Change in momentum in last quarter brings victory for Saints

A fourth quarter run flipped the game and allowed the St Kilda Saints to pull away.

Back-to-back transition layups from Jamie MacDonald, followed by a coast-to-coast basket from James Ross swung momentum midway through the final period.

The City Rise Bombers had held a slender lead most of the way until that point.

But the inability to slow down the Saints’ transition offence in that one-minute stretch proved a precursor to how the game would finish.

The Saints drew level at 76-76 and, while the Bombers responded initially, St Kilda pulled away to a 90-84 win in men’s club basketball on Saturday.

The Bombers shot a series of free throws to get back in front, before Ross got to the hoop to make it 82-81, giving the Saints a lead they would not relinquish.

Danyon Ashcroft followed up with a three-point play at the hoop, before Ross again got to the hoop in transition, effectively stamping the Bombers — whose offence had dried up — out of the game.

The win leaves the Saints unbeaten after four weeks.

Lawson Morris-Whyte top-scored for the Saints with 22 points, the big man finishing well inside, while also showing his ability to step out and shoot the three-ball early.

Ross and Ashcroft had 21 points, while MacDonald added 18, the classy quartet proving too much in the end.

Earlier Robbie Coman (25 points) and Maika Shortland (17 points) had given the Bombers the edge through the first three quarters.

They led 45-37 midway through the second quarter, before going to halftime ahead 47-43.

That became 59-49 halfway through the third quarter and, while the Saints drew back to within two, three baskets from Kohen Muir-Thomson helped the Bombers take a 71-66 lead to the final break.

From there the Bombers led early in the fourth, before the Saints began getting stops and took over in transition.

The Magic Lions thrashed the St Kilda Bullets — St Kilda’s B team — 77-42 in the day’s middle game.

The Bullets managed just 12 points in the first half, going to the break with a lop-sided halftime score of 37-12.

Only in the third quarter, when they scored 21 points, did they reach double figures.

The Lions were led by Oscar Hickey, who shot well from deep to have 19 points, while Max Pearce and Patrick Freeman had 18 each.

In the late game the Andy Bay Falcons beat Varsity 86-60, Matt Pyper and Matt Brien having 22 and 20 points respectively.

Ryan Pringle had 24 points for Varsity.

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