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The JackJumpers have started the 2023 year on a positive note, with a clinical four quarter performance over the South East Melbourne Phoenix.

Coming into the game, the JackJumpers were looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss against the Sydney Kings. While the Phoenix were looking to put up a fight despite missing key players, with Ryan Broekhoff and Gary Browne out.

Both teams started the game at a back and forth pace. The JackJumpers looked strong early, making the most of their opportunities attacking the basket to score easy points and rebound the glass.

Whilst Alan Williams and Mitch Creek were influential for the Phoenix, the JackJumpers defence forced the opposition into soft turnovers, resulting in easy points on transition for the Tasmanian side. Isaac White was strong off the bench for the JackJumpers, scoring 18 points in the first half.

As the first half rolled on, the likes of Josh Magette, Milton Doyle and Rashard Kelly found their groove and kept the scoring going, giving the JackJumpers a 14 point lead at half-time.

The JackJumpers benefitted from a strong bench contribution as they had the first half on their terms. The home side punished the Phoenix, forcing them into 15 turnovers compared to the JackJumpers five, outscoring them 19-3.

The Phoenix came out with clear intent and energy early in the third quarter, but it only took a few minutes before Tasmania responded, building back their defensive pressure.

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The likes of Will Magney were busy on the defensive end for the JackJumpers, collecting four rebounds in his 11 minutes and being a large presence under the rim. While Rashard Kelly and Milton Doyle were busy on the opposite end of the court, stretching the floor and generating most of the team’s offence.  

The JackJumpers continued their surge and movement into the last quarter, holding the Phoenix to just 14 points for the period. They played out the game dominating the boards and sealed victory 99-74.

Speaking to the media post game, JackJumpers head coach Scott Roth praised his team’s ball movement and spoke their contributions on the court.

“When the ball moves for us and we’re not overly stagnant, good things usually happen for us,” he said.

“When we get a little anxious and try to win the game by ourselves or try to make winning plays early in the shot clock, usually is not a good formula for us. We made them defend a little bit and got to the back end of the clock and all of our guys came in and contributed.”

Roth spoke positively about his team’s four quarter performance, particularly how they were able to get rolling.

“I was happy for the most part,” he said.

“At the beginning of the third, we were quite sloppy for three or four minutes and wasn’t happy about that. We found our footing again and those consistencies are something that we continue to harp on both ends of the floor and hopefully we can continue to improve on it.”

Roth was happy with his side’s response to the loss against the Sydney Kings on Friday night.

“Every now and then, you got to push and prod them a little bit, which is fine, but the resilience of the group in general has always been very strong. They’re quite passionate group of guys that love each other and do the right things,” he said.

“Today was a big harping about our values and our culture and making sure we’re representing that continuously when we walk out on the floor to play.

“I though we got away from that, particularly because Sydney was very good but we had some moments where I just didn’t like how we looked visually, more than anything else when we were in Sydney. Credit to them and we’ve got a fearless bunch of guys that really enjoy playing with each other.”

The JackJumpers face one game in Round 14, facing Melbourne United at home on Saturday afternoon.

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