Bearcat Women Kick-Start Premiership Defence
(Courtesy of Ben Kelly, Messenger Newspapers)
West Adelaide recruit Nikki Martin made an impressive debut for the Bearcats on Saturday night, top scoring with 26 points to defeat Sturt. Martin, an AIS forward, also racked up 14 rebounds to kick start the Bearcats' premiership defence in style.
Down by 13 points in the third, the Bearcats were having an off night, until Martin, Sam Woosnam and Trudy Holland combined to get West on track. Sturt hit crucial shots to regain the lead early in the fourth, but the Bearcats fought to take back and hold the lead.
Lightning guard Angela Marino had 22 points, but the Bearcats did well to contain a strong Sturt outfit.
In the men's game West went down 77-92 without injured point guards Brendan Mann and Adam Pearce and also down big man Blake Truslove.
Once forward Chris Molitor subbed off early in the second because of knee trouble, Shane Crothers and Kris Davis were the only talls for West on the floor. From there Sturt's Marcus Ng (17 points) was impressive until also bowing out to injury later in the match.
A positive for West was Kurtis Phillips' 16 point debut game alongside his brother, veteran shooting guard Danny Phillips with 15 points from five threes.
Junior point guard Nathan Spehr is another player to watch in the future, the Under 18 also played minutes in his debut ABL game.
Point guard Anthony Spadavecchia had 13 points, but once West were down by 15 the momentum was all Sturt's way. Sabres Todd Gower and Mark Bauer had 17 points each, with Sturt making the most of their chances and working well on both defense and offense.
West made good plays during patches, but missed opportunities throughout the game.
Despite a good impact from rookies The Bearcats will need their senior players to be fit next week against Woodville.
West Adelaide Bearcats v Woodville Warriors Saturday April 5, 8.15pm at the Distinctive Homes Dome.