WITH each week that passes in the 2014 Queensland Basketball League season the Bundaberg Bulls and Bears are becoming one of the teams their opposition do not want to play.
On another tough road-trip double-header the Bulls and Bears each won a game and lost one - the Bears went down to Brisbane 81-76 and beat Northside 85-79, the Bulls lost to Northside 79-16 and defeated Brisbane 78-71 - and with three home games in a row there is a good feeling at WIN Stadium.
The Bulls recovered from a poor first half against Northside and with the scores tied at 76-all it took a three point bomb from former NBL player Shaun Gleeson to break the deadlock.
With one win and one loss to add to the season's tally Bulls coach Darryn Roche was happy with the results from the two games and he said the win over Brisbane was his highlight.
"I was happy to beat Brisbane - they were second on the ladder before the weekend and have a good coach and good depth," Roach said.
"I was really happy with the weekend."
Roche had plenty of star players who stood out in the two games but there were a few that shined brighter than the rest.
Bryce Arnott's composure under pressure was excellent and Willie Shackleford's strength was in a class above the rest of the players on court, in both games.
Shackleford pulled in an astonishing 46 rebounds in the two games, 19 against Northside and 27 against Brisbane, while scoring 37 points. Every time Shackleford had the ball he was triple teamed, but managed to set a teammate up in a scoring position.
With Arnott, Shackleford and Breland Hogan in great touch it was the emergence of Julian Stevens that had Roche excited. He said Steven impressed with the improvement in his game from one week to the next.
"Julian Stevens played some very valuable minutes. He was down in confidence and down on form," Roche said.
"He hit some very big shots, including some very big threes which was great."
In the Bears games Caitlin Clancy, Kellie Page, Monique Stevens and D'Lesha Lloyd were the stats leaders. Clancy claimed 21 points in each match, Stevens returned with 15 and 17 points while Lloyd had 13 and 27 points.
Page scored 25 points in 26 minutes on court in the win against Northside, her shooting power was on display with seven valuable three pointers.
Bundaberg will welcome Brisbane to WIN Stadium Saturday night for the round eight game with the Bears' match at 5.30pm and the Bulls at 7.30pm. Roche encouraged basketball fans to come out and support the home team in what will hopefully be a great night of basketball for the home teams.
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