Wolves beat Buccs to lock away top spot but 7th and 8th spot up for grabs (Week 17 Men's SBL Wrap)
THE Joondalup Wolves have almost guaranteed the men's SBL minor premiership after beating the Geraldton Buccaneers during Week 17 while the battle over eighth spot remains a tense one.
The Wolves beat the Buccs on Saturday night in Geraldton to move three games clear on top of the men's SBL standings now with three rounds remaining.
Meanwhile, the Rockingham Flames and Willetton Tigers scored crucial wins to be looking safe in fifth and sixth positions while the battle remains between the Mandurah Magic, Goldfields Giants, Perry Lakes Hawks and Lakeside Lightning over the seventh and eighth positions.
The two men's matches on Friday night saw the Vorian Agency East Perth Eagles defeat the Lakeside Lightning 114-104 at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre while the Perth Redbacks downed the Soprano Designs Cockburn Cougars 86-72 at Curtin Stadium.
There were then four men's matches on Saturday night starting with the top of the table clash between the Merriwa Tavern & Bistro Joondalup City Wolves and S & K Electrical Geraldton Buccaneers, with the Wolfpack beating the Buccs 108-90 at Active West Stadium.
The Perry Lakes Hawks also beat the Silver Lake Resources Goldfields Giants 104-102 at Neils Hansen Basketball Stadium, the Goodlife Homes Willetton Tigers downed the Mandurah Magic 102-85 at Willetton Basketball Stadium and the Nags Head Tavern & Bistro Rockingham Flames defeated the Bethanie Stirling Senators 111-109 at Warwick Leisure Centre.
The three men's matches on Sunday saw the Nags Head Tavern & Bistro Rockingham Flames down the Vorian Agency East Perth Eagles 87-76 at Mike Barnett Sports Complex, the Bethanie Stirling Senators beat the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 100-99 at Ray Owen Sports Centre and the Collie Crane Hire South West Slammers defeat the Lakeside Lightning 120-92 at Lakeside Recreation Centre.
The Week 17 results leave the Merriwa Tavern & Bistro Joondalup City Wolves (20-3) clear on top of the ladder now with a handy buffer over the S & K Electrical Geraldton Buccaneers (17-5).
The Collie Crane Hire South West Slammers (15-7) and Soprano Designs Cockburn Cougars (15-8) remain locked in a tight battle over third position as well.
The Nags Head Tavern & Bistro Rockingham Flames (13-9), Goodlife Homes Willetton Tigers (12-10), Mandurah Magic (11-11) and the Silver Lake Resources Goldfields Giants (10-12) round out the top eight, but there remains pressure on from below.
The Perry Lakes Hawks (9-13) sit in ninth position followed by the Lakeside Lightning (9-14), Perth Redbacks (8-14), Bethanie Stirling Senators (8-14), Vorian Agency East Perth Eagles (7-15) and Kalamunda Eastern Suns (2-21).
There were a host of outstanding individual performances as well over the course of the weekend starting on Friday night with Rhys Vague top-scoring for the Eagles with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Sunday Dech contributing 20 points and 11 boards, and Jamie Barnett 20 points and nine rebounds.
Captain Drew Williamson returned for East Perth and had 18 points and six assists off the bench with Joe-Alan Tupaea adding 16 points and seven assists as well as he enjoys the freedom just as a player after handing the coaching duties back to the returned Adam Forde.
Jordan Swing did all he could for the Lightning with 33 points, seven rebounds, six assists, five steals and two blocked shots while shooting 14-of-21 from the field, and 4-of-7 from three-point territory.
Tom Parkinson added 16 points for Lakeside while Brad Jackson contributed 16 points, Corey Martin 11, Luke Thomas 10 and Jarrad Prue nine to go with 19 rebounds.
Raphiael Putney delivered his best performance with the Redbacks since joining the team late in the season as a replacement for Marshall Brown, finishing with 25 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Ray Turner also contributed 24 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks for the Redbacks on the back of shooting 9-of-15 from the field and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Joel Wagner added 11 points, eight assists and five rebounds for Perth with Ben Smith contributing nine points and four boards, and Jack Wagner eight points, two assists and two steals.
Eric Milam finished with 23 points and eight rebounds for the Cougars with Gavin Field contributing 23 points and 12 boards.
Julian Pesava contributed 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals off the bench for the Cougars.
On Saturday night, Seb Salinas had a tremendous game for the Wolves top-scoring with 29 points and five rebounds while shooting an outstanding 7-of-13 from beyond the three-point line.
Kevin Davis added 16 points and nine boards for the Wolfpack with Rob Huntington contributing 15 points, five rebounds and three assists, Trian Iliadis 13 points, nine boards and five assists, Louis Timms 12 points, six blocks and five rebounds, and Damian Matacz 10 points, five boards and five assists.
Bennie Lewis had another strong game for the Buccaneers with 31 points with Carter Cook adding 17 points and nine rebounds, Aaron Ralph 15 points and Cory Cooperwood 10.
Bryton Hobbs once again was a big factor in the Hawks' victory finishing with 35 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals with Ben Purser adding 29 points, 14 boards, four assists and four steals.
As well as hitting the game-winning free-throws, Ryan Smith finished with 12 points and four boards for Perry Lakes with Josh Garlepp contributing 10 points and seven rebounds, and Rob Cassir 10 points and four boards.
Jay Bowie did all he could for the Giants finishing with 39 points and 16 rebounds on the back of shooting 13-of-24 from the field, 3-of-9 from beyond the three-point arc and a perfect 10-of-10 from the free-throw line.
Jacob Holmen added 16 points, 11 boards, three blocks and three assists for Goldfields with Brandon Hewitt-Holloway contributing 13 points and five assists, and Russell Hurst 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Damien Scott had a big night for the Tigers leading them to the win on the back of his 31 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Kyle Armour also had a big impact for Willetton with 23 points, nine boards, eight assists and three steals while Ephrem Davis finished with 11 points, 19 rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots, Hayden Noordhoek 11 points, four steals, three boards and two steals.
Paul Hafford top-scored for the Magic with 22 points and six rebounds while nailing 8-of-13 from the field, and 6-of-7 from downtown.
Taylor Mullenax added 13 points, eight rebounds and two assists with Ben Smith contributing 12 points, 15 boards, four assists, three blocks and two steals, and Brendan Della 11 points.
Tom Remmerswaal, Taylor Land and Ryan Godfrey all had big nights for the Flames with Remmerswaal finishing with 29 points, Land 27 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals, and Godfrey 26 points and seven boards.
Travis Moore also contributed 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench while shooting 5-of-8 from the field.
Cody Ellis did all he could to get the Senators over the line finishing with 38 points, nine rebounds, three blocked shots and two assists while shooting 12-of-19 from the field, 7-of-11 from three-point range and 7-of-10 from the free-throw line.
Kyle Lindbergh contributed 16 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and three assists while Austin Bruton added 16 points and three assists, and Ashley Litterick 15 points, five boards and two steals.
Then on Sunday, all five starters for the Flames ended up scoring in double-figures led by Jarryd Griffin finishing with 26 points and seven rebounds shooting 9-of-13 from the floor, and 4-of-7 from downtown.
Taylor Land added 13 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for Rockingham, Tom Remmerswaal 12 points and four boards, Ryan Godfrey 11 points, five rebounds and five assists, Justin Beard 11 points and nine boards, and Travis Moore 11 points and three rebounds.
Rhys Vague top-scored for the Eagles with 22 points, 11 rebounds and four assists while hitting 7-of-14 from the floor and 4-of-7 from three-point range.
Jamie Barnett also had 18 points and 11 rebounds for East Perth with Brendan Dinardo contributing 11 points, five assists, four boards and two steals off the bench.
Cody Ellis led the way for the Senators with 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals while Austin Bruton contributed 22 points and four assists off the bench having a superb shooting game going 8-of-12 from the field, and 6-of-9 from three-point territory.
Josh Throns added 15 points, five rebounds and three steals for Stirling as well with Kyle Lindbergh finishing with 14 points and eight boards, and Ashley Litterick eight points, 10 rebounds and three assists.
Kevin Anthony ended up top-scoring for the Suns with 27 points, 11 rebounds and three steals while Lien Phillip contributed 21 points and 21 boards, Jaarod Holmes 16 points and six rebounds, and Seva Chan 16 points, 11 assists, seven boards and three steals.
Playing-coach Ty Harrelson had a strong game for the Slammers compiling a triple-double made up of 32 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and four steals to go with shooting 12-of-25 from the floor, and 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.
Tre Nichols also contributed 28 points and five assists for the Slammers while Brian Voelkel contributed 11 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, Wade Hitchcock 10 points, Clive Weeden nine, Jordan Sears nine and Patrick Phillips eight to go with four assists and three rebounds.
Luke Thomas did all he could coming off the bench for the Lightning finishing with 26 points and five rebounds while shooting 10-of-16 from the field and 2-of-3 from three-point range.
Hayden Bell finished with 19 points, five rebounds and five assists for Lakeside with Jordan Swing contributing 13 points, eight boards and three steals, Jesse Dixon nine points and four rebounds, and Jarrad Prue four points and 16 rebounds.
FRIDAY MEN'S SBL MATCHES
Vorian Agency East Perth Eagles 114 defeated Lakeside Lightning 104
Perth Redbacks 86 defeated Soprano Designs Cockburn Cougars 72
SATURDAY MEN'S SBL MATCHES
S & K Electrical Geraldton Buccaneers 90 lost to Merriwa Tavern & Bistro Joondalup City Wolves 108
Silver Lake Resources Goldfields Giants 102 lost to Perry Lakes Hawks 104
Goodlife Homes Willetton Tigers 102 defeated Mandurah Magic 85
Bethanie Stirling Senators 109 lost to Nags Head Tavern & Bistro Rockingham Flames 111
SUNDAY MEN'S SBL MATCHES
Nags Head Tavern & Bistro Rockingham Flames 87 defeated Vorian Agency East Perth Eagles 76
Kalamunda Eastern Suns 99 lost to Bethanie Stirling Senators 100
Lakeside Lightning 92 lost to Collie Crane Hire South West Slammers 120
Article by Chris Pike
Photo by Grant Lauterbach