Cougars split Lightning, Flames double-header

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It always loomed as a challenging weekend for the Cockburn Cougars in Round 14 of the NBL1 West and both Women’s and Men’s teams ended up splitting the weekend against the Lakeside Lightning and Rockingham Flames.

It was a double-header weekend in Round 14 for the Cougars which started away to the Lakeside Lightning on Friday night and then continued on Saturday evening at home to the Rockingham Flames.

The Women’s win for the weekend for the Cougars came on Saturday night over the Flames and that 12-point result was enough to see Cockburn claim The Wave Cup over Rockingham thanks to 91.7 Wave FM.

In the end, Friday night saw the Cougars Women just fall short of a miraculous fightback with the 74-71 to the Lakeside Lightning at Lakeside Recreation Centre before the Men delivered the 91-83 victory.

Then on Saturday at Wally Hagan Stadium, Cockburn’s Women beat the Flames 94-82 before the Men’s lost what could well have been the game of the NBL1 West season to Rockingham 118-111.

Starting on Friday night, on the back of five fourth quarter threes and going 7/10 for the night from the land of plenty, Haylee De Sousa finished with 21 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals for Cockburn.

Alina Hartmann added 12 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Cougars, Jessie Edwards 12 points, six boards, three steals and two assists, and Jewel Williams 10 points, nine assists and six rebounds.

Cockburn might have blown Lakeside away only three weeks ago on the back of nailing 22 three-pointers, but it was a different story with the Lightning starting on fire with 21 points to 13 in the opening quarter.

The Lightning then asserted their dominance further opening up a 14-point lead with the Cougars producing their worst first half showing of the season so far to only score 26 points.

That saw Lakeside go into half-time on top 40-26 and it was more of the same in the third quarter with another 18 points to 13 from the home team including a 9-0 run which saw their lead grow out to 23 points.

The Lightning still led by 20 points early in the fourth term but the Cougars just have too much firepower to go down without throwing everything at a comeback even if nothing had worked for them up to that point.

It was Haylee De Sousa who sparked the spectacular fightback. In the space of six minutes, the 171-game guard delivered five massive three-pointers in what could very well have been the hottest patch in her career.

By the time she drained her fifth, Cockburn had got within seven points with just under two minutes to play before Kat Tudor and Jewel Williams joined the three-point party and all of a sudden it was a one-point ball game.

Former Cougar Ruby Benn hit two free-throws for Lakeside after they intentionally fouled her to stop the clock and give themselves a chance to tie scores up.

Instead, Cockburn scored inside thanks to Jessie Edwards which kept the Lightning up one and the Cougars fouled again.

It was another former Cockburn guard Taryn Priestly who hit two free-throws and a half-court prayer from Williams at the buzzer rimmed out and Lakeside held on for the nail-biting 74-71 victory.

Then on Saturday, Jewel Williams had a standout game delivering 33 points, nine rebounds and seven assists while hitting 5/12 from three-point land and 8/10 from the foul line.

Alina Hartmann produced 23 points and 12 rebounds as well for Cockburn with shooting 5/9 from downtown while Jessie Edwards stood tall for 15 points and 17 rebounds.

Kat Tudor added 10 points and three rebounds, and Haylee De Sousa eight points and four boards.

It was the Cougars starting well to lead by seven early, but then the Flames got on a roll. Rockingham caught fire to score 14 straight points and grab a seven-point lead which they took into the quarter-time break.

The Cougars were able to impressively turn the tide on their home floor in the second quarter by piling on 25 points and holding the Flames to just 12 which saw Cockburn head into the half-time break leading 43-37.

Cockburn kept that momentum rolling with another six straight points to end up leading by 14 and they maintained that advantage the rest of the way to end up winning 94-82.

The Cougars ended up dominating on the boards with 55 rebounds to 36 for the night including 15 at the offensive end to seven. They also nailed 16/44 at 36.4 per cent from beyond the arc while Rockingham went 7/27 from deep at 25.9 per cent.

As for the Men, it started on Friday night with experienced point guard Seva Chan having a tremendous night for the Cougars in his 258th match with 22 points, nine assists and five rebounds.

Gavin Field added another 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots including knocking down 4/6 from three-point territory.

Carter Skaggs finished with 19 points and nine rebounds with Paschal Chukwu adding eight points, 15 rebounds and five blocks, and Luke Phillips eight points and seven boards.

The Cougars worked their way on top in the first quarter with a 9-0 run before leading 21-15 by quarter-time.

The Cougars then moved further clear in the second quarter scoring another eight straight points and leading by as much as 19 points with Paschal Chukwu delivering a handful of massive blocks while Carter Skaggs was spectacular up the other end, and Gavin Field and Seva Chan leading the charge.

Cockburn still led 45-28 by the half-time break but Lakeside tried their best to work back into the contest scoring nine consecutive points in the third term.

However, the Cougars wouldn’t be denied and led again by as much as 20 points in the fourth quarter before then staving off the late fightback from Lakeside to win 91-83.

And on Saturday night, Gavin Field delivered 26 points, six assists, three rebounds and two steals for Cockburn on the back of knocking down 7/14 from three-point land.

Carter Skaggs hit 4/11 from deep on his way to 19 points, three rebounds and three assists while Paschal Chukwu put up 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Kegan Phillips also produced 17 points for the Cougars, Luke Phillips 11 points, and Seva Chan nine points, 13 assists and five rebounds.

The two teams combined for 60 points in the first quarter and Rockingham ended up leading 32-28 by quarter-time.

Rockingham opened up a handy lead during the second quarter with superstars Marshall Nelson and Devondrick Walker catching fire. The Flames scored 12 straight points at one stage to end up leading by 10, but by half-time it was a close one still with the visitors up 54-51.

It was then quite the remarkable third quarter with Gavin Field inspiring the Cougars to grab the lead and then to end up grabbing a 10-point edge.

The Cougars would score 37 points to 32 for the quarter and that saw them take an 88-86 advantage into the fourth quarter.

It was then a last quarter for the stars to step up and make huge plays.

A triple from Field pushed Cockburn back out to a five-point lead with seven minutes to play before Walker went on a 7-2 run for the Flames that was only intercepted by a Paschal Chukwu flush for the Cougars.

That left scores level before Travis Durnin put Rockingham back on top and ultimately it was a three-pointer to Greg Hire that proved the dagger blow.

That put Rockingham up four and in the end a couple of finishes at the rim from Nelson saw Rockingham come away with the 118-111 victory.

Highlighting the quality of the contest was the fact that Rockingham shot at 54.6 per cent for the night and Cockburn 50.6 while the Flames nailed 16/34 from three-point range and the Cougars 18/44.