Perth bites back to stun Cockburn

The Perth Redbacks have beaten the Cockburn Cougars in a 91-88 thriller at Wally Hagan Stadium on Saturday night to make it two wins from two games in the new men's SBL campaign.

Though the round one game was delayed by 35 minutes due to venue power issues and the Women’s League match going into overtime, the Cougars seemed to stamp their authority on the clash during the second term.

However, they had to withstand a second half fight back from the Redbacks, with their handy 17-point half time lead cut to just a basket at the last change before the visitors rallied further in the fourth term to claim a second win for the new season after beating Kalamunda last night.

Redbacks’ forward Michael Vigor led all scorers with 30 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Joel Wagner (18 points, 11 assists) and Blake Bender (16 points and 14 rebounds) were also amongst the leading contributors.

Best for the Cougars’ in defeat were, centre Brian Carwell with 27 points and 16 rebounds, using his big frame to his advantage along with William Hannah (17 points) and Sheldon McIntyre (14 points).

In a re-match between last year’s quarter finalists, the Redbacks made the early running through Vigor, Bender and Shaun Bennison. Sheldon McIntyre chimed in for the home side Cougars’ along with a monster dunk by Carwell.

The Redbacks led by three points at the first change, though had to fight hard to retain their advantage in the second term with Carwell and Davey pressuring the basket on offence.

A fast break by Damien Scott, and back-to-back baskets, pushed the Cougars into the lead midway through the second term with Grant Davey, Will Hannah and Ben Stanley all combining to blow the margin out to a game-high 18 points in the shadows of half time.

Seva Chan took a tumble attempting to drive through the keyway though his teammates were quick to rally around him and continue the onslaught for a 59-42 scoreline in favour of the home side at the half time interval.

The visitors toiled away in the third quarter through Bender, Bennison, Vigor and Wagner to close within two points at three quarter time as the Cougars first half shooting stars went missing.

Ryan Neill put the Redbacks ahead again with five minutes to play while Wagner helped push it out to four points.

The Cougars will look to rebound on Sunday against the Wanneroo Wolves at Joondalup, while the Redbacks host the Perry Lakes Hawks on Saturday night before taking on the Wolves away a day later.

Article by Adam McBride at Wally Hagan Stadium
Photo by Marg Prior

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