Cougars Round 3 NBL1 West Preview

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It’s a double-header for the Cockburn Cougars in Round 3 of the NBL1 West season away to the South West Slammers and then at home to the Goldfields Giants.

It’s the first double-header weekend for the Cougars in Round 3 of the 2022 NBL1 West season and it gets underway on Saturday night at Eaton Recreation Centre against the Slammers.

The women’s match begins the evening’s action at 5pm before the men’s clash tips off at 7pm.

The Cougars then back up the next day on Sunday at Wally Hagan Stadium by hosting the Goldfields Giants with the women’s clash beginning at 11am and then the men’s match to follow at 1pm.

The weekend’s action for Cockburn begins on the road to the Slammers on Saturday with the Cougars looking to bounce back from last week’s loss at the hands of the Tigers.

The Cougars women opened their season with a win at home over the East Perth Eagles and they appeared on track to make it two wins from two to open 2022 for much of last Thursday’s game away to the defending champion Willetton.

Cockburn started the game impressively with 26 points to 15 in the opening quarter and were still on top 64-53 by three quarter-time.

However, with Perth Lynx WNBL pair Alex Sharp and Emma Gandini leading the way, Willetton finished strongly with 31 points to 16 in the fourth quarter to end up defeating Cockburn 84-80.

New Cougars import guard Kat Tudor had another strong showing made up of 18 points including hitting 3/6 from three-point territory.

Kristy Whitfield added 16 points for Cockburn, Tia Morgan 10 points and two assists, Jewel Williams eight points and seven assists, Jessie Edwards eight points and 16 rebounds, and Haylee De Sousa seven points and five boards.

Meanwhile, it has been a rough start for the Slammers women with a first up loss by 37 points to the Perth Redbacks and then last Thursday night they went down to the Rockingham Flames by 64 points.

Despite those results the Cougars can’t afford to take them lightly on Saturday at Eaton Recreation Centre.

As for the Cougars men who were coming off a strong opening night win at home to East Perth, it appeared that Willetton was on track to romp their way to a first victory of the season last Thursday night at Willetton Basketball Stadium.

Cockburn was able to put the clamps on them the rest of the way and eventually work their way on top.

By half-time, the Cougars had cut Willetton’s lead to 38-26 and then the Cougars were able to dominate the second half with 28 points to 11 in the third quarter, and another 17 to 14 in the fourth to claim the eventual 71-63 victory.

From the moment the Tigers led by 21 points early in the second quarter the Cougars outscored them 62 points to 33 the rest of the way to end up winning by eight.

New Cockburn import Carter Skaggs put up 15 points and two rebounds with fellow import Paschal Chukwu finishing with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Seva Chan added 13 points, five assists and four rebounds, Gavin Field 10 points and seven assists, and Keegan Phillips seven points and five boards.

The Cougars now look to back that strong form up against a Slammers team who lost first up to the Geraldton Buccaneers by 32 points before also losing to the Perth Redbacks by 33 points and then then by just 12 points to the Rockingham Flames last Thursday.

Then following that Saturday night road trip to Eaton, both Cougars teams back up on Sunday against the Goldfields Giants at Wally Hagan Stadium.

The Cougars women will play their first ever game against the Giants with the Goldfields team just entering the NBL1 West competition this year for the first time.

They narrowly lost their first ever match to open the season in Kalgoorlie against the Goldfields Giants and now will enter Sunday’s game against the Cougars having played East Perth at Mirrabooka on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the Giants men started their season with a 90-74 victory at home to the Lightning so they will pose a fascinating test for the Cougars on Sunday afternoon.