ROUND 5 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Last year’s High-Point MVP, Tristan Knowles was at his best in Round 5 as he led the Kilsyth Cobras to a sweep of the Queensland Spinning Bullets and extend their winning streak to ten.
Over three games, Knowles averaged 33 points, 6.7 rebounds, 14.3 assists and three steals while he was the leading scorer in each contest.
On Friday night, Knowles had the hot hand from the opening tip as he tallied nine points in the first quarter including a three-pointer.
The Bullets were able to keep him relatively quiet over the next two periods and pulled the deficit back from 16 points to seven in the final term.
However, they could not contain him down the stretch as Knowles ended Queensland’s run with an assist to Brian Carminati before scoring seven of the next nine Kilsyth points to put the 67-53 game to bed.
He tallied 29 points on 13-19 shooting with 12 assists to be directly involved in 52 of Kilsyth’s points while he also played a major role at the defensive end, collecting four steals for the game including three in the last quarter.
The following day, the Bullets responded from their loss with a strong first quarter to lead by five at the first break.
Knowles continued to impact the scoreboard with eight points but after quarter-time he was able to bring his team mates into the contest as well, racking up another huge double-double of 34 points and 16 assists.
The Cobras ran out 87-61 victors and the four-time Paralympian was again their driving force at the offensive end, directly involved in 63 of those points while helping them to a 20-12 advantage in points off turnovers courtesy of another three steals.
In their final game, Knowles played all 40 minutes for the third straight contest and his services were required as the Bullets pushed them right until the final siren.
Heading into the final quarter, Knowles had 31 points including another three-pointer but Kilsyth only led by a point.
He played an almost flawless fourth term though, directly involved in every Cobras basket which started with an assist to Daniel Del Toso after the Bullets scored the first four points of the period.
Knowles then knocked down a shot himself before finding Josh Allison and Damon Fent on ensuing possessions to keep the Cobras within touching distance.
As the game entered the last four minutes, Knowles scored again and then, with the deficit out to five points, he assisted on baskets to Fent, Carminati and Del Toso to make it a 72-73 game with 90 seconds to go.
The Bullets could not connect at the other end of the floor and Knowles and Del Toso again teamed up to give Kilsyth the lead once again and then one free-throw from Knowles on their last possession sealed a very impressive two-point victory.
Capping off the strong weekend, Knowles was involved in 67 of the Cobras 75 points and his influence will be critical as Kilsyth head towards another post-season and aim for a third consecutive Championship.
Tristan Knowles Round 5 Stats: 33 points on 42-69 (61%) shooting including 2-10 three-point shooting, 6.7 rebounds, 14.3 assists and three steals per game.