ROUND 4 of the Women’s SBL concluded on Sunday afternoon with the Mandurah Magic remaining undefeated beating the Willetton Tigers while the South West Slammers won their first game of 2018, beating the Joondalup Wolves.
The Round 4 action got underway with two games on Friday night with the Perth Redbacks defeating the Cockburn Cougars 74-69 at Belmont Oasis and the Lakeside Lightning beating the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 97-78 at Lakeside Recreation Centre.
Then on Saturday night, the Rockingham Flames downed the Perry Lakes Hawks 86-61 at Bendat Basketball Centre and the Joondalup Wolves defeated the Stirling Senators 72-56 at Warwick Stadium.
Lastly on Sunday afternoon, the Mandurah Magic beat the Willetton Tigers 75-62 at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre and the South West Slammers defeated the Joondalup Wolves 82-69 at HBF Arena.
The Magic and Tigers put their undefeated starts to the 2018 Women’s SBL season on the line when they did battle in Mandurah on Sunday.
In the end, it was the Magic who improved to 4-0 as the Grand Finalists of 2017 beat the Tigers by 13 points on their home floor.
Mandurah was on top leading by five points at quarter-time and seven at the half, before the Magic locked down the Tigers and held them to 10 third quarter points. They went on to lead by as much as 26 points before winning by 13.
It was a day of celebration for the Magic too with the legend Casey Mihovilovich celebrating her 450th appearance with Mandurah in the Women’s SBL. She commemorated the occasion with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists as well.
Magic import Anita Brown starred with 26 points, nine rebounds, five steals and two assists as well on the back of shooting 11/20 from the field.
Rachel Halleen added eight points for Mandurah, Bree Klasztorny seven points and six rebounds, and Kelly Bailey five points and eight boards.
Sami Whitcomb did what she could to try and keep Willetton undefeated in her month-long stint to start the 2018 season. But the WNBL and WNBA superstar couldn’t quite make it four wins in as many attempts despite her 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Tayla Hepburn also had eight points and four rebounds for Willetton, Carla Drennan seven points, Zoe Harper six points and five rebounds, and Sophie Maines six points.
Round 4 in the Women’s SBL then concluded at HBF Arena with the Lady Wolfpack hosting the previously winless Slammers.
The Wolves were coming off beating the Stirling Senators on Saturday night and started strongly on Sunday leading the Slammers 20-10 by quarter-time.
They went on to lead by as much as 13 points but the Slammers had built some confidence and momentum by half-time heading into the break leading 35-34.
They then kept it going too in the second half catching fire offensively to put up 47 second half points to record their first win of 2018, beating the Wolves by 13 points.
Co-captain Courtney Bayliss had a terrific shooting afternoon for the Slammers going 5/10 from three-point range on the way to 21 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Charlotte van Kleef added 21 points as well for South West with Georgia Denehey contributing 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds, Ebony Bilcich seven points and three boards, and Tori Fisher seven points, five rebounds and three assists.
Slammers coach Peter Harper was a proud and relieved man to get the first win on the board for 2018.
“We identified Shani as being their key and she played well early, but Raya Thompson got on top of her halfway through the first quarter and really negated her influence on the game. Then as a team everyone stepped up,” Harper said.
“We did get beaten on screens a lot early, but the girls adjusted to their credit and defensively Courtney was huge inside. She doesn’t get the credit on the defensive end that she deserves.
“Georgia was good with her on-ball defending and everyone stepped up. Tori gives us a presence in the paint that we haven’t had too and Martin did get off the lead a bit, but as a team we can handle one person getting going. It’s when it’s three or four when it’s a problem.”
Nikita Martin put up 24 points, seven rebounds and three steals for the Wolves shooting a supremely efficient 9/13 from the floor and a perfect 6/6 at the foul line.
Amy Kidner contributed 11 points for the Lady Wolfpack, Kourteney Zadina eight points and four boards, Shani Amos six points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals, and Tayla Pipes six points and three boards.
WEEK 4 WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Perth Redbacks 74 defeated Cockburn Cougars 69
Lakeside Lightning 97 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 78
Perry Lakes Hawks 61 lost to Rockingham Flames 86
Stirling Senators 56 lost to Joondalup Wolves 72
Mandurah Magic 75 defeated Willetton Tigers 62
Joondalup Wolves 69 lost to South West Slammers 82