Central ABL Round 5 - Rivalry Round

Only twice a year in the Central ABL we get the joy of Rivalry Round, where traditional rivals go head to head!

Norwood Flames v North Adelaide Rockets

Women’s: Norwood Flames 74 – 67 North Adelaide Rockets

The Norwood Flames remain undefeated for win 26 in a row, in what is becoming an enormous streak, that doesn’t look like ending anytime soon.

Norwood dispatched of fellow contender North, but not without a fight. With only 3 points in it at the main break. The Flames continued to work throughout the third period, restricting the Rockets to sub 30% from the field, in what was the premiership quarter in this game.

The Rockets got smashed on the boards, grabbing 27-40, with Jo Hill being boxed out a focus for Norwood. Hill finished with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists, with Jamie-Lee Peris taking home 11 points and 9 rebounds in a foul-interrupted 24 minutes of play.

Norwood understood the threat this game posed, as their starters saw their most minutes all season. Amy Lewis was superb with 19 points and 7 rebounds, whilst Rachael Herrick played a pivotal role, smashing the glass with 12 rebounds, limiting the Rockets second chance points.

Norwood look like short odd favourites to run away with the title again this year, but with the inclusion of Novosel to the Sabres line up, and Borrego to the Eagles, the Flames still have some challenges to overcome this season. The Rockets fought admirably, and if Peris stays out of foul trouble and the Rockets work on team rebounding, they also pose a threat come finals time.

Norwood stay in first place, at a perfect 5 and 0, with the Rockets just behind down one game.

Men’s: Norwood Flames 76 – 83 North Adelaide Rockets

The Rockets continue to find their form after a shaky start to the season, holding out a fast finishing Flames side, for win number 2 this year.

North held a slender lead at the main break, lucky to be in front, on the back of a second quarter that Norwood dominated, but couldn’t find the bottom of the net. The Flames shot 3/19 from the field for the period, that saw a 3-point deficit at the half. The cold streak continued for the Flames in the third period, falling 15 points down. The tide turned in the final frame, but North was just far enough ahead to hold on, the Flames falling short by 7 points, after outscoring the Rockets 30-22 in the fourth.

Pero Vasiljevic continued his good form, with 13 points and 11 rebounds, with point guard Daniel Goodluck contributing well for 20 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. The Rockets also had strong contribution from John Wernham (14 points and 10 rebounds), who is proving to be an integral part of the team.

Norwood rode the coat tails of Matthew Lycett (23 points and 12 rebounds), and their spark off the bench Daniel Webber (13 points and 5 rebounds in 19 minutes). The Flames had a shooting night to forget, managing a dismal 29% from the field, 16% from deep and 68% from the line.

The Rockets will need to continue this level of play to be considered a contender this year, whist the Flames need an urgent turn around to feature at all come August.

Southern Tigers v South Adelaide Panthers

Women’s: Southern Tigers 60 – 67 South Adelaide Panthers

South Adelaide women are back in the winners column this week, defeating traditional rivals the Southern Tigers by 7, after blowing a 20-point half time lead.

League leading scorer and star import Janae Howard (27 points and 5 rebounds) was once again crucial to the Panthers win, however found herself fouled out again for the second week in a row, leaving the game playing 33 minutes. Gun point guard Jess Mahony was throwing dimes to her team mates, and getting to the line frequently, taking home 10 points and 12 assists.

Tigers import Jade Barber had a massive game, in terms of production per minutes, going for 14 points and 7 rebounds in only 17 minutes of play, after also fouling out. Guard Denelle Fawcett had 14 points and 5 rebounds, but also left the game, with the referees clearly taking a hard line on contact.

Both teams shot 23 from 63 from the field, but the Panthers made their way to the stripe 32 times, on the back of drawing 29 fouls. Turnover were an issue for the young Tigers side, throwing the ball away 23 times. The Tigers don’t seem too far off pace with the top 5, and if they stay in touch their mid-season inclusions should help their cause. South have been heavily reliant on the production of Howard and Mahony, and teams will look to lock them down for the remainder of the season. Much like the Tigers, the mid-season inclusions the Panthers are rumoured to have should help spread the load.

The win takes the Panthers to 3rd place, on percentage behind Forestville, whilst the Tigers remain a game out of the 5, securing 7th spot, one game ahead of the Bearcats.

Men’s: Southern Tigers 65 – 86 South Adelaide Panthers

The Panthers men are running hot, with win number 3 on the trot, downing the Southern Tigers by 21 points, after a dominating first half, that saw South score 51 points, and hold the Tigers to only 27.

South have seen a huge resurgence, with their 3-game winning streak against top ranked sides, their best performance for a number of years. Veteran Point Shane Boal has been impressive again, with 25 points and 5 rebounds, combining with dominant centre Bradley Reid landing 19 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. The key to the Panthers success lies in versatile 2/3 man Jordan Robertson, with another important 12 points and 9 rebounds, providing an extra offensive threat and defensive intensity.

Southern struggled to find the hole, particularly from deep, going 2/17 from 3, whilst careless with the rock, turning it over 20 times for the game. Cody Ellison top scored for Southern with 15 points and 11 rebounds, but was inefficient going only 6/23 from the field, including 1/7 from range. Tim Smyth provided an offensive option, with 12 points and grabbing 5 rebounds, but Southern’s unproductive offense in the first 3 quarters meant that even whilst outscoring the visitors 28-18 in the final period, the gap was too large to contain.

The win moves South into the 5, whilst the Tigers slip to 4th place, just ahead of the Panthers on percentage.

Sturt Sabres v Forestville Eagles

Women’s: Sturt Sabres 69 – 63 Forestville Eagles

The Sabres have claimed the important scalp of the Eagles, downing the experienced Eagles outfit by 6 points, in a hotly contested game from the tip off.

Credit: Photo Credit: Tanya Fielding Photography

Forestville didn’t play bad; they just couldn’t find the bottom of the net when it mattered the most. Star, and multiple championship winning point guard, Jess Fergus, found her shot, scoring 31 points for the game without a rest for the full 40 minutes. Samantha Defrancesco supported Fergus with 19 points and 11 rebounds, but the Eagles 30% from the field and 21% from 3, there undoing. A positive to come out of the game for the Eagles was qualifying national netball star come state league Basketball acquisition, Carla Borrego-Williams for her first game of the season. Much has been made of the qualifying regulations on the SA State League competition, but as long as the rules allow it, fair is fair.

The true star of the game was new Halls medal MVP favourite Natalie Novosel, whom once again played a massive role for the Sabres, scoring 26 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in a full 40 minutes of play. Kate Gladstone played second fiddle to the Novosel show, with 13 points and 5 rebounds shooting at 55% for the game.

Sturt lock up 3rd spot on the ladder, and are a real threat to Norwood’s assumed championship win. The Sabres are 2-0 since Novosel arrived and look for that to continue with her dominance. The Eagles are just in front on percentage, however I would expect them to swap places in the coming weeks.

Men’s: Sturt Sabres 80 – 77 Forestville Eagles

The Sabres have taken a very important early season win against the always dangerous Eagles outfit, on the back of a team effort by the young Sturt side.

Tim Klaosen returned to the Sabres side this week, and he once again showed the balance he gives their starting unit. Klaosen had 18 points and 6 assists on the night, with gun sharp shooter Hamish Burns knocking down 20 points and pulling 8 rebounds as the home teams top scorer. Import Dexter Moore (17 points and 5 rebounds) had perhaps the biggest impact on the game, nailing the game winning go ahead 3, with two seconds left on the clock.

The Eagles were missing Jake Rios from their side this week, and it showed with their lack of scoring punch. Former NBL centre Neil Mottram dominated the paint at both ends, landing 24 points at 79% and grabbing 10 boards on the way. League leading scorer Trent Fildes cooled down from his last two outings, still managing 14 points and 7 rebounds, but he could only manage 4 baskets from the field.

The Eagles were smashed on the glass, giving up a +11 count, however limied their turnovers and got to the line more often than the Sabres, but Sturt's accuracy from the field saw them home.

Sturt have only dropped the one game from the season, and stay in 2nd place behind the Bearcats, whilst the loss puts the Eagles on a 2 game slide, under the .500 and out of the five.

Central District Lions v Eastern Mavericks

Women’s: Central District Lions 52 – 85 Eastern Mavericks

In a game that saw the two bottom sides in the women’s division face off, only one would walk away with their first win of the season. The Mavericks were the favourites going on, showing exactly how far off the pace the Lions are with the rest of the competition. The Mavericks ran away with the game in the third period with a 32 to 18 period, on the way to a 33-point win.

For the Lions once again Brianna Wedding was their best on the floor, with 10 points and 9 rebounds. She did have support this week, with Samantha Saunders spacing the floor and scoring 13 on the night, shooting 3 from 5 from deep.

Mavericks forward Emma Hooley (18 points and 13 rebounds) continues to lead the league in rebounds, and she had support in Shannon Tarran (19 points and 10 rebounds) and Amanda Macdermot (22 points and 6 rebounds) doing most of the work on the night.

The loss should see the Lions firm favourite for the wooden spoon this year, and it looks like they may not win a game this year. The Mavericks are still in 9th place, but only one game behind 6th place.

Men’s: Central District Lions 97 – 76 Eastern Mavericks

The Central District Lions have made their way back to the winners list this week, only after suffering a first half scare by the Mavericks. The Lions were down 9 at the main break, before piling on 64 second half points, in a game that finally showed they might have some fight left.

For the Lions, Chris Clausen was productive with 27 points and 9 rebounds, as well as Matt Atkins winding back the clock for 20 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Import guard Kyle Miller bounced back from last weeks shocked with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, which is a promising sign for Centrals, as he is their key to seeing the finals again this year.

Mavericks point guard Curtis Scipio (20 points and 6 rebounds) was his team’s leader once again, with valuable contributions from Daniel Lean (12 points and 7 rebounds) and Brad Davis (13 points and 8 rebounds).

The Lions did a tremendous job of getting to the free throw line, shooting 46 for the game, in a clear effort to get their offence, which has been missing since Round 1, into rhythm. The Lions defence was also on point in the second half, forcing 21 turnovers for the game, and 15 in the last 20 minutes.

Eastern remain winless on the bottom of the ladder, however have looked like they may steal a game or two this year, whilst the Lions are in 8th place, but behind on percentage to the Eagles and the Flames, and just in front of the Rockets.

West Adelaide Bearcats v Woodville Warriors

Women’s: West Adelaide Bearcats 63 – 73 Woodville Warriors

The Bearcats once again lost a close, but winnable game, by a slender margin of only 10 points. The loss sees them now on a 4 game slide, and post season action slipping away. The Warriors have broken the shackles of their close losses, but this win takes them on a 2 game streak, and now only one game out of the five.

The Warriors built an 11-point first half lead, and managed to contain any run that West put together, on the back of grabbing 20 offensive boards, and a pile of second chance points. West shot the ball better, finishing on 40% compared to Woodville’s 33%, but the Bearcats inability to shoot the 3 ball, with only one attempt for the game, and converting at a measly 40% from the line, meant any comeback effort was likely short lived.

West Adelaide spread the offensive load across their starters, with Sky Langenbrinck (15 points), Stana Zecevic (11 points and 6 rebounds), Alana Nairn (10 points and 9 rebounds) and Kate Shierlaw (13 rebounds), all providing even contribution, however West needed one player to step up big on the night to get the win.

The Warriors Katherine Perkas had a big night out, taking home 24 points and 9 rebounds in only 20 minutes of game time, after fouling out. Carmen Reynolds was impressive, as she has been all season, scoring 29 points and 11 rebounds, going 6 from 10 from deep. If the Warriors can sling together a few more wins, and close out the tight games, they may well return to the finals this season.

West are still in 8th place, whilst the Warriors move to 6th only one game out of the five.

Men’s: West Adelaide Bearcats 70 – 60 Woodville Warriors

In this rounds mouth-watering top of the table clash, the Bearcats managed to contain the offensively struggling Warriors side, and get the important win by 10 points. West managed to build a 17 point lead into the final change, before the Warriors made a last ditch effort to close the gap but their run came too late.

West Adelaide import point Jason Dawson (26 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists) continues to show his class, moving to second on the league leading scorer list, and takes out 4th place for assists per game. Blake Truslove could only manage 22 minutes of game time after fouling out, but still put up an impressive 9 points and 9 rebounds.

Woodville had multiple contributors, but no real stand-outs, as the Warriors offense struggled to get going. Luke Stanbridge (15 points and 9 rebounds) was impressive again after being given additional minutes, and import Alex Starling (14 points and 11 rebounds) played well, but still with injury concerns from a fortnight ago.

In what was an very evenly matched game, the big difference came at the stripe, with West getting to the line 15 times more, on the back of a 9 foul advantage.

The return match at Woodville is expected to be hotly contested, and may just decided some important top 5 placings.

West remain on top of the ladder, and the Warriors just a game behind in 3rd place.

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