Hot Knights still unbeaten

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Email Cameron Newbold

Newly formed Knights have continued their red-hot start to the Albany Basketball Association men’s A-grade season, withstanding a spirited Kinjarling Thunder outfit to stay unbeaten after four rounds on Tuesday night.

Hosting the competition’s most talented young players, Knights have swept all before them so far after firstly setting up a lead in the opening half and then weathering foul trouble and a Thunder fightback to win by seven points.

After an exciting opening where both sides traded baskets and several three pointers, the game settled down as Matt Leary and Tom Edwards took control.

The Thunder did their best to stay in touch but when Edwards nailed his third triple of the first half on the verge of the break, Knights took a 12-point buffer into the main break. Edwards splashed two more long-range baskets and the lead had ballooned to 20 points early in the second half but Knights, and especially Leary, were in foul trouble.

Leary sat down with four fouls, and the Thunder hit back as guard Michael Simpson and the energetic Nic Penny helped them close the gap with Knights in the bonus.

Knights' Mason Tion gathers the ball and looks to get past Thunder's Jackson Shaw.
Camera IconKnights' Mason Tion gathers the ball and looks to get past Thunder's Jackson Shaw. Credit: Albany Advertiser

With just over four minutes to play, the margin was back to nine points but Leary’s return to the court was pivotal as he guided his side home, 61-54.

Leary finished with 17 points including a couple of vital baskets in the dying minutes while Edwards nailed five three pointers on his way to 15 points.

Cohen Taylor was superb for the Thunder, and his 17 points along with Simpson’s 17 ensured their side were able to stay in the match for large parts.

Knights have defeated Den/Albany Spartans, Barking Owls, Ambassdors and the Thunder to sit atop the standings with 12 points ahead of a clash with the Raiders under-18 development squad next week.

Knights' Tom Edwards takes on Thunder’s Tom Dimer on Tuesday night.
Camera IconKnights' Tom Edwards takes on Thunder’s Tom Dimer on Tuesday night. Credit: Albany Advertiser

The Thunder remain winless but again showed terrific signs, with the combination of Taylor and Simpson proving potent for the side sitting in eighth spot.

In other round 4 matches, Spartans climbed to third place after a 20-point win over Pelicans with big men Bodhi Holmes (14) and Sam Finigan (9) in good touch.

Brothers John and Joe Santia dished out a second defeat of the season to Barking Owls in the grand final rematch. John Santia hit 20 points and Joe Santia added 13 in Tigers’ thrilling one-point win while Corey Hill’s eight points were also valuable.

Owls were led by Hamish McMorran (17) and Red Rogers (12) in offence with star Justin Benson limited to just six points.

Raiders notched their maiden win of the season, with Taj Williams (15) and Ryan Barber (14) starring in the 49-34 triumph against Crabs.

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