Nelson sends message with strong showing for Flames

AS he looks to secure a contract for the upcoming National Basketball League (NBL) season, Marshall Nelson did his chances no harm with a big showing in the NBL1 West on the weekend. Suiting up for the Rockingham Flames in their matchup against the Willetton Tigers at Mike Barnett Sports Complex on Saturday night, Nelson scored nearly half of the home side’s points.

He was just about unstoppable on the offensive end of the court, as the Tigers defence had zero answers for his ability to find the bottom of the net. It was evident that Nelson was a class above in comparison to the opposition, doing as he pleased in pretty accurate fashion. He was far and away the best performer on the court, and the most influential factor in the game. With a season-high points total, it will be hard for NBL sides to ignore the level of output being delivered by Nelson of late.

Rockingham Flames (81) def. Willetton Tigers (65)

Marshall Nelson – 39 points, five rebounds, three assists

It was a quiet start from both sides on the offensive side of the court, with a combined 19 points scored in the opening term. Reflective of the match, it was also Nelson’s lowest scoring period, managing just one lay-up for the quarter, and missing a few chances from behind the arc. Regardless, his side led by seven points at the first change in a slow start to the contest.

Like the Flames, Nelson got going in the second term, finding his offensive rhythm from around the court and looking to score the ball inside the arc and elude the Willetton defence. He nailed a jump shot early in the term to extend Rockingham’s lead further, before backing it up with a trip to the free throw line, where he went one from two. From this point, Nelson managed to find his groove. Whether it was driving to the hoop for a lay-up, or nailing a couple of nifty sky-hooks, he was right amongst the action to close out the half with the Flames up nine.

The shooting guard continued his attack in the third term, and while he was still able to avoid contact and get to the rim and finish on a number of occasions, Nelson also added long-range shooting to his bow to start the second half. He nailed a couple of threes in the opening few minutes of the term, and suddenly defending the Cairns Taipan became a bit tougher for the Tigers defence. He then became the focal point on offence for the Flames, and his box score reflected that. A highlight came in the form of a tough and-one late in the third, where he pushed through the contact and converted the free throw that followed.

With a strong lead in hand, Nelson and the Flames tried put the foot down in the final term, but the Tigers delivered their best term of the match. Despite Rockingham not being as damaging as a whole, Nelson was still able to hit the scoreboard. He kicked off the quarter with another hook shot, a move that is becoming tough for the opposition to defend almost every time. His three-point shooting continued to prove a factor on the offensive end as he found space off the dribble to rise up for another bucket. A couple of trips to the free throw line closed out the game as Nelson helped the Flames cruise to a 16-point triumph and increase his own stocks in the process.

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