern Sabres fresh off their upset win over Kilsyth Cobras take on Nunawading Spectres, with David Barlow the main man in form. Ranked equal third in the competition for points, Barlow has averaged 24.6 points as well as 9.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. The battle against Dain Swetalla off the boards could be interesting with Swetalla averaging 10.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 18.7 points. Meanwhile Bendigo Braves take on Geelong Supercats in the final game of the round, with Bendigo on a hot streak winning its past three matches, hoping to jump ahead of Geelong with the win.

NBL1 Men’s Fixtures:

Friday, May 10:

Hobart Huskies (13th, 2-5) vs. Dandenong Rangers (5th, 4-3)

Saturday, May 11:

Frankston Blues (9th, 3-4) vs. Eltham Wildcats (14th, 2-5)
Geelong Supercats (4th, 4-3) vs. Albury Wodonga Bandits (12th, 3-2)
Kilsyth Cobras (1st, 6-1) vs. Ballarat Miners (2nd, 5-0)
Knox Raiders (16th, 2-4) vs. Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (6th, 4-3)
Melbourne Tigers (10th, 3-4) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (18th, 2-4)
North West Thunder (8th, 4-3) vs. Dandenong Rangers (5th, 4-3)
Ringwood Hawks (17th, 2-4) vs. Waverley Falcons (11th, 3-3)
Southern Sabres (15th, 2-5) vs. Nunawading Spectres (3rd, 4-3)

Sunday, May 12:

Melbourne Tigers (10th, 3-4) vs. Ringwood Hawks (17th, 2-4)
Bendigo Braves (7th, 4-3) vs. Geelong Supercats (4th, 4-3)
Diamond Valley Eagles (18th, 2-4) vs. Albury Wondonga Bandits (12th, 3-2)
Eltham Wildcats (14th, 2-5) vs. Ballarat Miners (2nd, 5-0)
Waverley Falcons (11th, 3-3) vs. Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (6th, 4-3)