ROUND 5 NWBL REVIEW

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The Kilsyth Cobras have moved into a top-four position after sweeping their way through Round 5 while the Queensland Spinning Bullets and Wollongong Rollerhawks also enjoyed unbeaten weekends.

Jumping up from sixth on the ladder to third, Kilsyth have put themselves in a favourable position to make the 2019 playoffs after three wins over the Sydney Metro Blues.

After leading by ten points with three minutes to go on Friday night, the Cobras were made to fight for the win as Sydney Metro finished the game on a 12-5 run.

Sofyane Mehiaoui (15 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists) had six points during that push and CJ McCarthy-Grogan added 31 points and seven dimes overall.

However, time eventually beat them while free-throws for Shaun Groenewegen (15 points) and Jontee Brown (13 points, seven assists) as well as a triple-double for Tristan Knowles (21 points, 14 boards, 11 assists) got Kilsyth over the line, 76-73.

The following day, the Blues took a five-point lead into the final quarter but Kilsyth put together a 22-9 fourth term to run over the top, 67-59.

Jontee Brown was again instrumental, scoring 11 points down the stretch to finish 22 and two steals while Damon Fent had six of his 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Kilsyth had less troubles on Sunday, securing a 17-point victory as Jontee Brown finished with another 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Michael D’Amelio shot 8-10 off the bench for 16 points.

Knowles averaged 28.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and ten assists in another stellar weekend, countering the best efforts of McCarthy-Grogan (23 points, eight boards, 7.7 assists) and Mehiaoui (19.7 points, ten rebounds, 7.7 assists) while Anderson Parker also chipped in with 13.3 points per contest for the Blues.

Queensland extended their winning streak to four with consecutive successes against the Red Dust Heelers in Round 5.

Those wins were enough to leapfrog the Blues into fourth spot on the ladder and they have a game in hand compared to Sydney Metro which furthers strengthens their position.

The Spinning Bullets had a healthy spread of contributors across the weekend, with nine players hitting the scoreboard in their first clash and 11 players recording an assist before they backed up with ten scorers in their second meeting.

They shot 52.5% from the field for the round as well with Jordan Bartley (13.5 points per game), Kurt Thomson (11.5 points) and Dylan Gawthorne (10.5 points) all having efficient outings while Matt McShane tallied a total of 13 assists.

In addition, Lachlin Dalton, Jake Fulwood and Shannon Buxton all performed well off the bench and that depth is sure to play a role in their quest for a playoff berth.

With a short roster, especially compared to Queensland, Red Dust were admirable in their two meetings and led by 14 points from Ryan Morich on Saturday night and a double-double of 16 points and ten rebounds from Jake Kavanagh on Sunday.

Wollongong have continued their undefeated run through the 2019 regular season, taking their streak to 15 after two victories over the West Adelaide Thunder.

With too many weapons offensively and too strong defensively, the Rollerhawks also sewed up top spot on the ladder despite there being four more rounds to play out.

Brett Stibners top-scored with 21.5 points per game and a triple-double on Sunday (15 points, 11 boards, ten assists) while Shawn Russell (19.5 points, 11 rebounds), Luke Pople (17 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists) and Nick Taylor (17.5 points, 8.5 assists) were just as damaging.

Red Dust were careful with the ball, limiting the Rollerhawks possessions as much as they could, but they were unable to match Wollongong at the offensive end.

They still received strong games from Eamon Wood and Jay Dohnt who combined for 20 points on Saturday night before Phillip Stephens added ten points off the bench on Sunday while Adam Roocke averaged 4.5 assists.

Action returns for the NWBL this weekend in a condensed Round 6 that sees the Perth Wheelcats host Red Dust and Kilsyth host West Adelaide.

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