ROUND 7 REVIEW
The Kilsyth Cobras have moved back into top spot on the NWBL ladder despite splitting their Round 7 results with the Wollongong Roller Hawks while the RSL Queensland Spinning Bullets have ensured the Sydney Metro Blues remain winless on the season.
As they did in the Cluster Round, Wollongong took it to the defending champs on Saturday night but unlike their previous one-point win, this time the Roller Hawks enjoyed a 76-50 thrashing.
Trailing by a point at quarter-time, the home side quickly grabbed the ascendancy in the second term before a 21-6 third period saw them cruise to victory.
Brett Stibners was the catalyst for the win, going close to a triple-double with 28 points, ten rebounds and nine assists while Michael Auprince (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Nick Taylor (14 points, five boards and five assists) were also integral.
A re-match on Sunday saw another comeback victory, this time with Kilsyth exacting their revenge following an eight-point quarter-time deficit.
A back-and-forth affair then saw Wollongong hold on to a four-point advantage with just over six minutes remaining before the Cobras went on a 7-0 run.
From there, Tristan Knowles (18.5 points, 4.5 assists for the weekend) nailed a couple of important baskets before Joshua Allison put the icing on the cake from the free-throw line.
Shawn Russell (12 points, 8.5 boards) also proved important for the Cobras over the round while Stibners (19 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists) and Michael Auprince (23 points, 12 boards) almost pulled Wollongong over the line on Sunday.
In the other two clashes for the weekend, the Metro Blues kept close with the Spinning Bullets on Saturday night, falling by 17 points before Queensland pulled away for a dominant 87-43 win on Sunday.
Bill Latham paced Queensland in both games, averaging 19 points per game while Tom O’Neill-Thorne went close to a triple-double on Saturday night to finish with 12 points, 5.5 rebounds and five assists.
Sydney were led by Clarence McCarthy-Grogan in the first clash as his 29 points and three steals almost pulled the Blues over the line before Anderson Parker showed off his talents with a double-double on Sunday.
With the Australian Rollers in camp this week to begin their preparations for Rio in September, the final round of the NWBL schedule will start on June 10.