NWBU. Having suffered through a winless first round fixture, the Tall Timbers Smithton Saints men earned an uplifting 14-point home win over Somerset Heat last night to snap a frustrating seven-game losing streak.
WOMEN – SMI 68 SOM 87
MEN – SMI 68 SOM 54
It was also a fitting result for Saint Steve Poulter returning from injury, marking his 150th game in the league by scoring 8 points before being fouled out late in the fourth period.
The Saints set the standard early in a tightly-contested first half, maintaining a narrow gap on their opponents to enter the main break 11 points ahead with a breakthrough win firmly in their sights.
The pace of the game slowed from the third period. The Heat were unable to deal with the home side’s attacking pressure highlighted by a 49-point haul between in-form pair Tyrone Lee and Jason Baker.
Lee’s presence was felt at both ends of the court, with an athletic display of 19 rebounds and two spectacular dunks in the second half.
After last week’s emphatic win over Devonport, the Saints women were unable to continue their impressive run of form in the first game of the night, going down by 19 points to a now fifth-placed Heat.
Confidence was flowing for the home side in the first five minutes with the score standing at 14-5, before Somerset bounced back to finish the first period with a one-point lead.
By the end of the third period, scores were poised neck-and-neck at 56 apiece, with the Heat powering to a 15-0 run in the last five minutes to finish with a 19-point win.
The intensity of the match was highlighted by the 34 steals and 30 fouls made throughout the game, with Tyla Free (8 rebounds, 15 points) and Rhonda Price (34 points) keeping busy at either end of the court.