Lakers too strong for Redbacks’ bite

IN-FORM: Mount Gambier Laker Braiden Ousey under pressure during Saturday night’s clash with the Ararat Redbacks at the Icehouse, which saw him with a solid 24 points for the game. Picture: TREVOR JACKSON

THE Mount Gambier Lakers will ride the high of a monstrous 73-point victory going into the final minor round of the Country Basketball League’s South West men’s competition, after a dominant performance against the Ararat Redbacks on Saturday night at the Icehouse.

It was clear from the start the Lakers were the better side and a 22-point margin at the first change spelled disaster for the visitors.

Not much can be said for the Redbacks, as they struggled to keep up with the deadly pace of the Lakers for most of the game.

Zachery Dunmore’s 18 points on a normal day would have been enough to see him among the top scorers, but with four Lakers exceeding 20 points for the match the Redbacks were left with few answers.

After a quiet game last round, Lakers’ coach Kane de Wit was in fine form to top score with 27 points.

He was backed up by Braiden Ousey and Matt Berkefeld, both on 24, while Simon Berkefeld finished with 20 points to his name.

Kurt Rodis also broke into double figures with 13 points for the match.

The opening quarter saw the Lakers pile on 27 points, while holding the Redbacks to a measly five, setting up what would become a percentage-boosting win.

That margin was greatly due to an impressive 18-point streak in the final five minutes of play, which went unanswered by the Ararat guests.

Dunmore broke the streak when he opened the second term with a two-pointer and from there the quarter started off evenly.

However, the Redbacks were unable to undo the damage done in the first term and at the long break still trailed by 28 points.

The third quarter was opened with a three-pointer from de Wit, one of four for the match, beaten only by six such shots from Matt Berkefeld in an impressive display.

From there the margin continued to blow out, with the Lakers recording 38 points to Ararat’s 12 and carrying a 54-point lead into the final stanza.

The fourth term saw a similar outcome, with the Lakers keeping their foot on the gas until the final buzzer.

A 15-point streak helped the hosts on their way to a 34-point quarter, with a two-pointer from the Redbacks’ Rhys Burger with 19 seconds to go breaking the run and concluding the scoring for the match.

At the end of play the margin was a whopping 73 points, 124-51.

The match will act as a big confidence booster as the Lakers head into their final minor round game of the 2018-19 season this Saturday night.

That game will see the second-placed Lakers hit the road to take on the third-placed Bacchus Marsh Lions, before the side prepares for its final’s challenge in the following weeks.