Match Report- Sunday 2 June 2019
The Pioneers men’s side recorded back-to-back victories on their road trip this weekend when they dominated Central Districts from wire to wire to prevail in a landslide by 31 points. The win takes the Pioneers to the top of the ladder for the first time this season as they find their best form heading into the impending post-season.
DayJar Dickson gave the Pioneers first use of the rock and Kentrell Barkley wasted no time getting the Pioneers on the board on the opening shot of the afternoon. The Pioneers dominated the opening term and opened the match with a stunning 20-6 scoring spree as the offensive efforts of Tom Daly (10 points) and the two-way play of Kentrell Barkley (8 points and 6 rebounds) got the visitors off to a scintillating start. Isaac Atuer came off the bench to spark his side into action, hitting a triple on his first attempt of the afternoon but despite his 8 points in the first term he could do little to bridge the gap as the Pioneers looked to run away with the game. Despite their best efforts, the Lions could not get within double digits of the Pioneers and they went to quarter time trailing by 11 points.
The Lions needed to find answers quickly, but they allowed the Pioneers to score the first seven points of the second term and before they knew what had happened, they trailed by 18 points. Barkley was well defended and did not record a single rebound in the second term but just as the Lions felt they had contained the Pioneers, the Daly brothers stepped up and combined for 15 points in the second quarter. Erik Burdon also found his range from beyond the arc with two huge treys and the Pioneers offensive juggernaut kept rolling on. Koen Sapwell came off the bench to provide crucial scoring for the home side, but his efforts were overshadowed by a united team effort from the Pioneers who won the quarter 31-23 to set up a 19-point halftime advantage. Tom Daly led all scorers with 18 points, 3 assists and 2 steals for the Pioneers whilst Kentrell Barkley recorded 10 points and 6 rebounds and Sam Daly added 10 points and 3 steals. The Lions were led by Lual Diing with 13 points and 2 rebounds and Isaac Atuer added 11 points.
A big second half was required from the Lions and when Lual Diing rose up to slam home a massive dunk, it appeared that the momentum in the game was shifting. DayJar Dickson answered immediately with a clutch jump shot to stop the Lions in their tracks before a Tom Daly jump shot stretched the Pioneers lead beyond 20 points. An 8-3 run from the Lions looked to change the momentum of the match once more but the Pioneers responded via Kentrell Barkley from the line and Erik Burdon from beyond the arc and the Pioneers held a 21-point lead. Tom Daly was well held in the third term but as was the case all night, the Pioneers were able to easily find another offensive option with Kentrell Barkley stepping up with nine points in the quarter and Erik Burdon continuing to make it rain from three as he made it four treys for the match. Lachie Hunter was also proving to be a thorn in the side of the Lions as the rising star forward added six points off the bench in the third term to rub more salt into the Lion’s wounds. It was Hunter’s buzzer beater that stretched the Pioneers’ lead out to 29 points heading into the final term.
DayJar Dickson was in the thick of the action to start the fourth quarter with the Pioneers’ Centre scoring the opening basket, effecting a steal and scoring a second basket all within 32 seconds as the Pioneers lead blew out to 33 points. The final term provided the best contest of the afternoon as both sides traded buckets and the Lions came to play albeit a little too late. Koen Sapwell made his old man, 36ers legend Rupert proud by finishing the game strongly with seven fourth quarter points as the Lions avoided further embarrassment. DayJar Dickson was the Pioneers’ main offensive threat in the final term as he added eight points of his own to close out the game. With 2:34 to play, Pioneers’ Coach Richard Hill emptied his bench as the game descended into garbage time. The Pioneers’ bench did not let up and when Sam Daly nailed a mid-range jump shot, the Pioneers held their largest lead of the afternoon, a demoralising 37 points with 1:36 remaining. The Lions closed the game out on an 8-2 run to eventually go down 122-91. Tom Daly finished with 24 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals, Kentrell Barkley compiled 24 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals and DayJar Dickson finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals for the Pioneers. The Lions were led by Isaac Atuer with 21 points, Lual Diing added 18 points and 8 rebounds and Koen Sapwell finished with 18 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.
Both teams will now enjoy a well-deserved rest over the long weekend before they look to renew hostilities on Saturday June 15 at the Ice House in Mount Gambier.