SEABL Round 8: Ballarat Miners a Championship Threat while Losing Streaks Continue for Capitals and Sabres
|Grant Richardson||May 20, 2014|
The Ballarat Miners have announced themselves as Championship contenders with wins against both 2013 Grand Finalists. They stunned the Mt. Gambier Pioneers 97-80, shooting 59% while hitting 15-28 from long range. Roy Booker was unconscious with 40 points (including 9-12 from three) and 11 assists while Ken Horton (12 points, 19 rebounds) made his presence known. It was also the perfect time for Nathan Sobey to make his debut, as he shot 6-10 for 13 points in just 19 minutes. The Pioneers were missing Brad Hill and had no answers defensively as Tom Daly (24 points) and Ben Allen (19 points, 8 boards) received little help. It was their first loss after starting the year 10-0.
Proving that win was no fluke, the Miners followed it with a 91-81 win against the Dandenong Rangers. Despite leading by 21 at the half, Ballarat needed a 19-9 run to end the game after Dandenong pulled the deficit back to 2 in the final term. With another 18 points and 14 assists, Booker now leads the league in both scoring and assists. He is getting great help from Horton, who hit 8-9 from downtown to finish with 34 points against stiff competition in Daequon Montreal (28 points) and Tony Lewis (20 points, 15 rebounds). Dandenong couldn’t stop the red hot shooting of Ballarat as they nailed 14 three pointers and shot 56% from the field in another scintillating performance.
The Rangers’ round was not completely lost, having overcome the Sandringham Sabres 101-84 the previous night. A 39-28 opening term set up the win as Owen Odigie exploded for 10 of his 13 points. Lewis (23 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists) was exceptional while Montreal averaged 27.5 points over the weekend. The loss was Sandringham’s fourth straight and they now sit two games out of the top four in the South Conference despite tireless efforts from Rayshawn Goins (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Mike Moore (21 points).
Alongside Ballarat, the N/W Tasmania Thunder also swept Round 8 as they ended their three game losing streak and got back on track for the year at 8-3. The Kilsyth Cobras pushed them all the way on Saturday night, getting to within 3 in the last quarter before losing 81-88. Joel Naburgs (20 points, 10 rebounds) returned from injury for the Cobras but their 15 turnovers led to 13 points. After starting the season 4-1, Kilsyth have now fallen out of the South top four and sit at 5-5.
The Thunder won another close contest against the Frankston Blues the following day as Robert Jenkins scored 7 points in the final 2:23 to turn a 1 point lead into an 83-79 win. He averaged 25 points and 4.5 steals for the round and now has 10 more steals than anyone in the league. Nathan Wilson (23 points, 15 rebounds) had his most productive game of the year while Tyrone Lee chipped in with 20. The Blues received 18 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists from Brandon Polk while Matt Turner impressed with 12 points in 11 minutes but it wasn’t enough to avoid Frankston’s fourth straight defeat.
The Hobart Chargers suffered their second consecutive fourth term collapse as the Brisbane Spartans scored the first 23 points of the last quarter. They overcome a 9 point three quarter time deficit to win 89-77. Hobart shot just 2-13 in the fourth period with Deba George’s 34 points and Jerrah Young’s 20 points and 13 rebounds proving insufficient. For Brisbane, Izzy Tueta scored 5 of his 25 in the final term while CJ Massingale’s 22 was his best output since Round 3.
Hobart got back on the winners list with a hard fought 81-77 win over the Canberra Gunners the following day. George and Young combined for 21 points in the final term as Hobart finally put in a strong performance in the clutch. Canberra fell just short of sweeping the round, having defeated the Centre of Excellence the night before with their best offensive performance of the year. They won 111-98 as Garlon Green exploded for 36 while Matt Staff averaged 12 boards to move into the top five for rebounds in the league. The Gunners also received great production from Dan Jackson, who averaged 15 points for the round.
The CoE’s defence was again leaky against the Albury/Wodonga Bandits the following day as they fell 104-87. On the positive side, Gabe Hadley (23 points) emerged for the CoE, hitting 7-9 from deep while Jack McVeigh averaged 24 points for the round. The Bandits utilised their height advantage though, finishing +12 in rebounds and +10 in points in the paint. Six of their players reached double figures as Nick Payne (11 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists) led the way.
In a top of the East Conference clash, the Geelong Supercats picked up a huge win as Eric Gaff hit his only shot of the night on the buzzer to beat the Nunawading Spectres 85-84. Nunawading trailed by 6 with 2 minutes remaining but a 9-2 run gave them a late lead. Gaff silenced the crowd though with a massive shot as Geelong gained some breathing room on the ladder. Both Mike Mercer and Nick Owusu reached 20 points while Ash Cannan finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds. For Nunawading, Conn and Tommy Greer both had double-doubles and combined for 12 offensive rebounds while Shane McDonald (23 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists) starred.
Finally, the Bendigo Braves cruised to victory over the Knox Raiders with a 100-92 win as Zack Atkinson (22 points, 18 boards) dominated. Taylor Bell had 15 and 7 off the bench while Michael Vigor and Dustin Salisbery joined in with 20 and 23 points respectively. The Raiders will be encouraged by their 34 bench points but they lack a powerhouse player to win the game off their own hand and now sit at 2-9 on the year.
The Canberra Capitals and Sandringham Sabres have both fallen to 0-10 after eight rounds with their season of misery showing no signs of ending anytime soon.
Despite fielding just six players, the Centre of Excellence defeated Canberra on Friday night 78-56. Every player scored while all five starters reached double figures as they won every quarter to move to 6-4 on the year. Kristy Wallace (16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals) led the way while Alicia Froling (10 points, 10 boards) had a double-double. Canberra shot 27% as a team with Alice Coddington the only player able to score 10 points but Shelley West’s effort could not be denied as she recorded 7 points and 8 rebounds (7 offensive).
The Capitals finished 0-2 for a third weekend this year with a loss to the Hobart Lady Chargers the following day. Once again, they struggled to put the ball in the basket, shooting 33% in a 56-71 loss. Caitlin Rowe (18 points, 8 boards) was a stand-out but their leading scorer in Sarah McAppion couldn’t find her range, scoring in single digits for the third straight game. Kathleen Scheer was devastating for Hobart, finishing with 32 points and 14 rebounds.
It was an important win for the Lady Chargers as they had fallen to the Brisbane Lady Spartans the night before. Hobart were in charge with an 8 point half-time lead and they still held a 4 point advantage in the fourth term but an 18-6 run to end the game saw Brisbane storm home. Both sides entered the match at 5-4 but the victory kept the Lady Spartans in touch with the East Conference top four. Sarah Graham’s 22 points included 4 three pointers while Natalie Taylor totalled 12 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. For Hobart, Scheer finished the round with a 25.5 point and 15 rebound average while Eliza Chilcott balanced 10 total turnovers with 4 steals and 3 blocks across the two matches.
Sandringham stayed close with the Dandenong Rangers for a majority of their match but were never in a position to win, eventually falling 69-83. Six players reached double figures for Dandenong, including all five starters. Lauren Scherf collected 11 points and 12 rebounds in just 18 minutes while Clare Papavs (13 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists) ran riot. Only Micaela Cocks (19 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists) was able to provide resistance for the Sabres but they struggle to score easy points, losing 14-2 in second chance points and 8-0 on fast breaks.
Dandenong took their winning streak to seven with an 86-67 win over the Ballarat Rush the following day. They blew the road team out of the water with a 28-5 second term, in which the Rush shot 2-13 from the field. A bigger concern was Dandenong’s 18 offensive rebounds though as it led to a 16-2 advantage in second chance points. Scherf nabbed her third straight double-double to average 12 points and 12 boards for the round while Jacinta Kennedy chimed in with 14 off the bench. On 10-16 shooting, Steph Cumming’s 27 points was a rare highlight for the visitors.
Despite playing her 200th game, Kristy Rinaldi could not make Ballarat’s weekend a memorable one as she missed a three on the buzzer against the Frankston Lady Blues the previous night. Rinaldi still finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Cumming’s 24 took her round average to 25.5 but the 0-2 weekend puts the Rush two games out of the East’s top four. Frankston’s narrow victory was led by 28 and 14 from Kelly Bowen while they had a 30-14 advantage in the paint.
Bowen then combined with Nicole Romeo and Maddie Garrick to score 74 points in a 79-66 win over the Launceston Tornadoes. Garrick and Bowen also recorded double-doubles as the Lady Blues moved to third in the South Conference. Alex Wilson (28 points, 8 rebounds) helped make the scoreline respectable for the Tornadoes and while Nadeen Payne usually gets the accolades, this time it was Mariah Payne who shone with 12 points off the bench.
Although they sit three wins clear of Canberra and Sandringham in the South Conference, Launceston’s loss the night before to the Kilsyth Lady Cobras meant they also had a winless weekend. They lost every quarter on their way to an 82-58 hiding with Nadeen Payne’s 17 points a rare highlight. At 8-2, Kilsyth already have a formidable side but with the addition of Louella Tomlinson, they have become even scarier. She played just 21 minutes in her debut but tallied 21 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks while Sarah Parsons added 7 points, 10 boards and 5 assists. Having made the playoffs only twice in the past five seasons, the Lady Cobras are primed to make a push for the Championship this year.
With both sides coming into the round with only two losses, the Nunawading Spectres made a statement against the Geelong Lady Supercats in a 79-55 demolition. Six more offensive rebounds led to 14 second chance points while 15 Geelong turnovers gifted the home side to 15 points. Alex Duck’s 23 points was countered by 26 from the Spectres’ Rebecca Cole while Hayley Moffatt (21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals) starred at both ends of the floor.
Gabe Richards and Kelly Wilson returned this weekend but they were unable to help the Knox Raiders avoid a fourth straight loss as the Bendigo Lady Braves won 69-63. Wilson finished with 12 points, 6 boards and 5 assists but 7 turnovers hurt her cause. Richards had 18 points and 15 rebounds but the tag team of Lauren King (16 and 11) and LaSondra Barrett (14 and 12) proved too much. Despite only shooting 39% as a team, Bendigo have now moved to 8-2 on the season and are unbeaten at home with a 6-0 record.
For more info, visit the official SEABL website at www.seabl.com.au