Spirited basketball

The Tall Timbers Smithton Saints gained their fourth win of the season on their home court during round 10 on Thursday night. Bzuayehu Heres dribbles down the court, untroubled by his Devonport Warrior opponent. Pictures: Ashleigh Force.

NWBU. As the North West Basketball Union season reaches the halfway mark, the Tall Timbers Smithton Saints men and women have both notched another victory.

Hosting the Devonport Warriors for a round 10 clash last Thursday, a huge home crowd turned out to support the local side.

The women began proceedings, however the Warriors proved their dominance throughout the encounter.

Down by 20 to 47 at half time, the Saints let the margin further increase during the second half of the game however continued to play “spirited basketball” according to coach Keith Bragg.

“Our young team played well and showed growing improvement against a full strength Devonport,” he said of the 44 to 89 score.

“We were unable to bridge the gap but the team put in a great effort to go down with a fight.”

Saints Abby Cochrane (12 points, six rebounds), Tyla Free (10 points) and Jo Morgan French (eight points, five rebounds and six steals) especially impressed the coach.

The Smithton men had better results during round 10, remaining competitive throughout their clash with Devonport.

As play sprung from end to end, Saint Hugh King led the way with 29 points ably supported by Alex Hammond and Ray Young.

A close game throughout, the Saints crept in front to claim the 91 to 81 victory and their fourth win of the season.

However the Saints’ form did not flow through to round 11 when the men met with Somerset Heat along the coast.

Starting poorly, coach Mitchell Stitz says inconsistency which has plagued the side all season resulted in the 115 to 76 loss.

Claiming their second win of the season, the Saints women played a close game against Somerset on Tuesday.

Gaining the skill and experience of import Alex Ciabattoni in her first game, the Saints trailed by seven points at the main break before outscoring Heat in the second to win 74 to 76.

Ciabattoni impressed with 41 points, six rebounds and six assists while Sam Chilcott (15 points and 15 rebounds) and Morgan French (20 rebounds) paved the way for the victory.

The Smithton Saints will next meet with the Penguin Blues in Smithton on Monday (April 24) from 7pm for the round 12 encounter.

http://www.chchronicle.com.au/advertisements/tall-timbers/