GEELONG AWAITS FOR RAIDERS
Monday, July 30, 2012
Knox Under Armour Raiders grabbed back top position of the South Conference after an impressive overtime victory against Bendigo on Friday.
It was an important win for the Knox men approaching Saturday night’s clash with the Geelong Supercats at the State Basketball Centre, now sitting on the same record as Nunawading, 15-9.
Since shocking the Supercats at Geelong Arena in May, the Raiders have added Stephen Hoare to their roster whilst Geelong import Kimmani Barrett has been struck down with a season-ending knee injury – the Supercats consequently losing three of their last four.
Knox’s 93-90 overtime win rectified the drubbing they received from the Braves in May, with Mick Hill continuing his good form leading the Raiders’ scoring with 23 points.
The Raiders made a good start to the game, and with three minutes left in the second term Sean Carroll’s two points extended the margin to 13 points, but three-pointers to Bendigo’s Adam Tanner, Matt Bartlett and Chris Hogan saw the Raiders only two points ahead at the main break.
CJ Massingale opened up the third quarter with a three-pointer, as the Raiders continued to fend off the Bendigo assault despite the efforts of Deilvez Yearby.
Going into the final quarter three points ahead, scoring dried up for both teams as the Raiders crept out to a seven point lead with just over four minutes remaining.
Still ahead by four points with two minutes remaining, five points in thirty seconds by the Braves’ Kevin Probert saw Bendigo take the lead for the first time since the opening minute of the match.
Clutch free throws by Lester Strong, along with Carroll going one from two from the charity stripe gave Knox a two point lead, before Yearby tied things up with a dunk sending the game into overtime.
With scores close early in extra time, John Philip’s three with less than two minutes remaining put the Raiders six points ahead, but Bendigo’s sharp-shooter Hogan made successive three’s to tie the scores up once again with a minute remaining.
When Strong went one from two from the free throw line, following it up with a block on Tom Garlepp, Massingale sealed the game making both free throws with 14 seconds remaining to give Knox a 93-90 win on enemy territory.
Hill had seven assists to go along with his 23 points shooting at 82 per cent, while Strong finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
It was a big win for the Raiders, which obviously took a lot out of them, failing to back up the following night against the Frankston Blues, going down 92-72.
Massingale led the Raiders with 21 points, with Knox back on top of the South Conference despite the loss to the Blues on Saturday night.
With another two games coming up this weekend, the Raiders will travel to Ballarat on Sunday, but the all important game is on their home court at the State Basketball Centre when they take on the finals bound Geelong Supercats at 8pm Saturday night.