Rollers crush Great Britain

Rollers crush Great Britain

The Australian men’s wheelchair basketball team, the Rollers, opened their four-game international series against arch rival Great Britain with a convincing 75-49 win at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre in Perth last night. A scintillating opening quarter combined with a

The Australian men’s wheelchair basketball team, the Rollers, opened their four-game international series against arch rival Great Britain with a convincing 75-49 win at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre in Perth last night.

A scintillating opening quarter combined with a dominant rebound count, 50-29, and high field shooting percentage (52%) proved the cornerstones of the Rollers’ first-up win.

The victory gave Rollers Head Coach Ben Ettridge a 2-0 record over his former mentor Murray Treseder, who took up the more lucrative Head Coaching role with Great Britain in February.

 “We had a low-key build up and preparation and only spent fours together before the game so we are very happy to have come out the way we did and get that result,” Ettridge said.

“It’s pleasing for me to see that what I am instilling in this group is carrying on and that my message is getting through and they know how I want them to play.

“We had a great start, we hit our targets but we are still working hard to improve other parts of our game and we are still trying some things.

“I have never gotten into rivalries but it is nice for me to see that I can hold my own against Murray.”

Home town hero and Rollers captain Brad Ness scored a game high 18 points on 9-of-13 field goal shooting to go with 8 rebounds.

Tristan Knowles of NSW contributed 14 points while WA local Justin Eveson added 13 points and Victoria’s Shaun Groenewegen tallied 11 points in support.

Guard Jon Pollock scored 13 points to lead Great Britain with forward Dan Highcock adding 12 points.

The Rollers started the game in emphatic style, dominating at both ends of the floor to establish a 20-9 quarter time lead.

Great Britain defended valiantly in the second term but the Rollers’ full court dominance saw them win the quarter 18-14 to hold a 38-23 halftime lead.

Ettridge rotated all of his players throughout the game with every player getting eight or minutes on court and proving they are on track for a strong performance at the Beijing Olympics, the Rollers extended their lead to 57-35 at three quarter time despite the player rotation.

The Rollers won the final term 14-10 to register a comfortable 26-point win.

Game two commences at 7pm tonight (9pm AEST) at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre, with the final two matches being played in Shellharbour, New South Wales.

Australian centre Darren Skuse suffered a nasty head cut midway through the game but has been cleared to play tonight.

“Darren got back in the game and quickly got five rebounds and three fouls because he was fired up, but there was shades of Andrew Gaze as he entered the court with his head taped up,” Ettridge said.