ROUND 8 REVIEW
The Kilsyth Cobras have finished the 2016 NWBL regular season atop the ladder, despite splitting their weekend with the Be Active Perth Wheelcats while Sydney Metro Blues have been kept winless by the Wollongong Roller Hawks.
In a repeat of their Round 1 meeting, Kilsyth were far too good for Perth on Saturday night, leading by as much as 38 points in a wire-to-wire 92-63 victory.
Tristan Knowles was highly efficient at the offensive end, collecting 36 points and 15 assists with only two turnovers to go with six rebounds and two steals.
Shawn Russell played every minute of the contest for 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists, Dan Del Toso (ten points, ten boards) had a double-double in just 22 minutes and Shaun Groenewegen chipped in with six points off the bench.
A shortened roster of just six players proved a hindrance for the Wheelcats but those limitations did not deter them the following day, upsetting the Cobras with an 86-66 win.
With the game tied at half-time, Perth pulled away with a comprehensive performance in the second half as Shaun Norris recorded an absurd 18 points, ten rebounds and 23 assists.
His incredible passing helped his side to shoot 56% from the field with Amber Merritt (26 points), Kim Robins (22 points, ten boards, six assists) and Andrew Liddawadi (14 points) all benefiting from his play-making.
For Kilsyth, Knowles (19 points, 15 assists) and Del Toso (14 points, 14 rebounds) both collected doubles-doubles for the second straight game but it was not enough to answer Norris.
In New South Wales, Wollongong were determined to carry some form into the playoffs despite not being able to move from third on the ladder as they swept the Blues in three games with an average winning margin of 54 points.
Sydney were unable to win a quarter over the weekend but Clarence McCarthy-Grogan was again a standout with 14.7 points and 5.6 assists for the round while Anderson Parker, Richard Engles and Josh Meoli all impressed.
The Roller Hawks had four players reach double-figures in scoring in the first two games, led by Brett Stibners who finished with an average of 33.7 points, seven rebounds and ten assists.
Michael Auprince (23.7 points and 8.7 rebounds), Luke Pople (15 points and 9.3 assists) and Nick Taylor (12 points and six assists) all dominated proceedings before Brad Fisher got in on the act on Sunday with an additional 12 points off the bench to help Wollongong crack the century mark as a team.
All is now in readiness for the NWBL finals with Kilsyth to resume hostilities with Perth while Wollongong will be pitted against the Red Dust Heelers who finished fourth on the ladder despite not playing since May 22.