FIVE matches took place in the Women’s SBL on Saturday night with the Willetton Tigers ending the winning run of the Perth Redbacks with the Rockingham Flames, Lakeside Lightning, South West Slammers and Kalamunda Eastern Suns also victorious.
Round 7 in the Women’s SBL began with the one match on Friday night and that saw the Joondalup Wolves keep the East Perth Eagles winless, winning 70-47 at HBF Arena.
That led into the five matches on Saturday night with 10 of the 12 teams in the Women’s SBL in action.
That saw the Willetton Tigers beat the Perth Redbacks 93-79, the Rockingham Flames beat the Joondalup Wolves 81-67, the Lakeside Lightning hammer the East Perth Eagles 109-39, the South West Slammers down the Cockburn Cougars 90-72 and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns prevail 71-67 against the Stirling Senators.
Saturday night began with a tantalising match up between the Tigers and Redbacks at Willetton Basketball Stadium with both having lost just the one game to date in 2018.
The Redbacks hadn’t lost since the opening night of the season against the unbeaten Lightning and had won well on Anzac Day against the Magic in Mandurah, but it was an impressive Willetton outfit on Saturday night.
The Tigers started strongly and led 53-37 by half-time and had extended that advantage to 23 points by three quarter-time before ending up winning by 14.
New import Ashli Payne top-scored for Willetton with 18 points, nine rebounds and two steals with fellow new arrival Leah Cotton adding 12 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds.
Sam Norwood also finished with 16 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks for the Tigers while Zoe Harper added 13 points and eight boards, Desiree Kelley 12 points, Carla Drennan nine points and Ajay Johnson eight to go with eight rebounds, five steals and two assists.
It was a terrific job by the Tigers to limit Kayla Standish to five shots for the night. She made four of them for 11 points and four rebounds.
Makailah Dyer finished with 13 points and six rebounds for Perth while shooting just 4/16 from the field and 1/7 from deep.
Alix Hayward added 12 points, Mikayla Pirini 12 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Jess Jakens 11 points, three boards and three assists.
The Slammers bounced back well from a loss last week to the Rockingham Flames by putting in an impressive performance to beat the Cougars by 18 points at Eaton Recreation Centre.
The win improves the Slammers to a 3-5 record on the season while the Cougars slipped to 2-5.
Charlotte van Kleef had a big evening for the Slammers finishing with 24 points and six rebounds on shooting 9/18 from the field and 4/10 from three-point territory.
Courtney Bayliss contributed 18 points and nine rebounds too for South West with Tori Fisher adding 12 points, 15 rebounds and four steals, Kate Fielding 12 points and Georgia Denehey 10 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals.
Isabelle Miotti top-scored for Cockburn with 20 points and five rebounds while Kisha Lee added 10 points and six boards, Taryn Priestly 10 points, six assists and four boards, Nicole Pitcher 10 points, three rebounds and three steals, and Brianna Moyes eight points and 10 rebounds.
Rockingham continued its impressive form beating the Wolves by 14 points at Mike Barnett Sports Complex on Saturday night.
With Darcee Garbin going out of the Flames team and returning to Queensland, her spot was taken by newly arrived import D’Lesha Lloyd and Rockingham continued its winning ways to improve to a 5-2 record on the season against the now 4-4 Lady Wolfpack.
Lloyd ended up top-scoring for Rockingham with 26 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Maddison Allen contributed 21 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots while Jacinta Bourne added 19 points, four boards, three assists and two steals, and Ariana Hetherington 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Shani Amos top-scored for the Wolves with 18 points, six assists and three steals with Ellyce Ironmonger adding 11 points, 16 rebounds and three assists.
Kourteney Zadina scored 10 points to go with four rebounds for Joondalup with Nikita Martin adding nine points, four boards and three assists.
It threatened to be ugly at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre on Saturday night when the undefeated league-leading Lightning took on the winless bottom-of-the-table Eagles.
Compounding matters was East Perth having played on Friday night against the Wolves at HBF Arena and that they had lost veteran Fiona Heart to a broken arm.
Remarkably she played all 40 minutes of Friday night’s game with the injury and had eight rebounds and four assists before later being diagnosed with the injury to sideline her now for up to two months.
And the difference in experience and class between the top and bottom sides was quickly on show. By half-time the Lightning had opened up a 54-14 advantage.
The lead was as much as 77 points at one point in the second half with Lakeside hitting 28 consecutive points before they ended up winning by 70.
Sydnee Fipps finished with 23 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals for the Lightning with Ali Schwagmeyer contributing 23 points and five assists.
Ash Grant also had 17 points, eight rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists with Courtney Byrnes adding 12 points, 10 assists, six boards and four steals, and Jess Van Schie 10 points, four rebounds and three steals.
Eryn Fisher top-scored for the Eagles with 10 points and nine rebounds with Brianna Fisher adding nine points, three boards, three steals and two assists. Akim Lual also had seven points and eight rebounds.
Despite some losses that don’t look pretty on the scoreboard, Eagles coach Tanya Fisher has an eye on the big picture.
“It’s a development year. I’m not going to make any excuses for mistakes because that’s what a development year is all about. We made a decision as a club that it doesn’t make sense to go and pay for imports year in and year out if you are just going to remain mediocre,” Fisher said.
“We need to be working on something a lot bigger. The average age of the girls out there is 18.2 so they are a very young side and we are going to keep providing those opportunities for the young girls.
“We have got two of these girls already going on college scholarships to America, we just have to keep on looking at bringing them through and working on the development until it makes a good business case to spend the money on imports coming in. As a club, you have to have a stable framework to bring that into.
“We’ve made that decision and it’s not going to be pretty, and it’s hard work for coaches, because we literally have to each everything. We have to teach attitude, commitment to training, offence, what it’s like to be behind and struggle to get up.
“You are coaching 100 per cent of the game, there’s no resting but the good thing is there is no ego management. The young girls are keen, they work hard, they train and do everything you ask of them off the court. It’s just a matter of making it all come together out there.”
The night ended with a much closer affair at Ray Owen Sports Centre with the Eastern Suns ending up prevailing by four points against the Senators.
It was a tight affair most of the way but Kalamunda pulled away in the third quarter and then held off Stirling in the fourth to improve to a 4-4 record against the now 3-5 Senators.
Jennie Rintala had a monster performance for the Eastern Suns finishing the night with 18 points and 15 rebounds.
Alex Ciabattoni had another strong all-round display with 16 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three steals with Jewel Williams, Alecia Knowles and Rebecca Motroni all scoring nine points, and Jorjah Smith eight.
Jasmine Martin did all she could to try and lift the Senators over the line with 25 points, five rebounds and three steals on shooting 10/16 from the field and 3/6 from long range.
Amber Land also had 13 points and eight rebounds for Stirling while Nicole Jorre de St Jorre contributed 12 points and Jodee Sontay 10 to go with six rebounds and four assists.
WEEK 7 WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Joondalup Wolves 70 defeated East Perth Eagles 47
Willetton Tigers 93 defeated Perth Redbacks 79
Rockingham Flames 81 defeated Joondalup Wolves 67
East Perth Eagles 39 lost to Lakeside Lightning 109
South West Slammers 90 defeated Cockburn Cougars 72
Kalamunda Eastern Suns 71 defeated Stirling Senators 67