Two more wins in the NBL1 West Men’s Division in Round 10 across the weekend and suddenly the Perth Redbacks are one of the form teams of the competition. With the added bonus that Marshall Nelson is back on deck.
Round 10 got underway with what always shaped as a fascinating match-up at Belmont Oasis on Friday night with the Perth Redbacks hosting the Joondalup Wolves.
Both teams came into the game on the back of winning their past two matches as well to set the stage for an enthralling duel with both of them having double-headers to look forward to in Round 10.
The Redbacks came into the game in the best form of their season on the back of wins against the Cockburn Cougars and Warwick Senators, and started impressively to produce a strong first quarter made up of 29 points to 17.
It was quite the up-tempo and high-scoring second quarter then from both teams as they combined for 65 points. Neither coach might have been too impressed with the defence on display with the Wolfpack putting up 33 points to 32 from the Redbacks.
Perth still managed to lead 61-50 by half-time, though, and then their lead was down to eight by three quarter-time setting up a tremendous finish.
The Redbacks locked in on their defence, though, to hold the Wolves to just 12 points in the fourth term while scoring 17 themselves to go on and record the 100-87 victory.
It was a dazzling shooting display from the Redbacks as they went at 38/68 at 56 per cent from the field and 15/29 at 52 per cent from three-point land. The Wolves didn’t shoot too badly at 46 per cent from the floor and 29 per cent from deep but they just couldn’t keep pace with the home team.
Tevin Jackson produced his best game of the season for the Redbacks with 23 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals on hitting 10/17 of his shots.
Louis Timms maintained his outstanding form too with another 18 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals while the Redbacks welcomed back Marshall Nelson for the first time in 2021 and he had 15 points.
Zac Gattorna also had 15 points on 3/6 shooting from deep for the home team while Kyden Edman contributed 11 points and captain Joel Wager eight points and 13 assists.
Then on Saturday night, the Redbacks hit the road in their best form of the season to take on Mark Worthington’s South West Slammers at Eaton Recreation Centre.
Perth held South West to just the nine points in the opening quarter while scoring 18 themselves and the Redbacks then really got rolling offensively in the second quarter putting another 29 points on the board.
They were also able to limit the Slammers to 16 points and that saw the visitors take a comfortable 45-25 lead into half-time.
The Redbacks put up another 25 points in the third quarter and held the Slammers to 14, and another 16 to 14 in the fourth period and Perth went on to record the empathic 88-53 win.
The 35-point victory sees the Redbacks having now won four straight matches for a 6-4 record while the Slammers are 2-8 after 10 rounds.
The Slammers actually won the rebound count for the night but the Redbacks caught fire from three-point land with 15/34 at 44 per cent while forcing the Slammers into the 24 turnovers.
This time it would be Zac Gattorna who top-scored with 23 points and eight rebounds while connecting on 6/11 from three-point territory.
He got plenty of help too with Louis Timms delivering another 19 points and eight rebounds with Tevin Jackson adding 19 points, seven steals and three assists.
In the absence of Marshall Nelson whose return from injury saw him rested for this game, Matt Giorgi also had nine points on three three-pointers with Denzel Jackson contributing seven points and five rebounds, and Joel Wagner eight more assists.