A gritty second half performance ensured Sonics extended their winning streak to eight games, overcoming a strong challenge from the Raiders under-18 development squad on Tuesday night. In round eight of the Albany Basketball Association men’s A-grade competition, the talented Raiders outfit came out firing and trailed by only four points at half-time. Sonics struggled in their front court for much of the night but they found some rhythm in the second period to put their opponents to bed. Fast break points and causing plenty of turnovers was the catalyst for Sonics’ eighth straight victory. Benjamin Queay was the main beneficiary in attack while nippy guards David Arthur and Mark Elentorio did enough as Sonics marched to a 14-point win. It was not a pretty performance, but Sonics remain locked at the top of the standings after the 42-28 result. Queay scored eight of his 10 points in the second half and his side finished with a good scoring spread in the form of Kayden Collins (nine), Riley Robertson (eight) and Arthur (seven), despite them going empty from long range. Evan Delbene tried valiantly for Raiders with 11 points and forward Max Grimes added seven, but their side faulted with ball in hand at crucial moments. Griffins Crusaders moved to fifth on the ladder after emerging with a three-point win over North Albany Kangaroos. In a dour and low scoring affair it was the Crusaders that held their nerve at the finish, as the Kangaroos were left to lament foul trouble and ambitions outside shooting in the dying minutes. The Kangaroos had control of the contest in the opening half and kept their noses in front for much of the second period. However over the team foul limit, the Kangaroos sent the Crusaders to the line on a number of occasions in the final five minutes. Corey Ward put the Crusaders in front and Luke Harvey hit one free throw to make it a three-point game. Keanu Weeden answered back with a triple at the other end but Harvey came up clutch with a basket in the final 30 seconds. An unsportsmanlike foul was called after an errant Kangaroos three-point attempt and Blake Panizza sealed the 29-26 triumph by making one at the line. Harvey scored 11 of his 14 points in the opening half and Ward chipped in with 10 as the Crusaders made it three wins on the trot. The Kangaroos had nine players take to the court but struggled for cohesion on the offensive end. Barking Owls claimed a dramatic one-point win in their clash with Denmark, with a late foul and free throw sealing Owls’ seventh victory. There was some confusion with the scoreboard late in the game, showing Denmark two points less than they had scored but Owls clung on 48-47. Delbene (13) and Harry Watters (10) led the way for Owls while Kye Griffiths continued his strong form knocking down 20 points for Denmark. Railways Tigers and Ambassadors played out a draw in the final game of the round, locked together at 29-all.