A week of derby matches in men’s basketball
FIERCE and bitter rivalries were awakened again in the Men’s Mansfield Basketball League as last season’s grand final teams faced off.
The skilled and flashy Lob City were pitted against the hard at it Merrijig champions.
We also saw the Outlaws take on the Cowboys in their ongoing feud from the split in 2014.
It was a great week to be involved.
In the first game Merrijig looked to have the young guns sown up and sorted out but they kept pressing coming to within a point in the dying seconds.
Jayden Whizza Howes is killing it this season and this week was no different, top scoring for Merrijig again and having a lot of influence over the match.
His brother Jacob was also very strong both in defence and offence hitting eight points from the floor.
The Vogelzang father and son matched each other with eight points apiece.
For Lob 2.0 it was everyone doing their bit which makes this team a force in the league.
Will Forster is fast, in his thinking and in his body, making play and causing a headache to the opposition like a neighbour mowing the morning after a few beers.
Merrijig held out and won 38-33.
This is interesting because the Cowboys cleaned up Merrijig who were able to defeat Lob who were able to beat the Cowboys.
This truly is anyone’s title this year - unless you are of course the struggling Outlaws or the suffering Jungle Cats.
Which leads me onto the next game between the “locked and loaded” Cowboys and the “on the run looking for a hideout” Outlaws.
The Cowboys had 10 points on the board before Big Brad Collet hit a shot for the Outlaws.
Sam Corden had a field day, hardly missing a shot and ended up with 24 points.
He is having an epicentre of a season averaging 18.5 points a game.
The Sheriff has been described as many things - skilled, ambitious, strong, good looking and humble - but I think we should add avant-garde to the mix after his daring full court, no look, over the head pass to Josh Sparks which ended in a two point score that many believe broke the spirit of The Outlaws and the heart their natural leader Brad Freind.
The game score doesn’t explain the heat of battle feel that was present on court that night.
It was a contest of passion with each team slogging it out and giving their all, a bit like two oxen in a field ploughing a furrow in the scorched earth, kind of.
Three pointers were raining down from B Friend, C Hotton, S Corden, M Speirings and the glamorous P Mahoney.
Brad Lockyer for the Outlaws spun and grooved his way to the basket once, which won admiration from all involved.
No fancy grooving was enough, however, as the Cowboys were clear winners, riding away from the shootout with smoking guns and satisfied grins on t heir sun bronzed faces, 51 to 32.