Waratah Championship Round 4 Review

We had a shorter round this weekend for the men, and it kicked off nice and early on Saturday.

Photo Credit: Basketball NSW

Waratah Championship Men

Penrith Panthers hosted Hornsby Spiders to kick the weekend off. The Spiders dominated the glass early and courtesy of this they took a 37-50 lead into half time. Whatever was said in the Penrith change room at half time helped though, as the Panthers came out HOT. They dominated the quarter 31-16 and took control of the boards. Hornsby tried to battle back but went only 1/7 from 3 in the last as Penrith held on to win 93-87. Jarrod Sorenson (17/12) and Louis Brandt (18/10) both had double doubles for the hosts while Patrick Emery had 27 for the visitors.

The Hills Hornets travelled to the Shire to take on the Sharks. This game was close for 3 of the 4 quarters, but hot shooting by the hosts in the 3rd (75% for the qtr) allowed them to close this one out as they went 5/7 from deep to open up a 15 point lead going into the last quarter. David Hayman had 28 for the guests but was countered by 22 from Jason Smeathers and 19 from Daniel Sepokas as the Sharks won 88-78.

Illawarra welcomed the Newcastle Hunters to town for the next game. The Hunters were looking to bounce back from a poor showing last weekend, but had a long road trip to contend with. And the Hawks were looking to improve on offense after only managing 50 points in their last game. Neither team started all that well though, as a late flurry in the second quarter saw the Hawks take a 34-33 lead into half time. Despite poor shooting the Hunters reclaimed the lead early in the 3rd quarter and would hold on to win the game. Free throw shooting was the difference in this one as they Hawks missed 16 of 35. The final score was 81-75. Bennie Murray (17) for the Hunters and Luke Jamieson (20) for the Hawks were the top scorers for each team. The Hawks may likely practice their free throws a bit this week at practice.

Maitland also had a road trip, to visit Norths Bears. Both teams have been playing well and this game looked to be a test for both. Norths prevailed at home thanks to 30 points from Jarrad Weeks. Mitch Rueter matched that scoring effort with 30 of his own, but Norths took the win in this one 92-78. Goran Veg pumped a standard double double for the Mustangs but it wasn’t enough as the Bears had 5 players score in double figures.

The Bears doubled up this weekend and hosted the Comets on Sunday afternoon. Sydney started strong out of the blocks against Norths and won the first quarter by 8, which would be the final margin. Norths fought back in the second to close the gap, but 26 from Weeks in this one couldn’t get the Bears the win. Michael Seckold led the Comets with 18, as 5 Comets recorded double figures in this one. Tom Dawson worked hard all afternoon for the Comets, securing 15 boards to go with his 12 points.

Waratah Championship Women

Illawarra Hawks took on the Newcastle Hunters in Illawarra. The Hunters had a few players missing for the road trip but brought in a few former players such as Felicity Cook to cover the gaps. Jill Morgan and Charlotte Bull led the Hunters combining for 20 points and 12 rebounds but they were unable to get their road legs under them as Lauren Sparks, Katherine Ups and Shelley Bates all scored in double figures as the Hawks won 83-56.

The Panthers hosted the Hornsby Spiders in Penrith for the next game. Rohanee Cox was strong for the Panthers with 18 points and a MASSIVE 16 rebounds but the short-handed Spiders were never headed in this one as Sarah Schicher scored 25 points. The Panthers started out 2/20 from the field in the first quarter and just couldn’t fight their way back into this one. But the Penrith side will take something out of the game as they won the last quarter and kept playing until the final whistle. Final score Penrith 48 Hornsby 64.

Renae Camino and the Norths Bears looked to continue their hot start in the next game as they took on the travelling Maitland Mustangs. The Bears came out firing, taking a 27-13 lead into the first break and they never looked back as they went on to win the game 77-46. Renae Camino again led all scorers with 30 points on 48% shooting. Deanne Tonkin was the best for the visitors with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

The Bears doubled up this weekend and took on the Sydney Comets on Sunday. In this game Camino got a lot of support as 4 Bears scored in double figures. Kathryn Rendell and Annice Lagourcette both recorded double doubles. This game wasn't won until the last quarter, as the Bears were down 1 with one period to go. They held strong on tired legs and won the quarter 30-14 to take the match 82-67 and keep the unbeaten streak alive.

For more information about the Waratah Championship, head to their official website here