Trades pulled off a stunning coup on Wednesday night as they brought the undefeated Hawks back down to earth with a 10-point victory. The Hawks were the only undefeated team left in the competition after they overcame the Pumas last round, and were heavy favourites to sweep aside Trades, who had just one win to their name. Trades lost their last encounter with the Hawks by 32 points, with Fletcher Klazstorny dropping 38 points, though he was not available this time as he was being rested. No doubt losing the league’s best scorer would have an impact, but they still had the league’s second and third-best scorers in Ryan Blanchett and Robert Greichen, such has been their dominance this season. But despite their less than stellar win-loss record, the Trades have always played with plenty of grit, and that was on show early as they jumped out to an early lead on the back of some high-intensity basketball. They wanted to move and play the ball fast, and the Hawks fell into the trap of trying to match that energy, negating their superior field shooting options. It came with the caveat of giving away fouls, with Trades giving away eight points from the free throw line in the first half, but the tactic was working. The Hawks’ rhythm seemed off and they didn’t seem to have the killer edge they had had in the first five rounds, allowing Trades to take a half-time lead capped off by Joseph Iaria draining a cheeky half-court attempt in the final seconds of the half. Big man Charlie Thurkle was often involved, finishing with 11 points for the first half, but there were contributions throughout the squad, with player-coach Iaria keen to rack up the changes and keep players fresh. Despite the Hawks not being at their best, Greichen monstered his way to 21 points, bulldozing his way to the rim on more than one occasion to prove they were still dangerous, with Blanchett on 13 points. The teams traded baskets to start the second half but Trades continued to play their high-pressure game, and though the Hawks drew level and took a slender lead, they could never break away from Trades. It didn’t help that they were still struggling from the field, and trying to keep working it to the rim was beginning to take its toll as some began to tire, with just two players on the bench for the Hawks. Trades could smell the upset and with five players on the bench, they were happy to keep pressing hard, with Iaria calling on his team to grind them down. And grind they did. It wasn’t always pretty but Trades had all the answers to the Hawks’ challenges and were deserving 88-78 winners. Thurkle and Lachlan Morphew were huge with 20 points apiece, with Jackson Patten and Iaria grabbing 16 and 12 respectively. For the Hawks, Greichen finished with a massive 34 points and Blanchett 22, but it wasn’t enough as they tasted defeat for the first time. Their loss was Pumas’ gain as they moved to the top of the table after overcoming the Olympians in the earlier game. Pumas were winners by 10 points in their last meeting in round one but Olympians were coming off back-to-back wins and looking to pressure the top two. They got the early lead, with Johny Narkle once again leading the way with 11 points inside the opening five minutes in a fast start. Both teams were steadfast in defence resulting in few drives and lay-ups, with both relying on their field shooting, which they both excel at. Tomas Dobson had five three-pointers in the first half on his way to 19 points but Liam Bennett created a gap with three straight threes of his own as the Olympians took a 47-39 lead into the half, with Richard Bartlett a key playmaker with 16 points. But that lead had evaporated in a whirlwind minute-and-a-half after the restart, with Olympians committing turnovers and Pumas catching them on transition to hit the front for the first time since the early exchanges. It seemed to rock the Olympians, and they could never get the game back on their terms, with Liam Hunt dropping 27 points along with Dobson’s 25. Bennett hit eight three-pointers in a fantastic performance but there was plenty of frustration among the group for letting the game slip away in the second half. In Tuesday’s game, Chapman Valley condemned Stateside to six straight losses in a row with an 81-65 victory. Lou Causer returned for the Warriors after missing last round’s clash and led the way with a game-high 25 points with support from the excellent Llewyn Valli, who is averaging more than 17 points per game this season. Tristan Jacques was once again the spearhead for Stateside with 17 points with support from Elliot Bennet and Stuart Egan with 15 points each, but they continue to struggle on the defensive end, conceding an average of 90 points per game — the worst record in the league.