THE league-leading Perry Lakes Hawks, third placed Lakeside Lightning and fifth placed Willetton Tigers all scored strong Women’s SBL victories on Friday night.
There were three games on Friday night to open Week 18 of the Women’s SBL with the Perry Lakes Hawks defeating the Rockingham Flames 70-47, the Lakeside Lightning downing the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 88-72, and the Willetton Tigers overcoming the Perth Redbacks 71-67.
The Eastern Suns hosted the Lightning at Ray Owen Sports Centre on Friday night with Kalamunda needing to win to keep alive its slim playoff hopes.
It wasn’t to be, though, with Lakeside having too much firepower in the finish to run out winners by 16 points. It is a fourth straight win for the Lightning who improve to a 15-5 record in third position while the Suns slip to 5-15 with their third straight defeat with the season on the line.
The Lightning made a fast start with 23 first quarter points to 15 and maintained the advantage the rest of the day, and pulled away in the fourth quarter with another 26 points to 17. They did lead by as much 24 points at one stage before winning by 16.
Reigning MVP Ali Schwagmeyer and the dangerous Sydnee Fipps were again the stars of the show for the Lightning. Schwagmeyer finished with 27 points, 13 rebounds and four assists with Fipps adding 26 points, five boards and four steals.
Ash Grant contributed strongly too flirting with a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and three blocked shots with Sam Roscoe adding seven points.
Devanny King had a big night against her former team for the Eastern Suns with 28 points, 12 rebounds and three steals on the back of shooting 12-of-20 from the floor.
Jennie Rintala added 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals for Kalamunda with Mel Moyle contributing seven points, seven boards, three steals and two assists.
The league-leading Lady Hawks made the trip to Mike Barnett Sports Complex on Friday to take on the Flames who were coming off their fifth win of the season last weekend.
Despite missing six first choice players, Perry Lakes still came out and made a statement early holding Rockingham to five points in the opening quarter.
The Hawks went on to lead by as much as 29 points as the night wore on before ending up winning by 23 to improve to a 19-1 record on the season to remain clear in top spot.
Perry Lakes was missing Mia Satie, Janique Kautsky, Sarah Donovan and Toni Farnworth but had the depth to cover for the big win over the rebuilding Rockingham.
Nat Burton stood up to finish with 22 points, 11 rebounds and three assists with Kate Anthony adding 15 points, four boards and three assists, Gabby O’Sullivan eight points and five rebounds, and Lauren Jeffers seven points and three assists.
Perry Lakes coach Deanna Smith was pleased to come away with the solid win with so many players missing.
“Getting a win when you’re so depleted is obviously very good. It was a really good opportunity for all of our D-League players and further down the bench players to get that opportunity to play,” Smith said.
“They really stepped up and any time you can get valuable minutes into those kind of players is going to be really valuable for your club.
“We were missing six players so it was definitely a game that I was worried about and Rockingham have some very talented players, and are very well coached. To keep them to 47 points and for the girls that played to reflect the values that are important to us was good.”
Chastity Reed top-scored for the Flames with 22 points and nine rebounds on an efficient 9-of-16 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 at the line.
Ariana Hetherington added seven points, six rebounds and three assists for Rockingham, and Dena English six points and four boards, and Jesni Cooper six points, three rebounds and two steals.
The close encounter of Friday night took place at Willetton Basketball Stadium with the defending champion Tigers looking to stay in the top four hunt and the Redbacks just needing to lock in a playoff position.
That set the scene for a tense battle and it didn’t fail to deliver with no more than eight points ever separating the two teams all evening. But in the end it was Willetton who prevailed down the stretch for the crucial four-point win.
It improves the Tigers to an 11-8 record to remain an outside chance still of sneaking into fourth position while the Redbacks remain clinging to eighth spot at 7-13 to be just ahead of the chasing South West Slammers who are 6-13.
Stacey Barr was again the star for the Tigers delivering 30 points and five rebounds on the back of shooting 9-of-18 from the field, 3-of-7 from deep and 9-of-10 at the foul line.
Jess Hootmann added 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots for Willetton while Samantha Norwood contributed 10 points and five boards, and Emma Gandini eight points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Emilee Harmon ended up top-scoring for the Redbacks with 14 points, five rebounds and three steals with Lisa Wallbutton contributing 10 points and nine boards, Bianca Donovan 10 points, Rebecca Benson nine points, Jess Jakens nine points and Ajay Johnson eight points and nine rebounds.
Week 18 of the Women’s SBL will conclude on Saturday night with the South West Slammers playing the Stirling Senators, the Mandurah Magic taking on the East Perth Eagles and the Cockburn Cougars facing the Joondalup City Wolves.
FRIDAY NIGHT ROUND 18 WOMEN’S SBL RESULTS
Rockingham Flames 47 lost to Perry Lakes Hawks 70
Kalamunda Eastern Suns 72 lost to Lakeside Lightning 88
Willetton Tigers 71 defeated Perth Redbacks 67
SATURDAY NIGHT ROUND 18 WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES
South West Slammers v Stirling Senators – Eaton Recreation Centre 6pm
Mandurah Magic v East Perth Eagles – Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre 6pm
Cockburn Cougars v Joondalup City Wolves – Wally Hagan Stadium 6pm
Photo by June Halliday