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 women kicked off the double-header with a 73-67 win to the Cougars in 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.
It was just the third time the Cougars have taken home the Community News Cup in 10 seasons.
Cockburn’s men weren’t so lucky, going down to the Tigers 90-81 in Seva Chan’s 200th SBL game.
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.
Captain 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.
In the grand final rematch, Lakeside Lightning’s women took home the spoils, securing a big 90-64 win against the Mandurah Magic at home.
Lakeside’s Alison Schwagmeyer top scored with 21 points.
The Lightning men also recorded a nailbiting 80-77 win against Mandurah, new recruit Kyle Armour and Rowan Mackenzie sharing the top-scorer honours with 19 points each.
Round 2 will see the Cougars playing away to East Perth on March 23, the women from 6pm and the men from 8pm.
Lakeside will travel to Willetton to take on the Tigers on March 23, the women from 5pm and the men from 7pm.