The Cockburn Cougars remain one of just four undefeated teams in the 2022 NBL1 West Men’s competition after a pair of wins against the South West Slammers and Goldfields Giants in Round 3.
The Cougars opened the 2022 season with wins against the East Perth Eagles and Willetton Tigers coming into the double-header weekend that began on Saturday night with the 87-64 victory against the Slammers at Eaton Recreation Centre.
Then on Sunday afternoon, it proved to be an overtime classic with the Giants before Gavin Field led the Cougars charge in the eventual 113-109 victory to see them improve to a perfect 4-0 record three rounds into the season.
Starting on Saturday night, the Slammers were able to make a game of it by remaining competitive with the Cougars only holding a one-point advantage heading into quarter-time.
Cockburn was able to pull away during the second period with 26 points to 14 from South West and that saw the Cougars in control leading 45-32 at the half-time break.
The Cougars then put the game out of reach in the third period with 27 more points to 17 on the way to the eventual 87-64 to improve to a perfect 3-0 record on the season while the Slammers slipped to 0-4.
The major difference between the two teams was just in their shooting. The Cougars went at 48.4 per cent from the floor and then hit 14/29 from three-point range at 48.3 per cent. The Slammers shot 36.8 per cent from the field and went 3/16 at 18.8 per cent from beyond the arc.
Gavin Field is already an all-time great of the Cougars but is showing no signs of slowing down and continued his strong start to the 2022 season with 26 points on 6/8 shooting from beyond the arc.
Carter Skaggs added 20 points and seven rebounds for Cockburn while knocking down 6/9 from three-point range with Josh Hunt contributing 14 points and three rebounds, Seva Chan eight points and six assists, and Paschal Chukwu six points, five boards, five blocks, two assists and two steals.
Then on Sunday, Cockburn got off to the fast start with 30 points to 18 in the opening quarter and then added another 26 points to 25 in the second to head into the half-time break in control leading 56-43.
The Giants worked their way back into the contest, though, but still trailed by 11 heading into the fourth period.
Goldfields were feeling good, though, and a three-point play from Damon Ballantyne, three-point shot from Jesse Ghee and then the finish at the rim from Hussayn Ford putting them in front.
Ford then knocked down a three ball to put them up four with seven minutes to go. It was time for Cockburn to respond and they did with a Paschal Chukwu dunk ending up putting the home team back on top.
Gavin Field’s triple then put them four points up but the big plays continued starting with an and-one for Goldfields from Ghee. With 1:30 left Damon Ballantyne tied scores up too with a three for Goldfields
New Cougars import Carter Skaggs also nailed a three-point bomb to put the home team back up by that margin before a layup from Ghee made It a one-point game.
It was a remarkable finish to the game and Seva Chan ended up converting a three-point play after initially missing the free-throw. The Giants had to do something special and Ghee nailed a three but Chan again responded with the layup to keep the Cougars up three.
However, a tech foul for a second delay of game saw the Cougars pull back within two and then ultimately a layup from Ghee saw the game heading to overtime.
And in the extra period, it was Field who proved the difference as he has been so many times previously for Cockburn. With the Giants up 106-104, Field delivered a three-point play, and then knocked down six more free-throws to close out the game, and the 113-109 win.
Field finished with 36 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Cougars while hitting 5/9 from three-point territory, but more importantly he scored his team’s last nine points of the game.
Seva Chan also scored 25 points while dishing out nine assists for Cockburn with Carter Skaggs putting up 17 points, 10 boards, four assists and two steals, Paschal Chukwu 13 points and six rebounds, and Josh Hunt 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.