Willetton Tigers enjoy mixed start to SBL season

Mo Barrow was dominant in the paint for the Tigers' men's side. Photo: Jessica Nico.
Mo Barrow was dominant in the paint for the Tigers' men's side. Photo: Jessica Nico.

THE Cockburn Cougars and Willetton Tigers proved their rivalry is still going strong as they kicked off the opening round of the 2019 season with two big games.

Playing for the Community News Cup, the Tigers’ women narrowly fell 73-67 to the Cougars in Cockburn captain Vanessa Michael’s 150th game for the team.

Cockburn import Kisha Lee took little time finding her rhythm, sinking a couple of early triples to give the home side a slight advantage at half time, but it was teammate Matilda Muir who all but nailed the coffin shut in the second half, hitting three massive three-pointers in a row to give the Cougars a handy buffer Willetton were never able to chase down.

Muir top scored for the home team with 27, including six from 10 beyond the arch, while Lee also sunk five triples on her way to 21.

Hayley Winter (18) and Taryn Priestly (10) were the only Tigers to reach double figures as the team shot just 20 percent from three-point range.

It was just the third time the Cougars have taken home the Community News Cup in 10 seasons.

Hayley Winter attempts a shot for Willetton. Photo: Jessica Nico.

Willetton’s men had more success, beating the Cougars 90-81 to start their season on a positive note..

The teams were neck and neck for most of the first half but the Tigers came out strongest in the second half, blowing the Cougars away in the third quarter as the home team struggled to score.

New signings Jackson Hussey (24 points, seven rebounds, six assists), Marcanvis Hymon (16 points off 73 percent shooting and seven rebounds) and Mo Barrow (14 points, eight rebounds) led the way for the Tigers, while Damien Scott added 13 points.

Cockburn’s Gavin Field was hard to stop, scoring 36 points, while Jaarod Holmes was the only other Cougar to score double digits with his 11 points.