By BACT Media Unit – 29 April 2024

It was a back-to-back weekend for our Canberra Gunners and Canberra Nationals for this year’s Mitsubishi Motors NBL1 East, presented by National Storage ANZAC Round.

On Saturday, 27 April, the Hornsby Ku Ring Gai Spiders made the trek to Tuggeranong Southern Cross Stadium, full of confidence after their Women snagged a big win against Mustangs on ANZAC Day.  A fast start by both teams set the game up, with Lizzy Tonks from the Nationals and Jessie May Hall from the Spiders leading their teams.  In the end too many scoring options proved the difference for the Nationals, with Callie Bourne (19pts/14 rebs6asts/3stls/2 blks), Bianca Dufelmeier (14pts/3rebs/5asts/2stls) and Elise Finney (12pts6rebs) playing strong supporting roles. Nationals winning 100-78 – with Lizzy Tonks (24pts16rebs/5asts/2stls/1blk) awarded the ANZAC Round Medal.

In the Men’s game, our Canberra Gunners took out the Spiders, 90-54 off the back of a strong inside game from Glenn Morison (20pts/8rebs/3blks) and some sharp-shooting off the bench by “Stone Cold” Austin Clarke (16pts/4rebs).  While the Gunners were never really challenged, several passages by the Spiders certainly pressured the Gunners game plan, and forced the home team to make adjustments on the run.  Austin Clarke was awarded the ANZAC Round Medal for the game.

Sunday saw more of the same, with the Bankstown Bruins making their second trip to the Nation’s Capital in two weeks.  The Bruins Women were full of confidence after a good win on Friday against the Bulls, and looked to star Violet Morrow to lead them to victory.  The Nationals were challenged all game, with a late surge enough to secure the victory – 99-80.  Lizzy Tonks once again was the leading light on the scoreboard for the Nationals with 35pts/8rebs/8asts/5stls but received plenty of support from Claudea Waihape Andrews (14pts/7rebs), Callie Bourne, Bianca Dufelmeier and Maddi Penn (12pts each).  Tonks was awarded the ANZAC Round Medal for the 2nd time on the weekend (making her a 4 time recipient after receiving back-to-back medals in 2023).

The Gunners took on a new look Bruins, with a dominant 1st quarter laying the foundation for the match.  A Bruins fightback in the 2nd and 3rd quarter, off the back of some strong form from Hayden Blankley and Charlie McBeath, had the Gunners scrambling for answers, but a determined performance from Will Mayfield (23pts/8rebs/3asts/9stls) and Glenn Morison (15pts/5rebs/5asts/5blks), with support from Derek Emelifeonwu (13pts/4rebs/4asts), James Toohey (11pts/2rebs/4asts/2stls) and Austin Clarke (11pts/8rebs), dragged the Gunners to a 81-69 victory.  Will Mayfield was awarded the ANZAC Round Medal.

It’s a Double Header Road trip for Round 5 with our Gunners and Nationals taking on Penrith Panthers in Penrith on Saturday 4 May, then backing up to face Hills Hornets at Hills on Sunday 5 May.