Southern Telegraph - - NEWS - Stu­art Hor­ton

Rock­ing­ham Flames men’s coach Ryan Petrik hailed his side’s “elite de­fence” af­ter hold­ing Perry Lakes Hawks to just eight first-quar­ter points on the way to an im­pres­sive 86-62 win last Fri­day.

The Flames locked down de­fen­sively from the open­ing ex­changes and re­stricted the Hawks to 28 per cent shoot­ing on the night, even though they boasted the likes of Perth Wild­cats sharp­shooter Clint Steindl, for­mer Wild­cats su­per­star Shawn Red­hage and per­re­nial SBL heavy hit­ters Ben Purser, Kyle Sovine and Brian Carl­well.

Petrik was full of praise for the de­fen­sive ef­forts of Caleb White, Justin Beard and Luke Travers, all of whom guarded Steindl through­out the night.

While hav­ing a rel­a­tively quiet game of­fen­sively af­ter post­ing a sea­son-high 30 points in last week­end’s win over Wil­let­ton, White, whom Petrik called the “best de­fen­sive im­port” in the SBL, al­lowed Steindl lit­tle time or space to hit his shots.

“The only open shot he (Steindl) got all night was when Caleb slipped, and it was the only three he made from eight at­tempts, so that tells you how well con­tested all his shots were and the job Caleb, Justin and Luke did on him,” he said.

Cen­tre Chudier Pal also had an im­pact at the de­fen­sive end, swat­ting away five shots while Josh Ritchart recorded a cou­ple of blocks of his own.

For­mer Wild­cats cap­tain Brad Rob­bins made his long-awaited de­but for the Flames af­ter suf­fer­ing a ham­string in­jury ahead of the sea­son and a set­back dur­ing re­cov­ery, and Greg Hire made an im­pact on the boards af­ter miss­ing last week­end’s split dou­ble­header se­ries against War­wick and Wil­let­ton. Travers led all scor­ers with 20 points, while Hire (16 points to go with 15 re­bounds) and Pal (10) also reached dou­ble fig­ures.

In the women’s game, the Flames fell to the Hawks 69-75 de­spite a 19-point ef­fort from Mad­die Allen, while Janelle Adams and Chelsea Petrik chimed in with 14 points each.

The Flames travel to Bun­bury on Fri­day to take on the South West Slam­mers at Ea­ton Re­cre­ation Cen­tre from 6.30pm.

The only open shot Steindl got all night was when Caleb slipped, and it was the only three he made from eight at­tempts . . . Ryan Petrik

Pic­ture: Stu­art Hor­ton

For­mer Wild­cat Brad Rob­bins.

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