THE Stirling Senators, Mandurah Magic and Joondalup City Wolves all recorded strong Women’s SBL victories on Saturday night to close Week 18 of the season as they fine tune their playoff preparations.
The second placed Mandurah Magic proved too strong on Saturday night for the last place East Perth Eagles, winning 72-48 at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre.
The Stirling Senators locked away a top four finish and all but ended the playoff hopes of the South West Slammers with a 70-53 victory at Eaton Recreation Centre as well.
The Joondalup City Wolves also further consolidated at least a top six finish with a 73-62 victory against the seventh placed Cockburn Cougars at Wally Hagan Stadium.
That came after the three matches in Week 18 on Friday night saw the Perry Lakes Hawks beat the Rockingham Flames 70-47, the Lakeside Lightning down the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 88-72 and the Willetton Tigers prevail 71-67 against the Perth Redbacks.
WEEK 18 FRIDAY NIGHT WOMEN’S SBL RESULTS
WEEK 18 WOMEN’S SBL PREVIEW
LADY SENATORS GETTING PREPARATION FOR PLAYOFFS SPOT ON
LIGHTNING FOCUS ON BEING AT BEST TO OPEN PLAYOFFS
TEENAGE SLAMMERS PROVIDE EXCITEMENT WITH PLAYOFF HOPES NOT DEAD
Saturday night’s action began with the Slammers hosting the Senators with the home team needing a win to break into the top eight at the expense of the Perth Redbacks.
But Stirling proved too strong consolidating fourth position with the 17-point victory to see the Senators improve to a 14-6 record on the season.
It’s not quite the end of the road for the Slammers with other results this round going their way. They still sit in ninth position at 6-14. Wins to finish against the Hawks and Wolves could see them still make the playoffs, but that’s a tall order.
The Slammers did start well leading by as much as eight points early doors and still being up by six at quarter-time. They still held a one-point advantage at the half but Stirling then got going with a dominant second half to win by 17 points.
Point guard Jasmine Martin was the standout for Stirling with 24 points and three assists on shooting 11-of-18 from the floor.
Kisha Lee added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Senators, Amber Land 16 points and 10 boards, Taylor Roberts seven points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Maddison Hooper six points.
The Slammers struggled to cover the absence in the back court of Raya Thompson with Tori Dugan already out, but Brittany Hodges battled away inside for 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Courtney Bayliss added 16 points, 11 rebounds and four assists with Kate Fielding contributing eight points and 10 assists.
The Magic had two weeks to stew over their second loss of the season at the hands of the Perry Lakes Hawks, but returned to their home floor on Saturday night and put in a solid performance to beat the Eagles by 24 points.
Mandurah took over the game in the second quarter with 31 points to nine. They went on a 19-0 run and led by as much as 29 points along the way to set up the eventual 24-point triumph.
Nici Gilday top-scored for the Magic with 22 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals while shooting 8-of-13 from the field and 5-of-5 at the foul line. The only five shots she missed all night were three-point attempts.
Carly Boag added 14 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and five steals for Mandurah with Rachel Halleen contributing six points and five boards, and Bree Klasztorny six points and seven rebounds.
Kaylee Kilpatrick finished with 11 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots for East Perth with Eryn Fisher adding 10 points and eight boards, Bree Fisher eight points and Nicole Jorre St Jorre eight points.
The Lady Wolfpack then made the trip to Wally Hagan Stadium and came away with the 11-point victory against the Cougars.
The Wolves have now won six of their past seven games to improve to an 11-9 record and to be heading towards the playoffs in imposing form. The Cougars still cling to seventh spot at 7-13 despite having lost three of their past four.
Joondalup got on top early with 22 first quarter points to 13 having gone on a 10-0 run and Cockburn was never really able to get close enough to cause too many concerns in a battle between the teams who met in last year’s quarter finals.
Klara Wischer finished with the night with 24 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Lady Wolfpack while Ellyce Ironmonger was a strong presence inside with 16 points, nine boards and four assists.
Nikita Martin added 15 points and six rebounds for the Wolves with Chelsea Belcher contributing eight points and three assists, and Kelli Hayward six points.
Point guard Brianna Moyes ended up with 22 points for the Cougars with power forward Kersten Mitchell delivering 22 points and 15 rebounds.
Lindsey Doucette added 14 points, nine rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots as well.
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 RESULTS
South West Slammers 53 lost to Stirling Senators 70
Mandurah Magic 72 defeated East Perth Eagles 48
Cockburn Cougars 62 lost to Joondalup City Wolves 73
Photo by Belinda Pike (Croc Photography)