NBL1 West: Rockingham Flames bring the heat with latest win to Perth Redbacks
Rockingham Flames sealed the deal with another victory, this time against Perth Redback at Friday night’s away game at Belmont Oasis.
The round 12 clash saw Ryan Godfrey mark his return with the Flames, but were without Greg Hire and Justin Beard. The Redbacks were also without captain Joel Wagner after being injured in the first half.
The Flames made the first move to lead by nine points at quarter-time but the Redbacks were able to fire back in the second term with 35 points to 26 to head into half-time all tied with Rockingham at 57-57.
Pushing through to the second half, the game continued to be a close call and even though Rockingham led by five early in the fourth quarter, triples for the Redbacks from Louis Timms and Zac Gattorna put the home team back in front.
Devondrick Walker’s three-pointer put Rockingham back on top as the teams continued to score point for point.
The Redbacks dominated the first four minutes with another three points from Grace and another from Gattorna to see them lead 107-100.
Ben Smith stretched the lead to 108-100 and it was 110-102 with just over a minute to go following a couple of free-throws from Gattorna, but that’s when things really picked up.
Marshall Nelson hit a pair of free-throws and then managed to force a backcourt turnover on the Redbacks and then ran to the corner, shot from beyond the arc and drained it to make it a three-point ball game.
Gattorna pushed back with a three-point shot out of the time out for the Redbacks and Nelson was just in a zone like rarely ever seen before. He hit a contested three-point jumper up the other end in what was the most remarkable of performances of the season yet.
After the Flames were down eight just a minute earlier, he had hit two free-throws, drained two long-range bombs and made a layup while forcing two steals for the most incredible 10 points in a minute imaginable.
An offensive foul on Gattorna then sealed the deal for the Redbacks and Walker finished the game off with a dunk to secure another victory for the Rockingham flames 114-110.
The Flames now sit with an 11-3 record to keep pace for a top-two spot. The Redbacks remain outside the top eight at 6-8 having lost three in-a-row.
A first game back for Neslon who finished the night with 39 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals on shooting 13/23 from the floor, 7/15 from downtown and 6/9 at the foul line.
Fellow MVP threat Devondrick Walker produced 35 points, six rebounds and four assists for Rockingham. Ryan Godfrey added 13 points and three assists, Callum Beard had 10 points and four assists, and Jake Amos eight points.
Zac Gattorna put together a performance made up of 29 points, eight rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocked shots for the Redbacks with Louis Timms adding 28 points and 13 boards.
Jerami Grace added 18 points and five assists, Ben Smith 19 points and 19 rebounds, and Tevin Jackson seven points, 10 assists and six boards.
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