The Perth Redbacks saw their winning run in the NBL1 West Men’s Division come to an end on Saturday night but they bounced back impressively on Sunday at home with a big win.
Their weekend double-header began with a 97-74 defeat at the hands of the Perry Lakes Hawks at Bendat Basketball Centre on Saturday. But the Redbacks hit back impressively on Sunday afternoon at Belmont Oasis to defeat the Geraldton Buccaneers 105-83.
Both the Hawks and Redbacks came into Saturday night’s game in impressive form with Perry Lakes on a three-game winning run to be knocking on the door of top spot.
The Redbacks brought tremendous form into the game too, though, having won their past four matches against the Cougars, Senators, Wolves and Slammers having started the season winning just two of their opening six games.
So that set up what shaped as a tantalising Round 11 Saturday night battle and the first quarter did nothing to change that with Perry Lakes narrowly leading 22-19 by quarter-time.
The Hawks began to take over in the second period, though, outscoring the Redbacks 27 points to 16 to see them hold a comfortable 49-35 going into the half.
Perry Lakes’ lead was still 15 by three quarter-time and then the Hawks further stamped their authority over the Redbacks in the final period with 31 points to 23 to claim the impressive 97-74 victory.
Zac Gattorna top-scored once again for the Redbacks with 21 points and seven rebounds while Louis Timms put up 16 points and four boards.
Marshall Nelson was working his way back into the system in just his second game of the season with 12 points and eight rebounds while Lachlan Bertram had seven points and two steals, and Joel Wagner another seven assists.
It turned out a more eventful afternoon at Belmont Oasis than anyone imagined with the COVID-19 restrictions coming into place as the game tipped off before the Redbacks proved too strong despite a big Mathiang Muo showing and his Buccaneers coach being ejected.
Both teams were coming off playing on Saturday night with the Redbacks losing to the Perry Lakes Hawks and the Buccs going down to the Cockburn Cougars, but things were still normal.
But by the midday tip-off, however, the COVID-19 restrictions were in place meaning everyone in the stadium had to wear a mask unless you were a player on the court and there was also a limit to those allowed inside to watch.
It didn’t detract from the spectacle, though, and a couple of hours later, Mathiang Muo had put up 44 points for the Buccs, his coach Dayle Joseph had found himself ejected and on the back of Louis Timms lighting it up in the first quarter, the Redbacks had too much firepower to win 105-83.
It was a hot opening from the Redbacks who were determined to bounce back from having their four-game winning streak ended the night before with the loss to the Hawks at Bendat Basketball Centre.
Timms was unstoppable putting up 14 points in the opening quarter alone knocking down threes, throwing down dunks and that helped the Redbacks opening up a 33-13 edge by quarter-time.
The Buccaneers kept fighting the rest of the way with Muo trying to close the deficit and then Aaron Ralph hit a couple of threes early in the second half to make it a 16-point game. But the Redbacks responded and the Buccs couldn’t ever really threaten despite Muo fighting to the end.
The Redbacks ended up winning comfortably by 22 points to improve to a 7-5 record on the season having won five of their last six. While the Buccs are finding the going tough in 2021 at 3-8 following the two road losses this weekend.
While Mathiang Muo was outstanding for the Buccaneers playing all but 1:45 of the game and ending up with 44 points, 10 rebounds and three assists on the back of shooting 11/20 from the floor, 6/10 from three and 16/19 at the foul line, it was the number of contributors for the Redbacks that proved the difference.
After his hot start, Louis Timms didn’t even top-score for the Redbacks but still had 20 points including hitting 3/5 from beyond the arc.
In his second game of the season, Marshall Nelson did top-score for Perth with 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists on 11/19 shooting while Zac Gattorna added 15 points on 3/6 shooting from the three-point line.
Tevin Jackson also had 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Redbacks with Lachlan Bertram scoring nine points, Derek Igbenoba eight and Kyden Edman six while captain Joel Wagner dished out another five assists.