The Men’s Melbourne Tigers sides Finals chances are all but gone now barring a miracle after another tough weekend.
The Men were in Dandenong on Saturday night for their clash against the Rangers that saw the 2 sides battling it out to keep their finals chances alive and the Tigers were going to have to do it without their 2nd leading scorer in Dexter Kernich-Drew.
The Tigers and Rangers battled out a tough 1st period with scores remaining relatively close. The Tigers held a 5 point lead early on in the quarter before a 10 – 0 Dandenong run saw them leading by 5. From there the Tigers battled back to lead by 1 in the dying moments of the quarter before a buzzer beating 3 by Patrick Bines found the bottom of the net for a 4 point lead at the 1st break.
The Tigers led by as many as 7 in the 2nd quarter but the Rangers weren’t going away and stayed with the Tigers and found themselves within striking range of Melbourne at halftime, 42 – 44.
Both sides came out fighting for control in the 2nd half and it wasn’t long before Dandenong got on top of Melbourne and started to make them pay for some costly turnovers and misses on the offensive end. The Rangers were able to get away to a 65 – 61 lead at the last break.
The Rangers pulled away early in the 4th quarter to an 11 point lead and it became too much for the Tigers to bring back and went down to Dandenong, 83 – 75.
Tom Wilson was the Tigers best on the night with 36 points and 8 rebounds. Maxwell Viitala who started in place of Dexter scored 14 points to be the only 2 players in double figures.
The next day the Tigers were back at home for their rematch against NW Tasmania in another clash that was vital to a playoff chance.
Unfortunately for the Tigers it was a game they’d rather forget. After welcoming back Dexter into the side the Tigers were hoping to at least split their weekend games.
NW Tasmania weren’t having it though as they skipped out to a 10 point lead early on in the 1st quarter before going into the break leading by 15. Melbourne continued to struggle with containing their opposition as the Thunder stretched their lead to 21 before Melbourne closed it back to 16 points at halftime.
The 3rd quarter was a closely contested quarter that saw Melbourne show some grit to close the margin back to 12 but it wasn’t enough as they found themselves down 61 – 76 at the last break and NW Tasmania snuffed out any thought Melbourne might have had about launching a comeback as they stretched their lead out to 22 points before coming away with a 77 – 97 victory.
Deng Acouth had another strong game against NW Tasmania as he led the scoring with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Dexter Kernich-Drew had 18 points and Tom Wilson was restricted to just 16 points but snagged 7 rebounds.