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SEABL Round 6: The CoE Get a Maiden Win But International Duties Hamper the Women's Competition
With the Centre of Excellence picking up a win this weekend, every side in the competition has now tasted success while the Mt. Gambier Pioneers remain the only undefeated team.
The CoE fell in a 6 point quarter-time hole against the Brisbane Spartans but showed maturity as they remained calm and then blasted their way to victory with a 21-10 final term. The Brisbane starters couldn’t convert all night in the 80-92 loss, combining for 36% while the entire team shot just 4-16 in the last quarter. With a previous season high of 12, the CoE’s Tanner Krebs shot 9-14 to lead all scorers with 25. Brisbane were led by Dean Brebner and Brendan Teys who combined for 31 points off the bench but their team has now slumped to a problematic 2-5 on the road.
Mt. Gambier’s unbeaten streak has moved to 9, with a reasonably comfortable 101-92 win over the Knox Raiders, surviving a 17-28 final period. Ben Allen (22 points, 15 boards) had a fascinating battle with Delwan Graham (21 and 16) while Tom Daly took the point guard honours with 31 points on 11-14 shooting. The Raiders then lost 65-75 the following day to the Hobart Chargers. In back-to-back matches this season, Knox are 0-6 and that lack of consistency is a real issue. Graham was the one highlight for the round, finishing with an average of 20.5 points and 16 rebounds while the Chargers were led by 22 points and 17 rebounds (8 offensive) from Jerrah Young.
Hobart buttered up that performance with a tight 92-90 victory over the Sandringham Sabres. Although the Sabres kept within one possession for the final two minutes, they could never get ahead in a frustrating finish. Deba George capped off a brilliant weekend, averaging 32 for the round with a 40 point effort. He drained 5 three’s and was perfect from the free throw line (17-17). Sandringham’s imports continue to fire as Mike Moore scored 26 while Rayshawn Goins collected 22 with 15 rebounds.
The six game winning streak of the N/W Tasmania Thunder came to an end with two losses on the road to the Bendigo Braves and Nunawading Spectres. Bendigo are turning their home court into a fortress again this season, holding off a stubborn Thunder outfit to win 88-82. Dustin Salisbery (26 points) iced the game with four free throws in the final 30 seconds as well as coming up with an important steal. Although N/W Tasmania had four players score 14+, they shot just 41% as a team and recorded 18 turnovers. They then stumbled again in the fourth term on Sunday as the Spectres ran over the top of them with a 30-16 final term to win 86-81. Tyrone Lee averaged a double-double for the weekend with 19.5 points and 12.5 rebounds but Simon Conn (32 and 18) was devastating for Nunawading.
The Spectres hot form rolled on as their win over the Thunder was preceded by a comfortable victory against the Frankston Blues. A 12-31 final term took some of the gloss off the win but Nunawading were never in trouble after leading by 33 at three-quarter time. With an already deadly list, Nunawading have become even scarier as Mitch Creek debuted with 19 points in 17 minutes. Matthew Williams (14 points) provided a rare highlight for the Blues, having scored just 4 points previously all season.
The Albury/Wodonga Bandits also dropped two road games for the round, losing to the Ballarat Miners and Kilsyth Cobras. They fell agonisingly short of Ballarat in a 98-101 overtime loss that saw several Herculean efforts at the offensive end. The Miners’ Roy Booker dropped 41 for the game which included 9-19 from the three point line, one of which was a go-ahead bucket with 6 seconds remaining in regulation. Alex Opacic (29 points, 10 rebounds) then took the game into overtime with an answering three on the buzzer. It was Ken Horton’s turn (30 and 17) in the extra period, as he scored 9 to launch Ballarat into the top 4 in the East Conference.
The Bandits did themselves no favours with that draining performance, falling to the Cobras 63-94 the following day. Kilsyth blew the game open with a blistering 40 point opening term and already led by 27 at half-time. Only Alex Bogart-King (20 points and 12 rebounds) provided resistance while Briscoe finished with a 25 point average for the round. Kyle Adnam (27 points) feasted for the Cobras as his side recorded 18 assists on 31 field goals.
They salvaged their round with that win, having lost to the Geelong Supercats 73-81 the night before. The worst news for Kilsyth came before the round started, with Dain Swetella ruled out for the rest of the season. 13 points and 10 rebounds from Auryn MacMillan kept them in the game but after trailing by only 3 at half-time, they shot 2-12 in the third term for 7 points. Geelong took full advantage of that lapse, holding on to top spot in the East as Nick Owusu and Eric Gaff combined for 22 points and 24 rebounds with double-doubles each.
Lastly, the Dandenong Rangers utilised their impressive starting front court of Daequon Montreal, Tony Lewis and Brent Hobba to combine for 69 points, 19 rebounds, 9 assists and 8 blocks in an 85-75 win over the Canberra Gunners. Dandenong attempted 17 less field goals but shot 54% to move to 3-4 on the year. The loss was Canberra’s fourth straight and they are now dwindling at 1-6 despite another heroic performance from Garlon Green (25 points, 10 rebounds).
With international duties interrupting the SEABL season for several players, more than a few teams were hampered by the loss of personnel this weekend.
One team who greatly suffered were the Centre of Excellence, who fell to the Brisbane Lady Spartans. Despite fielding just 6 players, the CoE showed their grit with a 20-7 third term, reducing an 18 point lead to just 3. They were led by Steph Talbot (16 points, 15 rebounds) but Brisbane utilised their spare legs to run out 75-62 winners. Olivia Thompson (14 points, 11 boards) grabbed her sixth double-double of the year although Sarah Graham (30 points) was the story of the night as she knocked down 8 three pointer’s.
The Knox Raiders were another side who suffered as they hosted the Hobart Lady Chargers without Kelly Wilson, Gabe Richards or Jess May who was injured. Their offence completely fell apart in the second half, scoring 11 points on 2-28 shooting as Hobart romped to a 95-44 win. Only Rachel Quirk and Shanae Greaves (15 points, 12 rebounds) reached double figures in a game that Knox simply have to move on from. Hobart had five players score over 10 as Kathleen Scheer combined 17 points with 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals.
The Lady Chargers had a tougher assignment against the winless Sandringham Sabres the following day. The Sabres’ luckless season continued as Izzy Chilcott recovered from a blocked shot to score on the buzzer in an 80-78 win. Heroic performances from Hope Walker (26 points, 13 rebounds) and Micaela Cocks (who scored 9 of her 18 in the final quarter) almost pulled them over the line but Hobart hung on with five players again reaching double figures and Scheer again leading from the front. She averaged 18.5 points for the round while Chilcott’s game-winner capped off a spectacular afternoon in which the forward recorded 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
The Canberra Capitals, alongside the Sabres, are languishing at the bottom of the South Conference after falling 72-74 in a thrilling overtime contest against the Dandenong Rangers. Trailing by as much as 12 points, the Capitals clamped down defensively, allowing Dandenong just 6 points in the third term on 3-10 shooting. They then scored the final 6 points in regulation as Sarah McAppion (28 points) hit a buzzer beater. Dandenong’s cool heads prevailed though with Amelia Todhunter scoring 6 of her 14 points in the extra period while Faith Probst (11 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 blocks) fired at both ends. It was a far improved effort from Canberra who lost to Dandenong by 36 just three weeks ago but a win still eludes them.
The Albury/Wodonga Lady Bandits have slumped to 1-7 with two more losses this weekend to the Ballarat Rush and Kilsyth Lady Cobras. The Rush held on to an 84-81 victory despite a 10-3 run to end the game from the Lady Bandits who received 24 points and 15 rebounds from Emilee Harmon. Ballarat have had a quiet start to the season but now sit at 4-1 in the highly competitive East Conference. They were led this week by Abbey Wehrung who improved her 9 point season average with 27 on 10-10 free throw shooting.
Albury/Wodonga again found themselves in a hole against Kilsyth the following day, trailing by 15 at half-time. They reduced the margin to 5 in the third term but could never grab a lead, eventually succumbing 70-84. Harmon finished with a double-double average of 24.5 points and 12.5 rebounds for the weekend but isn’t receiving enough help from her team-mates. The Lady Cobras were led by Sarah Parsons (8 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists) and they have hung on to top spot in the South Conference despite losing the night before to the Geelong Lady Supercats.
It was an important win for Geelong as they re-entered the top four in the East with a dominate 95-74 victory, winning every quarter and assisting on 26 out of 35 field goals. No starter played more than 30 minutes but four of them scored 12+. Yvonne Anderson once again impressed with a 20.5 point average across the round for Kilsyth.
Nunawading joined Hobart as the two unbeaten teams for the round, earning a hard fought win over the Frankston Lady Blues before taking care of the Launceston Tornadoes on Sunday. The Spectres led by 9 halfway through the last term against Frankston but they only avoided overtime as Maddie Garrick (20 points, 13 rebounds) missed on a buzzer beating three. Alanna Smith (12 points, 9 rebounds in 16 minutes) continues to shine for Nunawading. She is amazingly effective off the bench and was again instrumental in their 87-78 win against the Tornadoes the following day. The forward collected another 15 points and 8 rebounds in 16 minutes while Rebecca Cole led with 23. Despite hitting 8 three pointer’s, Launceston only shot 36% from the field with Nadeen Payne (24 points, 10 rebounds) once again dominating in the paint.
The Tornadoes lacked the ability to finish strongly against Nunawading and that was their undoing against the Bendigo Lady Braves the following night. Leading by 4 at the final break, they collapsed with a 16-26 final term. Lauren King and Kerryn Harrington combined for 18 fourth quarter points for Bendigo while Chantella Perera dialled up 25 points and 12 rebounds. Payne finished with a double-double average of 20.5 points and 11 boards for the weekend for Launceston but at 2-6, they must quickly find a way to win these close games if they want to play finals.
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