run over

The winning run of the Castec Rural Mount Gambier Pioneers has come to an end after an intense game of NBL1 South basketball against Geelong last Friday night.

With the top spot on the ladder up for grabs, the competition’s eyes were on the Icehouse and the game did not disappoint with the result in the balance until the very end.

The Pioneers were given a boost for the big game with the long-awaited return of captain Tom Daly, while import Clevon Brown stepped onto the court for the first time and did not disappoint.

Michael Harris, Jordan Rawls and Nick Marshall were also all in the action for the Pioneers in the first quarter while Demarcus Gatlin, George Blagojevic and Owen Odigie got the Cats away.

Scoring was tight through the first quarter and both sides made the most of every opportunity.

But some big plays by Harris and Marshall gave Mount Gambier a hard-earned four-point lead at the first break.

The visitors found the first basket of the second term thanks to Blagojevic and this breakthrough started a big run from the Supercats.

Geelong only needed a minute to hit the lead after a Jack White turn around jump shot as they went on to record a game-high tally of 26 points in the second term.

Mount Gambier tried to keep up and between Erik Burdon and Brown made an alley-oop attempt, but failed as the Supercats stormed towards the main break with a seven-point lead.

Rawls, Harris, Marshall and debutante in Brown all made baskets to try and get the lead back through the third term.

But it was a strong outfit in the Geelong side through Gatlin, White and Liam McInerney that kept their advantage to two points at the last break.

Play was neck and neck with the game on the line in the last and it was great to see both sides dig deep.

Harris, Kane de Wit, Rawls and Burdon made shots to wrestle back the lead for the Pioneers deep in the last.

But the Supercats flexed their claws and made up the gap again through Gatlin, Turner and Hadley to set up a thrilling final stanza.

A White three-point jump shot gave the visitors a narrow one-point lead with two minutes to go.

Both sides gave it everything in search of glory, but neither could score in the final two minutes and Geelong held on 83-82 in a great spectacle of men’s basketball.

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