After a long and much-anticipated wait, the Coles Express NBL1 East tipped off with a bang on Saturday night.
In the men’s division, it was Bankstown and Albury Wodonga getting things started before men’s and women’s teams from Central Coast, Manly, Inner West, Hills, Newcastle, Maitland, Illawarra, and Sutherland took the floor.
Check out how each game went below:
Central Coast Crusaders (63) def by Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (83)
Despite a gallant effort from the Central Coast Crusaders, the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles prevailed on the road by 20 points.
Muffi Loader and Sara Matthews got their team out to an early first-period lead and finished the game with 16 and 20 points, respectively.
But it was Kimberly Hodge who took over from there, finishing with 29 points and six rebounds to give her team the lead at the end of each period after the first.
CENTRAL COAST 63 (Matthews 20, Loader 16, Wittwer 9)
Manly 83 (Hodge 29, A Delaney 17, Nelson 10)
Inner West Bulls (35) def by Hills Hornets (83)
The Hills Hornets opened up their inaugural NBL1 East campaign by stamping their authority on the inner West Bulls.
After holding the opposition to just three points in the first period, the Hornets didn’t look back, with four of their five starters recording double figures.
College star Georgia Stirton was the shining light for the Bulls in her return down under with 12 points.
INNER WEST 35 (Stirton 12, Kramer 8, Yeomans 6)
HILLS 83 (Yetsenga 21, Pitman 16, Mahoney 13)
Newcastle Falcons (69) def Maitland Mustangs (39)
In this highly anticipated derby, it was Newcastle getting the job done convincingly over Maitland by 30 points.
Chyra Evans lived up to the Game of the week tag with a mammoth 28 points and 13 rebounds.
Maitland was buoyed by the effort of Hannah Griffin who posted 13 points for the game.
NEWCASTLE 69 (Evans 28, Johnson 12, Kingham 10)
MAITLAND 39 (Griffin 13, Williams 6, Walker 5)
Illawarra Hawks (49) def by Sutherland Sharks (72)
The Sutherland Sharks picked up where they left off in Waratah League 1 last year, dismantling the Illawarra Hawks in front of their home crowd.
Courtney West stepped up in Lauren Nicholson’s absence with a huge 14-point, 17-rebound double-double.
Georgia Ohrdorf came close to a double-double for the Hawks with eight points and 10 boards.
The Hawks can take a positive out of the game though, holding Sutherland to 10 points in the third period while scoring 10 of their own.
ILLAWARRA 49 (Phillips 13, Abel 9, Delaney 9)
SUTHERLAND 72 (West 14, Garland 11, Panousis 9)
Bankstown Bruins (80) def by Albury Wodonga Bandits (92)
After coming out hot early to hold a 26-20 lead at the end of the first period, the Bankstown Bruins ended up being outscored by the away side in each period that followed.
The Bruins did their best to keep pace with the already experienced NBL1 side though, only trailing by a maximum of six points at the end of the first, second, and third periods.
The Bandits pulled away in the end, thanks to a massive performance from import Branden Jenkins, who knocked down 27 points to go with five boards and four steals.
Nicko Timonera and Nathaniel Musters each put up a 20-piece for the Bruins.
BANKSTOWN 80 (Timonera 22, Musters 20, Lopez 16)
ALBURY WODONGA 92 (Jenkins 27, Dawam 22, Hayward 15)
Central Coast Crusaders (68) def by Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (85)
The Sea Eagles went two from two in their opening round of NBL1 East, with the men backing up the women with an impressive win over the Crusaders.
Similar to the women’s game, the Crusaders men opened up an early buffer before Manly took over, opening up the game with a 31-16 third period.
Steven White and Indiana Faithfull proved to be a dynamic duo for the away side, scoring 43 of Manly’s 85 points.
CENTRAL COAST 68 (Cracknell 26, Trustum 13, Wooller 9)
MANLY 85 (White 24, Faithfull 19, McFee 10)
Inner West Bulls (58) def Hills Hornets (56)
The Inner West Bulls got one back on the Hills Hornets in their men’s battle following a tight tussle.
With the margin fluctuating between single digits in the first half, both sides made runs in the second half.
In the third period, it was the Hornets who got on top with a 20-15 effort before the Bulls fought back with an 18-8 and game-winning fourth period.
INNER WEST 58 (Maker 22, Higgins-Titsha 9, Crnogorac 8)
HILLS 56 (Brotherson 15, Moss 10, Hayman 9)
Newcastle Falcons (57) def by Maitland Mustangs (70)
The Maitland Mustangs prevailed in the NBL1 Men’s Game of the Week thanks to an even team performance.
It was the fourth period that broke the game open for the Mustangs following a tight tussle throughout, with a 23-14 effort.
Three Maitland players also racked up double-figure points, with Jay Cole leading the way thanks to a whopping 20 points off the bench.
NEWCASTLE 57 (Cherry 22, Mason 9, Goodwin 7)
MAITLAND 70 (Cole 20, Edwards 14, Hunter 10)
Illawarra Hawks (85) def by Sutherland Sharks (87)
In the second two-point win of the night, it was Sutherland who got up at a vocal Snakepit.
It was a game dominated by classy offence, with both teams showing their wares in their opening NBL1 East hit-out.
Each one of Illawarra’s starters scored double-figure points while three of Sutherland’s starting five finished with 10 or more.
ILLAWARRA 85 (Walker 27, Lancaster 14, Mullan 14)
SUTHERLAND 87 (Hutchison 28, Gerlach 17, Norris 15)