Women Get W In Thriller, Men Fall At Home – NBL1 Round 6 Recap

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Our NBL1 Ranger Women got a much needed W on a buzzer-beater and our Ranger Men dropped one in Round 6’s home clash on Saturday night.

It all came down to the final seconds in that Women’s clash at Dandenong Stadium, with the Sandringham Women rallying back late to leave Rangers fans on the edge of their seat. After being up 11 at 3QTR time the Rangers let the Sabres back into the game in a 32-21 final period, with Sandringham star Funda Nakkasoglu tying things up on a huge three with 15 seconds to go. From there the Rangers were unable to get a clean shot up out of a timeout which forced the game into a thrilling overtime period.

That period mirrored the game as a whole with the Rangers taking the early intiative only to the let the Sabres back in late. Emilee Harmon put the Rangers up four with one minute to play but those pesky Sabres kept fighting, with Nakkasoglu again hitting two huge threes to take back the lead late and put the Rangers down by two with 7 seconds to play.

This time the Rangers were able to get that clean look however! After Emilee Harmon cut hard for the basket the Sabres forgot about Gemma Potter, who dashed to the top of the key, caught the Tenaya Sooalo pass and launched a deep three that rattled in, beating the buzzer and beating the Sabres in a thrilling contest.

A thrilling game and a hopefully an exciting sign of things to come for our Women, with the returning Clare Camac and Sherry Glennie giving us plenty of options and help for stars like Potter and Harmon throughout the game. With more consistency and better health luck the Rangers should be able to claw back to an even record and hopefully even higher into finals contention!

Unfortunately for our Ranger Men their contest wasn’t such a nailbiter, unable to make enough baskets over the tough Sabres defenders.

From the jump Sandringham did a fantastic job contesting every shot and jumping passing lanes, not giving the Rangers a chance to develop offensive rhythm early. It didn’t help the Rangers leading scorer Dyson King-Hawea was out as he manages a nagging foot injury in this contest but sluggish starts have become a hallmark of this team, often needing to use defense to fuel transition scoring rather than scoring out of halfcourt offense.

We tried exactly that in the second half and particularly the third quarter, with the Rangers getting some great minutes from Buay Jok and Calvin Enge off the bench. Both hustled hard during their time on the court and forced Sandringham into tough looks and turnovers. The 23-10 third quarter was the Ranger Men’s best period as we cut the lead to just two points and giving us a real chance at protecting homecourt.

Unfortunately the Sabres were able to re-calibrate and find their flow in the fourth, with New Zealander duo Shea Ili and Tohi Smith-Milner battering the Rangers inside and outside the paint. There’s a reason both of these stars are NBL veterans and Tall Black players and to the Rangers credit they did a fantastic job battling them all night. But in the end their precense was too much to handle, giving the Sabres an 86-73 victory on the road.

Your NBL1 Dandenong Rangers are back in action this Sunday afternoon in what’s going to be a HUGE rivalry contest, as we take on the Frankston Blues in a battle for south-east supremacy. Be sure to grab your tickets today and get ready to cheer LOUD for your Dandenong Senior Rangers at home!

NEXT NBL1 RANGERS HOME GAME
Dandenong Rangers vs. Frankston Blues
Sunday June 5th – Dandenong Stadium
Women 2PM | Men 4PM

GAME TICKETS: www.tinyurl.com/roundseven

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