THE Lakeside Lightning handed the Perry Lakes Hawks their second defeat of the Women’s SBL season to showcase their championship credentials on Saturday night as did the Willetton Tigers with the Cockburn Cougars also winning solidly.
There were three games in the Women’s SBL on Saturday night to close the penultimate round of the season with the Lakeside Lightning sending quite the message with a 89-67 win over the league-leading Perry Lakes Hawks.
The Willetton Tigers continued their ominous form too with the defending champions beating last year’s fellow grand finalists the Joondalup City Wolves 89-69.
The other Saturday night match saw the Cockburn Cougars consolidate their playoff spot with a 68-57 victory against the bottom placed East Perth Eagles.
That came after a huge Friday night with four games that saw the Mandurah Magic beat the Perth Redbacks 80-57, the Perry Lakes Hawks defeat the South West Slammers 64-53, the Rockingham Flames down the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 58-57 and the Willetton Tigers prevail 78-58 over the Stirling Senators.
Cockburn hit the road to take on East Perth in its last home game of the season at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre with the Cougars looking to cement their place in the playoffs for 2017 for a second straight season with John Triscari as coach.
The Eagles did fight hard to try to finish the season in a positive fashion on their home floor but the Cougars pulled away leading into half-time and that was enough to secure the 11-point win and for them to stay in seventh position with one game to go next week.
Kersten Mitchell was the star of the night again for Cockburn finishing with 30 points and 11 rebounds shooting 10-of-20 from the floor, 2-of-2 from beyond the arc and 8-of-9 at the charity stripe.
Isabelle Miotti added nine points and seven rebounds, Taryn Priestly nine points and seven boards, and Lindsey Doucette eight points and seven rebounds.
Kaylee Kilpatrick did all she could for the Eagles ending up with 25 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Haylee DeSousa added eight points and five rebounds for East Perth, Eryn Fisher seven points and nine boards, and Nicole Jorre St Jorre six points and six rebounds.
The Lightning have been in some hot form but so far had been unable to beat one of the top two teams. That changed on Saturday night at Lakeside Recreation Centre and it was emphatic with the Lightning beating the Lady Hawks by 20 points.
Lakeside will still finish third and Perry Lakes first despite the result, but it does send a message that the Lightning are the real deal in 2017 having now won five straight since their last loss to Mandurah.
The Lightning came out of the blocks with a huge first half to lead 46-26 at half-time. They still maintained that advantage in the second half to win by 22 points and hand Perry Lakes just its second loss of 2017.
Ali Schwagmeyer had another strong game for Lakeside with 22 points, 13 assists, 11 rebounds and five steals to deliver a rare triple-double in the Women’s SBL.
She had plenty of help too with Sydnee Fipps contributing 20 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists while Ash Grant finished with 14 points and six boards, Alecia Knowles nine points and Jess van Schie eight.
Perry Lakes might not have been quite at full strength still with Toni Farnworth and Janique Kautsky missing, but Nat Burton had a good night still with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Mia Satie continued her emergence with 12 points and eight rebounds with Gabby O’Sullivan contributing eight points and Sarah Donovan seven to go with five rebounds.
The Tigers and Wolves are locked in to finish fifth and sixth this season after meeting in last year’s grand final, but both were looking to make a statement ahead of the playoffs at Willetton Basketball Stadium on Saturday night.
It was the first time since the May 26 win over the Redbacks that the Tigers were back at full strength too with both Kate Malpass and Desiree Kelley in the line-up, and it was the defending champions who made the statement they could still go back-to-back.
Willetton took out the emphatic 20-point victory on the back of a dominant first half with the Tigers opening a 49-26 lead by the break. The Wolves mounted a third quarter comeback but never led the entire night with the Tigers steadying in the fourth period for the big win.
Stacey Barr had another huge performance for Willetton with 29 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four assists on 8-of-20 shooting from the field, 3-of-9 from deep and 10-of-11 from the foul line.
Emma Gandini added 12 points and four rebounds for the Tigers, Samantha Norwood 12 points and five boards, Malpass 10 points, four assists and three rebounds, and Kelley eight points, three steals, three rebounds and two assists.
Klara Wischer fought hard for the Lady Wolfpack with 27 points and 11 rebounds with Shani Amos contributing nine points, six boards, five steals and three assists, Chelsea Belcher eight points, Ellyce Ironmonger seven points and five rebounds, and Nikita Martin seven points and three assists.
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 RESULTS
Lakeside Lightning 89 defeated Perry Lakes Hawks 67
East Perth Eagles 57 lost to Cockburn Cougars 68
Willetton Tigers 89 defeated Joondalup City Wolves 69
Photo by Mick Cronin