The West Adelaide Bearcats have split the last game of their double header with the women falling to the Sabres and the men continuing their winning streak.
The women started the first quarter brilliantly; full of attack, aggression and pace. Ashleigh Spencer gave the Bearcat women their first score of the game courtesy of an offensive rebound kick out from Alexis Eckles. Spencer sliced her way through the keyway for an easy finish off the glass.
The quarter continued on in similar fashion with quick ball movement and tough second efforts eventually giving the Bearcats a 21-14 lead. It was a Sky Langenbrinck steal and kick ahead to Keeley Pearce that forced Sabres coach, Marcus Wong, into a steadying time out. From there, the Sabres went on a 7-0 run to finish the quarter all tied up and never looked back from there.
Jasmin Fejo made sure that the Bearcats were not held scoreless for long in the second as she finished a layup just 30 seconds into the quarter off an assist from Hajnal Nagy.
The Bearcats faced only rocky seas from then on as they found themselves tackling a 21-10 second term followed by a 21-7 third term from the Sabres. The women steadied the ship in the final term, but the effort was not enough to turn the tides on the game as the Sabres came out victorious 59-87. A total of 30 turnovers from the Bearcat side surely hammered the nail in the coffin and is something that will need to be adjusted if the Bearcats want to continue to taste the success that their star-studded line up certainly offers.
Perhaps one thing Bearcat fans can feel assured by is the fact that their team, facing considerable adversity, stuck together throughout; a noticeable bench effort to keep the talk and intensity alive may well prove vital down the track.
The men’s game was a slightly different tale, controlled throughout from point guard, Patrick Thomas, who claimed the first points of the match. The first quarter effort from the men saw swift ball movement converting into open threes and easy layups, eventually taking them into the first break with a nine point lead (27-18).
Coach Maclean pleaded with his men from there-on to give him more defensive effort and continue the ball movement that had given them success early in the game. Whilst it looked that the second game of the weekend was taking its toll, the men stuck together to grind out a 90-76 victory.
Shane Heyward and Bryan Jefferson proved too big for the Sabres to handle as they both finished the game with double-double efforts and Benjamin Rennie hinted at the possibility of a break out season as he began to show why he has been selected as a starter; tallying up 14 points, 9 rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes of play.
At the end of the weekend the men boast a 3-0 record heading into a tough contest with Norwood and former Bearcat, James Legan, whilst the women hold a 2-1 record heading into a slightly more trouble-free lineup than Sunday’s game provided. Time can only tell how deep these sides can go in the Premier League competition. Early signs are looking promising with young talent growing in confidence and veterans providing invaluable knowledge to assist this growth.
Notable Performances (women): Alexis Eckles (15pts, 14reb, 5ast), Ashleigh Spencer (12pts, 10reb).
Notable Performances (men): Shane Heyward (20pts, 11reb, 4blk), Bryan Jefferson (19pts, 12reb), Patrick Thomas (16pts, 9reb, 5ast), Benjamin Rennie (14pts, 9reb, 5ast).