In-Depth: Jets beat Wolves in Single Point Thriller

There was a thrilling top-of-the-table clash as current title holders Wolves took on Forget Me Not Jets in the latest round of the Senior Basketball League. Harry Brindle opened the scoring for Wolves from the tip, but it was Jets who flew early in the quarter as Michael Baker and Peter Boussougou racked up points from the mid-range. An outside shot by Tom Dalton-Brown helped build the Jet’s lead to 7-points, which they held well into the first quarter as Wolves offence stuttered. Viktor Capkanovski and Ben Takkan breathed some life in to the Wolves taking it to Jets for a succession of points in the final two minutes, leaving the game finely balanced 16-17 to Jets at the end of the first.  

It stayed close throughout the second quarter as neither team managed to pull ahead by more than a few points. Both sides struggled with shooting on the notorious NSC hoops and there was a feast for the big men with rebounds aplenty, Cameron Scott picking up a brace of boards for Wolves. Jets tried to isolate Wolves key men Ross Wilson and Viktor Capkanovski but with limited success as Wilson managed to break through picking up 8-points and drawing a string of fouls in a low scoring quarter. It seemed that momentum was building for the Wolves, as they reversed the lead and slowly worked themselves ahead, but Dalton-Brown again found a spot outside the arc to swish the 3 and bring Jets right back into the game. When half-time arrived there as still only a single point in it but this time the score favoured Wolves, 29-28. 

Jake Glover kept the defence honest with a swift pace down the court for Jets during the third quarter, often catching Wolves in transition. They held the line well though, keeping Jets contained for much of the quarter and finding opportunities as Ben Campbell joined Ben Takkan on the scoresheet. The teams were never far apart though and the lead traded hands more than once as the clock ticked down. It was an outside shot from Campbell that gave the Wolves their biggest lead of the quarter, pushing them ahead by 4 with 2 minutes remaining. It looked like they would carry the momentum into the fourth until the final minute of the third saw Jets spring into action, David Laszlo finding success from the baseline while Baker and Boussougou again worked the inside. On a game of such tight margins it proved a punishing 60 seconds and at the end of the third Jets once again held a lead, 42-45.  

With only a single outside shot between them, there was still everything to play for in the final quarter and Wolves came out gunning. Brindle and Wilson again took it to Jets to pick up points while Michael Pardoe also found his mark and aided in a 5-point swing that saw Wolves take the lead, 49-47. Wolves kept the initiative, but Jets were never far away and at the mid-point of the fourth Revi Del-Rosario found his form with three pull up drives that put Jets back out front. Jets momentum was just building until they were grounded by a deep 3-pointer from Capkanovski that drew cheers from the growing crowd. Another 3 from Capkanovski and free throws from Wilson and Takkan suddenly had Wolves ahead by 3-points, 65-62, with less than 20 seconds remaining.  

Taking a quick time out, Jets advanced the ball to the front court and worked to find an opportunity outside the arc. The chance came on the inside though as Boussougou was fed the ball and drew a foul, sinking the shot and the free-throw to draw the game level. With less than 10 seconds remaining Jets managed a dramatic steal on the inbound and Boussougou hit another basket to push them ahead, 65-67. The drama didn’t end there as, with only 2.4 seconds on the clock, Jets fouled on the inbound and Capkanovski stepped to the line for 2 free throws and a chance to draw the game level. He sank the first but missed the second, and so Jets won out the day with the tightest of margins, 66-67, in the most competitive game of the season so far.  

The other games of the evening saw stand out performances from some of the youngest players in the league as Kyle Furlong hand an impressive run for Cavaliers against Turkeys and Seb Smith returned from injury to rack up five 3-pointers for Ravens as they faced Hoops. Ravens took their game against Hoops, 80-35, while Cavaliers won out against Turkeys 67-18. 

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