THE 2018 Women’s SBL season got underway on Friday night with first up victories for the Cockburn Cougars, Rockingham Flames and Lakeside Lightning.
There were three games on Friday night as the 2018 Women’s SBL season tipped off with the Cockburn Cougars defeating the East Perth Eagles 85-56, the Rockingham Flames beating the Stirling Senators 80-73 and Lakeside Lightning knocking off the Perth Redbacks 84-73.
Things got underway at Mike Barnett Sports Complex with the Flames hosting the Senators in a battle between a Rockingham team looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2017 and Stirling out to build on that fourth place finish.
In the end, it was the Flames’ inside power with Darcee Garbin and Maddison Allen along with the return of Jacinta Bourne from a knee injury that saw them come away with the seven-point victory.
Garbin, fresh off her WNBL championship winning campaign for the Townsville Fire, had a good night on return for Rockingham with the dual Women’s SBL title winner ending up with 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
New centre Allen was also impressive with 18 points and seven rebounds for the Flames while Bourne had 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Ariana Hetherington was also a good contributor for Rockingham with 13 points, five rebounds and three steals.
It was a Stirling youngster who provided some surprise punch off the bench with Vondella Berringal-Cox contributing 13 points and four rebounds on 6/10 shooting.
Former East Perth stalwart Nicole Jorre de St Jorre had 13 points, five rebounds and five assists with Amber Land finishing with 12 points and nine boards, Janee Johnson 11 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists, Jasmine Martin 10 points and Caitlyn Jones 10.
Then at Belmont Oasis, new Redbacks coach Charles Nix couldn’t quite make it a winning start against a Lightning team under Craig Mansfield back with a similar line-up to the one that went so close to reaching the Grand Final in 2017.
Lakeside came away with the 11-point victory on the back of import pair Ali Schwagmeyer and Sydnee Fipps taking off from where they finished last season. Schwagmeyer had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Fipps 23 points, four boards and four steals.
Ash Grant added 14 points and six rebounds for the Lightning too while the returning Courtney Byrnes had 11 points, six boards and four assists.
Perth Lynx WNBL star Kayla Standish led the way for the new-look Redbacks with 18 points and nine rebounds with Mikayla Pirini contributing 18 points. Makailah Dyer also had 15 points, four rebounds and three steals.
The Cougars then made quite the statement under new coach Megan Thompson at Wally Hagan Stadium with a 29-point thumping of the Eagles.
Cockburn made a remarkable start with 35 points in the first quarter. That saw them lead by 14 points at quarter-time and 26 at half-time before East Perth was able to stem the tide after the break.
It was a supremely impressive opening from the Cougars with young gun Isabelle Miotti leading the way with 21 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
BJ Moyes also had 16 points and seven assists with former Senators import Kisha Lee adding 11 points and nine boards. Haylee DeSousa also had nine points and three steals and Kirsty Pitcher eight points.
It was a tough opening night for East Perth but Cameron Flynn was impressive with 18 points and six rebounds, despite nine turnovers. Eryn Fisher added 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists, and Brianna Fisher eight points.
WEEK 1 WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Cockburn Cougars 85 defeated East Perth Eagles 56
Rockingham Flames 80 defeated Stirling Senators 73
Perth Redbacks 73 lost to Lakeside Lightning 84
Joondalup Wolves v Willetton Tigers – HBF Arena 6.00pm
Perry Lakes Hawks v Mandurah Magic – Bendat Basketball Centre 6.00pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v South West Slammers – Ray Owen Sports Centre 2.00pm