Blues win four straight as they hold off Raiders
The Frankston RSL Blues have withstood a late challenge against Knox to register a 99-86 victory in round 7 of NBL1 in front of a large and loud crowd at Frankston Basketball Stadium on Saturday night.
With five players scoring in double figures led by 22 points from import guard Damon Bozeman, the Blues used a blistering 35-10 first quarter onslaught to set up the win.
The Blues wowed the crowd with their awe-inspiring first term which saw them open with a 15-0 run before extending their lead to 28-2 over an injury depleted Raiders roster. Turnovers proved costly for the visitors, with the home side capitalising in transition to have the Raiders reeling. Against the run of play, Malik Meunier hit a three-pointer on the run to beat the quarter time buzzer to put his team in double figures.
Knox hit back in the second term, with James Hunter and Adam Thoseby combining for 5 three-pointers for the period while Jorden Adnam provided an offensive spark off the bench. Najeal Young and Bozeman kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Blues however, and while the visitors ate away at the lead, the Blues still led by 21 at half time.
Young pushed the margin back to 27 in scoring 6 of the Blues’ first 8 points of the second half punctuated by a breakaway slam dunk. An 8-0 run by the Raiders saw them reduce the margin the less than 20 points for the first time since early on the back of a Mike Rose triple. Alistair Macdonald however with back-to-back three pointers, the second of which he was fouled and duly converted the four-point play. A late Adnam three-pointer had the margin standing at 22 points at the final break.
The final quarter was turned into a scrappy affair, with the Raiders throwing everything they had left at the Blues. Rose took over the scoring load for Knox as he helped his side narrow the margin to just 12. Yet three-pointers to Macdonald and then Bozeman steadied the ship for the home side, before holding on for the 13 point win.
Bozeman was well supported by Young’s 18 points and 6 rebounds, while Macdonald poured in 16 points off the bench that included 3-4 from downtown. Dan Trist added 13 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in coming off the bench, with Igor Hadziomerovic adding 13 points before fouling out.
For Knox, Rose led all scorers with 32 points (5-8 3PT), 5 rebounds and 3 assists. However Adnam’s 12 points off the bench were next best for the Raiders who gave up 21 turnovers which were converted into 26 Blues points.
Frankston shot a red-hot 59% from the field and were 50% from beyond the arc. They also converted 22-24 from the free throw line in what was some impressive shooting [Box Score].
The victory now has Frankston boasting a 5-4 season record as they move into seventh place in the standings. They return home next Saturday night to host the Hobart Huskies before following up the next day against the Ringwood Hawks on the road.