Freak performance
upstages Pioneers

The Castec Rural Mount Gambier Pioneers men gave it their all to pull off a remarkable comeback in round 9 of the 2022 NBL1 South season, but one giant figure stood in their way.

A huge individual effort by Harry Froling was the only reason Hobart managed to hold off a charging Pioneers at the end of a tense game between ladder positions one and three.

The big man measuring at 211cm was an imposing figure at both ends of the court finishing with 43 points, 16 rebounds, two assists and two steals.

An expectant home crowd had travelled to the Icehouse hoping to see their top of the table team continue their winning momentum, but they were silenced swiftly by the Chargers.

A Jack Stanwix dunk got Hobart off to a dream start as they quickly ran away on the scoreboard.

Despite a Michael Harris three-pointer and a Nick Marshall slam dunk getting the crowd going, Froling was in even better form, dominating from beyond the arc to ensure the hosts were never within touching distance of the visitors.

The Chargers showed what they were capable of in the first term slamming 32 points across the 10-minute period while the lead grew up to 18 during the final minutes.

Although Harris remained a huge scoring threat, Kane de Wit started to collect some rebounds and Clevon Brown brought out some blocks, Hobart managed to maintain its advantage through a more even second term.

Froling did what he pleased around the glass, while the agile AJ Harris set up the plays to keep the Pioneers at arm’s length.

Despite the hosts pulling the deficit down to single figures midway through the second quarter, the Chargers entered the main break still on top by 15 points.

As Mount Gambier started to play with some more freedom even amid foul trouble, the arm wrestle tightened with Tom Kubank and Ole Angerstein making regular buckets for their respective teams.

However, with the visitors still enjoying a 16-point lead and the Pioneers yet to win a quarter, the home crowd were worried the game was starting to drift away.

But coach Richard Hill and his team had not lost hope and they set about closing the scoreline.

A huge three-point shot from long range by Harris sparked a deafening roar around the Icehouse as the hosts closed to within single figures again.

This ensured the last six minutes were to be full of drama and Mount Gambier had the momentum.

A critical three-point shot from Kubank brought the team even closer while the crowd was able to catch its breath during a time out as only four points separated the rivals with just 90 seconds left.

Everyone wearing a Mount Gambier jersey believed they were about to see the hosts continue their charge home and steal the win.

However, Froling was still a towering figure and had other ideas.

Within 40 seconds the giant sunk two clutch three-point shots to ensure Hobart completed the road trip with a statement making 10-point win.

Despite the disappointment of the defeat, the Pioneers remain on top of the ladder and can hold their heads high after overcoming some sickness earlier in the week to make a late push for the win.

Harris was the leading light with 32 points, while Kubank, Marshall and de Wit were also handy contributors in the points and assists columns.

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