Written by Mike Lacey, laceylowdown.com
Round three of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam pitched the two unbeaten teams against each other in the first game of the night.
The first quarter was an even contest, Save Youthtown just ahead of Mai 88 Sixers 27-25 at quarter time break. Youthtown were without Anamata Haku and Lindsay Tait but seemed to cope comfortably as they opened up a 55-42 half time lead – Inga Solofuti connecting with a high arching triple on the buzzer. For Youthtown, Patrich Bolstad (17pts) was having a field day inside and although Nick Barrow (15pts) was working hard for the Sixers they were missing the rebounding strength of the flu ridden Morgan Natanahira.
Anthony Jones had a strong game for Youthtown constantly slicing through the Sixers defence – Ghassemi Yaran was mopping up the rebounds and Dillon Boucher was, well just, Dillon Boucher!
The lead extended to 22 points by three quarter time and after that it was just a procession as even the normally reliable Hayden Allen was below his best, the Sixers putting this one behind them and already thinking about round four.
Final score; Save Youthtown 104 - Bolstad 32, Yaran 19, Jones 17, Solofuti 12, Derone Raukawa 12. Mai 88 Sixers 77 – Barrow 20, Allen 20, Matt Lacey 10
Game two took on a similar pattern to the opening game – parity early one but one team running away with the game in the second half. The Birdmen on the back of early points from Johnny Fesolai and Kane Keil held a 19-14 first quarter lead before the Breakers Academy eased to a 39-35 half time advantage. The Breakers had all eleven of their players on the scoresheet at the half and their all-round scoring power came to the fore in a dominating third period that they won 31-13.
The Birdmen made just 1 of 12 three point attempts, only their big men Fesolai and Casey Frank gaining any sort of parity against their younger opponents. Jordan Ngatai was strong for the Breakers shooting 6 of 6 from the field on his way to a tidy 14pts/5rebs/2 assists outing. It was good to see Duane Bailey (7pts/6rebs/5assists) having a run but his recent lack of court time for the senior Breakers team showed as he shot just one from 13 from the floor.
Final score: Breakers Academy 92 – Ngatai 14, Brad Anderson 12, Matt Freeman 11, Sam Colenutt 10, Yanni Wetzel 10 The Birdmen 63 –Fesolai 17, Frank 12, Kiel 9
Standings after 3 rounds:
Save Youthtown 3-0 Mai 88 Sixers 2-1 Breakers Development 1-2 Birdmen 0-3