Cougars Win SBL Championship
The Cockburn Cougars have broken their 20 year Championship drought and been named the SBL 2012 Champions with a 33-point victory over the East Perth Eagles at the WA Basketball Centre on Saturday night.
The Cougars controlled the game from start to finish; their big man, Brian Carlwell, and guard Damien Scott both hit a massive 21 points, while a strong game from Jeremiah Wilson with 20 rebounds and 19 points helped Cockburn claim the largest winning margin in an SBL Grand Final.
Cockburn coach Stephen Charlton said his team have been working towards this win all season and thought his whole team did an outstanding job, especially the game MVP, Wilson.
"We focused all year on getting better and better defensively, every time we practice, every time we step on the floor and they're pretty talented too and even when we had patches when we weren't great we kept getting stops and that's been the backbone of us all year and tonight was another example," Charlton said.
"He [Wilson] is pretty good; 19 [rebounds] and 21 [points] and exciting to go with it; I thought it would be Wilson, but Gavin [Field] was good, young Damien [Scott] was good as well and Brian's [Carlwell] job on Jervis was pretty crucial in that big match up. We had a lot of guys step on the floor and all contribute tonight," he added.
The Cougars leapt out to a good start with Carlwell taking the inside shots, while Sheldon McIntyre hit a long bomb to extend the lead for Cockburn. East Perth kept in the game with good offensive play including Jarrod Balcombe with six points and Eagles veteran Joe-Allen Tupea with four points.
The Cougars continued their run in the second term; Carlwell was handy under the basket, knocked back Eagles big, Tom Jervis, and extended the lead to a comfortable 22 points. But Jervis stood up towards the main break rebounding and making shots for his side. Tupea aided their cause with five rebounds and 10 points at the main break, but the Cougars remained in charge by 16 points.
The Eagles came out in the third refreshed with a strong defensive game and had their chance to narrow the margin when Cockburn's Carlwell limped off the court with a cramp in his right leg, but only minutes later he returned to get the team back on track. The Cougars surged again just before three quarter time to take the margin back to 22 points.
The Cougars ran home in the fourth; Scott was on fire clocking up 12 points and Grant Davey made his presence felt with six points. Drew Williamson and Nik Donlagic kept fighting for the Eagles, while Jervis' dedication to his team landed him in foul trouble before the terms end.
The Eagles had two wins over the Cougars during the season, but the third placed Cockburn managed to get over fourth placed East Perth on the big stage for the final game of the SBL 2012 season.
Cougars centre Brian Carlwell said his Championship winning experience with the team was incredible. "It's amazing. I'm glad I could do it, especially with this group of guys and these fans that we've got. It's ridiculous - I love it," Carlwell said.
Article: Frizz Ferguson