The SEABL women had a disappointing start to the weekend, falling to the Kilsyth Cobras 52 – 68. The team was without Brittany Smart and Jasmine Gill due to injuries but had Nicole Romeo to help fill the void.
The Sabres failed to get into an offensive rhythm, shooting 26% from the field and 18% from three-point territory.
Jess Bygate was the best Sabre on the floor with 20 points, 13 rebounds and three steals. Romeo had an impressive debut, with 13 points, six rebounds and five assists.
The following day, the Sabres lost 87 – 92 in a close battle with Ballarat. The Sabers led at all the breaks, including a 10-point buffer at the half, but were overtaken in the fourth quarter by the Rush.
The Sabres forced 17 turnovers and generated 21 points off them. They also had significant contributions from the bench with 29 bench points. However, they were outrebounded 31 to 45.
Nicole Romeo was dominant with 33 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Deanna Jolliffe finished the game with 14 points and four rebounds.
“We played an extremely disciplined first half against Kilsyth,” head coach, Simon Giovannoni said. “We really defended well and scrapped it out against one of the best teams in the SEABL. Our second half wasn’t as good. We made some mistakes, turned the ball over and weren’t as clinical as we could have been. Their class really took over late in the game. Nevertheless, it was a brave effort.”
“Against Ballarat, we probably played some of our best basketball in the first half. We were moving the ball, finding the open man and were disciplined enough defensively to have a solid lead. Again, foul trouble cost us in the second half and we couldn’t be as aggressive defensively as we would have liked. Ballarat started to chip away at the lead and then got in front late and kept it. It was pretty disappointing to lose but some positive signs without our two Americans.”
The SEABL men had a similar weekend to the women, beginning theirs with an 87 – 92 loss to Kilsyth. It was a back-and-forth contest with 23 lead changes.
The Sabres shot extremely well from deep, making 52% of their threes but allowed 52 points in the paint.
Jerry Evans recorded 16 points, 11 rebounds and three steals. Jamie Batish was 5/5 from three whilst Alister MacDonald added 16 points from the bench.
On Sunday, the Sabres suffered their second defeat of the weekend, losing 86 – 92 to Ballarat.
The Sabres experienced a much different game than the night before, scoring 50 points in the paint but letting the Miners to shoot 50% from deep. The Sabres also had issues on the board, allowing 19 offensive rebounds.
Ethan O’Day was superb with 25 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks. Jerry Evans led the game with 28 points and Nathan Crosswell posted 16 points and nine assists.
“Last couple games are not indicative of our team performance,” head coach, Sinisa Markovic said. “We had slight interruptions leading to the weekend and we didn’t respond accordingly to it and I do take full responsibility for it.”
Round 12 Preview
Both SEABL teams face the Nunawading Spectres at the Nunn Media Basketball Centre on Saturday night. The women will kick things off at 5 p.m. and the men will follow 7 p.m.