SEABL Round 5: Daequon Montreal Stakes His Claim while the Kilsyth Lady Cobras Firm as Favourites
Although the Dandenong Rangers split their round and sit at 2-4, the signs are good for the defending champions as Daequon Montreal returned to form with a league high 44 point effort against the Frankston Blues. He shot 15-24 from the field and hit 5 three pointers, including one that took the match into overtime. Despite his efforts, the Rangers fell to the Blues 90-94 with Chuck Long (23 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists) the hero for Frankston. Dandenong followed up that tough loss with a comfortable win over the Centre of Excellence, reeling in a 5 point quarter-time deficit to win by 20. Montreal averaged 34 points, 6.5 boards and 2 steals for the round and has staked his claim on the season after an injury-laden start. The younger bodies of the CoE were unable to stay with the Rangers as Tony Lewis (25 points, 9 rebounds) and Brent Hobba (21 points) took full advantage.
Photo Credit: Dandenong Basketball
The CoE had given the Knox Raiders a scare the night before, pushing them to the brink in a 74-77 loss. Leading by 14 in the first half, they were unable to maintain their unusual position, succumbing to an 8-24 third term and although they tied the game in the final minutes, the CoE were left to rue 15 missed free throws. Isaac Humphries’ 16 points were countered by 22 from Knox’s Adam Doyle.
Having already beaten Dandenong, Frankston took their winning streak to three with a 95-89 victory over the Ballarat Miners. Long was everywhere for the Blues, averaging 18.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists with just 2 total turnovers for the round while Brandon Polk ran wild against the Miners with 27 points. Ballarat were led by Ken Horton (34 points, 14 rebounds). Despite nailing 13 treys by three quarter-time, Ballarat couldn’t hit one in the final term as Frankston turned on the jets, shooting 10-17 from the field in a 34 point quarter to race to victory.
The Geelong Supercats also swept Round 5, moving to 7-1 with wins over the Bendigo Braves and Sandringham Sabres. They won every quarter against Bendigo, scoring +30 points in the paint and +18 off turnovers in a 97-76 victory. The Braves may have been fatigued from their game in Nunawading the night before as they lost a heartbreaker to the Spectres, 85-83. With 1:15 remaining, Tommy Greer scored a put-back that would become a game winner as Dustin Salisbery missed two game winning attempts. Zack Atkinson was a shining light in a dark weekend for the 3-4 Braves, averaging 22.5 points. Nunawading sit just below Geelong in the East Conference at 5-1 with Simon Conn (24 points, 15 boards) still leading the league in rebounds.
The Supercats win over Bendigo followed a successful game against Sandringham, who threw everything they had at Geelong but still came up short. The visitors led by 3 with just two minutes remaining but 4 points from Mike Mercer and a rimmed three on the buzzer from James McKinnon gave Geelong the 87-86 win. Four Supercats starters averaged 14+ points for the round while shooting at 53% and they look unstoppable at home with a 4-0 record. The Sabres tough schedule ended with a loss to the Mt. Gambier Pioneers who were never troubled on their way to a 108-79 win, putting the pedal to the floor with a 35-16 final term. Sandringham’s Mike Moore recorded 18 and 36 point games but their bench problems were magnified against Mt. Gambier as their five secondary players shot just 5-14 for 11 points.
The Pioneers remain one of only two unbeaten teams after sweeping the weekend with a win over the Albury/Wodonga Bandits that took them to a remarkable 5-0 road record. Daniel Johnson (13.5 points for the weekend), Tom Daly (18.5), Ben Allen (20.5) and Brad Hill (22.5) lead a balanced line-up that is gelling perfectly at both ends of the floor. Only Jamar Briscoe (26 points) was able to break the lines for Albury/Wodonga but they have now slipped to 1-5 and 0-3 at home.
The Kilsyth Cobras faced the dreaded Tasmanian road trip this weekend and their impressive 4-1 record was quickly ruined with two losses. They fell just short of the Hobart Chargers as both sides had their chances in the dying minutes but Deba George (23 points) was clutch for Hobart, scoring the final five points of the game. Khalil Hartwell was the dominant big man on the floor, finishing with 17 points and 17 rebounds as the Chargers nabbed their first home win of the season. Kilsyth missed Joel Naburgs point guard production as the N/W Tasmanian Thunder then trounced them by 18. A 32-22 second term set up the win with Tyrone Lee and Robert Jenkins recording 21 apiece. A highlight for the Cobras was the return of Auryn MacMillan (20.5 points and 9 boards for the weekend) while Tim Lang (2nd in the league for points) scored 36 across the two games.
Finally, the Brisbane Spartans won their first home game of the season in an ugly contest which saw only 8-53 three pointers connect. The 80-91 loss was the Canberra Gunner’s third straight and although Garlon Green was again productive with 26 points, he missed all 8 attempts from long range. Izzy Tueta looks to have found form for the Spartans, reaching 20 for the second consecutive game while Zach Henifin (16 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks) was tireless in his efforts.
The best performance of the round came from the 6-1 Kilsyth Lady Cobras, who moved to the top of the South Conference after sweeping their Tasmanian road trip. It was a hard fought victory against the Hobart Lady Chargers, as the home side turned a 7 point half-time deficit into a 4 point lead with 4 minutes remaining. Rosie Moult led the resistance though with two trademark three’s as the Lady Cobras finished the game on a 13-5 run. Eliza Chilcott (10 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists) flirted with a triple-double for Hobart while Emma Langford proved she could be a very handy pick-up, scoring 26 in her debut. Kilsyth also had to fight against the Launceston Tornadoes, with the lead changing hands four times in the final term. Yvonne Anderson sealed the deal though, with 16 of her 26 points coming in the last quarter. The Tornadoes had five players reach double figures but a -14 differential from the free throw line was their downfall. For Kilsyth, Sarah Parsons’ 18 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 4.5 steals over the weekend was a true captain’s performance.
Just as impressive as Kilsyth were the Dandenong Rangers who overcame two tough opponents in the Frankston Lady Blues and the Centre of Excellence to move to 4-1 on the year. Frankston were left to rue awful first and third quarters, in which they scored just 15 of their 60 points at 15% shooting as Dandenong went on to win by 7. Alison Downie and Lauren Scherf ensured the Rangers first road win of the season, combining for 26 points and 23 rebounds. They then fought out a nail-biter at home against the CoE on Sunday, winning 76-71. Carley Mijovic recorded 18 points and 11 rebounds but couldn’t avoid her team’s first loss of the year. For Dandenong, Clare Papavs chimed in with 16 points while Scherf was again huge, finishing with 11.5 points and 12 boards for the weekend.
Fatigue may have been a factor for the CoE as they were playing their first game of a back-to-back, having defeated the Knox Raiders the night before. Leading by 12 at quarter-time, the CoE’s lead was trimmed to 4 in the final term but Tess Lavey and Steph Talbot (19 points apiece) held their nerve for an 80-72 victory. Knox were boosted by the return of Gabe Richards, who immediately went to work with 31 points on 13-19 shooting and 17 rebounds. Along with Kelly Wilson, the Raiders are now one of the scariest teams in the league but with a 2-5 record, it will take a while before they are back in playoff contention.
Following their Friday night loss to Dandenong, Frankston were intent on making a statement and unfortunately for the Albury/Wodonga Lady Bandits, they were the recipients of another drubbing. The Lady Blues won 101-76, taking Albury/Wodonga’s average losing margin this season to 41.4 points. Emilee Harmon continued to do her bit, scoring 16 points on 8-9 shooting but Frankston were ferocious, grabbing a +21 advantage in points off turnovers and 19 more second chance points. Across the weekend, Nicole Romeo averaged 19 points while Maddie Garrick had 21.5 at 49% shooting.
The Nunawading Spectres were the third side to sweep Round 5, beating the Bendigo Lady Braves 77-63 before running over the top of the Sandringham Sabres by 12. Rebecca Cole was a menace at both ends of the floor for the Spectres, averaging 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6 assists while collecting 7 steals against Sandringham. Alannah Smith was deadly from the field, scoring 17 in both games and shooting at 62% to help Nunawading to a 5-2 record. Bendigo were able to salvage their weekend with a 92-73 win over the Geelong Lady Supercats, after jumping out to an 18 point advantage by half-time. Five players reached double figures, LaSondra Barrett and Alex Bunton combined for 27 points and 22 boards and Chantella Perera finished with an average of 22 points for the weekend.
Sandringham’s loss to Nunawading was further compounded by a 10 point defeat at the hands of Geelong. Following a 1 point quarter-time deficit, the Lady Supercats were never troubled as they recorded 11 steals and forced 19 turnovers. The winless Sabres found a bright spot in Bridget Deery who scored 16 points in 17 minutes but Geelong were obviously a cut above as all five of their starters scored 11+. Alex Duck averaged 17 for the round while Tayla Roberts was dominant in the paint, recording 15 points and 11.5 boards for the weekend. Despite splitting the round, the Supercats fell to 5th in what is evolving into a cut-throat East Conference.
Alongside Sandringham at the bottom of the South Conference sit the 0-5 Canberra Capitals who succumbed to the Brisbane Lady Spartans 54-71. Brisbane won every quarter to record their first home win of the season with Olivia Thompson (6th in the league for rebounds) recording her fifth double-double of the year. The Capitals were led by 14 from Ellie Junod but gave up 27 points off 21 turnovers.
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