Hot Knights still un­beaten

Albany Advertiser - - BASKETBALL - Cameron New­bold

Newly formed Knights have con­tin­ued their red-hot start to the Al­bany Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion men’s A-grade sea­son, with­stand­ing a spir­ited Kin­jar­ling Thun­der out­fit to stay un­beaten af­ter four rounds on Tues­day night.

Host­ing the com­pe­ti­tion’s most tal­ented young play­ers, Knights have swept all be­fore them so far af­ter firstly set­ting up a lead in the open­ing half and then weath­er­ing foul trou­ble and a Thun­der fight­back to win by seven points.

Af­ter an ex­cit­ing open­ing where both sides traded bas­kets and sev­eral three point­ers, the game set­tled down as Matt Leary and Tom Ed­wards took con­trol.

The Thun­der did their best to stay in touch but when Ed­wards nailed his third triple of the first half on the verge of the break, Knights took a 12-point buf­fer into the main break. Ed­wards splashed two more long-range bas­kets and the lead had bal­looned to 20 points early in the sec­ond half but Knights, and es­pe­cially Leary, were in foul trou­ble.

Leary sat down with four fouls, and the Thun­der hit back as guard Michael Simp­son and the en­er­getic Nic Penny helped them close the gap with Knights in the bonus.

With just over four min­utes to play, the mar­gin was back to nine points but Leary’s re­turn to the court was piv­otal as he guided his side home, 61-54.

Leary fin­ished with 17 points in­clud­ing a cou­ple of vi­tal bas­kets in the dy­ing min­utes while Ed­wards nailed five three point­ers on his way to 15 points.

Co­hen Tay­lor was su­perb for the Thun­der, and his 17 points along with Simp­son’s 17 en­sured their side were able to stay in the match for large parts.

Knights have de­feated Den/ Al­bany Spar­tans, Bark­ing Owls, Am­bass­dors and the Thun­der to sit atop the stand­ings with 12 points ahead of a clash with the Raiders un­der-18 de­vel­op­ment squad next week.

The Thun­der re­main win­less but again showed ter­rific signs, with the com­bi­na­tion of Tay­lor and Simp­son prov­ing po­tent for the side sit­ting in eighth spot.

In other round 4 matches, Spar­tans climbed to third place af­ter a 20-point win over Pel­i­cans with big men Bodhi Holmes (14) and Sam Fini­gan (9) in good touch.

Brothers John and Joe San­tia dished out a sec­ond de­feat of the sea­son to Bark­ing Owls in the grand fi­nal re­match. John San­tia hit 20 points and Joe San­tia added 13 in Tigers’ thrilling one-point win while Corey Hill’s eight points were also valu­able.

Owls were led by Hamish McMor­ran (17) and Red Rogers (12) in of­fence with star Justin Ben­son lim­ited to just six points.

Raiders notched their maiden win of the sea­son, with Taj Williams (15) and Ryan Bar­ber (14) star­ring in the 49-34 tri­umph against Crabs.

Pic­tures: Lau­rie Ben­son

Knights' Tom Ed­wards takes on Kin­jar­ling's Tom Dimer in the A-grade match on Tues­day night.

Knights' Henry Al­forque goes to the bas­ket un­der pres­sure from Thun­der’s Jack­son Shaw.

Kin­jar­ling's Stu­art My­ers and Knight's Brandon O'Byrne con­test.

Knights' Ma­son Tion drives to the bas­ket.

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