THE defending champion Willetton Tigers beat the Stirling Senators in the Women’s SBL on Friday to show they are still a force to be reckoned with in 2017 while the Mandurah Magic, Perry Lakes Hawks and Rockingham Flames also won.
There were four matches to open Week 19 in the Women’s SBL on Friday night with the Willetton Tigers impressive beating the Stirling Senators 78-58.
The Mandurah Magic also defeated the Perth Redbacks 80-57 while the Perry Lakes Hawks beat the South West Slammers 64-53 and the Rockingham Flames won a thriller 58-57 against the Kalamunda Eastern Suns.
Friday night got underway at Belmont Oasis with the Redbacks hosting the Magic. Perth came into the game needing a win to consolidate eighth position, but Mandurah has proven too strong for all comers bar Perry Lakes so far this season. That was again the case on Friday night.
The Redbacks stuck with the Magic early but Mandurah’s crisp execution got going in the second period with Nici Gilday and Carly Boag’s chemistry to combine and find one another particularly impressive.
The Magic opened a 10-point lead by half-time and that was out to 22 by three quarter-time. They led by 25 at one stage before ending up winning by 23.
Mandurah remains solid in second position with just the two losses for the season with Gilday ending the night with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists while Boag had 19 points, eight boards, five steals and three assists.
Captain Rachel Halleen contributed 10 points, three rebounds and three assists for the Magic with Casey Mihovilovich adding eight points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Kelly Bailey also had eight points and four boards.
Magic coach Randy Miegel was pleased with the way his team came out and performed following the bye.
“We were happy with that game. Obviously we know how good the Redbacks can be so we focused on a couple of things and the girls did exactly what I asked,” Miegel said.
“With the girls who came in it wasn’t about actually just giving them minutes either. A couple of them came on and did a really specific role really well. Out of everything that was probably the most pleasing for me out of that game.”
Emilee Harmon top-scored for the Redbacks with 12 points and five rebounds with her team now needing to beat East Perth next week to lock in eighth position.
Rebecca Benson added 10 points for Perth and Lisa Wallbutton 10 (12 rebounds) in her 100th appearance.
The Slammers had a chance to strengthen their chances of sneaking into the top eight with a win against the Hawks at Bendat Basketball Centre.
The Slammers put in a competitive showing against the league-leaders, but ultimately Perry Lakes was too strong to win by 11 points to improve to a 20-1 record while South West remain a game outside the top eight.
Nat Burton again top-scored for the Lady Hawks with 14 points and four rebounds with Annika Renkema making the most of her minutes once more with 11 points.
Gabby O’Sullivan added 10 points and four assists for Perry Lakes with Mia Satie contributing seven points, 10 rebounds and four assists, Lauren Jeffers six points, five boards and five assists, and Emily Burton six points and seven rebounds.
It was always a tall order for the Slammers and especially so in the absence of star import Brittany Hodges along with emerging guard Raya Thompson. Captain Courtney Bayliss did all she could to keep it close with 27 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Georgia Denehey added six points and four assists and Tayah Burrows six points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Rockingham was playing its last home game of the season at Mike Barnett Sports Complex hosting Kalamunda. While playoffs is out of reach for both teams, it turned out an entertaining affair between two teams who did have high hopes entering 2017.
The Eastern Suns started well holding the Flames to just seven first quarter points to be in control leading 31-18 at half-time.
But Rockingham picked up some steal in the third period and then finished strongly with 20 fourth quarter points to 11 to win by a point with two free-throws from veteran Tarsha Fletcher ultimately proving the match winners.
It’s the sixth win of the season for the Flames with Chastity Reed the star with 29 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots on shooting 14-of-26 from the field.
Dena English added nine points, five rebounds and three steals for Rockingham and Fletcher seven points, five boards and three assists.
Devanny King top-scored for the Eastern Suns with 20 points to go with nine rebounds while Jennie Rintala contributed 16 points and six boards.
There was plenty on the line at Warwick Stadium with the fourth placed Senators hosting the fifth placed Tigers in a potential first round playoff preview.
It was Simon Parker’s defending champion Willetton who proved too strong as he got an important win over a Stirling team coached by his good friend Glenn Clarke.
It was a statement performance as well with the Tigers ending up winning by 20 points set up from a dominant first half set up by the frontcourt who proved too much for the Senators.
The Tigers might still fall short of breaking into the top four but they do remain fifth at 12-8 while the Senators now look locked in fourth at 14-7.
The Tigers are now really building momentum heading towards the playoffs and welcomed Kate Malpass back on Friday who had six points, three rebounds and three assists in almost 15 minutes while Desiree Kelley should be back for Saturday’s clash with the Lady Wolfpack.
Emma Lobb top-scored for the Tigers with 12 points, three rebounds and three steals, and Zoe Harper 12 points and rebounds but it was the number of contributors that was key to Willetton’s win.
Jess Hootmann also had 11 points and five assists, Stacey Barr 11 points and seven rebounds, Carla Drennan eight points and Rebecca Thompson seven.
Jasmine Martin top-scored for Stirling with 22 points with Amber Land finishing with eight points and five rebounds, and Rebekah Throns eight points.
Week 19 of the Women’s SBL concludes on Saturday night with the Lakeside Lightning playing the Perry Lakes Hawks, the East Perth Eagles facing the Cockburn Cougars and the Willetton Tigers battling the Joondalup City Wolves.
FRIDAY NIGHT ROUND 19 WOMEN’S SBL RESULTS
Perth Redbacks 57 lost to Mandurah Magic 80
Perry Lakes Hawks 64 defeated South West Slammers 53
Rockingham Flames 58 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 57
Stirling Senators 58 lost to Willetton Tigers 78
SATURDAY NIGHT ROUND 19 WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Lakeside Lightning v Perry Lakes Hawks – Lakeside Recreation Centre 6pm
East Perth Eagles v Cockburn Cougars – Morley Sport and Recreation Centre 6pm
Willetton Tigers v Joondalup City Wolves – Willetton Basketball Stadium 6pm
Photo by Sebpix Photography