Week 1 Saturday night Men's SBL Quarter Final wrap
THE Perry Lakes Hawks and Perth Redbacks took it right up to the top two Men's SBL teams from the regular season but in the end the Cockburn Cougars and Joondalup Wolves prevailed on their home floors in Game 1 of the quarter-final match ups.
The 2016 SBL finals got underway on Friday night with the lone Men's quarter-final match up that saw the Willetton Tigers beat the Stirling Senators 110-97 at Willetton Basketball Stadium.
Then on Saturday night the top two teams at the end of the regular season were in action with the Merriwa Tavern & Bistro Joondalup City Wolves defeating the Texture WA Perth Redbacks 110-95 at Joondalup Basketball Stadium.
The top ranked Lapa Brazilian BBQ Restaurant Cockburn Cougars also beat the Perry Lakes Hawks 109-104 at Wally Hagan Stadium.
There was supposed to be a third quarter-final battle on Saturday night as well but a power outage in Rockingham caused by a fatal accident nearby meant the Rockingham Flames clash with the Geraldton Buccaneers had to be postponed.
It will now take place at 12pm on Sunday at Mike Barnett Sports Complex.
Starting at Joondalup Basketball Stadium, the Redbacks regained star big man Michael Vigor from a foot injury and that gave them a boost of confidence up against the defending champions.
It meant that for the first time this season the Redbacks had Vigor, Joel Wagner, Jourdan DeMuynck, Lewis Thomas, Ben Smith, Reed McConnell and Kyle Bowen all playing together.
And the Redbacks took it up right up to the Wolves on their home floor but Joondalup managed to hold the slight edge in the first half leading by six at the end of the opening period, and by 13 at half-time.
But Perth had some confidence still and delivered a tremendous third quarter with 32 points to 22 to close to within three heading into the fourth period. However, with the game on the line the Wolfpack were able to go up another level and pull away for the hard fought 15-point victory.
Wolves big man Kevin Davis had a big night finishing with 25 points and seven rebounds while last year's grand final MVP Trian Iliadis had 21 points, eight boards and five assists.
Greg Hire contributed 20 points and 12 rebounds for Joondalup with Rob Huntington also adding 11 points.
Then at Wally Hagan Stadium, the Cougars were looking to continue their momentum from having secured top spot with a win over the Wolves last week but the Hawks had to fight hard to qualify for the playoffs and had defeated Cockburn in their last meeting.
It was a tight opening period as well with the Cougars only managing to lead by two at quarter-time but the home team pulled away with a strong second quarter with 35 points to 22 to lead by 15 points at the half.
Cockburn managed to stretch that to an 85-66 lead by three quarter-time but Perry Lakes wasn’t going to go away and piled on a 38-point final quarter to close the final margin to just five.
They might have missed the road win in Game 1, but that certainly gave the Hawks something to build on heading into Game 2 next Friday night at Bendat Basketball Centre.
The Cougars ended up shooting 46-of-97 from the field at 46 per cent despite going just 7-of-26 at 26 per cent from three and getting to the foul line just 16 times, making 10. The Hawks shot 37-of-89 from the floor at 41 per cent and 12-of-33 at 36 per cent from three, and 18-of-23 from the stripe.
The Cougars only won the rebound count by one but did force the Hawks into 22 turnovers where they were able to score 26 points from.
Marcus Goode had a tremendous battle all night with Brian Carlwell, and the Cougars centre finished up with 34 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots shooting 14-of-27 from the field, 2-of-4 from deep and 4-of-7 at the foul line.
Najee Lane also stood tall for Cockburn ending up with 28 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and four assists shooting an efficient 14-of-20 from the floor.
Daniel Thomas shook off a hamstring complaint to not only play for the Cougars, but to be a tremendous performer with 14 points, three assists and two rebounds while nailing 4-of-6 of his threes in 32 minutes of court time.
Captain Gavin Field added 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists three blocks as well for Cockburn and Rhett Della 10 points, seven boards and two assists.
The contributions of Julian Pesava (four points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals), Travis Hayto (four points, three boards) and Sheldon McIntyre (two points, four rebounds, three assists) can't be underestimated either.
Bryton Hobbs worked hard for the Hawks to try and give them a chance. Despite only shooting 10-of-28 from the floor and 4-of-14 from beyond the arc, he still finished with 28 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals.
Ryan Smith stepped up to have a massive game for the Hawks as well in the absence of Josh Garlepp and Jordan Hickert, finishing with 27 points on the back of nailing 10-of-15 from the field, and 4-of-8 from three-point range.
Carlwell had a great battle with Goode and ended up with 24 points, 19 rebounds, four assists and two blocks shooting 10-of-20 from the floor in almost 46 minutes of court time.
Captain Ben Purser didn’t have the shooting night he would have liked but still contributed well with 13 points, nine rebounds and three assists with Ben Dixon adding five points, five boards and four assists.
SATURDAY MEN'S SBL QUARTER FINAL MATCHES
Merriwa Tavern & Bistro Joondalup City Wolves 110 defeated Texture WA Perth Redbacks 95
Lapa Brazilian BBQ Restaurant Cockburn Cougars 109 defeated Perry Lakes Hawks 104
Article by Chris Pike
Photo by Mick Cronin