Dugites tame Tigers in scrappy contest to notch third win

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Dugites have claimed their biggest scalp since joining the Albany Basketball Association men’s A-grade competition, downing Tigers by four points in a scrappy round 12 contest on Tuesday night.

Little separated the two sides in a sloppy opening term in which only 20 points were scored in total, but the game developed into a gripping contest in the second period.

Dugites hit the first five points of the last half to regain the lead before captain Tim Button and star guard John Santia hauled Tigers back into the match.

Santia began to show his class every time Tigers brought the ball down the floor, as he went to the free-throw line twice for four successful shots and then dropped a beautiful pick and roll jump shot to hand his side the lead for only the second time in the match.

Tigers' John Santia carries the ball as Dugites' Todd Knuiman defends.
Camera IconTigers' John Santia carries the ball as Dugites' Todd Knuiman defends. Credit: Albany Advertiser

However, their advantage was short-lived as the Dugites scrapped under the basket at both ends and wrested back the lead, which they would keep through a dramatic final few minutes.

Tigers remained in touch as Corey Ward and Jordan Genovese found buckets, and Ben Polette drained their only three-pointer of the second half.

Their opponents, though, kept coming up with answers, as the dangerous Todd Knuiman and guard Adam Ditchburn ensured Dugites kept their noses in front.

Andrew Hobbs hit two crucial free throws late in the piece, and with Tigers already over the foul limit, Dugites were able to prevail, 35-31.

Knuiman was outstanding in his side’s third win of the season with 11 points, including two from outside the arc, while Ditchburn hit six of his eight points in the last half.

Dugites' Adam Ditchburn looks to give off as Tigers' Jordan Genovese defends.
Camera IconDugites' Adam Ditchburn looks to give off as Tigers' Jordan Genovese defends. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Santia showed glimpses of what he had been capable of in previous seasons with 13 points, and Button battled away under the rim for seven, but their poor shooting proved costly for Tigers.

Tigers shot two of 15 three-point attempts for the game and went at 60 per cent from the free-throw line.

Dugites hit eight of 14 free throws and nailed three of 12 long- range attempts.

Just six points separate second and seventh on the ladder after that result, with Tigers suffering a fourth loss, and third in succession.

Crabs chalked up a fifth straight win, defeating Wolves 59-37, while Barking Owls beat Raiders’ under-18 development squad, 67-53.

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