IN-FORM: Luke Hauser top-scored for Pelicans in the local basketball competition on Tuesday night.
IN-FORM: Luke Hauser top-scored for Pelicans in the local basketball competition on Tuesday night. Contributed

Bobcats claw out victory by a whisker

THE halfway point of the Gympie Basketball season has come and gone, with the competition frontrunners increasing their lead on the chasing teams.

It made for interesting matchups in round eight at the Pavilion on Tuesday night, as teams tried to remain competitive and establish a winning formula heading into the home stretch of the season.

Action got underway with a third verses fourth showdown between Thundercats and Bobcats, and the result was expectedly close.

With Thundercats missing offensive and defensive spark, Bobcats were hopeful for their first win in several weeks after struggling for form recently.

They shot out to an early lead on the back of some good outside shooting, but could not maintain momentum through the second and third stanzas.

Thundercats gradually reeled in the lead and threatened to snatch the late win, but some clutch free throws and big defensive plays in the paint helped Bobcats cling to the five point victory to rejoin the winners list.

The second game of the night was a highly physical affair between perennial contenders EP Pelicans and the improving but luckless Wolves team.

Body clashes were common, highlighted by the fierce one-on-one duels being played out by guards DJ Hooklyn and Brendan Van Ren, with the pair coming together on multiple occasions in some heated but fair exchanges.

The referees sought to rein in the enthusiasm of the sides, with an above average foul and jump-ball count.

The difference in the end though was the ability of Pelicans to capitalise on their offensive sets where it counted most - on the scoreboard.

Luke Hauser top-scored again with 31 points as Pelicans took the 58-20 win to move to equal with Huskies at the top of the table.

It didn't last for long though, as Huskies kept their undefeated run alive with a dominant victory over Reptors in the last match of the night.

Early exchanges saw Reptors start brightly enough with a few early buckets; however that was almost as good as it got for the youthful side as the table-toppers completely controlled the rest of the game.

After an unusually close match the week before, Huskies hit their straps with a 43-point victory, with a pair of dunks to Troy Ashton and Leeroy Todd the icing on the cake.