Hot defence fires Rockingham Flames to big win over Perry Lakes Hawks

Stuart HortonSound Telegraph
Former Perth Wildcats skipper Brad Robbins made his long awaited return to basketball with Rockingham last Friday night.
Camera IconFormer Perth Wildcats skipper Brad Robbins made his long awaited return to basketball with Rockingham last Friday night. Credit: Stuart Horton

Rockingham Flames men’s coach Ryan Petrik hailed his side’s “elite defence” after holding Perry Lakes Hawks to just eight first-quarter points on the way to an impressive 86-62 win last Friday.

The Flames locked down defensively from the opening exchanges and restricted the Hawks to 28 per cent shooting on the night, even though they boasted the likes of Perth Wildcats sharpshooter Clint Steindl, former Wildcats superstar Shawn Redhage and perrenial SBL heavy hitters Ben Purser, Kyle Sovine and Brian Carlwell.

Petrik was full of praise for the defensive efforts of Caleb White, Justin Beard and Luke Travers, all of whom guarded Steindl throughout the night.

While having a relatively quiet game offensively after posting a season-high 30 points in last weekend’s win over Willetton, White, whom Petrik called the “best defensive import” in the SBL, allowed Steindl little time or space to hit his shots.

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“The only open shot he (Steindl) got all night was when Caleb slipped, and it was the only three he made from eight attempts, so that tells you how well contested all his shots were and the job Caleb, Justin and Luke did on him,” he said.

Centre Chudier Pal also had an impact at the defensive end, swatting away five shots while Josh Ritchart recorded a couple of blocks of his own.

Former Wildcats captain Brad Robbins made his long-awaited debut for the Flames after suffering a hamstring injury ahead of the season and a setback during recovery, and Greg Hire made an impact on the boards after missing last weekend’s split double-header series against Warwick and Willetton. Travers led all scorers with 20 points, while Hire (16 points to go with 15 rebounds) and Pal (10) also reached double figures.

In the women’s game, the Flames fell to the Hawks 69-75 despite a 19-point effort from Maddie Allen, while Janelle Adams and Chelsea Petrik chimed in with 14 points each.

The Flames travel to Bunbury on Friday to take on the South West Slammers at Eaton Recreation Centre from 6.30pm.

- Flames women’s centre Maddie Allen will start for the SBL All Star Australia Team to take on the World team during the SBL All Star weekend at Bendat Basketball Centre on June 3.

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