THE South West Slammers and Stirling Senators both won well against the Lakeside Lightning and Perth Redbacks on Sunday afternoon to set up next week’s clash over fourth place in the Men’s SBL.
The Senators and Slammers both improved to 13-9 records on the season with their wins on Sunday to close Week 17 action in the Men’s SBL.
It began with the Stirling Senators beating the Perth Redbacks 80-70 before the South West Slammers came from behind to defeat the Lakeside Lightning 106-93.
Week 17 began back on Friday night with the Joondalup City Wolves beating the Perth Redbacks 87-75, the Willetton Tigers defeating the South West Slammers 99-92 and the Stirling Senators downing the Lakeside Lightning 98-85.
Then on Saturday, Northam hosted the Perry Lakes Hawks beating the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 9776 before the Mandurah Magic upset the Geraldton Buccaneers 84-79, the Rockingham Flames beat the East Perth Eagles 105-103 and the Cockburn Cougars downed the Goldfields Giants 94-90.
WEEK 17 SATURDAY NIGHT MEN’S SBL RESULTS
WEEK 17 FRIDAY NIGHT MEN’S SBL RESULTS
GRITTY ALL-ROUNDER VOELKEL CONFIDENT OF SLAMMERS SUCCESS
CLARKE COMMITTED TO CONTINUE SUNS’ UPWARD TRAJECTORY
WEEK 17 MEN’S SBL PREVIEW
Sunday’s action got underway at Belmont Oasis with the Redbacks hosting the Senators in a clash between two teams fighting over fourth position.
Perth was still without Shawn Redhage and Michael Vigor so the job was always ahead of them on their home floor with the Senators coming into the contest in impressive form winning their last four having bounced back from a four-game losing run.
The Senators were able to pull away thanks to a dominant second quarter to lead by 13 at the half and they remained in control leading by as much as 21 during the second half.
But much to the disgust of coach Mike Ellis, the Senators couldn’t keep hold of the ball down the stretch with the Redbacks pressure defence getting them back in the contest.
Perth did get within seven points on the back of a 13-2 scoring run but Stirling did enough to hold on for the important 10-point win.
The Senators have now won five straight to improve to a 13-9 record while the Redbacks have lost four in-a-row to be in seventh spot at 12-10 with Willetton and Geraldton to come next weekend.
Cody Ellis came up big for the Redbacks having had a tremendous battle with Lee Roberts for much of the afternoon. The Illawarra Hawk finished the game with 18 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Drew Naymick was a strong presence inside for Stirling with 11 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots while Ash Litterick added seven points and four rebounds.
Rhys Vague also contributed 14 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Senators, Corban Wroe 11 points, seven boards and four assists, and Jayden Coburn eight points and three assists.
Roberts top-scored for the Redbacks with 19 points and 11 rebounds with Marshall Nelson continuing his standout form with 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Zac Gattorna added 11 points for Perth, Ben Smith 11 points, six assists and four rebounds, and Joel Wagner eight points, eight assists and seven boards.
Then later on Sunday at Lakeside Recreation Centre, the Lightning hosted the Slammers with Lakeside needing to win to stay in the playoff race and South West looking to bounce back from Friday’s loss to Willetton to close in on a top-four finish.
The Lightning welcomed back point guard Devon Atkinson from a foot injury to set up his battle with Tre Nichols, and the home team started promisingly with James Padgett doing a tremendous job inside having got Slammers veteran Clive Weeden into foul trouble.
The Lightning did well to slow the Slammers running game down and as a result went into half-time looking good leading 55-46.
But the Slammers came out running and gunning to start the third quarter and with Michael Lay, Nichols and Brian Voelkel sharing the ball carrying duties and with some sublime passes to set up their teammates, they got rolling.
By the time Lay hit a jumper just before three quarter-time, the Slammers led by three and then with another 30 points in the fourth quarter they went on to win by 13 having played some scintillating second half basketball that any team in the league would find tough to stop.
Nichols had a huge game in the dominant second half for the Slammers with the MVP candidate finishing with 33 points, five assists and four rebounds on the back of 10-of-16 shooting from the field, 2-of-5 from downtown and 11-of-14 at the line.
Weeden ended up with 22 points and six rebounds in his battle with Padgett while Voelkel delivered another triple-double with 17 points, 10 boards and 11 assists.
Lay was another to have a huge second half for the Slammers to end up with 20 points with Chris Douglas contributing eight points, four rebounds and three assists, and the surprisingly returned Ty Harrelson six points and four boards.
After the game, Nichols was happy with the way his team bounced back from Friday’s loss and in particular with the way they really turned it on in the second half to beat the Lightning.
“We got running in the second half and when you’ve got weapons like that in the back court with guys who on any given night can go off for 30, it’s really fun to play. It means there’s not as much pressure on any of us individually and it’s lovely the set up we’ve got here,” Nichols said.
“It was a really good win for us. To bounce back from our Friday night loss to a good side in Willetton, it was good to come in and bounce back. The guys fought hard and we did start off kind of slow and hats off to Lakeside for that, they shot the ball pretty well. We were just resilient toward the back end and got it done.”
Padgett did all he could to try and lift the Lightning to the win finishing with 34 points and 18 rebounds shooting 13-of-20 from the floor and 8-of-12 at the foul line.
Corey Shervill added 16 points and nine rebounds for Lakeside, Atkinson 16 points and nine assists, and Rowan Mackenzie 13 points and three assists.
FRIDAY NIGHT ROUND 17 MEN’S SBL RESULTS
Perth Redbacks 75 lost to Joondalup City Wolves 87
South West Slammers 92 lost to Willetton Tigers 99
Stirling Senators 98 defeated Lakeside Lightning 85
SATURDAY NIGHT ROUND 17 MEN’S SBL RESULTS
Perry Lakes Hawks 97 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 76
Geraldton Buccaneers 79 lost to Mandurah Magic 84
East Perth Eagles 103 lost to Rockingham Flames 105
Goldfields Giants 90 lost to Cockburn Cougars 94
SUNDAY ROUND 17 MEN’S SBL RESULTS
Perth Redbacks 70 lost to Stirling Senators 80
Lakeside Lightning 93 lost to South West Slammers 106
Photo by Belinda Pike (Croc Photography)