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Luina Geelong Supercats 79 (N. Herbert 18, D. Gatlin 14, M. Hicks 12, J. Medved 12) def. Nunawading Spectres 73 (T. Wright 18, S. Conn 18, A. Steel 16) @ Nunawading Stadium, Saturday night

Luina Geelong Supercats 82 (D. Gatlin 25, N. Herbert 21, M. Hicks 10) def. Kilsyth Cobras 77 (C. Patton 21, G. Hadley 16, T. Naqqash 13) @ Kilsyth Sports Centre

A 20th consecutive playoff appearance is becoming closer to a reality for the Luina Geelong Supercats after sweeping their Melbourne road-double. On Saturday night, an even team performance helped the Supercats outlast fellow East Conference top-two contenders Nunawading, 79-73. Trailing by a point at three-quarter time, Geelong outscored the Spectres 25-18 in the final period. The Supercats trailed for much of the last quarter before veteran shooter Jamie Medved hit the go-ahead basket from outside with 2:28 remaining in the contest. That was followed in Geelong’s next offensive set by a three from superstar Nathan Herbert that was able to put enough breathing space between it and the home team. “It was a great game to watch, I wish I wasn’t coaching it, to be honest,” Supercats coach Leon O’Neill said of the match. “It was good basketball, free-flowing, I though the referees did a great job of letting two teams that are very good play finals-type basketball. They made some big shots, we made some big shots.” Herbert paced Geelong’s scoring with 18 points and import DeMarcus Gatlin finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Former Spectre Ma’alo Hicks posted a solid double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Medved also finished with 12 points off the bench. With Medved missing due to a calf injury, the Supercats rotations were impacted in Sunday’s match-up with Kilsyth. However, big performances from both Herbert and Gatlin proved vital in an 82-77 result. After shooting at just 28 per cent against Nunawading, Gatlin found his range against the Cobras, stroking the Spalding at 64 per cent on his way to 25 points. He also finished with six assists and five rebounds. Herbert finished with 21 points on 50 per cent shooting, while Ma’alo Hicks 10 points came at 71 per cent and Eric Gaff’s nine points were at 80 per cent as Geelong won the battle inside, scoring 46 points in the paint. The Supercats also punished Kilsyth’s turnovers, scoring 26 points from the 17 occasions the home team coughed up the ball. “It was a battle of the fittest mentally,” O’Neill said of the win, with the Cobras having also played on Saturday night. “It wasn’t a pretty game, there was plenty of mistakes, but it was important one we had to win, and we hung tough and made some big plays down the stretch. Geelong will take a 10-4 record into the Queen’s Birthday break, 1.5 games behind the second-placed Spectres.

Ladder Position: 3rd East Conference 10-4

Next week: Queen’s Birthday Bye


Luina Geelong Lady Supercats 60 (C. Horvat, 21, A. Bunton 12) def. Nunawading Spectres 50 (M. Whittle 19, A. Brown 11) @ Nunawading Stadium, Saturday night

NO Sara Blicavs. No worries for the Luina Geelong Lady Supercats. With the star forward missing for an important clash with Nunawading, Chantel Horvat stepped up in her absence to finish with 21 points, which included going a perfect 7-7 from the charity stripe. Alex Bunton made it a fifth double-double in six games with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Ebony Rolph fell just short of her own double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. However, it was the defensive performance that coach David Herbert would be most impressed with. The Spectres’ 50 points were the least Geelong has kept a team to, with the home team shooting the ball at just 28 per cent and being held to single figure points in the first and third periods. The Lady Supercats also forced Nunawading into 20 turnovers, scoring 24 points as a result. However, Herbert will be disappointed at Geelong’s own ball security. The Lady Supercats made 25 turnovers, from which the Spectres scored 13 of their points. Outside of Mareena Whittle (19 points and eight rebounds) and import Anita Brown (11 points and five rebounds). Former Big V Lady Cat Sherry Glennie was scoreless for Nunawading but finished with seven rebounds. The win, Geelong’s seventh straight, has it 1.5 games behind East Conference pacesetter Kilsyth heading into the Queen’s Birthday break

Ladder Position: 2nd East Conference 2-3

Next week:  Queen’s Birthday Bye