36ers kick start their season with thrilling win

THE second round of the National Basketball League (NBL) began last night and it could not have got off to a better start. In a nail-biting clash, the Adelaide 36ers have emerged victorious in their clash with the Tasmania JackJumpers at MyState Bank Arena on Thursday night. The contest went right down to the wire, with the final margin standing at just three points, and the 36ers sneaking away with their first victory of the season.

Adelaide started the season losing their first two matches, with many people doubting their chances in this match. Adding to this, the JackJumpers came into this clash off the back of their first win in the organization’s history, so there were many who predicted that the league’s newest side would emerge winners from this clash. However, it was the experience of the 36ers that reigned supreme in this matchup, although Tasmania were sure to give them a run for their money, with the match coming down to the final shot in the sold out clash in the Apple Isle (this also made the JackJumpers the second team in NBL history to sell out their first two matches).

The first quarter delivered some high scoring action, with both sides coming out firing from the field as they looked to gain scoreboard ascendancy. It was clear the two teams had brought their A-game in a clash that meant quite a bit to both sides. The JackJumpers were looking to prove their place in the competition, while the 36ers were looking to bounce back from an underwhelming start to their campaign. The sides traded baskets early on, and even when a pair of three’s to Adelaide young star Mojave King gave his side a slight lead, the JackJumpers were able to claw their way back into the contest with their skipper Clint Steindl getting in on the action. The margin stood at three points in favour of Adelaide at the first break, with both sides surpassing 20 points for the term.

The second period saw Adelaide look to put their game on their terms and even when the scoring dried up, Adelaide were still able to gain the upper hand over their opposition. Their ability to attack the paint and get to the free throw line was particularly notable. This proved a wonderous tactic as this came during a time when both sides had found themselves cold from the field. In the end, the margin was extended to eight points by the time half time had rolled around.

There must have been some sort of half-time speeches from the teams’ respective coaches, because the scoring went through the roof in the third quarter. Both sides were able to regain the scoring form we saw in the first term, keeping fans entertained with some impressive action on the offensive end of the court. The JackJumpers took a leaf out of their opponent’s book, and found themselves charging into the paint and drawing plenty of fouls which saw them boosting their scoring in the term. However, the 36ers were still a step ahead, particularly from behind the three-point line, where they were as damaging as ever. The lead was once again extended by two points, with Adelaide claiming a double-digit lead heading into the final term.

The JackJumpers were not giving up without a fight, storming home in the final term to make things interesting as the match reached an interesting climax. Tasmania were initially brought back into the game by Steindl, before guard Josh Adams hit some serious form from behind the three-point line as the lead was whittled down as time went on, and with just a minute to go, the lead sat at just three points. However, the JackJumpers were unable to level proceedings with two long range bombs from point guard Josh Magette proving wayward as the 36ers claimed their first win of the season.

For the victors, Dusty Hannahs led all comers in the scoring with 15 points, making shots from around the court with ease (even a ridiculously tough shot from deep). He was well assisted by teammate Daniel Johnson, who just trailed behind with 14 points of his own, while King produced 10 impressive points off the bench. For the JackJumpers, Steindl was terrific with 22 points off the pine and was crucial in dragging his side back into the game, while Adams’ final term was just as impressive.

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