Tag: Sam McDaniel

NBL1 South Men’s team summary: Southern Sabres

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 Southern Sabres’ mens side, the 2019 NBL1 South wooden spooners.

2019 in Review:

Finished: 18th
Wins: 5
Losses: 15
Home: 2-8
Away: 3-7

What went right:

  • Stunning upset over undefeated Kilsyth Cobras
  • Free-throws (75.4 per cent accuracy, ranked second overall)
  • Won two out of three games twice in the season
  • David Barlow when he was on court
  • Shared the playing minutes around

Whilst there was not much to celebrate for the Sabres in terms of on-court success in 2019, there were still plenty of moments to reflect and draw positives from at different points in the NBL1 season. When Melbourne United star, David Barlow was on court he provided a massive boost and a presence, teaming up well with NBL teammate, Sam McDaniel and while the pair only combined for 26 of a possible 40 games, it brought great experience to the others. Due to the nature of player availability, the Sabres were able to share the minutes on-court more as the season went on and a whopping 17 players averaged more than 10 minutes per game – even if it was only for a few games – and a number of young players filtered their way into the side eventually. They went on mini-runs where they won two out of three games, and their accuracy from the free-throw line was superb, ranked second overall at 75.4 per cent, but four of the five starters averaged greater than 85 per cent when fouled. The match of the season came early with a stunning upset over the previously undefeated Kilsyth Cobras as six players recorded double-figure points led by Barlow (25 points, 13 rebounds) in what was a bright moment in a dull season.

What went wrong:

  • Continuity (one player played every game)
  • Rebounding (34.6 total per game, ranked last overall)
  • Discipline (19 personal fouls per game, the second most overall)
  • Blocks (1.3 per game, ranked last overall)

The team has plenty to improve on for 2021 statistically, with the Sabres ranked last overall in rebounds and blocks, signalling there was just not enough support in those areas. They had to make do with a lack of consistency through the line-up and in terms of frustration, it could bubble over with 19 personal fouls per game, the second most overall in the competition. The continuity issue is by far the most frustrating for the side, with only the one starter playing every game and the NBL stars limited in their appearances. With a self-imposed restriction on imports to allow the local talent to foster, the Sabres had plenty of solid talent, but ultimately not enough to challenge the top sides.

Top Players:

David Barlow

The Melbourne United big only managed 11 games in the season, finishing with 22.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals per match. He led the side in all the key statistical areas, and his influence when in the side was undoubted. If he had been able to get on the court more then no doubt the Sabres could have chalked up a few more wins, but he was a clear standout in the season when on court.

Sam McDaniel

Teaming up well with Barlow, McDaniel put up strong numbers himself, playing an additional four games to take his season total to 15, and averaging 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. In 30.6 minutes per match – the most of any player on the side, McDaniel shot at 53.7 per cent from the field, and added a different element to the side. He had recommitted to the club for the season ahead, so will be keen to see how he goes with another two NBL seasons of experience under his belt.

Rhys Carter

There were a number of players who could have fitted this area after the two NBL talents, with Carter being one of those after a consistent season. He played 15 games and averaged the third most points per game (11.7) and also picked up 3.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and led the team in steals (1.8). He was elite from the free-throw line (90 per cent accuracy) and provided an air of experience when Barlow was out of the side, as the only other 30-year-old plus in the team at 35.

Young Gun:

Kingsley Box

Had the rare experience of playing every single match, the only player on the Sabres team to do so. He averaged 21.5 minutes per match and finished the season with 10.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and almost an assist and steal per game. He was accurate from the field in both two and three-point shooting, and sank 11 of his 12 attempts from the free-throw line. Only 17-years-old entering the season, Box could step up and take on more responsibility going forward and be better for the development and experience.

Christmas list for 2021:

Consistency. The age-old need of just putting it all together on the court. The Sabres had their couple of stars, a young gun coming through and some really solid role players who provided assistance off the bench. They just need to get them all on the court at once and make a real go of it, because as they showed against Kilsyth early on, the Sabres have the talent to match it with the best, it is just about doing it consistently.

Summary:

The Southern Sabres might not have had the season they would have liked, finishing on the bottom of the NBL1 table. There were many factors that led to the disappointing season, but also plenty of positives to draw for 2021 with a strong off-season and recruitment drive which they had got underway with plenty of optimism. If they can continue that through to the 2021 season, then the only way is up and they should do that.

NBL 2019/20 Weekend preview: Round 1 – Inaugural Throwdown opens season

SEVEN of the National Basketball League (NBL) sides begin their campaign this weekend with Melbourne United having a double-up in Round 1, while Adelaide 36ers and New Zealand Breakers have an extra week of pre-season ahead of their start in Round 2. We take a look at the four games across the weekend with one game on each day to satisfy fans across the country.

MELBOURNE UNITED vs. SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX
Thursday, October 3, 7.30pm
Melbourne Arena

The season opener is the inaugural ‘Throwdown’ between grand finalists, Melbourne United and new team on the block in South East Melbourne Phoenix. United is a proven talent that has lost some serious firepower, but also gained some at the same time which makes them very hard to tip against in the this contest. Melo Trimble made the massive move down south after a dominant season with Cairns, joining the likes of Chris Goulding, Mitch McCarron and the currently injured David Barlow. Shea Ili also crossed from the Breakers, with teammate Shawn Long also making the jump with the pair signing one-year deals. Sam McDaniel earned a full-time roster spot after a good season last year as a development player and continuing that form with the Southern Sabres in the NBL1.

South East Melbourne Phoenix have made it clear they are not in the competition to make up the numbers, with Sydney trio, Dane Pineau, Kyle Adnam and Deng Acuoth all joining the new franchise, with Brisbane’s Adam Gibson and arguably the top signing from the NBL contingent in New Zealand Breakers’ Tai Wesley. Seeing Wesley going head-to-head with Trimble will be great, but the most dangerous player is G-League and Boomers’ star Mitch Creek who tasted National Basketball Association (NBA) action last season and has come home to lead up the new franchise. As already mentioned, it is hard to tip against the established team in United, but with a few question marks over sore players, the Phoenix have more than enough talent to compensate and would love to open their NBL inaugural season with a win.

CAIRNS TAIPANS vs. SYDNEY KINGS
Friday, October 4, 7.30pm
Cairns Convention Centre

The Taipans finished last on the NBL table last season and will be keen to start the new season off on the right foot with an upset win over last year’s finalists, Sydney Kings. Playing in front of a home crowd, the Taipans will be without star Trimble who departed to join Melbourne, while Kuany Kuany will suit up for the opposition in this match. The Taipans managed to pinch Majok Deng from Adelaide, while mostly looking outside the country for new recruits with Los Angeles Lakers’ Scott Machado, G-League talent Cameron Oliver and Mirko Djeric from the European leagues coming into the side. They will need to be at their best and gel quickly if they are to make an impact early in the season, but will be able to rely on the likes of Jarrod Kenny, Nathan Jawai and DJ Newbill still running the court.

Sydney have made massive changes to its roster with just four players contracted that were on the list last season. NBL Most Valuable Player (MVP), Andrew Bogut will again be the centrepiece of the organisation, but this time he will have the talented Casper Ware who caused a stir crossing from rivals United to the Kings. Craig Moller joined him, while Shaun Bruce came from the 36ers with Kuany and Lucas Walker travelling south from Cairns. Brad Newley, Kevin Lisch and Daniel Kickert will look to create some stability in a side with the likes of young stars Brian Bowen (NBA) and Tom Wilson (AFL) both leaving the league completely. Despite the changes, Sydney head into this game as strong favourites, it will just be whether or not the Kings can gel with so many fresh faces in the door.

PERTH WILDCATS vs. MELBOURNE UNITED
Saturday, October 5, 5.30pm
RAC Arena

The match of the round is the Grand Final replay between reigning premiers Perth Wildcats, and unlucky runners-up United. The Wildcats are the most stable side of any team in the competition with eight players re-signed to the list, including crucial duo, Bryce Cotton and Terrico White. The pair will likely renew hostilities with Trimble and Ili who will rep the different colours in 2019/20. The ace in the pace is Dario Hunt who has joined the club from Italy, while Majok Majok transferred from New Zealand Breakers to the Wildcats over the off-season. With such an even team contribution leading to the premiership last season, the Wildcats should be no different in 2019/20 with so many ways to punish the opposition, led by the dominant Cotton.

United will head into this game with a match already in the books having taken on the Phoenix 46 hours prior. They will be keen to make the most of recovery, with the plane trip west likely to bring back some disappointing memories after going down to Perth in the deciding playoff series last year. They could start really strongly as the team that has had the first full game hitout in the round compared to the Wildcats who will undoubtedly celebrate last year’s success in front of the visiting side pre-game. But depending on how the Phoenix game goes, the Wildcats might have the fresher legs to finish the match which means it could be down to the wire. A win against their title nemesis would be crucial in the mental games for the season for Melbourne, while a win for the Wildcats will throw extra salt in the wounds for United. Trimble vs. Cotton is a much-watch battle to see which player can have the most impact for his club.

ILLAWARRA HAWKS vs. BRISBANE BULLETS
Sunday, October 6, 3pm
WIN Entertainment Centre

In the final game of the round, all eyes will be on LaMelo Ball as he makes his NBL debut against Brisbane Bullets at home in Illawarra. The potential 2020 NBA top draft pick will have plenty of exuberance in his first official game on Australian courts, teaming up with the likes of Josh Boone who was a massive recruit from United, while Aaron Brooks has returned after playing with Creek at the Timberwolves in the NBA. David Anderson, Todd Blanchfield, Tim Coenraad and Angus Glover all re-signed for the club that missed out on finals last season, while Sam Froling showed enough during the NBL1 to suggest he will be more than a handful for opposition clubs this season. Kevin White and Brian Conklin are among those who have departed the club, but largely as a whole, the Hawks have brought in far more talent than they have lost.

Brisbane announced a huge signing themselves over the off-season with Nathan Sobey signing on for three years from the 36ers. He will be the man to watch on the court, teaming up with Cam Gliddon and Jason Cadee as the key players within the Bullets’ arsenal. Like the Wildcats, they are a settled side with eight players re-signing from last season, as Adam Gibson and Jeremy Kendle were the key players to depart the club. This might be a tight contest given the relative unknown of the impact that the imports and recruits will have for the Hawks, with the Bullets having more of a known quantity. It got them to finals last season, and Sobey coming in will only strengthen the side. The Hawks should be marginally favourites due to the Triple B impact of Ball, Boone and Brooks, but the Bullets will not lie down in this contest.

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: Southern Sabres

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 Southern Sabres, with both sides set to finish in the bottom couple of teams with just four wins between them. They have looked to just local players this season, and while they have some standout stars and developing young talent, have not been able to always match it with the best sides.

Men:

Position: 18th
Wins: 2
Losses: 10

Home: 1-5
Away: 1-5
Last 10: 2-8

Points For: 1001
Points Against: 1185
Percentage: 84.5
Points: 6

Summary:

It is not pretty reading for the Sabres who sit last on the NBL1 men’s table with two wins from 12 games. They were unlucky at times throughout the season so far, and shocked the competition when they knocked off the undefeated Kilsyth Cobras. The biggest issue for the Sabres is working out a best starting five and with top stars, David Barlow (23.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 0.8 steals) and Sam McDaniel (17.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 steals) missing so many games each (six apiece), they have been forced to dig deep into their local talent. Kingsley Box (12.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steals) and Nicholas Gabsch (9.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists) are two of only three players to play every game.

The run home:

R10: Dandenong Rangers (A)
R11: Albury Wodonga Bandits (H)
R12: Geelong Supercats (H) | Waverley Falcons (A)
R13: Frankston Blues (A)
R14: Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (H)
R15: Diamond Valley Eagles (A) | Frankston Blues (H)

When you are on the bottom of the table, every game is a tough game, but the Sabres will be keen to hopefully pick up a few wins on the run home. Games against Albury Wodonga Bandits and Waverley Falcons seems the most likely, while Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence and Frankston Blues have also been inconsistent at times and the Sabres could pounce if the opposition is not on its game.

Women:

Position: 17th
Wins: 2
Losses: 10

Home: 0-6
Away: 2-4
Last 10: 1-9

Points For: 811
Points Against: 985
Percentage: 82.3
Points: 6

Summary:

The Sabres are yet to win at home in season 2019, and have picked up both their wins on the road. Rachel Jarry has been the far and away star with 20.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Ella Batish (7.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists) is the only other player to start in every game. Two players who have managed more than 4.4 rebounds per game in limited time off the bench are Sherry Glennie (6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 asssists) and dual sport Australian Rules young gun, Gabby Newton (2.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.4 steals). Tenaya Phillips (10 games from six starts) has been another solid contributor with 13.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

The run home:

R10: Dandenong Rangers (A)
R11: Albury Wodonga Bandits (H)
R12: Geelong Supercats (H) | Waverley Falcons (A)
R13: Frankston Blues (A)
R14: Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (H)
R15: Diamond Valley Eagles (A) | Frankston Blues (H)

Much like the men’s side, when you are sitting near the bottom of the table, every game is difficult. But there are some real opportunities for the Sabres, with games against the sides directly above and below them on the ladder in Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence and Diamond Valley Eagles. Winning these games will more than likely save them from finishing bottom, while also having matches against bottom eight sides Waverley Falcons, Frankston Blues (twice) and Albury Wodonga Bandits.

NBL1 Men’s Preview: Round 7

AFTER a massive 14 games of action over Mother’s Day Round, the National Basketball League (NBL)1 sides return to the 12 games, with six teams doubling up for two games across the weekend. After three consecutive losses, Albury Wodonga Bandits bounced back with a win and will be hoping for more of the same in their trip down south. They face the eleventh placed North West Thunder, before tackling the thirteenth placed Hobart Huskies, two teams either side of the Bandits on the ladder. Ken-Jah Bosley has been the key player so far this season for the Bandits, averaging a massive 28 points per game – the most of any player – as well as 5.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Remarkably, the Huskies have two players in the top five for points, with Tad Dufelmeier being a revelation in his two games since coming into the side, averaging 27 points, five assists and 3.5 rebounds, combining well with Jalen Adams (23.9 points, 7.5 assists and 2.9 steals), it is just the depth that needs to stand up.

If you want to talk depth, there is no looking past top-of-the-table Ballarat Miners, who will be favourites to show the up-and-coming Australian talent just how good they are. The Miners are undefeated from seven starts, and face Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (CoE) with six players averaging at least 10 points per game. Jerry Evans Jr is the number one in the side, with 20 points and seven rebounds in his seven games. The talented teenagers have shown promising signs on their way to a 4-5 start to the season, but Alex Ducas is the sole player with more than 15 points per game, averaging 21.8 points and 3.6 rebounds. Hunter Goodrick and Kyle Bowen both average greater than seven rebounds per game, however. They will back up their game against the Miners, with a match against sixth placed Nunawading Spectres on Sunday. Dain Swetalla is averaging a double-double so far this season, posting 18.4 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, while teammate Simon Conn is not far behind with 18.1 and 9.6 respectively. The Spectres will also have to find a way to overcome third placed Dandenong Ranges, but the Spectres have a remarkable record on the road, not dropping a game from four starts.

Lowly placed Diamond Valley Eagles got off the bottom of the ladder courtesy of Southern Sabres having a big loss, but will be keen to formulate a win or two of their own this round. Taking on top four sides, Kilsyth Cobras and Geelong Supercats does not make it an easy task for the Eagles. Diamond Valley has struggled with assists this season, as just two players have greater than three assists, while one – Anthony Odunsi – has averaged more than 15 points (16.5) and his resume includes two games off the bench. The Eagles have had the same five starters in each of their eighth games so far this season, and only one has a field goal percentage of greater than 50 per cent. For Kilsyth, Tohi Smith-Milner is almost averaging a double-double with 16.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, while for Geelong Supercats, Demarcus Gatlin (22.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.8 steals) seems to be able to do it all. The Supercats also face fifth placed Melbourne Tigers and the unrelenting duo of Nic Pozoglou and Dane Pineau. Between them, the duo averages 38.8 points and 24.4 rebounds per game, and the key to victory is certainly stopping them.

Also playing two games and hopeful of getting off the bottom of the ladder is the Southern Sabres, who face fellow bottom four sides, Eltham Wildcats and Ringwood Hawks over the weekend. After a ground-breaking win over Kilsyth Cobras, the Sabres sank back with key stars David Barlow and Sam McDaniel available, and will hope to bounce back against fellow battling teams. Outside of the remarkable seasons by the duo, only three other players average more than 10 points per game. The Sabres must also try and stop Josh Sykes getting to the basket, averaging 11.8 points and 6.9 rebounds including plenty of highlight-reel dunks. The Hawks have three key players, Jacob Gibson (the points scorer), Joey Miller (the playmaker) and Matthew Fennell (the rebounder) who all have stood out in their various roles.

In other games, tenth placed Frankston Blues come into the game off a three-game hotstreak and meet fourteenth placed Knox Raiders hoping to continue that form, while a battle of seventh and eighth sees Bendigo Braves go head-to-head with Waverley Falcons on Saturday.

Round 7 fixtures:

Friday, May 17:

North West Thunder (11th, 4-4) vs. Albury Wodonga Bandits (12th, 4-3)

Saturday, May 18:

Hobart Huskies (13th, 3-5) vs. Albury Wodonga Bandits (12th, 4-3)
Ballarat Miners (1st, 7-0) vs. Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (9th, 4-5)
Bendigo Braves (7th, 5-3) vs. Waverley Falcons (8th, 5-3)
Dandenong Rangers (3rd, 5-4) vs. Nunawading Spectres (6th, 5-3)
Frankston Blues (10th, 4-4) vs. Knox Raiders (14th, 3-4)
Kilsyth Cobras (2nd, 6-2) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (17th, 2-6)
Melbourne Tigers (5th, 5-4) vs. Geelong Supercats (4th, 5-4)
Ringwood Hawks (16th, 2-6) vs. Southern Sabres (18th, 2-6)

Sunday, May 19:

Geelong Supercats (4th, 5-4) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (17th, 2-6)
Nunawading Spectres (6th, 5-3) vs. Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (9th, 4-5)
Southern Sabres (18th, 2-6) vs. Eltham Wildcats (15th, 2-7)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Round 4 results:

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