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The Wollongong Roller Hawks remain at the top of the NWBL ladder after three comprehensive wins against the Queensland Spinning Bullets.


The Roller Hawks went into the round with a focus on eliminating the defensive lapses they’ve been prone to at times this season and were able to lead from start to finish in all three games as well as win every quarter of each game.


“We weren’t happy with some things from the first game. Notably how many offensive boards we let them have,” said coach Brendan Cowler.


The Spinning Bullets had 15 offensive rebounds on Friday night and 14 more shot attempts than the Roller Hawks but were limited to 10 offensive rebounds on Saturday and 7 on Sunday.


“We focussed more on our defence and correcting that so it also translated into our ability to transition into offence.”


The adjustment led to Wollongong posting a season high 86 points on Saturday which they bettered on Sunday with 91 points.


Brett Stibners was the game high scorer in both Friday and Saturday’s matches, scoring 31 points in each and on Sunday celebrated his birthday with a triple double. He was just one rebound shy of averaging a triple double for the whole weekend as he finished with 27 points, 9.7 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game over the three games.


But it was far from a one man show with Luke Pople, Michael Auprince and Nick Taylor all filling out the stat sheets. Pople scored his first ever triple double in Friday’s game and averaged 17.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 8.3 assists for the weekend.


Meanwhile both Auprince (19.7 points, 12.7 rebounds) and Taylor (14 points, 11.7 assists) averaged double doubles across the three games.


Friday and Sunday’s games saw Cowler use all 10 players at his disposal but on Saturday he opted to play his key quartet for the full 40 minutes to combat the tenacious Queenslanders.


“They were really extended with their ‘D’ and making it hard for us to progress the ball. They were much more aggressive and we needed to make sure of the result so it didn’t come down to a decider on Sunday.”


“It probably looked like we did it easy but that’s because they were the best players to combat that style of play.”


“Brisbane are a young and developing team, but the players showed great teamwork to break it down and execute their plays.”


In other games, the Kilsyth Cobras won all three games against the Adelaide Thunder to move to second on the ladder while the Perth Wheelcats won all three of their matches against the Red Dust Heelers to move into third.


The Roller Hawks travel to Adelaide in Round 5 for two games against the Adelaide Thunder before hosting the Perth Wheelcats in Round 6.





Saturday July 1: ADELAIDE THUNDER vs ROLLER HAWKS - 4:30pm @ Port Adelaide Recreation Centre, SA

Sunday July 2: ADELAIDE THUNDER vs ROLLER HAWKS - 11am @ Port Adelaide Recreation Centre, SA