Sturt Sabres 85 | Woodville Warriors 55
Almost mirroring the proceeding Women’s match, Sturt made the most of their chances jumping out of the blocks and was never headed, proving far too strong for a Woodville side that lacked cohesiveness and fight, 85-55.
An early 14-2 Sabres run produced worrying signs for the Warriors from the outset, as Jacob Rigoni nailed two skilful three-point attempts.
Sam Daly was also causing headaches, forcing a number of turnovers as he relentlessly pressured Woodville’s ball carriers.
Daniel Carlin provided some reprieve for the Warriors, asserting himself in the key and using his strength to get to the rim.
However, Woodville was ultimately wasteful and errant with their passing, allowing Sturt to take a comfortable 16 point quarter time lead.
After receiving a solid dressing down during the break, the Warriors started the second much brighter. Carlin continued to be involved in almost every play, combining well with Alex Maiorana, as Woodville cut the lead to just 10 points.
Noticing a clear momentum shift, Sturt coach Paul Rigoni reinjected his starters to help stabilise the contest.
The presence of Daly was felt almost immediately, as he scored 12 points in a matter of minutes to push the game back in the Sabres favour. Daly had a scintillating 20 point first half, ensuring Sturt were able to stretch the lead beyond 25 points as the quarter wore on.
It was the Sabres with four fewer shots, but a near 60 percent conversion rate that proved telling, leading the Warriors 53-26 at halftime.
Rigoni picked up where he had left off, knocking in consecutive baskets- acknowledging the work of his teammates to find him amongst the traffic.
Woodville just simply weren’t all on the same page, as passes went out of bounds and players bickered with each other- culminating in a tech foul for audibly swearing towards a refereeing decision.
Chris Claussen did provide a rare highlight, netting two threes for the quarter, but the match was well beyond the Warriors as Sturt held a 30 point advantage well into the last.
Woodville did continue to push but was unable to make any real dent on the scoreboard, the Sabres consolidating third spot with another win.
Daly finished with 24 points and four assists, whilst Rigoni recorded a double-double, 16 points and 10 rebounds. Both had reduced second-half minutes but made a vital impact to swing the match Sturt’s way when it mattered early on.
Whilst Sturt did make the most of their chances, the Warriors failure to execute and sloppy ball handling did them no favours (45% from the line, 32% FG).
No doubt there will be an emphasis on doing the basics well and communicating with each other this week out at Woodville.