THE Lakeside Lightning began its 2017 State Basketball League season with a bang over the weekend.
The Lightning men split the difference in their opening-round double-header, taking down the South West Slammers on Saturday night before losing to the Geraldton Buccaneers the next afternoon.
It was a hard-fought tussle against the Slammers; US import James Padgett top scored with 21 points to help his team just pip their opponents 84-82 but backing up at home the next day proved too much, with the team going down 99-85 to Geraldton despite a huge 26 points haul from Padgett.
The Lightning women also overcame the Slammers, running out 79-68 winners after big contributions from imports Sydnee Fipps (24 points) and Ali Schwagmeyer (21).
The Cockburn Cougars were not as successful, losing two nailbiters against Joondalup.
The Cougar women were unable to hold on to a narrow lead and allowed the Wolves to run over the top of them late in the game for a 73-71 win.
Brianna Moyes top-scored for the Cougars with 22 points.
The men also went down by a narrow 104-101 in their grand final rematch against Joondalup.
Jalen Dillups dominated in his SBL debut, scoring 26 points and gathering 13 rebounds in the tussle, while fan-favourite Gavin Field finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and a game-high six assists.
THERE will be no fourth shot at a grand final win for Fremantle this season after being bundled out of the Premier Cricket race at home to Joondalup over the weekend.
Batting second, the Port Boys fell 31 runs short of victory, losing the match on first innings points.
After sending the visitors in to bat, quick Jhye Richardson ripped though the top order to finish with figures of 5-37 and restrict the Centurions to just 143.
Only Joondalup opener Garrick Morgan provided any real resistance, with his 68 runs from 117 deliveries guiding Joondalup to a defendable total.
In reply, Fremantle fell behind early after slumping to 5-55.
Captain Chris Wood compiled 42 runs from 68 deliveries but wickets continued to fall and despite a 23-run last wicket stand, Fremantle was bowled out for 112.
The preliminary final loss, which saw Fremantle bundled out of the finals in straight sets, was a sad end to what had been a great season.
The Port Boys defeated Gosnells in late January to claim the Premier Cricket T20 Premiership, following that up with a five wicket win over the Peel Cricket Association to secure the Statewide T20 title at the WACA.
The Port Boys also made the final of the One Day League earlier this month, falling to Claremont by 169 runs.
SOUTH Fremantle has jumped out of the gates to record a 39-point win over Subiaco at Fremantle Oval.
Power forward Ben Saunders booted four goals in the 17.14 (116) to 11.11 (77) win and was well supported by Zachary Strom, Brandon Donaldson and Ashton Hams, who each booted three goals against last year’s losing grand finalists.
Haiden Schloithe hit the ground running with 27 disposals and six inside 50s, figures matched by hardworking teammate Brendan Verrier.
Subiaco’s Liam Ryan kicked three goals to finish as his side’s most potent forward target.
Leigh Kitchin gathered 28 disposals, while Max Walters capped 27 disposals with two goals.
Across town, East Fremantle slumped to a heavy loss against Claremont at home, despite an encouraging start.
The Sharks booted four goals to one in the opening term but were eventually overcome 19.9 (123) to 9.7 (61).
Tigers forward Thomas Lee was the standout forward in the game kicking five goals in the 62-point win.
Zac Langdon and Beau Maister chimed in with three goals and Alex Manuel kicked two.
Ryan Lim led his side for possessions, gathering 28.
For the hosts, Matthew Watson kicked three majors.
Jesse Adamini collected 27 disposals and kicked one goal.
ALL the action was in the first 45 minutes of Cockburn City’s Round 5 NPLWA match against Armadale on Saturday.
Armadale were the first to get on the board in the 15th minute before Cockburn equalised just five minutes later courtesy of a captain’s goal from Euen Grant following a corner.
Armadale nudged themselves back in front just a few minutes later, but a converted penalty from Gian Albano and a 25-yard curling free kick from Jesse Lazzaro put Cockburn up 3-2 at halftime.
Despite the flurry of goals in the first half, it was a stalemate in the second with no further scores, Cockburn securing their third win of the season.
Cockburn coach Scott Miller said his team deserved the three points, despite coming across a spirited and hardworking opponent.
“I think they [Armadale] had two shots and scored two goals, to me that’s not good luck that’s well played,” he said.