Men's Previews - Round 4

Forestville Eagles (2-1, 2nd) v West Adelaide Bearcats (2-1, 3rd)
Wednesday April 25, 5.00pm at Wayville

After shock losses in Round 3, the Forestville Eagles and West Adelaide Bearcats will be back in business for their Match of the Round Anzac Day battle at Wayville.

The Eagles went down 72-73 to the Woodville Warriors in overtime, with Adam Doyle missing the go-ahead field goal in the final three seconds. They also had the opportunity to win the game in regulation, but Rashad Tucker turned the ball over with four seconds left.

In the absence of Majok Deng, the Eagles led by as many as 12 in the third quarter, but let their opponents back into the game due to their poor shooting. As a team, the Eagles shot a season-low 32 per cent from the field. Trent Fildes and Brad Sullivan were the high point men, finishing with 16 each, along with 14 rebounds between them. Tucker was held to just 11 points, but picked up 14 boards.

The Bearcats became the first team to lose to South this season, going down 70-84. They led by two with a little over eight minutes remaining, but were destroyed 9-25 the rest of the way. For the third consecutive week, the Bearcats failed to make more than half of their foul shots, missing eight of their 15 attempts. In contrast, the Panthers shot 82 per cent from the charity stripe.

Blake Truslove nailed all three of his free throw attempts, and finished with a 19 point, 14 rebound double-double. Junior Salters registered 17 points and 14 rebounds, but shot just 7/21 from the field and 1/6 from the line.

The Eagles and Bearcats have fought some close battles in recent times. The Eagles won two of the three matches last season, including the Preliminary Final at Pasadena.

The Bearcats have struggled to score this season, putting up just 72 ppg this season. The Eagles are averaging over 90 ppg, and scored 97 against Sturt in their last home match.

The Bearcats beat the Warriors when the Eagles could not, but in their home building, the Eagles should have too much offensive fire power and pick up win number three.

Eastern Mavericks (0-3, 10th) v Southern Tigers (1-2, 7th)
Saturday April 28, 8.15pm at Adelaide Hills

The Southern Tigers were 1-2 when they last visited the Eastern Mavericks. Once again, they will visit the Adelaide Hills with a 1-2 record, although they will be hoping for a better result than last time.

The Tigers dropped both matches against the Mavericks last season, including a 78-88 defeat early in the piece. They enter this match on the back of an 82-83 loss to Norwood, after falling asleep in the final two and a half minutes, conceding 11 points to zero. On Norwood’s final possession, they gave up two offensive rebounds and then a three-pointer to Todd Matthews.

The Tigers lost in spite of outshooting their opponents from every area on the floor. Tyler Tanis backed up his 47 point game from Round 2 with another 20, while Michael Florance had 17 points and 7 rebounds.

The Mavericks will be playing for their first win in 2012. Last week, they went down to ladder-leaders North Adelaide 80-63. The positive for the Mavs was they finished the game strongly, scoring the final nine points. Stuart Breheny was the shining light with 19 points and 6 rebounds.

If the game is to be decided in the final couple of minutes, then based on Round 3, the Mavericks will like their chances. However, the Tigers loss will have stung very badly, so expect them to burst out of the blocks and make sure of the victory.

North Adelaide Rockets (3-0, 1st) v Sturt Sabres (1-2, 8th)
Saturday April 28, 8.15pm at Adelaide Hills

The league’s only unbeaten team, the North Adelaide Rockets, host the Sturt Sabres on Saturday, who have not lost at Hillcrest since July 19, 2008.

The Rockets have in fact struggled to make their home a fortress in recent times, however, if Round 2 is anything to go by, their fans should be in for some happier times this season.

The Norwood Flames, like the Sabres, have found Hillcrest a happy hunting ground in recent times, but were blown away 60-105.

The Rockets have not let their success get to their heads. Last week, they earnt a 23-12 quarter-time advantage against Eastern, before cruising to a 17 point win.

In his first game for the club, import Ed Millard let the scoring with 22 points on 9/17 shooting. Josh Bond finished with 16 points on 6/8 shooting, including 3/5 from beyond the arc.

The Sabres looked like they were heading for a fifth straight defeat, dating back to last season’s finals. They trailed Centrals 30-40 during the third quarter, before outscoring them 42-19 in the final 16.40 of the match.

The Sabres shot just 10 per cent from downtown and 50 per cent from the foul-line, but connected on 45 per cent of their field goal attempts and outrebounded the Lions 48-37. Tim Klaosen top-scored with 23 points on 10/18 shooting, while Tom Daly was one assist off a triple-double (14 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists). Stefan Wright added 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The Sabres appear to be a Jekyll-and-Hyde club right now. So far this season, they have gone through phases of domination, but there are also times when they cannot put the ball in the hoop. In contrast, the Rockets know how to get the job done, and have a variety of players who can step up.

Ultimately, the Rockets should win this game comfortably and make it 4-0.

Norwood Flames (2-1, 5th) v South Adelaide Panthers (1-2, 9th)
Saturday April 28, 8.15pm at Mars

Could 130 seconds of never-say-die basketball have turned the Norwood Flames’ season upside-down? How about the final eight minutes from the South Adelaide Panthers? Round 4 could be a defining week for both teams when they square off at Mars.

Coming off a disastrous loss to North Adelaide, the Flames looked dead and buried against the Southern Tigers, a club who they outscored by 77 points over two matches last season. However, the Flames showed why they were a top two side in 2011, producing a stunning comeback.

Keith Krause’s trey with 2.10 remaining had the Flames back in it at 75-82, before burying another on their next offensive possession. Krause (19 points, 5 rebounds) then pulled in a defensive rebound after two unsuccessful attempts from Southern’s Michael Florance, before Dillon Ford (9 points) cut the gap to two.

On Southern’s next offence, Reece Turner came up short, before Codey Ellison fouled Owen Giovine on the rebound. Giovine missed both free throws, but recovered his own miss. After Krause failed to convert the second chance opportunity, Daniel Webber got the offensive rebound, before Todd Matthews (21 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals) nailed a triple for an unbelievable victory.

Meanwhile, the Panthers are coming off their first win in 2012, and they likewise completed it in style. The Panthers scored 25 points to nine in the final 7.52 and defeated the previously unbeaten Bearcats 84-70. The Panthers scored five extra points from the foul-line and 15 more from beyond the arc.

The Panthers had five double-digit scorers, including Kyle Howe Tipene (14 points, 5 rebounds), Thomas McKenzie (13 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists), Damian Scanlon (13 points, 4 assists), Jordan Robertson (12 points, 7 rebounds) and Patrick Mattson (12 points, 8 rebounds).

The last time they met, The Flames’ Andrew Webber, who is yet to suit up this season, scored a CABL record 51 points in a 107-73 victory at Marion. The Flames also won the corresponding encounter at Mars.

Expect this to be a competitive game, although the Flames should get the job done on their home floor

Central District Lions (1-2, 6th) v Woodville Warriors (2-1, 4th)
Saturday April 28, 8.15pm at Starplex

The Central District Lions will be hoping to avenge their disappointing Round 3 loss to Sturt when they host the Woodville Warriors on Saturday.

The Lions led Sturt for a large proportion of last week’s trip to Pasadena, but blew a double digit second half advantage to lose 59-72. Kyle Miller was again lethal with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Luke Frost and Lachlan Parker scored 10 each.

The Warriors love to get the job done by the lousiest of margins. Both their wins this year have been by a solitary point, including an overtime triumph over reigning champions Forestville last week. The hero was Jarrod Graves, who only scored six points on the night, but hit the game-winner in the final five seconds of overtime.

Zane Reeves continued his strong start to the season with 18 points and 7 rebounds, while Puff Summers had his best game since joining from Ireland with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.

Two of the Warriors’ final three victories in 2011 were by one point also, one of which was a 72-71 win over Centrals at Starplex in the final game of the season. Ironically, their only other winning margin was 11 points!

Although the Warriors are higher up the ladder, the Lions have been playing some competitive basketball, matching it with two of last year’s finalists for long periods. However, the Lions have not beaten the Warriors since June 20, 2009.

It is likely this game will go down to the wire, where the Warriors’ experience and recent success in close games could be critical.

By James Woite


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