Week 6 Friday night Men's SBL results
THE powerful Joondalup Wolves were too strong for the Lakeside Lightning in the Men's SBL on Friday night while the Stirling Senators sent a message with a thrilling road win over the Willetton Tigers.
There were two games on Friday night to open Week 6 of the Men's SBL with the Joondalup Wolves beating the Lakeside Lightning 98-78 at Joondalup Basketball Stadium and the Stirling Senators downing the Willetton Tigers 89-85 at Willetton Basketball Stadium.
The Tigers hadn’t lost a game since welcoming Ray Turner into the line-up meaning they deserved to head into Friday's clash with the Senators at home full of confidence.
But even with Stirling still without new import big man Drew Naymick, the Senators delivered a tremendous performance set up with a big opening quarter.
The Senators welcomed back Corban Wroe and raced to a 15-point advantage by quarter-time.
The Tigers did close to within just five points by half-time and set up a thrilling finish, but Stirling had the answers on the night to get a measure of revenge for last year's quarter-final series loss to Willetton to win by four points.
Cody Ellis had a huge night for the Senators to finish with 28 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots while shooting 10-of-16 from the field, 4-of-9 from beyond the arc and 4-of-5 at the foul line.
Rhys Vague added 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Stirling while Austin Bruton finished with 13 points and three assists, Tom Witts nine points and Ash Litterick eight points to go with eight boards, three assists, three steals and two blocked shots.
Jay Bowie top-scored for Willetton with 30 points and seven rebounds shooting an impressive 11-of-16 from the floor and 5-of-8 from downtown.
Ray Turner added 25 points and six boards for the Tigers while Michael Collins contributed 11 points. Damien Scott, Nic Cody and Kyle Armour combined for just nine points and two rebounds on the night despite Armour dishing out eight assists.
Then at Joondalup Basketball Stadium, the Lightning always faced a big task on the road to the Wolves and that was made all the tougher in the absence of key players Daniel Grida and Darrell Morgan.
While the Lightning fought hard, they were outmatched for much of the evening with the Wolfpack winning by 20 points to improve to a 5-1 record on the season.
Trian Iliadis had a particularly strong start to set the tone for Joondalup and finished with 19 points on the night with captain Seb Salinas adding 13 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals.
Rhys Smyth delivered 10 points and four rebounds off the bench for the Wolfpack as well and Damian Matacz nine points and five assists.
Import big man Richard Ross provided some highlight moments with a couple of big dunks and had perhaps his best night of the season with 14 points, five rebounds and two steals.
Wolves coach Ben Ettridge was happy with the team effort to get the win to improve to a 5-1 record.
"It took us a couple of quarters to crack them and to Lakeside's credit they played hard even with a couple of their better players away. That did give us a bit more of an opportunity but we still had to play well," Ettridge said.
"Our starters got it done and Trian got us off to a really good start and then at the end there to be able to run the kids was good as well. To get some miles into their legs will only help them get better moving forward as well."
The Lightning battled hard against the odds with Devon Atkinson finishing with 19 points, six assists and three rebounds. James Padgett fought hard inside for 11 points and 17 rebounds.
Michael Garbellini contributed 10 points, four rebounds and three steals off the bench but the Lightning now turn their focus quickly to taking on Cockburn on Saturday night.
Week 6 of the SBL will continue with five matches on Saturday night with the Perry Lakes Hawks playing the Geraldton Buccaneers, the South West Slammers facing the Mandurah Magic, the Lakeside Lightning taking on the Cockburn Cougars, the Goldfields Giants tackling the Perth Redbacks and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns battling the East Perth Eagles.
Then on Sunday, the Rockingham Flames play the Geraldton Buccaneers at Mike Barnett Sports Complex before on Monday night, the Stirling Senators host the Perry Lakes Hawks.
And on ANZAC Day, the Kalamunda Eastern Suns host the Willetton Tigers and the Cockburn Cougars take on the Rockingham Flames.
FRIDAY NIGHT ROUND 6 MEN'S SBL RESULTS
Joondalup Wolves 98 defeated Lakeside Lightning 78
Willetton Tigers 85 lost to Stirling Senators 89
SATURDAY NIGHT ROUND 6 MEN'S SBL FIXTURES
Perry Lakes Hawks v Geraldton Buccaneers – Bendat Basketball Centre 8pm
South West Slammers v Mandurah Magic – Eaton Recreation Centre 8pm
Lakeside Lightning v Cockburn Cougars – Lakeside Recreation Centre 8pm
Goldfields Giants v Perth Redbacks – Neils Hansen Basketball Stadium 8pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v East Perth Eagles – Ray Owen Sports Centre 8.30pm
SUNDAY ROUND 6 MEN'S SBL FIXTURES
Rockingham Flames v Geraldton Buccaneers – Mike Barnett Sports Complex 12pm
MONDAY ROUND 6 MEN'S SBL FIXTURES
Stirling Senators v Perry Lakes Hawks – Warwick Stadium 8.30pm
TUESDAY ROUND 6 MEN'S SBL FIXTURES
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Willetton Tigers – Ray Owen Sports Centre 3pm
Cockburn Cougars v Rockingham Flames – Wally Hagan Stadium 3pm
Photo by Vikki Hile