THE Joondalup City Wolves, Stirling Senators and Perth Redbacks all geared up for the Women’s SBL finals with strong Saturday night wins in the final round of the 2017 season.
There were three games on Saturday night to close the regular season with the Stirling Senators upsetting the Mandurah Magic 90-72, the Perth Redbacks defeating the East Perth Eagles 61-50 and the Joondalup City Wolves downing the South West Slammers 71-54.
That came after two games on Friday night to start the round that saw the Lakeside Lightning beat the Willetton Tigers 87-84 and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns defeat the Cockburn Cougars 90-84.
That all means that the top eight Women’s SBL teams at the end of the regular season are the Perry Lakes Hawks (20-2), Mandurah Magic (19-3), Lakeside Lightning (17-5), Stirling Senators (15-7), Willetton Tigers (13-9), Joondalup City Wolves (12-10), Perth Redbacks (8-14) and Cockburn Cougars (8-14).
That sets up quarter-final matches up between the Lady Hawks and Cougars, Magic and Redbacks, Lightning and Lady Wolfpack, and Senators and Tigers starting on Friday night.
The Kalamunda Eastern Suns (6-16) finished ninth ahead of the South West Slammers (6-16), Rockingham Flames (6-16) and East Perth Eagles (2-20).
The Slammers headed to Joondalup Basketball Stadium on Saturday night needing to win by a big margin and then hope the Redbacks also suffered a big loss to the Eagles.
In the end neither happened and South West’s task was always a big one when import Brittany Hodges wasn’t able to suit up.
The Lady Wolfpack couldn’t move from sixth position but geared up for their quarter-final battle with the Lightning with a strong performance to win by 17 points in the 250th SBL appearance of guard Kelli Hayward.
Klara Wischer ended the night with 25 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and two steals for the Wolves with Chelsea Belcher contributing 18 points and three steals.
Shani Amos added eight points, seven rebounds and five assists for Joondalup, Nikita Martin seven points and four boards, Ellyce Ironmonger six points and eight rebounds, and Shanice Swain six points.
Lady Wolfpack coach Craig Friday was happy with what his team got out of the game.
“They had a bit to play for still and they’ve had a good season and wanted to finish it well so we understood that and we respect them certainly. But without sound arrogant we wanted to get through what we could get through and see what we could do to get ourselves ready for next week,” Friday said.
“We just needed to loosen up a little bit and have a bit of fun. I thought we were a bit tight and tense early on, and that even included us as a coaching staff. We just need to get going and what we ended up doing for the rest of the game we were pretty happy with what we got out of that in preparation for next week.”
Captain Courtney Bayliss did all she could to try and keep the Slammers close with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Kate Fielding added 11 points and nine rebounds for South West, Raya Thompson 10 points, Tayah Burrows six points and five rebounds, and Georgia Denehey five points, five boards and three steals before fouling out.
The Magic and Senators were both guaranteed of finishing in second and fourth positions respectively heading into their Saturday night clash at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre, but they still would have liked some winning momentum.
In the end it was Stirling playing well to hand Mandurah just its third loss of the season and first that wasn’t given by the Perry Lakes Hawks.
It was an impressive showing by the Senators to get ready to face the defending champion Tigers in the quarter finals.
Taylor Roberts was the star catching fire from three-point territory nailing 7-of-9 to finish with 29 points. Rebekah Throns was also impressive with 13 points, three assists and three rebounds hitting all three of her three-point attempts.
Jasmine Martin added 15 points for Stirling, Hannah Throns 12 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Kisha Lee 11 points and six rebounds.
Carly Boag finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds for Mandurah with Nici Gilday adding 12 points, four boards and four steals, Emma Klasztorny 12 points and eight rebounds, and Bree Klasztorny 10 points.
The Eagles were always guaranteed of finishing last but were looking to finish the season on a high at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre on Saturday night. But the Redbacks knew they needed to win to 100 per cent confirm their playoff spot.
East Perth did start well going on an 8-0 and leading by seven points early on, and still by five at quarter-time. But Perth got going from there to end up winning by 11 points to set up a quarter-final match up with the Magic.
Emilee Harmon top-scored for the Redbacks with 16 points and seven rebounds. Gabbi Turner added 12 points and Bianca Donovan 12 points in her 150th SBL appearance.
Jess Jakens also had six points and nine rebounds, Lisa Wallbutton six points, eight boards and four steals, and Ajay Johnson five points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
East Perth had plenty of contributors in its final game of the season with Elainah Coffin finishing with nine points, five rebounds and three assists, Kaylee Kilpatrick nine points and nine boards, Eryn Fisher nine points, Haylee DeSousa eight points, and Melissa Winfield five points, five rebounds and three assists.
FRIDAY NIGHT ROUND 20 WOMEN’S SBL RESULTS
Lakeside Lightning 87 defeated Willetton Tigers 84
Cockburn Cougars 84 lost to Kalamunda Eastern Suns 90
SATURDAY NIGHT ROUND 20 WOMEN’S SBL RESULTS
Joondalup City Wolves 71 defeated South West Slammers 54
Mandurah Magic 72 lost to Stirling Senators 90
East Perth Eagles 50 lost to Perth Redbacks 61
Photo by Vikki Hile