Round 9 action saw the 8th seed Woodville Warriors host the 2nd seed Forestville Eagles in an exhilarating contest. A win here, would have given the visitors the top spot after a North Adelaide loss in Port Adelaide.
The entertainment began not long after the opening tip as there was a demoralising block against the Eagles at the rim leaving fans electric. The contest was evenly matched throughout the game with neither team taking a lead larger than 9-points.
The first term saw many highlight plays including Majok Deng (19-points and 14-rebounds), Luke Stanbridge (18-points and 14 rebounds) and Daniel McKee (10-points) finishing their plays despite defensive contact. At the first siren, the Eagles had a buffer of 2-points with just under half of their 15 from Antonio Garrett.
The second quarter was a pleasant one for the Warriors as they opened with a triple and now the lead thanks to Chris Clauson (13-points and 5-rebounds). The quarter saw the trading of buckets as well as an exciting coast-to-coast play by Deng for two.
Daniel Carlin was ferocious inside with a physical dunk, which left the ball rattling around the rim then falling. After a string of offensive rebounds in the final seconds of the half, Carlin helped put the Woodville boys up 4-with a jumper for a deuce.
Antonio Garrett continued his great gameplay with a fantastic, fast-paced, up and under layup through contact for a 3-point play. The Eagles found themselves in trouble early with 4 team fouls with over 8 minutes remaining. That 5th team foul came a few moments later.
A defensive lapse by the Eagles saw Christopher Clauson show his ‘hops’ with a nice dunk and the 47-40 lead.
The Eagles were not caught sleeping on the defensive end later, with Deng sending the ball to his bench with a nice block. Later he also showed some strength by finishing his layup despite the hard contact. With this conversion, he cut the margin down to 2-points.
A beautiful act of defensive precision was enacted by Michael Harris after turning the ball over. He hustled back on defence and received a nice chase down block for his efforts.
Deng opened the final term after he caught the Warriors sleeping defensively. This basket gave them the lead after being tied at 3-quarter time.
Majok Deng also left the floor for a few moments after sustaining an ankle injury, which left him limping up the court before laying at mid-court for a substitution. He eventually returned to the floor.
A crucial turnover by Woodville’s Jason Luhnow in the final 30 seconds saw their lead down to 3 after Michael Harris scored the quick 2-points. Christopher Clausen showed some supreme hustle in the final 30 seconds of the contest by grabbing his own offensive rebound before being fouled to shoot free throws. Clausen sunk 1 of 2 free throws giving them a 4-point lead and making it a 2-possession game.
With the first leg of the weekends back-to-back in the books, the Warriors travel to North Adelaide to face the Rockets who will be looking for redemption after their Round 9 loss. The Eagles will host the Norwood Flames in the second match of the double header, with a chance to claim top spot if the Warriors overcome the Rockets.