THERE were three games in the Women’s SBL on Friday night to open Round 11 with victories for the Perry Lakes Hawks, Rockingham Flames and Perth Redbacks.
The Round 11 action got underway with three big games on Friday night starting with the defending champion Perry Lakes Hawks winning their second game of the 2018 season, beating the Joondalup Wolves 67-55.
The Rockingham Flames blew the Willetton Tigers away in the first half with their full-strength squad firing on the way to a 75-60 victory while the Perth Redbacks also impressed with an 82-60 win against the Stirling Senators.
Friday night got underway at Bendat Basketball Centre with two teams who are uncharacteristically struggling so far in 2018, Perry Lakes and Joondalup, locking horns.
Coming off winning the championship last season and losing just two games, the Lady Hawks came into the contest at 1-9.
But they were able to deliver their best performance of the season to date on the back of a dominant 22-13 third quarter to set up the eventual 12-point win.
That improves Perry Lakes to a 2-9 record ahead of playing the Redbacks on Saturday night while the Lady Wolfpack slip to 4-8 ahead of hosting the Mandurah Magic on Saturday.
Nat Burton showed just how much she was missed through the first half of the season for Perry Lakes finishing the night against the Wolves with 23 points, 17 rebounds and three assists.
Toni Farnworth added 11 points, nine assists, three rebounds and three steals with Lauren Jeffers contributing 10 points and four assists.
Amy Kidner top-scored for the Lady Wolfpack with 17 points and six rebounds with Nikita Martin contributing nine points, Chelsea Belcher nine points and Olivia Basso eight points.
The Senators also hosted the Redbacks at Warwick Stadium with Stirling trying to continue its good form after a slow start and Perth out to maintain their hold on a position inside the top four.
That set the stage for a terrific contest and the Senators stuck with the Redbacks for the first half, but Perth pulled away after the break outscoring Stirling 43-25 in the second half to claim the impressive 22-point win.
That improved the Redbacks to 9-3 ahead of hosting Perry Lakes on Saturday while Stirling slips to 5-7 ahead of playing Willetton on the road.
The Redbacks were without Kayla Standish as well but Jess Jakens stepped up with 18 points and four rebounds.
Denielle Lipscombe also had 12 points and five boards for the Redbacks, Makailah Dyer 11 points and eight rebounds, Mikayla Pirini 10 points, five assists and four boards, Bianca Donovan 10 points and three assists, and Nes’eya Williams eight points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
Janee Johnson top-scored for the Senators with 14 points and three rebounds with Caitlyn Jones adding 10 points and seven boards, Amber Land nine points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots, and Emma Berryman nine points, four assists and three boards.
The other Friday night contest was at Mike Barnett Sports Complex with recent foes the Flames and Tigers locking horns with Willetton trying to earn a measure of revenge for a 35-point home loss to Rockingham only three weeks ago.
It wasn’t to be, though, with the Flames delivering a dominant first half leading by as much as 25 points, which was the half-time lead with them on top 47-22.
The Tigers did show some fight in the second half but could never get the deficit under double-figures with Rockingham impressing with a 15-point win to improve to 8-3 while Willetton slipped to 8-3 ahead of a home clash against Stirling on Saturday night.
The Flames had their full squad together with Jacinta Bourne back after missing last week to join the big three of imports D’Lesha Lloyd and Taneisha Harrison, and impressive centre Maddison Allen.
Harrison ended up top-scoring with 21 points on the back of shooting 4/9 from three-point territory.
Lloyd ended the evening with 15 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists while Allen finished with 15 points, 20 rebounds and four blocked shots, and Bourne 13 points, four boards, two assists and two steals.
“Obviously we got them really comfortably up at Willetton but that’s their only bad game in the last five,” said Rockingham coach Ryan Petrik.
“We envisioned them really coming out strong and for us to be up 25 at half-time was really pleasing. We were just nit picking at tiny things at half-time that weren’t super relevant, but we kept them to six offensive rebounds in the first half and we had 47 points. It was a great first half.”
Ashli Payne top-scored for Willetton with 10 points, seven rebounds, five steals and three assists but shot just 4/16 from the field and 0/5 from deep.
Leah Cotton added nine points, five rebounds and three steals, Ajay Johnson eight points and three boards and Emma Gandini eight points and three assists.
The Flames now take on the Eagles on Saturday night at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre. While East Perth is yet to win a game, Petrik doesn’t want complacency to set in and knows that with Lloyd and Harrison having only recently arrived, building chemistry at every chance is crucial.
“To be honest we’re just trying to get reps into our group, that’s our weakness,” Petrik said.
“We think we’ve got enough talent to give it a shake, but the biggest thing is that when everyone is chasing Lakeside and their biggest strength against everyone else appears to be continuity in their program.
“They’ve brought back their big three from last year with the same coach and a very similar system. They just roll the ball out and off they go which we were doing a few years back.
“We’ve got three new big players, though, so we are trying to get them on the same page with what we’re doing. We are trying to cram a whole bunch into a three-month season and that’s interesting for us.”
WEEK 11 WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Perry Lakes Hawks 67 defeated Joondalup Wolves 55
Rockingham Flames 75 defeated Willetton Tigers 60
Stirling Senators 60 lost to Perth Redbacks 82
Perth Redbacks v Perry Lakes Hawks – Belmont Oasis 6.00pm
Joondalup Wolves v Mandurah Magic – HBF Arena 6.00pm
East Perth Eagles v Rockingham Flames – Morley Sport and Recreation Centre 6.00pm
Cockburn Cougars v Lakeside Lightning – Wally Hagan Stadium 6.00pm
Willetton Tigers v Stirling Senators – Willetton Basketball Stadium 6.00pm