SBL: Willetton lose to Cockburn in overtime thriller

Willetton's Badou Diagne goes to the hoop over Cockburn’s Seva Chan and Brandon Sebirumbi.
Willetton's Badou Diagne goes to the hoop over Cockburn’s Seva Chan and Brandon Sebirumbi.

THE Willetton Tigers men went down to the Cockburn Cougars in an overtime thriller on Friday night.

It was an arm wrestle in the first half with little more than a few points separating the two teams, but it was in the third that Cockburn put the accelerator down and looked to have the game in check when they went into the third quarter break 10 points up.

A huge fight back from Willetton in the fourth brought them back into the game and, despite the loss of key playmakers Damien Scott and Badou Diagne who both fouled out, three made free throws from Jay Bowie was enough to tie the game at the end of regular time and send it into overtime.

Despite fighting hard, the Tigers missed shots at key moments and would go down 99-95 in another classic at Willetton Basketball Stadium.

Bowie top scored with 23, while Diagne (18), Jake Burston (16) and Scott (14) also made double digits.

Earlier that night, the Willetton women broke a three game losing streak when they smashed their Cockburn opponents in a huge 83-54 win.

The Tigers got the jump on Cockburn early and capitalised on their opponents shooting struggles with some dominance under their own hoop.

They never lost control of the game and a 13-point first quarter margin grew to 17 at half time and almost doubled again to 32 by the end of the third as the Tigers coasted to an easy win.

Ashli Payne top scored with 26 points, accentuating an even scoring performance across the team.

Despite the results, the Willetton men and women remain in 8th and 5th on their respective ladder with three rounds to go.

Willetton will stay at home when they take on the Mandurah Magic on July 13.

The women will begin at 6.30pm with the men’s tip-off to follow at 8.30pm.

They will both back it up with an away game to the East Perth Eagles on July 14 with the women at 6pm and the men at 8pm.