Men's Previews - Round 2
North Adelaide Rockets v Norwood Flames
Saturday April 14, 8:15pm at Hillcrest
The North Adelaide Rockets will be hoping to reverse their trend of results against the Norwood Flames, when the two sides face off at Hillcrest on Saturday.
Neither side has swept the head-to-head series in either of the last two seasons, with the away team winning the last four battles. The Flames beat the Rockets 98-80 at Hillcrest last season, which at the time was the Rockets’ ninth loss in 12 home games. However, the Rockets have since won five of six at home, while defeating the Flames 81-77 at Mars.
Both teams got off to a winning start in Round 1.
The Rockets shared the orange around in a 86-67 defeat of Southern, with eight players contributing at least eight points. Brandon Brine (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Pero Vasiljevic (15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists) were the standouts.
A 19-11 third period was the deciding factor in the Flames’ 71-64 win over Centrals, despite the absence of Andrew Webber. Dillon Ford scored a career-high 21 points, while Todd Matthews had 18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
History says the Flames will get up, but on paper, it is difficult to go past the Rockets.
South Adelaide Panthers v Southern Tigers
Saturday April 14, 8:15pm at Marion Stadium
Fresh off an unlucky one point loss to Woodville in Round 1, the South Adelaide Panthers will be hoping to continue the Southern Tigers’ misery at Marion on Saturday.
The Panthers were the last team to lose to the Tigers, way back in Round 4 last year. The Panthers did win five of their next 10, including an 86-76 win over the Tigers at Marion, but then lost their final four matches.
The Tigers only trailed north by five at half-time in Round 1, but fell away in the third quarter and went down 67-86. All players saw some court time, with Michael Florance (15 points, 11 rebounds) and Codey Ellison (15 points, 7 rebounds) the best of the bunch.
The Panthers’ new look line-up only gave up nine fourth quarter points to Woodville, but only scored 10 themselves on 3/19 shooting. Mark Egel was their leading scorer with 16 points, while Jordan Robertson had 14 points and 9 rebounds, and Damian Scanlon contributed 13 points and 6 rebounds.
The Tigers had trouble scoring all last season, failing to crack the 60 mark in eight of their 18 matches.
The Panthers got the job done defensively in Round 1, but do not have a very threatening offensive line-up, so expect a low-scoring game.
Based on the Panthers’ performance last week, they should get the W here, though the Tigers are a sneaky chance.
West Adelaide Bearcats v Woodville Warriors
Saturday April 14, 8:15pm at Port Adelaide Recreation Centre
The Woodville Warriors will be hoping for a repeat of their 2011 success against the West Adelaide Bearcats at Port Adelaide on Saturday.
The Warriors were one of only two sides to sweep the Bearcats last season, costing their rivals a place in the top three. The games were close on both occasions, with the Bearcats going down by five on the road and one at home.
Just like last year, each side began the season with a win, though in unconvincing fashion.
The Bearcats trailed Sturt by 21 points, before storming home with a 25-5 fourth quarter, en route to a 73-70 victory. New import Howard Salters Jr led the way with 21 points, while Blake Truslove had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and former Warrior Josh Knight registered 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Warriors did their utmost to lose to South, but got home 73-72; a 51-40 rebounding edge proving vital.
Neither side should be afraid to commit a foul in this contest, with the Warriors shooting just 8/21 from the foul-line in Round 1, and the Bearcats going 11/23.
The Bearcats appear to have an edge in the front court, and this should see them to victory.
Central Districts Lions v Eastern Mavericks
Saturday April 14, 8:15pm at Starplex
Both the Central District Lions and the Eastern Mavericks will be playing for their first win of 2012 when they meet at Starplex this weekend.
Each side was scheduled against a 2011 Grand Finalist in Round 1, with the Lions away to Norwood and the Mavericks hosting Forestville.
The Lions showed they were by far the more likely side to cause an upset, falling just seven points short of Norwood, while the Mavericks were blown away 64-103. The best for the Lions was Kyle Miller, who registered 24 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Luke Frost had a solid 14 point, 12 rebound outing.
The Breheny brothers were the Mavericks’ top performers; Shane with 15 points and 12 rebounds, Stuart with 10 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals.
When these teams last faced off at Starplex, two free throws from former Maverick Jack Madgen in the dying seconds of regulation got the Mavericks home 90-88. However, the Lions got revenge later in the season.
If Round 1 is anything to go by, the Lions should win easily.
Forestville Eagles v Sturt Sabres
Saturday April 14, 8:15pm at Wayville
In the Match of the Round, 2011 Champions Forestville will host 2010 Premiers Sturt at Wayville on Saturday.
The Eagles took their time to put away the Mavericks in Round 1, before their 39-13 fourth quarter gave the scoreline a flattering look. While Rashad Tucker was limited to just 4 points, Brad Haydon (27 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 steals), Brad Sullivan (25 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) and Majok Deng (21 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) shone.
As a team, the Eagles had 35 assists on 43 baskets and shot almost 51 per cent from the field.
The Sabres, who were missing Darren Ng (resting after the NBL season), looked to be headed for a big victory against West, leading 65-48 after three quarters. However, a 5-25 fourth quarter shocked the Pasadena faithful; the Sabres going down against the same opponent who knocked them out of last year’s final series.
Tom Daly was outstanding with 29 points on 11/18 shooting, but was limited in the second half via a box-and-one, with Patty Thomas given the defensive assignment. Nathan Kareta scored 14 points, while John Marriott had 8 points and 9 rebounds.
The last time the Eagles and Sabres met was in the 2011 Qualifying Final at Wayville. The Eagles had a season-high 104 points, en route to a 12 point victory, breaking a two game home losing streak against their rivals.
If the Eagles have their transition game in tune, this could be a long night for the Sabres. However, if the Sabres can turn the game into a grind, as they did in their regular season win at Wayville last season, they are in with a chance.
Overall, the Eagles should win, but by no means is a W a given.