Will McNeill’s massive night wasn’t enough to seal a win for the Mandurah Magic men as they went down in a heartbreaker to the Lakeside Lightning.
The point guard was red-hot all night and shot the lights out (literally, as the lights in the stadium blacked out at one point), but it was Lakeside who were able to withstand a late charge from the Magic to eek out a 103-101 win.
“Straight fire” would be the modern term coined for a performance like McNeill’s, as the import finished the game with a whopping 42 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
He piled up 16 of them quickly in the first eight minutes of the game to keep Mandurah in touch as Lakeside opened on an 8-0 run.
His efforts saw Mandurah erase that run and take the lead in the first, but a buzzer beater to end the period gave Lakeside a 30-29 lead after one.
The high-scoring affair continued in the second, with both sides going blow-for-blow and piling on 26 points apiece.
At one point the Magic escaped to a handy 13-point lead, but it evaporated by half time as Lakeside worked their way back into the game.
Mandurah had its struggles without McNeill on the floor, and Lakeside took advantage in the third and carved out a 12-point lead for themselves by the final break.
Led by Corey Shervill (29 points), the Lightning found themselves with a 16-point lead early in the final period.
But McNeill was able to heat up again and bring his side back to within five points with two minutes on the clock.
Magic captain Taylor Mullenax hit a three-pointer to bring the Magic to within three, but with just eight seconds left the Magic were forced to foul.
Lakeside hit a pair of free throws to go up by five, and despite a half-court buzzer-beating bomb from Mullenax to end the game, Mandurah finished down by two points
Mullenax tallied 20 points in the game while Ruot Pal, who was damaging in the final stages, finished with 19.
The men hit the courts at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre again today, taking on Willetton.