NWBU. The Tall Timbers Smithton Saints’ men and women gained valuable points over Wynyard on Tuesday night to keep in touch with the top four.
A 13-point win over the Wildcats keeps the Saints’ women within two points of fourth-placed Somerset with five games remaining, though they will likely need to boost their percentage to raise the chances of a playoff place.
Playing coach Ashlee Trebilcock kicked off her side’s charge with five points in the opening minutes, while a number of successful free throws towards the end of the quarter ensured the Saints would take a six-point lead into the break.
Gemma Korpershoek was a welcome return for Smithton and shot consecutive three-point baskets to make her presence felt in the second, but the Wildcats fought back to take a narrow lead into half-time.
A 7-19 third quarter in favour of the visiting side proved to be the turning point in the match, with Smithton finishing strongly in the fourth to run out victors.
Trebilcock (24 points), Tyla Free (20) and Korpershoek (17) led the point-getters alongside handy contributions across the court from the four other players in the squad.
Smithton’s four-point win over the Wildcats in the Men’s roster was driven by Kyle Clark who, playing against his old club before travelling with national commitments, shot a devastating 34 points for the match to help his side’s finals cause.
The Saints matched their opposition’s pressure on the scoreboard, with four-point buffers in the first and second quarters leaving them with an eight-point lead going into the main break.
The momentum quickly swung the way of the Wildcats in the third however as the home side briefly took the lead, but Smithton regained its composure to finish strongly and earn a ninth win of the season; equal on points with four other teams.
Clark’s performance was complemented by the efforts of Fred Hunter (22 points, 18 rebounds) and Ty Stewart (20 points).
With five games remaining in the roster, Smithton face Penguin at home on Tuesday before two successive away games.
Women: WYN 68 SMI 81
Men: WYN 82 SMI 86