BASKETBALL: A round of epic finishes
BOTH blockbuster Ansett v Eagles men’s and women’s clashes lived up to the hype in Darwin Basketball Championship action at Marrara Stadium.
The men’s Round 9 match went into overtime, and that was where the Blues made a run to prevail 116-109.
Ansett leader Jerron Jamerson (46 points) slightly got the better of Eagles opposite Anthony Golden (38 points) in what was an absorbing battle between the skilful American playmakers.
Jamerson combined well with Robert Skinner (26 points) and Jai O’Shaughnessy (14).
Joe Johnson (35 points) and Jordan Sing (18) also fired for Eagles.
With the quality of imports this championship season, many in Darwin Basketball believe this has been the best season for a number of years.
This was the third high-scoring game of the round where five teams passed 100 points, not seen before in League competition.
Ansett and Eagles were locked at 97-all after Mitch O’Donoghue hit a three-pointer with just 23 seconds remaining in regulation.
Jamerson then hit a basket and O’Donoghue a three-pointer for a 107-104 lead with two minutes remaining in overtime, and the Blues were not headed after that.
The Ansett v Eagles women’s clash was also a beauty, Eagles winning 73-70 to inflict the first defeat on the Blues this Championship season.
Ansett was up 64-62 late in the final quarter, before Eagle Jaylene Boundry hit consecutive threes to put the Birds up 68-64 with threeand-a-half minutes remaining.
Lillian Williams iced it for Eagles, executing a pair of free throws with 30 seconds left.
Star Eagles youngster Ieasha Friel led all scorers with 29 points.
Michelle Friel also hit 15 and Alysha-Marie Williams 13.
Tal Yakov finished with a team-high 20 for Ansett.
In other women’s games, Uni Rebels beat Lightning 48-40 and Tracy Village defeated Razzle 77-40.
In other men’s games, the Essington v Palmerston game was also a nailbiter in the dying stages, the Cannons winning 103-100.
Tobiasz Hose (34 points) and newcomer Deba George (30, including six threes) combined for 64 points for Essington.
The addition of former NBL and SEABL star George is likely to bestow championship favouritism on the Cannons, who also have import Deola D’Brown Folarin (20 points v Palmerston).
The Power’s imports also fired, with Garrett Hall (32 points) and Willie Shackleford (31) leading the way.
The Power trailed 81-73 at three-quarter time, before putting in a sustained final-term drive outscoring the Cannons 27-22, to fall just short.
In other results, the firstplaced Rebels beat Lightning 108-73, and the Jets notched up their first win of the season with a 79-71 triumph over Razzle.