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The Wollongong Roller Hawks have won both games against the Red Dust Heelers over the weekend making a clean sweep of their 3 games this season.

 The Roller Hawks presented a new look starting line up with the return of Michael Auprince along with Tim Markcrow who was elevated to the starting side.


The Roller Hawks got off to a fast start on Saturday by scoring the first 8 points in the game before stretching the lead by as much as 20 midway through the first period.




Auprince grabbed 4 of his team high 10 rebounds in the first period but the opening quarter belonged to Luke Pople and Nick Taylor who couldn’t miss, combining for 10/10 from the field to give the visitors an 18 point lead going into the first break.


Led by captain/coach Brad Ness, the Red Dust Heelers chipped away at the Roller Hawks lead in the second quarter but still trailed by 14 at halftime.


The Roller Hawks kept the Red Dust at bay through the third quarter but a 3 pointer from Rob Pike with 51 seconds until three quarter time followed by 2 points by Jake Kavanagh saw the hosts trail by just 9 at the final change.


In a hard fought fourth quarter the Roller Hawks were able to maintain their advantage with captain Brett Stibners scoring 9 of his 21 points to see Wollongong win 87-75.


The Roller Hawks outperformed Red Dust in most major categories but the most telling was at the free throw line where Wollongong made 18 from 22 attempts compared to Red Dust who only had 11 free throw attempts for the match.


Luke Pople top scored with 27 points with Stibners scoring 21 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds.


On Sunday the Roller Hawks won 94-76 thanks to a 34-14 final quarter that saw the final score blowout despite the game being a close contest for the first 3 quarters.


The highlight of the match was Brett Stibners and Brad Ness dominating the scoring for their respective sides with both captains scoring 44 points each.


The Heelers led 62-60 going into the fourth quarter and whilst Ness and Stibners neutralised each other, Wollongong gained the ascendancy through Luke Pople, Michael Auprince and Nick Taylor who combined for 19 of the Roller Hawks’ 34 points in the final period.


In comparison, Jake Kavanagh was the only Red Dust Heeler apart from Brad Ness to land a shot in the fourth quarter.


The Red Dust Heelers shot at a healthy 56% for the match but Wollongong’s multiple scoring threats allowed for better shot selection which saw them shoot 66% from the field. Red Dust failed to land any of their shots from three point range whilst the Roller Hawks landed 3 from 4 for the game.


“The were both hard fought wins,” said Roller Hawks coach Jim Williams after the game.


“We played well and controlled the ball with very few turnovers.”


“Everyone contributed well and we had a good spread of point scorers.


“Aupie (Michael Auprince) dominated the boards and worked hard for his points in the paint.”


Roller Hawks captain Brett Stibners praised the all round team effort of his side.


“It was a very good result for us. Luke and Nick were stand outs in the first game,” said Stibners.


“Tim Markcrow played really well in both games and has shown he can play at this level as a starter.”


The victories see Wollongong retain the Woolkabunning Kiaka Cup, the perpetual trophy contested between the Roller Hawks and the Red Dust Heelers since 2014 to acknowledge the Stolen Generation and help raise awareness of disabilities within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.


The Wollongong Roller Hawks return in Round 6 to play their first games at Shellharbour City Stadium for the season; they play the fifth placed Queensland Spinning Bullets on May 21 and 22.


Saturday May 14: ROLLER HAWKS vs QLD SPINNING BULLETS - 5pm @ Shellharbour City Stadium

Sunday May 15: ROLLER HAWKS vs QLD SPINNING BULLETS - 12pm @ Shellharbour City Stadium