Possession key in Slammers’ victory
The Printsync South West Slammers men’s team opened its 2019 account with a memorable 79-74 win over the Goldfields Giants on Sunday at the Eaton Recreation Centre.
John Triscari’s side were not to be denied against the Giants, who saw their top four hopes take a big hit.
After a disappointing end to the Cougars match a night earlier, Triscari was cautiously optimistic pre-game as he prepared for the clash.
Slammers import Terrell Carter did not start on the floor and entered the game midway through the opening quarter.
By then, the home side had begun to capitalise on a Giants team missing mercurial import Jay Bowie, who looked on from the bench.
The Slammers cashed in on their quality during the first quarter, going an impressive 5/9 and putting the visitors’ defence under continual pressure.
But above all, there was one element starkly different from this Slammers performance, even in the first half — minimised turnovers.
Committing one turnover in the first quarter alone, the home side punished the visitors by securing plenty of sloppy passes and forcing Giants players into poor decisions.
Leading this onslaught was fearless skipper Michael Lay (18 points, nine rebounds, four assists, six steals) who hurled himself into every defensive possession with the intent of securing the ball.
While Lay and Mitch Keller applied plenty of grunt work defensively, Cory Richardson (19 points, four rebounds, three assists) had one of his best performances for the season offensively.
Prepared to take the game on across the board, the Slammers’ lead hit 16 points early in the final quarter, before the increasingly frustrated Giants launched a tilt at an unlikely comeback.
Trimming the deficit to six points with under two minutes left in the game, the visitors were unable to close further, giving the home side a well deserved win.
A superb final quarter from the Cockburn Cougars ultimately paved the way for a 91-77 win over the Printsync South West Slammers men’s team on Saturday night at the Wally Hagan Stadium.
Trailing 67-63 at three quarter time, the home side outscored the Slammers 24-14 to ensure that John Triscari’s side extended its losing streak to 18 games.
Earlier in the night it appeared that the visitors had read a different script, such was their eagerness to compete under pressure.
After spotting the Cougars a seven point buffer late in the opening quarter, the Slammers fought their way back, with Tyler Livingston (31 points, seven rebounds, three assists) and James Allen both playing their part in a pivotal 7-0 offensive run which kept them in touch as quarter time neared.
It appeared as though the Slammers would finally break through for a seemingly elusive victory, until Cougars high-octane forward Jaarod Holmes went to work and tipped the scales in his side’s favour.
Holmes scored eight of his 20 points in the final six minutes of the clash.
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