Monthly Archives: December 2015

Milestones galore against the Kings

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Plenty to smile about for Corey Webster this week

As the SKYCITY Breakers head into the New Years Eve clash with the Cairns Taipans it is worth reflecting on the collective and individual efforts during the 400th NBL game played by the club against Sydney last Sunday.

The season high 90% (19/21) effort at the free throw line is worth celebrating given the woes from the charity stripe in earlier games. It helped that Corey Webster was at the line a lot – 10 visits and nothing but net.

Talking of the ‘Microwave’ his 38 points was his 3rd 30+ haul of the season and 12th 20+ total in his last 20 games stretching back to the tail end of last season.

The 93-83 victory was Webster’s 100th in a Breakers singlet – 100 from 141games at 71% success rate. He becomes the 7th Breaker to register 100 wins.

Alex Pledger had a career high 6 blocks and stretched his Breakers all time shot blocking number to 176. The ‘Chief’ also made 6/6 from the foul line.

With 7 rebounds Tom Abercrombie moved to 2nd on the Breakers all time leading rebound list. Likely he will have to play until he is 40 to have any hope of overhauling Mika who has 1901 and still counting.

Breakers Top 5 Rebounders all time:

1,901 Vukona

947 Abercrombie

941 Boucher

935 Pepper

875 Pledger

Back to the 400 games and if broken down into the four one hundred game blocks it illustrates the growth, continuity and sustained excellence the club has enjoyed.

First 100 games, Won 31 Lost 69 – 3 coaches, no play-off seasons.

Games 101 – 200 Won 48 Lost 52, 1 coach, 2 play-off seasons.

Games 201 – 300 Won 71 Lost 29, 1 coach, 2 play-off seasons, 2 championships.

Games 301 – 400 Won 66 Lost 34, 2 coaches, 2 play-off seasons, 2 championships.

Finally, thinking of popping down to your local TAB to back the Breakers on Thursday night, think again. Their all time December 31st record is not too flash – Played 7 Won 1 Lost 6.

Have a good New Year.

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Steven Adams carrying a heavy workload

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No rest for Adams during Xmas period

Steven Adams has played almost as many games as all our overseas Tall Blacks added together in the past seven days such is the frenetic nature of the NBA schedule.

Adams played four games in seven days beginning with an exciting 100-99 victory at the LA Clippers. The lead changed hands five times in the final 60 seconds in this one, Adams snaring 11 rebounds and scoring 6 points in one of his more prominent displays of late.

OKC then demolished the Lakers 120-85, lost on Christmas Day 105-96 to the Chicago Bulls, before overcoming the Denver Nuggets 122-112 on Sunday.

There was only three games in the NBL this week but two of them, both played on Sunday, featured Tall Blacks.

Dion Prewster had possibly his most productive game of the season for the Sydney Kings but they still went down, for the fourth time this season, to the SKYCITY Breakers 93-83. Prewster came off the bench to score six points snare 6 rebounds and add three assists and 2 blocks. Can’t leave this game without mentioning that Corey Webster once again stole the show scoring 38 points in this the Breakers 400th NBL game.

Perth Wildcats and Melbourne United faced off in front of a 10,000 sell out crowd at Hisense Arena. The game was played under clear blue skies as the retractable roof was opened for a basketball game for the first time. Jarrod Kenny was only afforded 7 minutes in the sunshine and went scoreless as Melbourne broke a three game losing streak to win an exciting contest 92-87.

In the Spanish League Isaac Fotu’s return to his former club La Bruixa d’Or Manresa last Tuesday was something of a disaster. Not only was Zaragoza defeated 86-79 but Fotu was held to just a single shot at basket departing the game with zero points and two rebounds.

On Sunday Zaragoza hosted bottom of the table Gipuzkoa and quickly established early dominance. Zaragoza led by 6 points at quarter time and 45-28 at half-time before easing to a comfortable 80-59 victory.

Fotu didn’t put up too many shots in that game either converting two from five from the field plus a couple of free throws to finish with 7 points, 3 rebounds an assist and a steal.

The win, just Zaragoza’s fourth in Liga Endesa this season, improves its record to 4-9.

Plymouth Raiders picked up its fifth win in fifteen games in the British Basketball League on Sunday.

Daryl Corletto’s men defeated Surrey Scorchers 102-96 with Duane Bailey contributing 8 points at an efficient 4/5 shooting clip. Bailey also chimed in with 3 rebounds an assist, a block and a steal.

In American College basketball Tai Webster scored 7 points (3/5FG) and added a couple of rebounds and a steal as Nebraska Huskers lost 69-58 at home against Samford – 10 from 20 foul line attempts didn’t help the Huskers cause.

Review of recent Tall Fern’s action

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Career high 33 points for Harmon in Italy

It is hard to go past the performance of Josie Stockill when assessing the standout performance of our overseas Tall Ferns during the pre Xmas week although Jillian Harmon and Penina Davidson both produced exceptional career high efforts.

Stockill stole the show as she led Colgate to a 72-59 road victory over Lafayette in the Patriot League opener establishing numerous personal and college records in the process.

A week out from her 22nd birthday Stockill finished with 27 points and 13 blocks, both career-bests. Her first two blocks were particularly special as it gave the senior the programme’s all-time leading blocks title. She now has 182 career blocks to her name.

Her 13 blocks in the game were also significant as it broke Colgate’s record for blocks in a single game, she was just three shy of matching the NCAA’s all-time record for blocks in a game. Her game total was the NCAA Division I high for the season by three blocks.

The Napier Girls High School alumna is enjoying a stand out season for the Raiders averaging a team high 13.0 points and 4.6 blocks per game.

In Italy Harmon fashioned a performance to rival Stockill’s as Le Mura Lucca returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 72-51 victory at home against San Giovanni on Tuesday.  A week after suffering its first loss of the season Harmon powered Lucca to victory scoring a career high 33 points (14/20FG) aligned with 5 rebounds and a massive 8 steals.

Harmon is averaging 17.8 points per game for Lucca that improves to 11-1 and equal top in SerieA.

If Harmon and Stockill produced the individual highlights Penina Davidson was involved in the game of the week.

Playing a non-conference game against Pac-12 foe, No. 21-ranked Cal Berkley Golden Bears came through when it mattered most, outlasting the No. 19-ranked UCLA Bruins to earn a heart-stopping 108-104 win last Monday. The Bears scored 5 points in the final 30 seconds of the second overtime period to secure the win.

Davidson scored a career high-tying 15 points off the bench. The Tall Ferns centre tied the game inside the last 60 seconds of the first overtime period but fouled out on the next play.

“I’ve been here for eight years as an assistant and a head coach and that’s the most exciting game I’ve ever been part of, said Cal’s Lindsay Gottlieb who participated in her first double overtime game as the Bears’ head coach.

The Saint Mary’s team led by as many as 22 and hit 12 three-pointers to give the Gaels a 78-68 win over San Francisco in the West Coast Conference opener for both squads last Monday. Stella Beck put together an impressive stat line of 11p/9r/2a/4 steals.

Two Days later Beck scored 5 points and contributed 6 assists as the Gaels was defeated by Santa Clara 73-67.

The Gaels have a short break before taking on Kalani Purcell’s BYU Provo on New Years Eve.

Talking of BYU it fell to San Diego 78-65, in its first game of West Coast Conference play, on Wednesday despite a fifth double double of the season from Kalani Purcell. The small forward had 14 points and 11 rebounds, also adding 4 assists and 3 blocks.

After an 8-3 start to the season BYU will be disappointed to have dropped its opening conference game but will hope to bounce back when it hosts St Mary’s.

Jacinta Beckley played just 8 minutes as Seattle was defeated 92-70 at UC Riverside last Monday. Beckley scored a couple of points in addition to an assist and a rebound,

All Australian WNBL teams are enjoying a short break over the Xmas period before ‘hostilities’ resume on New Years Eve when third on the ladder Townsville Fire visit top of the table Perth Lynx.

Stockill dishes out pre Xmas gifts

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Records galore from Josie Stockill

Worthy of a special story is the performance of Tall Ferns centre Josie Stockill on Tuesday.

Stockill stole the show as she led Colgate Raiders to a 72-59 road victory over Lafayette in the Patriot League opener establishing numerous records in the process.

A week out from her 22nd birthday Stockill finished with 27 points and 13 blocks, both career-bests. Her first two blocks were particularly special as it gave the senior the programme’s all-time leading blocks title. She now has 182 career blocks to her name.

Her 13 total blocks in the game were also significant as it broke Colgate’s record for blocks in game, she was just three shy of matching the NCAA’s all-time record for blocks in a game.

Her game total was the NCAA Division I high for the season by three blocks.

The Napier Girls High School alumna is enjoying a stand out season for the Raiders averaging a team high 13.0 points and 4.6 blocks per game.

It would have been nice for Stockill to have given such a commanding  performance at Cotterell Court,  Colgate’s home venue, but perhaps with the season only one third complete more stats stuffing shows are just around the corner.

Boagni at her best for Matadors

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Career high 28pts for Tessa Boagni

A double dose of Tessa Boagni that included career high rebounding and points scoring plus a season high 15 points from Micaela Cocks headline this week’s Tall Ferns action.

Overall it was a quieter week in American college basketball as some teams pause before a busy Conference schedule begins.

One player that didn’t get a break this week was Tessa Boagni. Her Cal State Northridge Matadors team (2-8) defeated Portland 68-62 on Friday for just its second win of the season but went down 83-77 against Portland State two days later.

In the first game the sophomore centre recorded her second career double double finishing with 16 points and a career-high 12 rebounds as the Matadors snapped a four-game losing streak.

48 hours later Boagni did even better as she led all scorers with a career high 28 points with 11/20 from the field and a perfect 6/6 from the foul line.

In Australia the South East Queensland Stars, the WNBL’s newest franchise, recorded an impressive 95-75 victory over Townsville Fire in Logan on Friday night.

Having endured a tough first-up loss in the inaugural Queensland derby, SEQ ensured that there would be no repeat as they squared the ledger at home ahead of the third and deciding encounter in North Queensland in the New Year.

Micaela Cocks was one of just three Fire players in double figures on the night scoring 10 points (4/10FG) and also capturing 2 steals.

The Fire had the opportunity to bounce back 48 hours later and did so defeating Dandenong Rangers 70-61 in Townsville. Cocks joint top scored for the Fire with 15 points (5/9FG) and added a brace of rebounds and assists.

In other WNBL action Perth Lynx remained top of the table with a comfortable 88-68 home win against the winless Canberra Capitals on Friday night. Toni Edmondson slotted in 4 points for the Lynx and also secured a pair of rebounds.

All WNBL teams now enjoy a break before Perth entertains Townsville on New Years Eve.

Despite 17 points from Jillian Harmon Le Mura Lucca was defeated for the first time this season going down 73-67 at home to Ragusa on Saturday. Both teams now boast a 10-1 record and jointly lead the Italian SerieA.

Also in Europe Erin Rooney turned in a fine display scoring 18 points for the second week running as COB Calais won two in a row for the first time this season. The Seagirls – not so sure about that nickname – beat Landes 75-69. Calais has improved to 3-7 after losing the first 6 games in the French league.

 

 

 

Back in the States Stella Beck put together an efficient scoring performance to help St Mary’s Gaels defeat Cal Poly 87-73 after the scores were tied 75 each after regulation time. Beck knocked down 16 points with 5/7 from the field and a perfect 6/6 from the foul line. The former Hutt Valley guard also added 5 rebounds, 2 assists a block and a steal.

 

Colgate University was comfortably beaten 62-38 by St Bonaventure at home on Saturday. Josie Stockill scored 6 points on a shooting off night (1/6FG) but did add 4 rebounds and two blocks. Stockill’s next block ties her with Colgate’s all time individual career record of 170. Another point of interest is that Colgate failed to score in the opening quarter trailing 10-0 after 10 minutes. Probably not a first but still unusual at college level.

 

Seattle University (5-6) fell behind early to Boise State (6-4) and could not overcome the deficit as they fell, 84-66, to the Broncos in the grand reopening of Seattle’s Connolly Complex North Court. Boise’s Junior Tall Fern Ella Fotu (5pts) earned bragging rights over Seattle’s Jacinta Beckley (2pts) in this encounter.

Breakers v Illawarra Hawks Media Conference transcript

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Kirk Penney scores 27pts and 18 tickets

From Murray McKinnon

The SKYCITY Breakers home court run of victories this season came to a crashing end at eight.The Illawarra Hawks were in the groove from the off with Kirk Penney and Kevin Lisch dropping three point bombs and Andrew Ogilvy tidying up in the paint to have the visitors out to a 26-9 lead inside the first six minutes of the game.

Corey Webster got a look in towards the end of the first quarter with a couple from beyond the arc but the Hawks went to the break ahead 34-21.
Tai Wesley gave the Breakers a lift at the start of the second period with a couple of three pointers and joined by Reubin Te Rangi, Everard Bartlett, Webster and Tom Abercrombie held the Hawks to their margin going to the half time with the score at 59-47.
Lisch and Penney hit it hard over the next ten minutes drawing Illawarra out to 88-69 going into the final quarter. Good runs by Cody Ellis and Jarrad Weeks gave the Hawks the winning formula rounding out with a 107-83 thrashing.
Penney finished with 27, Lisch 24 and Ogilvy 18. For the Breakers Webster was on 25, Wesley 20 and Abercrombie 12.

Kirk Penney was pleased to be back home playing against his old team and down played his involvement and success with 27 points.

“The big part for us is defence, you can look at the scoring and stuff but look where we’ve come early on in the year we were the mockery of the League, they can’t defend, they can’t rebound. I just think we’ve made great strides and that is what has opened it up offensively for us all, and then we get easy looks,” he said.

Despite being the opposition Penney still had plenty of support in the crowd.

“When we’ve got 20 tickets allocated to the team and I’ve got 18 of them, it probably means a lot to me to come and play and play well. I knew my family was there from my Mum to my cousins my nieces and nephews and whenever they’re there you want to go out and put on a good show for them, they want to enjoy it and playing for Bevo it’s not hard, except we kind of failed we got 75 shots and he wants us to get 80 shots but how fun is that as a player,” said Penney who received a round of applause from the crowd as he was subbed off with minutes remaining.

Lisch is also a key component on the court says Penney.

“He’s very talented, and he does an awesome job, he’s on the other wing with you so he takes so much pressure off you and if he’s in any late shot clock situations he’ll give a tremendous shot. If you’re guarding him your ankles better be loose.”

Age is no barrier to Penney who turned 35 on 23 November according to Beveridge.

“He’s a professional, age it’s a number, we always call him the old guy and stuff like that but he does a tremendous job. Because of the intensity that we play at, for him to do that just shows what great shape he actually is in.

Rob Beveridge coach of the Hawks said the trip to New Zealand was about adversity.

“We played to win (against Sydney) on Friday night, left at 7am from Wollongong, no food on the plane, no sleep, hydration was crap and we got in quite late so we could have used that as an excuse coming here to New Zealand where they’re 8-0 on their home court. So how are we going to handle the adversity that if we happen to get to the playoffs that’s what we have to do as backup two days later so we tried to do this as a test run, to see how we could handle it and I think (we passed) with flying colours, that was just amazing, a really amazing performance by our guys tonight,” he said.
“Penney and Lisch, made massive, massive plays and that’s why they’re the big MVP’s of the League. We’re starting to gel as a team, starting to understand who gets the shots when and obviously when you’ve got Kirk and Lisch and a big horse in the middle with Ogilvy we’re pretty tough to stop.”
“I believe it was our best performance of the season we spoke about that in the changing room that was our best, the way we weathered the storm, we didn’t fall in a hole we always knew they are going to come at us and they started nailing some threes and they brought it back a bit but then we executed so we’ve been in positions where if you want to call we’ve choked in the past against Perth, up by a good margin and losing the game. And we’ve learnt how to close that out now and tonight was definitely the best performance by us.”

When playing against a team with a large home crowd (6077) Beveridge said it is always good to silence them from the start.

“When you’ve got big crowds doesn’t matter where you are you’ve got to silence the crowds because when they get into it that just generates so much and they become bullet proof and these guys know that as well. We get our players to play as loose as we possibly can within the parameters we don’t want to be out of control and Kamikaze but they know there’s an expectation that if they’re open they have to shoot that ball and we made it as simple as that and it becomes a grind when you don’t make it which we’ve had those games, but tonight was having fun and that’s one of the big things with this group. It’s a group of tight players that back each other and have a go at each other for not shooting it. We’re playing some exciting fun basketball and they enjoy it,” he said.

Vickerman said the key to the Hawks was the great duo of Penney and Lisch.
“They showed why they’re two of the premier players in the league right now and two of the premier players in Europe and tonight we didn’t do a good enough job on them. We tried to make them make passes with mixed results on that one. They so good you’ve got to make sure that you can limit their catches and I thought they were good enough to make fairly easy catches and then make their decisions. There were so many tipped, loose balls and everything that they came up with tonight and that was the difference in the desperation that both teams showed tonight and they made their own luck tonight.
“We had a different strategy going into this game and we weren’t able to get that done for the first time this year. We’ve been able to make able to make adjustments on the fly and change our defence a little bit and tonight we didn’t have the answers and we threw some zone out there to just have a bit of a look at it. We pride ourselves on being the best man to man defensive team in the League and we’ll go back and review it and we’ll find a better way to get it done next time.”

Breakers Coach Dean Vickerman added that the stats from the game were a little bit flattering.

“We knew this team was going to challenge our defence, we’ve kind of prided our self on holding people to some of the lowest totals in the League and tonight I just didn’t think we started with the right intent, obviously the three ball is massive to them but to give up five in the first quarter and I didn’t think they were heavily contested I thought they were pretty solid looks for them and for us to come out that way and get on the back foot from the start and we were battling it from there,” he said.

It was a reality check for the Breakers and Vickerman said that there were some lessons to be learnt from the game.
“Their ability to use screens, to set screens, really some simple fundamental things that they do well to get open, right now we can take a bit of a lesson from some of the things they do with the way they use each other to get open shots.”
“We felt like we had a good home run playing well here. We haven’t played unbelievable basketball over the last few games, we’ve played in patches and you can’t do that against a good team like this one. They established a lead and were able to maintain it. Our energy was in and out we made some small little runs but then we made errors, simple errors to assess what defence they were in and try and pick the appropriate offense against it was something that I didn’t think we led well enough on the floor in making those decisions and obviously we coughed the ball up just too much tonight.”

 

Tai Wesley reiterated his coach’s comments of what went wrong for the Breakers and where the Hawks won.

“Their ability to shoot and make threes. Tonight we weren’t good defensively especially right at the start, those first three baskets were threes and were good looks and I think that got them going. Once you get the wheels rolling they’re hard to slow down and hard to stop and it seems like out there tonight it seemed like we couldn’t stop them, we couldn’t slow them down. We make a good offensive play but then they’d come back and answer it and make two more, so it was difficult,” said Wesley.

Beveridge said the competition in the League was still wide open.
“There’s more than the top four right now. Townsville can beat Perth as they’ve done three times, Adelaide are sitting right there too, so there’s definitely more than four teams in this comp.”
Illawarra were playing with one of their key players down, Rhys Martin who travelled across the Tasman was left low with a virus and couldn’t take the court and was left resting at the hotel.

Nelson Street claim Mexicali Men’s title

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Matt Freeman (21pts) makes a jump shot over Josh Bloxham

Despite 39 points from Casey Frank 68 NelsonStreet proved too strong for The Birdmen winning the 2015 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam Final 111-101.

NelsonStreet welcomed back Dillon Boucher after an injury lay-off but it was The Birdmen that flew out the gate the quickest. Threes from Josh Bloxham and Manny Matambanadzo helped The Birdmen establish a 24-19 quarter time lead.

NelsonStreet gathered the lead with a 7-0 run to open the stanza but five straight points from Casey Frank and three free throws, after being fouled attempting a triple, from Kevin Braswell edged The Birdmen back into a 46-41 lead.

The tail end of the quarter belonged to NelsonStreet as Tait landed a triple and Matt Freeman scored the last 5 points of the half to give NelsonStreet a 55-48 lead at the interval.

An early second half three by Frank was cancelled out by Tait and with BJ Anthony, Johnny Fesolai and Boucher controlling the defensive boards NelsonStreet was able to gather some easy points in transition. In addition Tait, Matt Lacey and Freeman all landed from deep to help extend the advantage at three-quarter time to 88-72.

Frank was terrific for The Birdmen but at times appeared to fighting a loan hand as NelsonStreet moved out to a 96-79 advantage. Freeman, fittingly in his last game in NZ before departing for the University of Oklahoma, brought up the 100 points with just fewer than 5 minutes to play. Chris Duthie and Carl Buck reduced the lead but were unable to seriously threaten the NelsonStreet advantage.

Final score:

68 Nelson Street 111 – Tait 31, Anthony 25, Freeman 21, Haku 9.

The Birdmen 101 – Frank 39, Braswell 21, Duthie 10, Bloxham 8.

Referees; Dallas Pickering, Ryan Jones, Oceen Reed.

Hunter leads Storm to Mexicali title

 

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31 points for Jordan Hunter

The Grand Final of the inaugural Women’s Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam proved to be a classic with The Storm coming from behind to clinch an exciting 86-84 victory against Team Sky.

Sky had made all the early running as the penetrative drives of Amanda Buck, Ayla Hoeta and Zara Jillings earned a steady stream of points and frequent visits to the foul line.

Sky led 69-55 at three-quarter time and was still in the ascendancy 79-69 with less than 5 minutes to play. It was then that the experienced pair of Jordan Hunter and Kate Lacey took control. Hunter converted an and one play and Lacey knocked down a corner three either side of a Milly Nathan put back and suddenly the Sky lead was just two points.

Buck got to the free throw line for Sky but Lacey then nailed another triple plus a brace of free throws and Storm were ahead for the first time in the game with 2:06 to play.

The Storm’s influential guard Hannah Turton fouled out, as did Tabitha Jenkins shortly after making two important free throws. Hoeta converted the two freebies following the Jenkins foul. – 84-83 in favour of Storm inside the final two minutes.

Jillings snared a steal but could only convert one of two free throws after being fouled on the lay-up – 84 apiece with 36 seconds remaining.

It was fitting that the player of the tournament, Tall Ferns point guard Jordan Hunter, sealed the game for Storm. She converted a free throw on each of Storms final two possessions with Sky unable to convert on its final play.

Earlier Jillings, Buck, Breanna Jones and Coutenay Leauanea had all connected with threes as Sky built a handy 49-40 half time advantage. With Katelin Noyer and Annabelle Jenkins holding their own on the boards against Nathan and Coola Baudry Sky appeared to have one hand on the trophy with a 14 points three quarter time lead.

What followed was a Hunter led Storm!

Final score;

Storm 86 – Hunter 31, Turton 12, Lacey 10, T Jenkins 10, Baudry 9, Nathan 9.

Team Sky 84 – Jillings 24, Buck 13, Noyer 12, Jones 12, A Jenkins 9, Hoeta 9.

Referees – Jilly Harris, Tayla Ammunsen, Sherhon Mart

Overtime action a feature of games involving overseas Tall Blacks this week

 

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A double dose of overtime for Duane Bailey last week

Tall Blacks Duane Bailey, Kirk Penney and Rob Loe all featured in exciting overtime games this week Bailey and his Plymouth Raiders heading into additional time twice on the same weekend. Continue reading

Plenty to like about Kiwis overseas this week.

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Erin Rooney (18pts) paces COB Calais to second win of the season

Jillian Harmon’s Le Mura Lucca met last season’s champions Famila Wuber Schio in the game of the round in the Italian League. Both teams were unbeaten but Lucca underlined their title credentials with an impressive 63-47 away victory. Jillian Harmon was one of three Lucca players in double figures the Tall Ferns forward scoring 13 points to go with triples in assists, rebounds and steals.  A 21-5 third term was instrumental in Lucca’s ninth straight win. Continue reading