SEABL Round 10: Canberra Gunners Sweep Their First Round while Sabres Women Break Their Duck
The Canberra Gunners passed a huge test this weekend, sweeping their first round of the season with road wins over the Bendigo Braves and Sandringham Sabres. They overcame a 5 point quarter-time deficit against Bendigo to win 94-88. Their spacing on the floor was particularly impressive, recording 18 assists on 34 field goals, including 9-18 shooting from beyond the arc. The Braves were paced by 27 points from Dustin Salisbery while Matt Vigor (26 points, 12 rebounds) and Zack Atkinson (11 and 11) had double-doubles but the loss has dropped them to 6-7 on the season.
Canberra’s follow up performance against Sandringham was even better, playing their second game in the space of 19 hours. A close contest saw the Sabres grab a 3 point lead midway through the final term but the Gunners finished the game on a 14-6 run. Garlon Green led the charge, averaging 28.5 points for the round while Matt Staff recorded 16.5 points and 8 rebounds across the two games. Tad Dufelmeier (14 points, 6 rebounds, 5.5 assists) also emerged as a solid contributor as Canberra moved to 4-4 on the road and 5-9 overall.
Round 10 was a forgettable one for the Sabres, having lost to the Mt. Gambier Pioneers 73-87 two nights previous. Mt. Gambier didn’t lose a quarter as six players reached double figures on their way to a sixth straight home victory. Ben Allen (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Damian Johnson (14 and 13) led the way while Lukass Blicavs finished with 14 and 7 off the bench. Rayshawn Goins was outstanding for Sandringham across the weekend, averaging 25 points and 15.5 rebounds (9 offensive). Mike Moore sits in the top ten for scoring but his performance summed up the Sabres, averaging 12 points on 10-36 shooting including 1-14 from downtown.
The Centre of Excellence came up empty on their Tasmanian road trip, falling to the Hobart Chargers and N/W Tasmania Thunder despite strong starts in both games. The CoE led by as much as 11 points deep in the first half against Hobart but a 41-26 second half carried the home side to an 86-78 win. The scoring machine in Deba George (40 points, 7 assists) again led the way on 15-33 shooting but the Chargers will be looking for more contributors to improve their 7-6 record.
The following night was the same old story for the CoE as they were unable to maintain a 9 point second quarter lead, succumbing 98-82. The Thunder were out-scored by 18 from the three point line but feasted inside, finishing +16 in points in the paint, +20 in second chance points and +14 in points off turnovers. Tyrone Lee (29 points) and Robert Jenkins (25) proved unstoppable. For the CoE, Xavier Cooks stepped up in the absence of Jack McVeigh, averaging 22.5 points and 10 rebounds. Tanner Krebs was also solid with 17.5 points but their two losses take their road record to a dismal 0-8.
The Brisbane Spartans arrived in Dandenong looking for an upset on Saturday night but it was the Rangers who triumphed, scoring a league-wide season high 113 points to win by 26. A 35-14 opening term set up the win with Tony Lewis (25 points, 17 rebounds) and Daequon Montreal (25 points) combining for 23 in a blistering start. The reigning champions were uncompromising, scoring 23 points off Brisbane’s 19 turnovers and now look to have found their footing after a shaky start.
The Spartans then headed down the highway to face the Geelong Supercats as their weekend only got tougher. Once again, the game was lost early after a 32-19 first quarter with Geelong recording a 98-80 win; their seventh straight and eighth straight at home. Mike Mercer tallied 25 points while Eric Gaff (11 points, 10 rebounds) was a perfect 5-5 from the field. Highlights were seldom for Brisbane across the weekend but Scott Kenny averaged 15 points while in a starting role against the Supercats, Brendon Teys scored 23. Having dropped their past three games, the Spartans now sit two games outside the top four in the East.
The Ballarat Miners’ starters combined for 100 points in a 107-91 rout of the Albury/Wodonga Bandits as they shot 53% from the field and 14-28 from beyond the arc. Roy Booker (27 points) and Ken Horton (22 and 12 rebounds) dominated while Nathan Sobey scored a season high 21 as Ballarat moved to 6-2 on the road. Albury/Wodonga will be pleased with the efforts of Nick Payne (27 points) and Alex Bogart-King (21) but their perimeter defence let them down.
Playing their second consecutive game without MVP Shane McDonald, the Nunawading Spectres cruised to victory over the Knox Raiders, 82-74. After trailing by as much as 20, the scoreline was made respectable by Knox with a 25-16 final term. Simon Conn (16 points, 9 rebounds) and Tommy Greer (15 and 8) dominated the floor in limited minutes while Mitch Creek ran riot with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Delwan Graham (18 points, 10 boards) and Justin Aver (15 points in 18 minutes) were productive but the Raiders lacked the firepower to go with Nunawading, slumping to 3-10 on the year.
Finally, the Kilsyth Cobras got the job done over the Frankston Blues 84-73 as three of their starters scored 20+. Tim Lang (22 points, 17 rebounds) won the important battle inside against Brandon Polk (23 and 13) while Kyle Adnam played all 40 minutes for 28 points. Frankston could have moved within a win of the Cobras but the loss now sits them three games outside the top four in the South Conference.
The Centre of Excellence faced the Tasmanian road trip this round, losing to the Hobart Lady Chargers before defeating the Launceston Tornadoes. Shooting just 2-16 from the field in a disastrous opening term, the CoE trailed Hobart by 22 points at the first break. The Lady Chargers went on to win 94-65 with Izzy Chilcott (12 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists) falling just short of a triple-double. Cayla Francis (22 points, 13 rebounds) starred in her first game of the season and her five three pointer’s helped her side to a 33 point advantage from beyond the arc.
The following night saw the CoE bounce back with a comfortable 89-58 win over Launceston. They won every quarter while recording 21 assists for their 37 field goals. Steph Talbot (20 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists) and Tess Lavey (12, 6, and 6) were exceptional while Nat Burton’s 14.5 point average for the weekend helped move her side to third in the East Conference. Alex Wilson’s 16 points and 13 rebounds was a highlight for the Tornadoes while Lauren Mansfield hit five from distance to finish with 21 points.
Saturday night saw the Brisbane Lady Spartans, coming into the round with a five game winning streak, face off against the Dandenong Rangers, who had won their past eight. The much hyped clash was a fizzer though as Dandenong tore through their opposition, leading by as much as 30 before winning 84-59. Six Rangers players reached double figures with Clare Papavs’ 13 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists leading the way. Dandenong now sits two losses clear on top of the East Conference.
Brisbane’s tough weekend continued the following day as they visited the Geelong Lady Supercats but a resilient performance saw them come away with a 76-72 victory. Trailing by 11 at half-time, Brisbane dug deep with a 25-18 final term despite 21 points and 8 rebounds from Sara Blicavs. Geelong were sitting pretty at 7-2 just three rounds ago but have inexplicably dropped three straight while Brisbane have now moved above them into the East Conference’s 4th spot. Sarah Graham was the stand-out over the weekend for Brisbane, averaging 16.5 points while Tia Mangakahia continued her impressive work off the bench with 7.5 points and 9 rebounds. Holly Smith was also critical in the Geelong win, scoring a season high 16 points on 7-11 shooting.
The Canberra Capitals had a predictable match against the Bendigo Lady Braves, falling behind by 24 at three-quarter time before losing 62-78. The win keeps Bendigo on top of the South Conference with a 7-0 home record. In limited minutes due to the blow-out, Lauren King finished with 17 points while Chantella Perera (13 points, 5 rebounds, 6 steals) was exceptional. Canberra then faced the other winless side in the competition the following day- the Sandringham Sabres.
The signs were positive early for the Capitals as they led by 4 at quarter-time but Sandringham stepped up a gear from that point, comfortably winning 77-57. With a competitive team on paper, many people have not been able to explain Sandringham’s woeful year but with any luck, this could kick-start their season. Melissa Joy had a season high 13 points in the win, nailing 9-9 from the free throw line while Hope Walker chimed in with 12 points and 6 rebounds. For Canberra, Ellie Junod was a bright spot with an average of 12.5 points while Caitlin Rowe dominated against Sandringham with 16 points and 15 boards.
A tight contest was fought out between the Ballarat Rush and Albury/Wodonga Lady Bandits on Saturday night but a 27-13 second term proved the difference as Ballarat won 99-87. The Lady Bandits were desperate to avoid an eighth straight loss and they were paced by Emilee Harmon (29 points, 14 rebounds). Lauren Angel (23 points) and Rachel Maenpaa (16) also contributed as their side shot 51% from the field but a -7 differential in points off turnovers was costly. Ballarat were led by Steph Cumming (29 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) while Nya Mason’s 20 points was her best production of the year.
The Knox Raiders may have gotten their season on track as they picked up a huge win over the Nunawading Spectres, 71-65. It ended an eight game winning streak for the Spectres with their usual stars (Rebecca Allen and Rebecca Cole) combining for just 21 points. Only Alannah Smith (17 points) found a rhythm and although Nunawading did grab five more offensive rebounds and finished +6 in points in the paint, they had no answer for Gabe Richards (22 points, 18 rebounds). Her presence makes a world of difference for Knox and she was ably supported by Kelly Wilson (12 and 6 with 6 assists). The Raiders do sit four games outside the top four in the East Conference but only a fool would count them out.
The usual potency of the Frankston Lady Blues’ offence was non-existent when they faced the Kilsyth Lady Cobras, as they managed just 45 points in a 30 point trouncing. They scored only 24 points after quarter time, hitting an unbelievable 6-54 from the field. Kelly Bowen (13 points, 10 rebounds) showed the only signs of life as Yvonne Anderson (25 points), Louella Tomlinson (19 and 8 rebounds) and Sarah Parsons’ 13 rebounds tore them to shreds. The loss means Frankston now sit two losses behind the second placed Lady Cobras in the East Conference.
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