Men's Previews - Round 3

Eastern Mavericks (0-2, 10th) v North Adelaide Rockets (2-0, 1st)
Saturday April 21, 8:15pm at Adelaide Hills

The North Adelaide Rockets’ road win over the Eastern Mavericks in Round 6 last year was a season-changing result for both teams.

At the time, the Rockets were just 1-4 and struggling, while the Mavs were 3-2 and playing some of the best basketball in the competition. However, on the back of 40 points from Josh Bond, the Rockets produced a 111-96 upset, and went on to finish fifth, while the Mavs only won two games the remainder of the season.

This week, the Mavericks will host the Rockets again, but with much different stakes for each side. The Mavs are yet to win a game in 2012, while the Rockets are unbeaten.

In Round 2, the Mavs lost at the Lions’ den 61-80. They only managed 12 points in the second quarter and 13 in the fourth, while attempting only four free throws on the night, both of which came in the third quarter.

Stuart Breheny (16 points, 7 rebounds), Mark Hautop (12 points, 5 rebounds) and Nick Heim (10 points, 6 rebounds) were the Mavs’ best.

Meanwhile, the Rockets despatched last season’s runner-up Norwood in spectacular fashion, winning 105-60. The Rockets attempted 27 less field goals, but their field goal percentage was twice as high, while also getting to the foul-line 50 times compared to just 26 from the Flames.

Bond was the high point man with 31, adding 8 rebounds. Brandon Brine (18 points, 7 rebounds), Pero Vasilijevic (15 points, 12 rebounds), Luke Mapunda (14 points, 7 rebounds) and Tom Rowe (9 points, 6 assists) were the other major contributors.

Don’t expect another Freaky Saturday here. Another mammoth win is not beyond the Rockets, especially given they are likely to suit new import Ed Millard.

South Adelaide Panthers (0-2, 9th) v West Adelaide Bearcats (2-0, 3rd)
Saturday April 21, 8:15pm at Marion Stadium

In another battle between a winless and an unbeaten team, the South Adelaide Panthers host the West Adelaide Bearcats on Saturday.

The Panthers lost at home to the Bearcats last season 67-75, in a match that effectively ended their finals push. Their home court was of no advantage to them in Round 2 either, going down to the Tigers 91-108.

The Panthers have now lost two of their last three against Southern, during a span when the Tigers have beaten none of the other eight CABL clubs. Damian Scanlon was the shining light with 37 points (12/16 FG, 4/5 3FG, 9/10 FT), while Jordan Robertson (11 points) was his only teammate in double figures.

For the second consecutive week, the Bearcats needed all 40 minutes to shake free of a feisty opponent. The Bearcats defeated the Warriors 73-66, despite only improving 2.2 per cent on their dismal 47.8 per cent foul shooting of Round 1. Blake Truslove was the Bearcats’ best with 12 points and 15 rebounds, while Anthony Spadavecchia and Howard Salters Jr each scored 14 points.

This should be a much more comfortable win for the Bearcats.

Norwood Flames (1-1, 7th) v Southern Tigers (1-1, 5th)
Saturday April 21, 8:15pm at Mars

The Norwood Flames copped a belting in Round 2. The Southern Tigers have been on the end of plenty in recent times. On Saturday, the Norwood Flames and Southern Tigers go head-to-head at Mars.

What a difference a week makes! In Round 1, the Flames pulled off a tough win over Centrals, the perfect start after last year’s Grand Final heartbreak. Yet now, the Flames have their backs against the wall after their 60-105 loss to North.

The historical statistics on the Central ABL website do not account for the last time the Flames lost by such a margin. Keith Krause (14 points, 8 rebounds) and Ben Howell (11 points, 7 rebounds) were their leading scorers and rebounders.

Ironically, the previous Central ABL side to lose by 45 points was indeed the Tigers, against the Flames back in Round 12 last year. The Tigers also lost by 32 to the Flames 10 rounds earlier.

Round 1 suggested tough times may be still to come for the Tigers, however, their result in Round 2 puts them in a different light. They defeated South by 17 points, with Tyler Tanis scoring 47 points, a record for the club since it was formed out of the merger of Noarlunga and Adelaide Southern. Tanis was well-supported by Codey Ellison (12 points, 5 rebounds), Michael Florance (11 points) and Daniel Peacock (10 points, 4 rebounds).

A week ago, it is doubtful any neutralist would have looked ahead to this game and thought the Tigers would win. After all, the Tigers have not defeated the Flames since April 6, 2008, losing their last six games by an average of 21 points.

However, with Tanis in superlative form and the Flames in shock, the Tigers are suddenly a great chance to equal their win tally of yester-year.

Sturt Sabres (0-2, 8th) v Central District Lions (1-1, 4th)
Saturday April 21, 8:15pm at Pasadena

The Sturt Sabres and Central District Lions are used to being in opposing positions.

Ahead of their clash at Pasadena on Saturday, the Sabres are in eighth spot and the Lions fourth. The Sabres have produced some good periods of basketball this season, however, they have also gone through patches where they have struggled to score and/or defend.

Last week, they went down 84-97 to Forestville, with an 18-29 third quarter proving pivotal. The Sabres have scored 154 points this season, 54 of which have come off the hands of Tom Daly, while new import Kyle Miller has scored 59 of the Lions’ 144 points.

Miller had 35 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists as the Lions comfortably accounted for Eastern. Kyle Williams was also prominent with 16 points on 8/10 shooting.

The Sabres will be hoping Darren Ng is back to his best this round, after scoring only 9 points off the bench on 4/10 shooting.

Otherwise, the home side could be in for another tough night.

Woodville Warriors (1-1, 6th) v Forestville Eagles (2-0, 2nd)
Saturday April 21, 8:15pm at St Clair

In the Match of the Round, The Woodville Warriors will be hoping to bounce back from their tough Round 2 loss to West when they return home to face the Forestville Eagles.

The Warriors were within three points with 1.58 to go in the fourth, but failed to score the rest of the way. Zane Reeves was the Warriors’ top scorer with 17 points, also adding 8 rebounds. Mark Fuller scored 14 points without a miss, while Adam Blight added 10 points.

Majok Deng and Rashad Tucker both registered double-doubles in the Eagles’ 97-84 victory over Sturt last week. Adam Doyle, Trent Fildes, Brad Sullivan and Brad Gerlach also scored in double figures.

The Eagles have enjoyed playing away games against the Warriors. The Warriors have not beaten the Eagles in their home building since 2006, back when they were based at the now-named Adelaide Arena. Last season, the Eagles beat the Warriors 77-63 at St Clair, before following it up with a 95-80 home victory.

Expect a competitive performance from the Warriors, but ultimately the Eagles should be too strong.

By James Woite


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