Rollerhawks start season in good form

WOLLONGONG Rollerhawks enjoyed a solid start to their National Wheelchair Basketball League season, with two wins and a narrow loss last weekend.

On their home court the Rollerhawks got their 2014 campaign off to the perfect start via a 57-41 victory over the QLD RSL Spinning Bullets on Friday night.

The injection of new blood is refreshing for Rollerhawks fans as newcomers Michael Auprince (13 points, 12 rebounds) and Adam Deans (six points, 10 rebounds) both looked comfortable at their new homes. Last season's runners-up have some real depth in combinations off the bench and look like the early favourites in 2014.

On Saturday night the Perth Wheelcats beat the Rollerhawks 70-63 in an NWBL classic.

There was plenty of feeling between the two league heavyweights and the game delivered on all expectations.

Perth led from the first bucket but were far from having everything their own way.

The Wheelcats took a seven-point lead into the half but had it reduced to just three points going into the last quarter.

Norris and Eveson led the way for Perth but Kim Robins looked very comfortable as a third threat with 13 points.

Deans was impressive against his old club.

He had 17 points but was more impressive with his efficiency and physicality on court.

Luke Pople has arrived as one of Australia's best guards and looked most dangerous when the game was up for grabs. He also finished with 17 points, while Rollerhawks veteran Brett Stibners scored 16 points.

With less than a minute on the clock the margin was just three points and while the Wheelcats did enough to hold on, indications are there for what looks like some classic encounters later in the season.

On Sunday, the Rollerhawks defeated the Wheelkings 91-15 in front of a bumper home crowd to finish round one.

It was tough to pick best players as coach Ettridge made the most of a deep bench, and was repaid for his faith with nine Rollerhawks hitting the scoresheet.

Pople was impressive, Stibners wound back the clock in his best game of the round and Tim Markcrow came off a few textbook pick and rolls to tally a career-high 10 points.

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