Game 73 – Diamond Valley Eagles vs Illawarra Hawks
Illawarra won 3 of the 4 quarters in their game against the Eagles in their 15 point win. The Eagles were unable to keep the Hawks’ talls out of the keyway, which was a major factor in the result. The first quarter was closely contested with the Hawks holding a 4 point lead, and the second term also saw scores remaining very close. 8 straight points from Illawarra’s Nicholas Bagaric was the major influence in the Hawks outscoring the Eagles 16 to 8 to give them a comfortable lead, which they maintained through the final quarter. Mitchell Naumovski led the way for Illawarra with 17 points, supported by Nicholas Bagaric with 14. For Diamond Valley Leo Viitala had 19 points, supported by Daniel Coffield with 8.
Final score: Illawarra 62 defeated Diamond Valley 47
Game 74 – Logan Thunder vs Rockingham Flames
Both teams came out strongly in the opening quarter, Rockingham taking a slender lead at the end of the first quarter. Mitch Brackenbury got going in the second with 6 points, as the Flames took the lead at half time, despite some good play from Rout Pal. Rockingham seemed to execute better in the third quarter, but the Logan defence responded as Stanley Morris hit some crucial shots to re-take the lead at the final break. As both defences tired in the final quarter, they began to find scoring easier, with the Thunder outscoring the Flames 15 to 10 to get the victory. Logan were led by Mitch Brackenbury with 12, while Stanley Morris with 10 was solid. For Rockingham Bradley Walsh had 13 points, with Justin and Kyle Beard each with 7.
Final score: Logan 42 defeated Rockingham 34
Game 75 – NT South vs Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
NT South scored the opening 7 points of the game before the Sea Eagles settled into the contest. By quarter time Manly levelled the socres at 9 apiece. Manly got on a roll in the 2nd quarter scoring 21 points, while NT South could manage just 8, Manly holding a 13 point break at half time. A combined 13 points from Stefan Dosen and Daniel Pitcher saw the Sea Eagles extend their margin in the 3rd term and had the match in their keeping, with NT South unable to make any inroads. Top scorers for Manly Charlie Atkins had 17 points and Daniel Pitcher 11; for NT South Chrae Tawhai led with 12 points.
Final score: Manly Warringah 69 defeated NT South 27
Game 76 – Dandenong Rangers vs West Adelaide Bearcats
West Adelaide took out this contest in a very low scoring defensive match. The first quarter was tightly contested with the Bearcats getting good production from Ben Rennie. West Adelaide tightened the screws in the 2nd, with Dandenong unable to score a single point; however the Bearcats could only manage 5 points themselves, with the Rangers working hard defensively. Things got a bit easier in the 3rd with the Rangers beginning to find the basket and reducing the margin by 2 points. Both teams could not be split in the final quarter, but West Adelaide were able to maintain their early lead to win despite a great effort by the Rangers. Ben Rennie top scored with 20 points for West Adelaide, while for the Rangers Tim Harmer and Daniel Tagi each had 7 in an even scoring performance.
Final score: West Adelaide 35 defeated Dandenong 30
Game 77 – Townsville Heat vs Runaway Bay
The Townsville Heat survived a final quarter fight-back from Runaway Bay to record a 5 point victory. Townsville’s Trent Myles dominated the scoreboard in the first quarter, hitting 12 points to help the Heat jump out to a 7 point break. Townsville took control of the game in the 2nd quarter with a 15 to 6 term to lead by 16. Both teams scored equal points in the 3rd quarter, with Jamie Hullerman the major factor for Townsville. The result seemed to be in Townsville’s keeping before the Runaway Bay side quickly reduced the margin late in the game with solid defensive play forcing turnovers and converting into points. However it was a case of “too little too late”, with Townsville able to hold on. Townsville were paced by Trent Myles with 29 points, while for Runaway Bay Oscar Presto had 15 points and Marcus Holmquist-Pollock with 10.
Final score: Townsville 50 defeated Runaway Bay 45
Game 78 – NT North vs Stirling Senators
Both teams had a good opening quarter, with some high quality defence on display. Stirling took a 4 point lead into the second term. A strong 2nd quarter from the Senators saw them increase their lead to 15 at the main break. NT North struggled in the 3rd quarter with only 4 points as the Senators continued to score well to record a comfortable win. Callum Saunders and Zach Levey each had 11 points for Stirling, while for NT North Luke Sitzler had 8 points.
Final score: Stirling 58 defeated NT North 29
Game 79 – Semi Final – Geelong Cats vs Bulleen Boomers
The Bulleen Boomers are the first team through to Saturday’s Grand Final with a convincing semi final win over the Geelong Cats. Bulleen’s intense defence saw them keep Geelong’s scoring down on the way to establishing a 1st quarter lead. Geelong managed to make some adjustments which helped them get back into the contest in the second quarter. Despite their improved play in the final 3 quarters Bulleen always had the answer and were able to record a comfortable win, and will now await their opponent as they prepare for the Grand Final. Marc Pittonet led Bulleen with 20 points, supported by Reece McKenzie with 16. For Geelong George Blagojevic scored 12 points and Harrison Dolley 10.
Final score: Bulleen 68 defeated Geelong 40
Game 80 – Southern Tigers vs Canberra Nationals
High scoring opening term, with Southern Tigers getting the early jump. Canberra managed to level the scores by the end of the first quarter. 5 points in the 2nd to Riley Habraken saw Canberra lead by 4 at half time. As both teams began to step up their defence the Nationals again won the quarter to lead by 8, and maintained their advantage to finish with a 13 point win. For Canberra Riley Habraken led with 17 points while Tad Dufelmeier Jnr was also good with 15 points. For Southern Tigers Brett Turner had 19 points.
Final score: Canberra 57 defeated Southeern Tigers 44
Game 81 – Sturt Sabres vs North Tasmania
Sturt’s Jem Burford-Rice hit 6 opening quarter points to give his team a 7 point advantage at quarter time. North Tasmania kept in touch in the second term with several players hitting baskets. Sturt took control of the 3rd quarter with 8 points from Elliott Richardson to give the Sabres an 11 point lead, and they were able to hold on in the last term, however the quarter was won by North Tasmania who battled hard right throughout. For Sturt Elliott Richardson led with 16 points, while for North Tasmania Tim Jones played well with 16 points and Joe Chilcott 12.
Final score: Sturt 50 defeated North Tasmania 41
Game 82 – Semi Final – Keilor Thunder vs Knox Raiders
The Knox Raiders have won their way through to Saturday’s Gold Medal game with a commanding victory over Keilor. The Thunder began the game brightly with the opening 5 points of the game, Knox then responded by hitting the next 7 points. The rest of the quarter was a scrappy affair, with both sides fighting hard on every possession. Simmons for Keilor and Toman for Knox basically nullified each other throughout the opening quarter, as each tried to settle into the game. Knox got 5 quick points from Jayden Hawkes to lead at the first break. The second term saw the Raiders continue to score well particularly from outside, while Simmons kept the Thunder close with a big basket with the shot clock expiring. The Raiders’ second efforts kept them in control, with a 40-19 break at half time. Much of the same in the 3rd quarter, with the Raiders affording the luxury of rotating their lineup to get plenty of rest, but not lose anything on the floor. The final quarter saw Keilor fighting hard to keep the score respectable, Simmons hitting some nice 3 pointers, but Knox’s ability to score as well as draw fouls saw them run out comfortable winners. For the Raiders Jayden Hawkes led the way with 21 points, whilst for Keilor Marcus De Leur had 14, with 9 apiece to Ben Simmons and Joel Smith.
Final score: Knox 78 defeated Keilor 47
Game 83 – Albury Cougars vs North West Tasmania
In a closely contested game throughout the Cougars took an early lead against North West Tasmania. Scores remained close with both teams going score for score in the 2nd term, scores tied at 19 at half time. The game became more physical as both teams stepped up their play in the 3rd quarter, with Jacob Cincurak the major target for Albury. The Thunder managed to outscore the Cougars by 7 points, which was enough to give them a win despite Albury winning the final term by 3 points. Nick Taylor top scored for North West Tasmania with 11 points, Mitchell Salter with 9. Jacob Cincurak led the Cougars with 24 points.
Final score: North West Tasmania 44 defeated Albury 40
Game 84 – Wanneroo Wolves vs Hills Hornets
Hills got a solid start against the Wolves, establishing an 8 point lead after the opening term .Scores dried up in the second quarter but Hills managed to slightly increase their advantage by half time. Hills continued to play good basketball in the third quarter, increasing their advantage to 13, which saw them take the contest out despite being outscored in the final term by 4 points. Marvin Fidel led the Hornets with 13 points, while Alexander Colli had 11. For Wanneroo Kale Somers top scored with 14 points, Nikola Zivanovic was solid with 13.
Final score: Hills 53 defeated Wanneroo 44
Tomorrow sees the final day of competition, highlighted by the Gold Medal game between Bulleen and Knox at 11.00 AM on Court 1.