The Crazy John’s South Dragons lost a race against time, going down to the New Zealand Breakers 94-88 in front of a sell-out crowd of over 1600 at Kilsyth Stadium.

A scratchy second term set the home team on the back foot, faced with a 20-point deficit at the major break. The Crazy John’s South Dragons found their range in the second half to outscore the opposition, but fell just short of time to take the lead.

Cortez Groves (20 points, four rebounds, two assists) started the home side’s scoring with two quick points, but it was the Breakers who took the early advantage, out to a 9-2 lead within minutes.

But with Groves and Matt Burston (17 points, six boards) working hard from the field and Jacob Holmes dominant in the paint, the home side soon worked its way into the game.

Rick Rickert, the danger man in last night’s one-point loss, was contained to just two points in the opening term and 13 for the game, with Tony Ronaldson (25 points, four rebounds, four assists) and Oscar Forman (19 points, five boards, one assist) instead taking on the brunt of the Breakers’ workload.

With just over two minutes left on the clock Groves hit two points to level the scores and it remained a tied game to the first break, both sides going into the change with 22 points on the board.

After a fierce battle in the opening term, the Crazy John’s South Dragons couldn’t take a trick in the second, outscored 32-12 in a quarter that proved fateful to the final outcome.

Ronaldson and Forman continued to do the major damage, with Phill Jones also getting in on the action with six points of his own for the term. The Crazy John’s South Dragons’ accuracy from the field dropped off and they were made to pay on the scoreboard as the Breakers streaked out to a 20-point lead by midway through the term, and held that lead to the major break.

Three successive baskets to Groves kick-started the third quarter, with the margin back to 14 and the Crazy John’s South Dragons back on target. In a blistering 12 minutes of ball Joe Ingles, scoreless to halftime, added 14 points to the board to stem the rampaging Breakers’ charge.

The fierce battle in the paint continued throughout the third, with Jacob Holmes and Burston taking it right up to Rickert, Forman and Jones.

A 27-22 quarter from the Crazy John’s South Dragons saw the margin back to 15 points at the final change.

Brent Hobba started the scoring in the fourth with four quick points and when Groves nailed one from downtown the margin was reduced to just 10 with under 10 minutes on the clock.

Rookie Shannon Seebohm came on for two points and Nathan Herbert landed a three-point basket to boost the home side’s score but time was on the Breakers’ side, the visitors running out with a six-point win.

Crazy John’s South Dragons 88 (Groves 20, Burston 17, Ingles 16)

New Zealand Breakers 94 (Ronaldson 25, Forman 19, Rickert 13)

Game Report Courtesy: South Dragons

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