Tigers weather the Storm on home court

THE Kennedy’s Tours Shoalhaven Tigers have extended their winning streak to six games, after easily accounting for the Blacktown Storm 101-53 on Saturday.

The leaders of the Waratah League division two youth men’s competition, with a 17-1 record, edged a step closer to securing a top two position and a direct entry to the finals weekend later in August, with this 48-point victory.

In what could have been a complete whitewash, as the visitors only managed to bring five players to the Tigers Den, the hosts started strongly against a depleted Blacktown team.

Forward Brendan Sampson started on fire and finished the quarter with 12 of the Tigers’ 30 points – with eight of the 12 cubs hitting the score sheet in the opening term.

The second quarter saw the young cubs stamp their authority with solid execution from skipper Riley O’Shannessy and guards Luke Smith and Brayden Morris.

Sampson continued to attack the basket at will while coach Scott Balsar got all of this troops onto the court,  giving valuable rest to his starting group – as the hosts led by 40 at the major break.

The third quarter was much like to the first half, with the Tigers taking control, on both the fast break and from beyond the arc.

Kyle Leslie found his range from downtown while the bench again found themselves playing quality minutes, keeping the scoreboard ticking over, to see the black and gold stretch the lead to 88-38 after three quarters. 

The final term was slow and grinding affair, as the cubs continued to attack the rim, seeing them take their total passed the century mark – securing their 17th win of the season.

“Although it was another victory, it was disappointing to have an opposition only bring five players to play us,” Balsar said.

“But to their credit, they played hard and never gave up.

“If we wanted to pile on the points and chalk up a record win, we could have but I thought it’s not in the spirit of the game or something we as a team would want to do.”

In the win, Sampson led the Tigers with 20 points, with Bruce Ozolins (15), Leslie (15) and O’Shannessy (10) also scoring in double figures.

“I was extremely pleased that we had four boys again in double figures,” Balsar said.

“I was also happy our starters got a good rest, allowing our bench players a solid run on court, in front of our home fans.”

The Tigers now turn their attention to their final home game of the regular season, when they host the Illawarra Hawks Red, from 6pm Saturday.

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