MAFFRA and Sale edged out the competition in a pair of nail-biting clashes to tip off CBL Round 3.
Returning to .500 in emphatic style, Sale held on against a dogged Warragul to the tune of 72-71 at Warragul Leisure Centre. You could scarcely split the sides throughout the evening until a late Sonics’ surge pushed the margin out to eight through the likes of Breanna Kerton (25 points) and Kristy Glover (21 points). But even with only six players suiting up, Warragul pushed through all evening to test the Sale defence. It wasn’t enough of a buffer though as the Warriors fought back in the dying seconds to make a game of it. Cassandra Shaddock (12 points) and Mikaela Dickson (18 points) brought it back to a one point game with 12 seconds remaining, but cooler heads prevailed as Sale held on to take its second win of the CBL Gippsland Women’s season. Peta Rhodes (17 points) and Makaela Zeldenryk (16 points) also excelled in the Warriors’ valiant performance.
Taking their first loss of the season, Traralgon was undone 65-68 in a thriller against Maffra. A late surge from Traralgon wasn’t enough to stop the Maffra rampage as Maddison Wild (23 points), Paige Biddle (15 points) and Eliza Osborn (12 points) soared. For the T-Birds, Samantha Labros (26 points) started the weekend in style in league with Lauryn King-Church (10 points).
Traralgon changed its form line in its Sunday afternoon clash against Warragul, picking up a 64-51 triumph on home court. Backing up from the night before, Labros (26 points) was once again superb as she led the T-Birds offence in league with Joanna Watson (16 points). Shanara Notman (16 points) was the only Warrior to venture into double digits.
Southern Peninsula maintained its strong start to life in the Country Basketball League with a 110-85 win over Sale and a 95-83 win over Maffra.
Launching into a three-point bonanza, the Sharks’ Matthew Brasser (34 points) continued his All-Star level start to life in CBL with Corey Bond (29 points) and Ben James (14 points) also chipping in. Luke Williams (31 points) was on fire for the Sonics alongside Jake Hutchins (15 points) and Ben Dessent (15 points).
Maffra’s Saturday night fared a lot better in its 90-72 win over Traralgon. Sam Whelan (29 points) and Blake Gallatly (20 points) were the best of the Eagles’ nest while Trent Everett (23 points) and Luis D’Angelo (18 points) led the T-Birds.
Sunday was no better for Traralgon, taking a 74-105 home-court demolition at the hands of Warragul. The Warriors’ performance was led by Jarryd Moss (25 points), Mike Santo (21 points) and Dwain Scott (20 points). Traralgon’s best performers were D’Angelo (27 points) and Jarrod King-Church (12 points).
It was a tough double-header weekend for CBL newcomers Lakes Entrance, downed by Warragul 50-119 and Churchill 60-106.
NORTH EAST WOMEN
Wallan flexed its muscles in a 102-88 triumph over Seymour. Wallan shared the scoring as Carley Cranston (33 points), Nicola Stewart (23 points) and Amber Ross (19 points) led the charge. Down on personnel, the heavy lifting for Seymour was left to Tayha Watkins – who hit a round 3 league-leading 43-point haul as she tried to keep the Blasters in the clash. She found plenty of support from Rosie O’Sullivan (18 points), but in the end the Blasters couldn’t halt the Panthers’ procession. Wallan moves up to second on the North East Women’s ladder ahead of a bye week.
It was a rough weekend for Wangaratta with the Warriors downed by Wodonga and Shepparton across their weekend double-header. Wodonga continued its unbeaten start to life in CBL 2019/20 with an emphatic 88-57 win over Wangaratta. The Gators also proved too powerful for the Warriors on Sunday with a 70-54 victory propelling Shepparton to third on the ladder.
Wodonga has a chance to extend its lead atop the ladder with a double-header weekend, battling Myrtleford on Saturday away before hosting Benalla at home.
NORTH EAST MEN
Keeping their unbeaten start intact, Wallan walked over Seymour in a 102-78 rout on Saturday night. Max Viitala (33 points), Lincoln Stewart (22 points) and Leo Viitala (17 points) had a field day feasting on the Blasters’ defence. For the visitors, Robbie Sartori (29 points) continued his strong start to the season in league with Zac Donoghue (17 points) and Jack Murphy (16 points).
In a closely-fought clash on Saturday, Wangaratta took the points over Wodonga in an 73-68 triumph. Jake Bowen (17 points), Mitch Holt (12 points) and Tom Young (11 points) did the heavy lifting in the Warriors’ victory while Byron Hosie (19 points) and Connor Marshall (10 points) were gallant for the Wolves.
Wangaratta split their results over the weekend with Shepparton coming to town and feasting on a 30-point win. Josh Evans (13 points) and Ben Mckenzie (12 points) were the Gators’ best while Bowen (12 points) once again led the Warriors.
NORTH WEST WOMEN
Maintaining their perfect start to the CBL season, the Bendigo Braves brushed past Maryborough in a 78-57 triumph. Sharna Appleby (31 points) starred for the Braves in league with Hayley Harrington (16 points) and Olivia Noter (12 points) while the Blazers were led by Claire Blower (15 points) and Keisha Tonzing (13 points).
Echuca found a happy hunting ground at Swan Hill with a 61-43 victory over the Flyers. Zara Pearson (18 points) led the day alongside Claire Byrne (11 points) while Swan Hill’s best was Tess Denham (10 points).
NORTH WEST MEN
Kyneton took out the battle of the big cats in Round 3 action with an 81-73 win over Bacchus Marsh. The Tigers – led by Carson Mcsweeney (17 points) and Matthew Bourke (14 points) – roared to life against the Lions, with the best in their ranks going to Will Feben (29 points) and Max Beaumont (16 points).
Castlemaine opened its CBL 2019/20 account in style on Saturday with an 85-75 win over Swan Hill. Sam Beks (40 points) was unstoppable as he surged past the Flyers’ defence in league with Lloyd Needs (17 points). Alex Erlandson (21 points) and Jacob Seears (15 points) were the best of the visiting Flyers.
Maryborough’s men made the most of their trip up the highway with an 81-65 win over Bendigo on Saturday night.
SOUTH WEST WOMEN
Horsham claimed a big scalp on Saturday night with a 76-66 victory over Bellarine Storm. Despite the Storm raining threes, through Olivia Virt (23 points) and Laney McFadyen (15 points), the likes of Faith McKenzie (20 points) and Caitlin Story (19 points) proved too potent for the Hornets.
Warrnambool defended home court in style with a 92-79 win over Millicent Magic. Sharing the scoring, the Mermaids were led by Nicole Gynes (20 points) and Louise Brown (20 points) while Georgia Winter (19 points) was gallant for the visitors.
SOUTH WEST MEN
Scott Judd stole the show for Terang on Saturday night in a thrilling final-shot victory over Bellarine. At level pegging approaching the final siren, Judd made the match-winner to take out the 90-87 win and push the Tornadoes up to fifth on the ladder.
Warrnambool swept its Saturday night with the Seahawks knocking over Millicent 95-73 as Josh Dean (21 points) and Liam Killey (20 points) led the home town side, while the visitors were led by Kade Bradley (19 points) and Josh Murphy (15 points).
Horsham delivered offensively against Stawell, taking out a staggering 149-67 victory on home court. Tim Pickert (33 points), Jeremiah Mckenzie (33 points), Damien Skurrie (28 points) and Mitch Martin (24 points) shone for the Hornets while Joel Freeland (17 points) was the best of the Wildcats’ roster.