THE third and fourth placed Stirling Senators and Lakeside Lightning both recorded strong Women’s SBL victories on Sunday against the Perth Redbacks and South West Slammers respectively.
There were two Women’s SBL matches on Sunday to close Week 17 action with the Stirling Senators beating the Perth Redbacks 75-68 and the Lakeside Lightning thrashing the South West Slammers 111-66.
Week 17 began on Friday night with the Joondalup City Wolves beating the Perth Redbacks 65-58, the South West Slammers defeating the Willetton Tigers 89-78 and the Lakeside Lightning downing the Stirling Senators 88-76.
Then on Saturday afternoon in Northam, the Perry Lakes Hawks beat the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 84-67 before the Rockingham Flames downed the East Perth Eagles 65-59 on Saturday night.
Sunday afternoon in the Women’s SBL began with the Redbacks hosting the Senators with Perth looking to win to remain solid inside the top eight and Stirling out to bounce back from Friday’s loss to Lakeside at home.
Little separated the two teams through the first three quarters either and Emilee Harmon was threatening to be the difference with 25 points in the first half alone for the Redbacks.
The Senators had few answers for her inside but they did slow her in the second half helped with the Redbacks big getting in foul trouble and Stirling worked its way on top.
The Senators then took over with the opening seven points of the first quarter to set up the eventual important seven-point win. The victory steadies Stirling at 13-6 in fourth place. Perth has now lost nine of its last 10 games to 7-12 in eighth.
Kisha Lee finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and two assists for the Senators on the back of shooting 10-of-17 from the field, 1-of-1 from downtown and 5-of-5 at the free-throw line.
Jasmine Martin added 15 points and five rebounds for Stirling, Taylor Roberts 12 points, five rebounds and three assists, Amber Land 10 points and 11 boards, and Hannah Throns 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Senators coach Glenn Clarke was especially happy with his team’s second half and to bounce back from Friday’s loss to Lakeside.
“Half-time was good and we actually set ourselves some goals and achieved those, and even better. They only scored 19 points in the whole second half and our goal was 20, and we didn’t want more than nine turnovers and we only had eight. It was good to achieve what we wanted to,” Clarke said.
“She (Harmon) is pretty solid and can catch and shoot, and she’s a good shooter. She’s got a wide frame so she’s a tough match up for us and she has done really in the league. But we did do better in the second half against her.
“We had to win this game just from a confidence standpoint after Friday night and to show what we are doing is good, and that it’s working. We had to just keep at it and show the girls that what we are doing is working despite having a slip up against Lakeside who are a good team.”
Harmon ended the afternoon with 31 points and 10 rebounds on 14-of-20 shooting before fouling out down the stretch.
Gabby Clayton also had 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Redbacks with Jess Jakens contributing 11 points and Ajay Johnson seven to go with five assists.
Then later Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Recreation Centre, the third placed Lightning blew away the Slammers with a 45-point victory. Their 111 points scored is the highest of the Women’s SBL season.
The win backs up Lakeside’s win over Stirling on Friday night to keep the Lightning in third place at 14-5 while the Slammers remain in the playoff hunt in ninth place at 6-13.
The Slammers were impressive beating the defending champion Willetton Tigers on Friday night but lost Raya Thompson and with their rotation already running low on numbers, they couldn’t take that extra blow especially against a team in impressive form like the Lightning.
The Slammers started promisingly to lead by two points after the first quarter and limit the Lightning’s lead to three at the main break.
But the Lightning put on the afterburners from there with 34 points to 10 in the third period, and 29 to 11 in the fourth for the 45-point victory including a run at one stage of 16 straight points.
Reigning Player of the Week Sydnee Fipps had another standout game for the Lightning with 27 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals with last year’s MVP Ali Schwagmeyer delivering 25 points, 10 boards, six assists and two steals.
Ash Grant also had a good game for Lakeside with 17 points and four rebounds with Sam Roscoe contributing 13 points, seven boards and three assists, and Tiahrn Flynn eight points and four assists.
Georgia Denehey continued her breakout season for the Slammers with the 18-year-old putting up another 18 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Brittany Hodges was hindered by foul trouble but had 18 points and seven rebounds with Tayah Burrows contributing 11 points and four boards, Kate Fielding 10 points and four rebounds, and Courtney Bayliss seven points, 12 boards and four assists.
Slammers coach Peter Harper always knew they were up against it taking on the Lightning, but to remain a playoff chance having beaten Willetton on Friday meant it wasn’t too bad of a weekend.
“I would have taken splitting these two games this weekend anytime. Friday night was very good for us,” Harper said.
“Defensively and offensively worked for us but this game against Lakeside was always going to be tough especially after losing Raya. For a half we were very competitive, it just got away from us a bit in the end.”
FRIDAY NIGHT ROUND 17 WOMEN’S SBL RESULTS
Perth Redbacks 58 lost to Joondalup City Wolves 65
South West Slammers 89 defeated Willetton Tigers 78
Stirling Senators 76 lost to Lakeside Lightning 88
SATURDAY NIGHT ROUND 17 WOMEN’S SBL RESULTS
Perry Lakes Hawks 84 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 67
East Perth Eagles 59 lost to Rockingham Flames 65
SUNDAY ROUND 17 WOMEN’S SBL RESULTS
Perth Redbacks 68 lost to Stirling Senators 75
Lakeside Lightning 111 defeated South West Slammers 66
Photo by Belinda Pike (Croc Photography)