THE Sale Sonics went down to Warragul in a double overtime thriller during round three of Country Basketball League on Saturday night.
It was a hard fought battle that many are already proclaiming match of the season, with Warragul winning 99-91.
Sonics big man Josh Backway set the tone early in the absence of star player Mem Bektas, scoring the first six points and controlling the boards for Sale.
This created space allowing the Sale guards to get firing from the perimeter as the Sonics got out to a quick first quarter lead.
The match continued to be a hard fought battle in the second quarter as Sale continued to try and increase their lead, with Backway proving to be more than the Warriors could handle but due to some late lapses on the defensive end, the Warriors managed to pull back to within one point at the half time break. There was no intensity lost during the break as both teams came out firing continuing the tug of war with the lead, never getting further then three points in the third.
The Warriors started to take control of the game towards the end of the third quarter but a ‘hail mary’ from beyond the arc on the buzzer by guard Billy Hughes sent the Sonics into the final quarter with confidence.
The intensity rose another notch in the fourth with defensive pressure rising by both teams and battles for rebounds became essential to control.
The Warriors looked to have the win sealed up in the final seconds but Sale managed to tie the game up with an incredible three point buzzer beater from the top of the key by guard Ben Dessent, sending the game into overtime.
Both teams continued to go hard in overtime with Sale getting out to an early lead, but Warragul were able to apply some pressure and cause some careless turnovers by the Sonics and eventually forced the game into a second overtime period.
Unfortunately foul trouble and heavy minutes eventually took their toll on Sale as Warragul used their deeper bench and were able to walk away the victors, 99 – 91.
Backway finished with a career high 23 points for Sale with Hughes finishing with 21 and Ben Dessent 19. Jarryd Moss scored 25 for the Warriors.
The Sale Sonics will now have a two week break before their next game, which will be at home game against Churchill on Saturday, November 15.
MAFFRA suffered its first defeat of the CBL season, going down to the Westernport Steelers.
The Steelers won each quarter, gradually building its lead to run out 89-66 victor.
Rachael Wansbrough led the scoring for the Steelers with 30, while Deanna Jolliffe, Isabella Chretien and Bree Whatman also hit double figures.
The Eagles were best served by Bree-Anna Alexander with 14 points, while Eliza Osborn and Madelaine Bates scored 13 points and 12 points respectively.
The Eagles will aim to bounce back when they host the Warragul Warriors on Saturday, with tip-off at 7pm.