SBL: Joondalup Wolves know their place in final round

Rob Huntington and Greg Hire go head to head last week. Picture: James O'Donohue
Rob Huntington and Greg Hire go head to head last week. Picture: James O'Donohue

THE Joondalup Wolves cannot move from second spot as they head into their final game of the State Basketball League regular season against Mandurah.

The Wolves will have home-court advantage against Willetton or Rockingham in the first week of finals.

The side welcomed back former captain and now-Rockingham player Greg Hire to Wolves territory with a 102-89 win over the Flames at HBF Arena on Saturday night.

Hire was playing his first game in the north since defecting to Rockingham and while there were predictions that fans would give him a raucous reception, the rowdiness was somewhat subdued.

Hire did, however, cause a stir after he knocked Joondalup’s Rob Huntington to the ground in the second half when the Wolves big man had set a mid-court screen.

It was seemingly nothing more than general game contact, but it was enough to add a little extra spite to the crowd’s jeers whenever Hire was at the free throw line from then on.

The Wildcats vice-captain came close to a triple-double with 20 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.

The Wolves’ Brian Sullivan was the best player in the game, scoring crucial three pointers when needed and driving through the key for silky lay-ups on his way to 30 points and six rebounds.

Jalen Billups had 32 points while Huntington (eight rebounds, 15 points) and Trian Iliadis (six assists, 11 points) were also strong contributors.

The Joondalup women were unable to farewell their home court with a win for 2018, losing to Rockingham 87-75.

The young Wolves side is second last heading into the final round and cannot make the play-offs.