NWBU. The Tall Timbers Smithton Saints continued to stamp their authority on the league this season with two impressive wins against Burnie away from home.
A second consecutive win for both the men and women sees them improve on ladder positions, with the women sitting second on percentage behind Penguin and the men climbing to fourth on the same win-loss ratio as third-placed Somerset.
In Saturday night’s opening game the crowd was treated to an overtime thriller, with scores locked at 49 apiece in regular time before Smithton’s 11-8 overtime period sealed a nail-biting win.
While the Saints led for much of the first 20 minutes, the Tigers gained momentum in the third and increased their lead to 12 points, succumbing to a late fight back and forced into overtime courtesy of three late points to Smithton’s Ashlee Trebilcock.
In the third minute of extra time, a key moment came when the Saints took advantage of a three-point miss by their opponents, with Smithton’s Sarah Jaeger quickly converting two points at the other end to give her side a narrow 55-54 lead.
Jaeger finished the match with 11 points alongside strong contributions again from Trebilcock (24 points, 12 rebounds) and Gemma Korpershoek (20 points).
Smithton’s men completed a relatively comfortable 16-point win in comparison, taking the lead in the first quarter and continually building on their margin to be up by nine points at the half-time break.
A blistering 22-10 third quarter in favour of the Saints was highlighted by a dunk for Kyle Clark followed by a three-point conversion early in the fourth, giving his side a 22-point gap over the Tigers; their biggest lead for the match.
A 19-14 final quarter in favour of Burnie saw the home side narrow the deficit slightly, but it wasn’t enough to halt the in-form local side with the likes of Clark (28 points, 11 rebounds) and Fred Hunter (30 points, 17 rebounds) unstoppable.
Smithton now take on Ulverstone at home this Friday night, with fixtures changing to Tuesday-night home games for the rest of the season.
BUR 57 SMI 60 (OT)
BUR 60 SMI 76