Waratah Championship - Round 3

Apologies for the delay but its been one of those weeks. But here are the details of another exciting week of Waratah League action!

Waratah League Men

To start the week off we had a Friday night game in Newcastle with the Hunters hosting their neighbours the Central Coast Crusaders. The Hunters had the majority of their first choice team back, and whether that led to chemistry issues I'm not sure but the Crusaders took this one comfortably, winning it 92-50. Callum Jenkins led all scorers in this one with 28 points and shooting a commanding 85.7% from the field to go with his 11 rebounds. Bennie Murray dropped in 15 for the hosts.

Photo Credit: Hannah Pate Photography

Penrith finally got to experience a home court advantage, and didn't they use the inspiration!? The Bankstown Bruins got ambushed in this one with the Panthers clawing them to bits to win 82-67 in front of a vocal home crowd. Louis Brandt had a double double with 20 and 12 while no one really got going for the Bruins, Nemanja Kovacina scored 13 in the loss.

Hornsby headed to the coast next to take on Manly, with Manly looking to bounce back from two loses the weekend before. The Sea Eagles shot poorly, converting only 35% from the field, but managed to get to the line consistently to take an 80 - 67 win. The Manly boys were led by Kevin White with 35 points (11 of those from the charity stripe) and 14 rebounds. Patrick Emery top scored for the Spiders with 12.

The Sydney Comets hosted the Hills Hornets in the next fixture and lost a close one. The Hornets did their damage to take the win the last quarter. Luke Overs with 19 points and Tom "Mr Sheen" Dawson collected 21 rebounds, of which 14 came on the offensive end. A massive effort! But it wasn't enough as the Hornets won 63 - 69. Josh Chapman top scored for the guests with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

Norths hosted the final game on Saturday against the Hawks. Norths really put a Bear hug on the game in the first quarter and the Hawks never really recovered to challenge the Sydney-siders, with the Bears taking the win 87-50. Jarrad Weeks scored 24 points and was well supported by Brad Ryan who had a D-D with 13 and 12. For the Hawks, no one really broke out, Jordan Barry finished with 9 and 8.

Callum Jenkins and the Crusaders were at home on Sunday for a match up with the Hills Hornets. The Crusaders took this one in a nail-biter, helped by Jenkins finishing perfect from the field for 16 points, and collecting 8 rebounds. Josh Chapman, 22 points, did his best for the Hornets only to fall agonisingly short 86-81.

Bankstown welcomed the Spiders for another Sunday match up. The Spiders having to use a dynamic last quarter to squeak out a 67-69 win over the Bruins. Nemanja Kovacina was again the go to guy for the Bankstown side but his 24 points weren't enough to hold off the fast finishing Spiders. Patrick Emery had 15 and 10 for the visitors.

Newcastle had another home game, this time against the Sutherland Sharks to close out the round. And again they couldn't mount a consistent approach to get the win. In a slow starting game neither team was a picture of perfect execution, but the Sharks continued to build a lead that the Hunters couldn't overcome despite winning the rebounding battle. Jono Howe had a good game for the Hunters and was in everything finishing with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 7 steals. But Dan Sepokas, 16 points, and the Sharks won a scrappy game 65-73.

Waratah League Women

The first game of the weekend saw the Hornsby Spiders welcome back Katie-Rae Ebzery from WNBL duties as they travelled to take on the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Ebzery used her skills and experience to help the Spiders to a comfortable win behind her 28 points 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Manly could only manage 35 points as a team as they handed the ball over 31 times for the game, losing 35-84.

Penrith hosted the Bruins in the next fixture. Penrith didn't have it all their own way despite 25 points and 17 rebounds from Rohanee Cox, but they did claw out a win 76-59. Adrianne Bywater fought hard with 20 for the Bruins. The visitors will have to do better on the boards and hope to improve their free throw shooting (56%) in the upcoming games if they want to remain competitive.

Hills buzzed their way over to take on the Comets in the next game as round continued. Casey Samuels (28 and 12) and a well executed, balanced attack proved too much for the hosts. Sarah Davidson was aggressive and drew lots of fouls but could only manage 12 points as the Comets lost 43 - 75.

Norths Bears took on the Illawarra Hawks next up. The Hawks will surely rue their poor shooting for the game (36.5%) as they lost this one despite having more shot attempts. 80-67 was the final score and Renae Camino was again outstanding for the Bears with 34 points and she sits firmly atop of the MVP race at this early stage. Katherine Ups finished with 18 in a losing effort for the Hawks.

Bankstown hosted the Spiders on Sunday afternoon for a double header for both sides. Katie-Rae Ebzery again showing her class in this one as she carried her side to victory with 31 points and 12 rebounds. Any time she is putting up numbers like that, it'll be hard to stop the Spiders. Kellie Parker and Adrianne Bywater both collecting 14 for the Bruins in the 61-65 loss.

The Panthers travelled to Illawarra for the final game of the round. The Panthers led by Rohanne Cox' 17 rebounds, won the rebounding contest but lost the match 71-57. Olivia White countering 22 points from Cox with 25 of her own as the Hawks held strong on their home court despite a 7 point 3rd quarter.

For more information, please visit the official NSW Waratah Championship Website