Sonics go down fighting

PLAYER unavailability again hurt the Sale Sonics in round nine of Country Basketball League, going down to Churchill Blue Devils 91-76 at home on Saturday night.

With just seven players available, the Sonics took it up to the Blue Devils in the first half, leading by 10 at half-time, but couldn’t keep up the momentum, with the Blue Devils taking the lead in the third term and running away with the match.

With the game in the balance, Churchill made the plays and took out the 15 point win to remain unbeaten.

Billy Hughes led the scoring with 24 points, while Marcus Cope, Andrew Quirk and Jake Dyt also reached double figures.

Jordan Canovan led the scoring for the Blue Devils with 21 points.

The Sonics will head to Warragul on Saturday night.

Warragul is coming off an 87-65 win at Bairnsdale last weekend.

Bairnsdale held a four-point edge after the first quarter with Andrew Savige putting 10 points on the board for the Bullets. The Warriors seized the momentum during the second and third quarters, outscoring Bairnsdale 49-27 with Mike Santo scoring 24 points, including four straight three-pointers.

Santo finished with 29 points and Savige 20.

Moe made a huge statement on its home floor, overcoming a two-point half-time deficit to defeat Bairnsdale 92-62 on Sunday. Jayden Van Dyk was instrumental, scored 15 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter alone, while Chris Dudley scored 23 for the Bullets.

Traralgon defeated Korumburra 64-55 in what was a great game from start to finish with the lead changing hands several times.

The T-Birds frontcourt of White, Brouns, Everitt and Clough made inside scoring difficult for the young Wildcats and Traralgon would keep Korumburra winless with a nine-point margin.

A strong first quarter helped Churchill to an 89-55 win over Western Port.

The Blue Devils led by 11 points at quarter-time, extending margin at every break.

Sean Hogenbirk led all scorers with 26 for Western Port but the undefeated Blue Devils were too strong.

´╗┐Women

THE Maffra Eagles had a win and a loss from their two home games in the women’s competition.

On Saturday night, Traralgon pulled away after quarter-time to defeat Maffra 64-52.

A tightly contested opening term saw scores tied at 17-17. Traralgon took a six-point lead at half-time and never looked back.

It was a tough, physical and often scrappy game and the T-Birds were able to score when it counted to hold the young Eagles at bay.

Maddy Bates scored 20 points for the Eagles, Keely Bourke 18 for the T-Birds.

The Eagles consolidated fourth spot on Sunday afternoon with an 80-72 win over fourth-placed Warragul.

The undermanned Warriors shot a high percentage from the field to keep the game close. After an even first quarter the Eagles threatened to take control of the match but missed far too many easy baskets to extend their lead beyond 14 points.

Jazmin Allman and Bree Alexander scored 17 points each for the Eagles, while Jasmine Ferguson recorded 19 for the visitors.

The Eagles will next play on January 12 at Moe.

Korumburra defeated Traarlgon 85-66 at home.

Scores were level at the first break before the Wildcats skipped away in the second term with great ball movement and defensive pressure. The Wildcats had a sizable lead heading into the final quarter and would win by 19 points.

Churchill was too much to handle for Western Port, with the Blue Devils having too many weapons.

Lauren Cooper led all scorers with 28, but there was no support as no other Western Port player managed double figures. Churchill had the luxury of four players scoring at least 12 points as it would win a 10th straight game, 83-47.