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SEABL Round 17 Wrap

SEABL PHOto

Round 17 kicked off in the Apple Isle with the tumultuous Hobart Chargers hosting the Canberra Gunners. After losing to fellow South Conference rivals Frankston last weekend, Canberra needed a win to stay in the hunt for the top four. Unfortunately for the Gunners the home team had other ideas, and jumped to as much as a 20 point lead in the scrappy match. The visitors managed to peg the lead back slightly but interim coach Willie Joseph was able to get his second win in three games for his Chargers 85-69. The loss of import Zac White allowed some more minuted for the younger Hobart players, Callum Barker scoring 14 points to go with 8 rebounds while the usual trio of Deba George, Khalil Hartwell and Tiri Masunda added 15, 16 and 15 points each. Garlon Green led the scoring for the visitors with 24 points and 10 rebounds with fellow import Matt Staff the only other Gunner in double figures with 16.

After losing to the Chargers, Canberra then had to contend with the 2nd placed North West Tasmania Thunder on Saturday night. Although a better start – and slightly better shooting percentage – helped them along, the Thunder proved too much for the Gunners who went down 104-80 for an 0-2 weekend in the Tassie double. Garlon Green again led all scorers with 27 points and 8 rebounds, while for the Thunder it was Nathan Wilson with 23 points and 9 rebounds as well as Tyrone Lee’s 21 points and 16 rebounds that helped seal the win. BJ Jenkins was impressive again with 20 points and 8 assists for the game. The win for the Thunder meant they still have a chance of knocking Mt Gambier off top spot in the South should the chips fall their way.

Mt Gambier meanwhile moved one game closer to cementing top spot in the South with a win over Kilsyth on Friday night. The Pioneers jumped out to an early 8 point lead in the first quarter that the Cobras just could not peg back all game, eventually going down 91-78. Damien Johnson was huge for the home team with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks, with Ben Allen contributing 16 points and 8 rebounds and Jan Warbout scoring 15 points for the game. Joel Naburgs was valiant with 27 points and 7 rebounds for the game, while Tim Lang and Auryn Macmillan each registered a double double, the former with 18 points and 10 rebounds and the latter with 19 points 12 rebounds. With three games left to play, the Pioneers would need to lose all three and North West Tasmania would need to win all four of their remaining games for the Thunder to steal the minor premiership. What’s better, is that these two teams will face each other this coming weekend in Round 18 – on the Pioneers home floor, where they have not lost a game all season.

After the loss at the IceHouse, the Kilsyth Cobras returned to the Snakepit on Sunday to host the Geelong Supercats. The out of form Geelong had also lost to Mt Gambier the week prior, and were looking to get back on the winners list after losing their top spot in the East for the first time this year. After a slow start in the first half, Geelong managed to claw their way back in the third quarter and take the lead from the home side. But a 30-17 final term saw the Cobras snatch the victory, winning 88-81 and firming up their own spot in third position in the South Conference. Joel Naburgs added another 27 points to his points total for the weekend, while Tim Lang notched up another double double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. For the Supercats it was Nathan Herbert who led their scoring with 19, and import Eric Gaff getting his double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The loss for Geelong sees them slip from second to third in the East, now sitting behind both the Nunawading Spectres and Dandenong Rangers. With Coach Jamie O’Loughlin recently appointed as assistant coach for the NBL’s Perth Wildcats, this will be his last season with the team and last chance to win another championship with Geelong.

Bendigo are still snapping at the heels of Kilsyth in the South Conference after a 2-0 double header weekend. Starting off in Bendigo on Friday night, the Braves hosted the Albury/Wodonga Bandits and handed the visitors a 96-80 loss. The Bandits started well and stayed with the home side with scores even at the first break, but an 11 point second quarter to Bendigo’s 24 set the tone for the rest of the match. Criston Lamar-Mallory, the import brought in to replace Momo Ntumba, led the Bandits scoring with 20 points and 12 rebounds, with Alex Bogart King the next best scorer with 16 points. For the home team Braves, it was import Dustin Salisbury who led all scorers with 27 points, and American teammate Zach Atkinson impressing with 18 points, 12 rebounds and a massive 8 blocks.

After accounting for Albury, Bendigo headed north to Brisbane to take on the Spartans in the Sunshine State. When these two teams last met back in March, it was an agonisingly close game, with Bendigo coming out victorious by just one point. The re-match was just as nail biting, with Brisbane jumping out to an early lead before Bendigo fought back in the third quarter, and the teams trading baskets in the final term. History has a habit of repeating itself, and once again the Braves came out on top by just one point, defeating Brisbane 79-78.  Dustin Salisbery once again led the scoring for Bendigo with 23 points and 8 rebounds, with Zach Atkinson nabbing another double double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Issy Tueta was the leading scorer for Brisbane with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, with Dan George and Dean Brebner the other Spartans players in double figures with 14 points apiece. The two wins for Bendigo have elevated them from fifth place to fourth in the South Conference, with Frankston having a bye this weekend they did not play and move from fourth to fifth.

Meanwhile Albury returned home to the Lauren Jackson Sports Stadium on Saturday night to host the in form Dandenong Rangers. The Bandits were outscored in every quarter by the Rangers and never liked likely to challenge for the win, eventually losing 81-105. Owen Odigie had his best game of the season to date, with 21 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. DQ Montreal also added 21 points, continuing to show why Adelaide will soon officially announce his first contract in the NBL with the 36ers, with Tony Lewis contributing 19 to go with 8 rebounds. For Albury/Wodonga, captain Nick Payne led the way with 17 points, while Lamar-Mallory had another double double stat line scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. The Rangers now sit on top of the East one game clear of Nunawading and two games clear of Geelong, but still have 6 games to play over the next three weekends compared to Nunawading’s 4 and Geelong’s 3.

Nunawading cruised past Geelong and settled into 2nd place with a 108-93 win over the Knox Raiders on Saturday night. Simon Conn was back to his best with 21 points and 14 rebound, while Tommy Greer had a monster game for the Spectres leading all scorers with 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the process. Rhys Carter led the way for the Raiders with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, with Adam Doyle managing 18 points and 4 rebounds. Knox stayed with the home team but the Spectres pulled away in the third quarter to set up their third straight win and second place in the East.

Meanwhile across town, the Sandringham Sabres were hosting the Ballarat Miners, the Sabres looking to climb the South ladder and the Miners needing to bounce back from a big loss against Thunder the previous week. The Sabres leapt out to an early 10 point lead at quarter time and despite 24 points and 15 rebounds from Miners import Ken Horton Ballarat were never able to close the gap. Sandringham got the 89-76 win thanks to their import duo of Ray Goins and Junior Hairston, each registering a double double with 21 points 11 rebounds and 16 points 16 rebounds respectively. Ben Kelly also had his best game for Sandringham with 20 points and 7 rebounds. For the Miners, Nathan Sobey was the next leading scorer after Horton with 19 points. Despite the loss, Ballarat have secured their finals position in the East and will finish in fourth, sending them to the play offs for the first time since 2006.

Sandringham’s climb up the South ladder wasn’t yet complete, as they headed to the State Basketball Centre to take on the Knox Raiders in both teams second game of the weekend. The high scoring game had each team with 30 and 31 points at the first break, but this time it was the Raiders who managed to take control and get the win on the home court, 103-88. Ray Goins was impressive again for the Sabres with 29 points and 17 rebounds, however fellow import Junior Hairston did not play. For the home team Dylan Hare had his break out game of the season and led his team’s scoring with 20 points 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Adam Doyle was again good with 17 points and 4 rebounds. The win for Knox is their third in four games, while for Sandringham the loss sees them still sitting behind Frankston in 6th place in the South. The Sabres still have a chance to make finals but will need to rely on Bendigo and Frankston losing some of their remaining games also.

With just three rounds left in the regular season, we are getting to the business end of the year and it’s time for teams to sink or swim. The South conference final four is still hazy but much may be revealed this coming weekend, while the East is set but the form of the top three teams in their final games will determine the final positioning and all important home court advantage for the first finals.

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Beth Davis

Beth Davis

The extent of my basketball playing career is 3x3 in primary school, but my passion for watching, reporting, writing and presenteering (it's a word, trust me I'm a wannabe writer) about the sport knows no bounds!
Beth Davis

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