THE three Women’s SBL matches on Saturday night saw the Perry Lakes Hawks beat the Mandurah Magic in the battle for top spot while the Perth Redbacks snapped their losing run and the South West Slammers stayed in the playoff hunt.
All eyes on Saturday night were on the top-of-the-table clash and for the second time in 2017, the Perry Lakes Hawks defeated the Mandurah Magic. They won 75-69 to return to first place and to now leave the minor premiership theirs to lose over the last month.
The other two Saturday night matches were crucial too with the Perth Redbacks beating the Cockburn Cougars 80-65 and the South West Slammers defeating the Rockingham Flames 75-71.
Heritage Round in the SBL began on Friday night with the Stirling Senators beating the East Perth Eagles 80-75, the Willetton Tigers thrashing the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 93-45 and the Perry Lakes Hawks downing the Perth Redbacks 77-72.
Saturday night’s attention was focused on Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre for the top-of-the-table clash between the Magic and Lady Hawks.
Mandurah hadn’t lost since going down by 20 points to Perry Lakes in the first clash at Bendat Basketball Centre. That had the Magic on a 10-game winning streak by an average of over 22 points.
Perry Lakes’ only defeat had come a couple of weeks ago at home to the Joondalup City Wolves leaving both teams entering the contest with just one loss so far in 2017.
In the end, the Lady Hawks once again prevailed with the six-point victory to improve to a 17-1 record to sit ahead of the 17-2 Magic.
Perry Lakes started strongly leading by six at quarter-time but Mandurah hit back to be just one down by the half-time break. That set the stage for a terrific second half and the Magic were in the box seat after holding the Hawks to just nine third quarter points.
But Perry Lakes found another gear down the stretch to dominate the fourth period to win by six points.
Sarah Donovan came up huge for the Lady Hawks top-scoring with 22 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots on shooting 9-of-16 from the floor.
Toni Farnworth continued her outstanding form with another 19 points and 10 rebounds with Nat Burton contributing 12 points and 11 boards, and Lauren Jeffers 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Casey Mihovilovich top-scored for the Magic with 22 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Nici Gilday also had 20 points for Mandurah and Carly Boag 13 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
The Redbacks entered their clash with the Cougars on Saturday night on a seven-game losing run, but they bounced back strongly to win by 15 points at Belmont Oasis.
The win steadies Perth’s playoff position with a 7-10 record ahead of Cockburn who is in eighth place at 7-12.
The Redbacks delivered a huge second quarter finding their best form in perhaps two months to set up the eventual win with a 48-35 half-time advantage.
Ajay Jones has made a significant impact on return for the Redbacks this weekend delivering 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals on Saturday night.
Emilee Harmon top-scored with 18 points and 11 rebounds with Rebecca Benson contributing 11 points, Gabby Clayton nine and Bianca Donovan nine to go with five assists and four rebounds.
Kersten Mitchell did all she could to try and lift the Cougars with 33 points and 12 rebounds.
Brianna Moyes added 10 points and four assists for Cockburn and Lindsey Doucette 10 points, four rebounds and three steals.
The Slammers were back at Eaton Recreation Centre and came away with a four-point victory over the Flames that keeps their playoff hopes just alive.
South West improves to a 5-12 record with the win to be just two games out of eight position while Rockingham has now lost 10 straight.
The Slammers had to come from behind at three quarter-time to win, scoring 18 points to nine in the fourth period.
Georgia Denehey continued her breakout season for the Slammers with another 17 points and five assists.
Brittany Hodges also had 17 points and 13 rebounds while Courtney Bayliss contributed 16 points and nine rebounds, and Tayah Burrows 15 points, six boards and three assists.
Chastity Reed again top-scored for the Flames with 27 points and 12 rebounds with Dena English contributing 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals against her former club.
The round concludes on Sunday afternoon with the Lakeside Lightning hosting the Joondalup City Wolves.
FRIDAY NIGHT ROUND 16 WOMEN’S SBL RESULTS
Stirling Senators 80 defeated East Perth Eagles 75
Willetton Tigers 93 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 45
Perry Lakes Hawks 77 defeated Perth Redbacks 72
SATURDAY NIGHT ROUND 16 WOMEN’S SBL RESULTS
Perth Redbacks 80 defeated Cockburn Cougars 65
South West Slammers 75 defeated Rockingham Flames 71
Mandurah Magic 69 lost to Perry Lakes Hawks 75
SUNDAY ROUND 16 WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Lakeside Lightning v Joondalup City Wolves – Lakeside Recreation Centre 2pm
Photo by Vikki Hile