2018 Women’s SBL season preview
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2018 Women’s SBL season preview

THE 2018 Women’s SBL season is gearing up to be one with plenty of teams looking to rapidly improve to try and contend for the championship as the Perry Lakes Hawks attempt to go back to back and the Mandurah Magic retool for another crack at that elusive title.

Perry Lakes and Mandurah proved to be the two standout teams in the Women’s SBL in 2017 going on to meet in the Grand Final with the Hawks claiming a first championship since 2008 as the Magic again just fell short of that first triumph in club’s history.

There’s every reason to expect both teams to be right up there again in 2018 but there’s going to plenty of other clubs looking to make the leap up too.

The Lakeside Lightning pushed the Magic all the way to three games in last year’s semi finals and with Ali Schwagmeyer and Sydnee Fipps back for another crack, they can’t be discounted.

With Charles Nix taking over as coach, the Perth Redbacks will aim to be big improvers while the Rockingham Flames should rapidly climb back up the ladder after 2017 quickly fell off a cliff for Ryan Petrik’s perennially strong outfit.

The Willetton Tigers and Joondalup Wolves, still coached by Simon Parker and Craig Friday, will again be strong while new coaches at the Cockburn Cougars and East Perth Eagles will try to make an immediate impact.

It’s all shaping up to be a fascinating 2018 Women’s SBL season and it all gets underway with Round 1 this weekend starting Friday March 16.

That sees the Cockburn Cougars play the East Perth Eagles, Rockingham Flames host the Stirling Senators and Perth Redbacks take on the Lakeside Lightning.

Then on Saturday night, the Joondalup Wolves host their first game at the brand new HBF Arena against the Willetton Tigers with the Perry Lakes Hawks also facing the Mandurah Magic at Bendat Basketball Centre.

Sunday will also feature the Kalamunda Eastern Suns hosting the South West Slammers at Ray Owen Sports Centre.

Coach: Megan Thompson
Last year: 8-14 (lost quarter finals)
In: Kisha Lee (restricted), Haylee DeSousa, Alex Bell, Lauren Thompson, Matilda Muir
Out: Kersten Mitchell, Lauren Gandini, Lindsey Doucette, Talisia Bourne

Coach: Tanya Fisher
Last year: 2-20 (wooden spoon)
In: Cameron Flynn, Fiona Heart, Kalypso McCallum-Smith, Sophie Lowe, Ashley Munrowd-Harris, Rose Aryang, Amy Gebert
Out: Amy Chinnery, Haylee DeSousa, Nicole Jorre De St Jorre, Elainah Coffin, Jodee Sontay, Kaylee Kilpatrick, Abbey Duinker, Melissa Winfield

Coach: Craig Friday
Last year: 12-10 (lost quarter finals)
In: Kourteney Zadina (restricted), Amy Kidner, Abbie Ironmonger, Olivia Basso, Tayla Pipes
Out: Klara Wischer, Kelli Hayward, Cameron Flynn, Sherelle Knight

Coach: Tom Knowles
Last year: 6-16 (9th)
In: Alexandra Ciabattoni (restricted), Marleigh Zada, Alecia Knowles, Ashley Sharp, Hannah Swarbrick, Aimee Nash
Out: Rachel Brooks, Melissa Moyle, Tahlia Fejo, Devanny King

Coach: Craig Mansfield
Last year: 17-5 (lost semi finals)
In: Courtney Byrnes, Melissa Moyle, Amy Jacobs
Out: Alecia Knowles, Alex Bell, Tia Ucich

Coach: Randy Miegel
Last year: 19-3 (runner-up)
In: Anita Brown (restricted), Taylah Kemp, Grace Lawler, Emma Markus
Out: Nici Gilday, Kasey Miegel, Emmah Gardner

Coach: Deanna Smith
Last year: 20-2 (champions)
In: Maddison Hooper, Emma Clarke
Out: Mia Satie, Janique Kautsky, Georgia Clarke

Coach: Charles Nix
Last year: 8-14 (lost quarter finals)
In: Kayla Standish (restricted), Makailah Dyer (restricted), Mikayla Pirini, Nadia Parora, Pearl Coppin
Out: Emilee Harmon, Ajay Johnson, Lisa Wallbutton, Gabrielle Turner

Coach: Ryan Petrik
Last year: 6-16 (11th)
In: Taneisha Harrison (restricted), D’Lesha Lloyd (restricted), Darcee Garbin (restricted, short-term), Maddison Allen
Out: Ash Sidebottom, Tarsha Fletcher, Chastity Reed

Coach: Peter Harper
Last year: 6-16 (10th)
In: Tori Fisher (restricted), Charlotte Van Kleef (restricted), Beige Harris, Sydney Lewis
Out: Hannah Kurek, Taylah Kemp, Brittany Hodges, Tori Dugan

Coach: Glenn Clarke
Last year: 15-7 (lost quarter finals)
In: Janee Johnson (restricted), Nicole Jorre St Jorre, Jodee Sontay, Vondella Berrigal-Cox, Vondella Berringal-Cox, Soraya Butler, Georgina Harding, Carlie Massey
Out: Kisha Lee, Maddison Hooper, Taylor Roberts

Coach: Simon Parker
Last year: 13-9 (lost semi finals)
In: Ajay Johnson, Lauren Gandini, Rebecca Allen, Sophie Doran, Emily Counsel
Out: Stacey Barr, Emma Lobb, Jess Hootmann, Kate Malpass, Shannon Johnson

Perry Lakes Hawks
Rockingham Flames
Mandurah Magic
Joondalup Wolves
Perth Redbacks
Willetton Tigers
Lakeside Lightning
Stirling Senators

Cockburn Cougars
South West Slammers
Kalamunda Eastern Suns
East Perth Eagles

Champions: Mandurah Magic
Wooden spoon: East Perth Eagles
MVP: D’Lesha Lloyd or Kayla Standish
Most Improved: Desiree Kelley

What to watch for: Alot of quality bigs in the WSBL this season. Smaller teams could struggle big time up against some of the teams with very handy front court combos.

Lakeside Lightning
Perry Lakes Hawks
Stirling Senators
Joondalup Wolves
Mandurah Magic
Perth Redbacks
Rockingham Flames
Willetton Tigers

Kalamunda Eastern Suns
Cockburn Cougars
South West Slammers
East Perth Eagles

Champions: Joondalup Wolves
Wooden spoon: East Perth Eagles
MVP: Ali Schwagmeyer
Most Improved: Georgia Denehey
What to watch for: Ali Schwagmeyer to join Katrine Linssen and Sami Whitcomb as the only players in Women’s SBL history to win three MVP awards.

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