The South West Slammers last night pulled off a determined victory against the Rockingham Flames at the Eaton Recreation Centre.
Despite being down by seven points in the late minutes of the game, South West were able claim victory courtesy of some clutch free throw shooting and poor foul discipline by the visiting Flames.
The Slammers women got off to another fast start with 26 first quarter points. In contrast, their opponent’s offensive production of 15 points correlated with their star import Chastity Reed’s 2 points and 0-7 field goal start to the game.
The second quarter was a complete role reversal with the Flames returning serve with a a 27-16 effort, erasing the home side’s 11-point lead to lock it at 42-42 after two quarters. Both teams resorted to zone and it was the visitors who looked better at the end of the second stanza. The Flames gained some offensive rhythm with the previously quiet Reed adding 12 points for the quarter. Former Slammers guard Dena English also provided outside punch with 3 three pointers to see the visitors break even into the second half.
The close nature of the contest continued deep into the third quarter with neither team allowing the other to extend beyond 5 points. Imports Reed and Hodges dominated offensive proceedings for each squad but the most pivotal moment of the third was Reed’s fourth foul with two minutes remaining. At that point, the Flames were holding a 3-point advantage and the Slammers would have been confident of at least making in roads into the deficit. Unforfunately, Coach Peter Harper’s team were let down by foul discipline and defensive breakdowns and into the fourth, were down 62-57.
Entering the last quarter, Coach Ryan Petrik didn’t wait long to bring Reed back into the game, rolling the dice with 8 minutes to go. Again, both teams kept it close with neither relenting much for the first six minutes. It took a Dena English bank-bomb followed by Hodges’ fifth and final foul to extend the Flames lead by 7 with two and half minutes remaining.
Still, without Hodges, the home team kept to the task at hand. The Slammers were let back into the game with the aid of some poor fouls by the visitors down the stretch. The Flames fouled Denehey unnecessarily on three late plays and in hitting all six free throws, the homeside was only down by 1-point with 90 seconds remaining.
Momentum then kept with the Slammers with a Raya Thompson left hand lay-up putting the home team up by 1 point.
The ensuing play required a defensive stop and both Thompson and Bayliss combined to deny Reed a chance to sway the result back to the visitors.
It was the possession required and the game was done and dusted with the Slammers girls pinching a 75-71 win from the jaws of defeat.
The resolute effort of the locals was particularly impressive along with the manner in which they came up with critical plays when the moment called for it.
The Flames on the other hand, will be very disappointed that they could not close out a game that they had so close to their grasp.
The home side had four players in double figures with Hodges (17 pts), Denehey (17 pts), Bayliss (16 pts) and Burrows (15 pts) all key contributors in the win.
Rockingham had Reed finish with 27 points and 12 rebounds along with English who added 18 points against her former team.
Article by Vlad Alava
Photo by Mick Cronin