FRIDAY night in the Women’s SBL saw the Rockingham Flames and Perth Redbacks enhance their championship credentials with wins respectively over the South West Slammers and Willetton Tigers.
There were two matches to open Round 15 in the Women’s SBL on Friday night and both had plenty at stake and were big occasions promoted by the respective clubs.
They saw the Rockingham Flames beat the South West Slammers 82-64 at Mike Barnett Sports Complex while the Perth Redbacks defeated Willetton Tigers 81-73 at Belmont Oasis.
It was the Vern Hiddlestone Memorial Game at Belmont Oasis on Friday night with the Redbacks and Tigers locking horns with both teams coming into the contest occupying positions inside the top four.
The Redbacks got off to a bright start to lead 26-18 by quarter-time and they had extended their advantage to 10 points by the main break.
Perth then led 68-51 by three quarter-time and despite the Tigers showing good fight in the fourth period, the Redbacks still came away winning by eight points for a third straight victory.
That improves them to a 12-4 record on the season ahead of a clash with the defending champion Perry Lakes Hawks on Saturday night while the Tigers slip to 10-6.
Perth Lynx WNBL star Kayla Standish came up big for the Redbacks finishing the night with 17 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Captain Mikayla Pirini added 15 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals for Perth with Lori Ashworth contributing 11 points and four boards, Makailah Dyer nine points and three rebounds, Denielle Lipscombe nine points, six boards and four assists, and Jess Hughes seven points and three assists.
Carla Drennan continued her breakout season as an emerging star for Willetton top-scoring off the bench with 14 points while shooting 4/5 from the field and 5/5 from the foul line in just 16 minutes of court time.
Ashli Payne also finished with 13 points and seven rebounds for the Tigers, Desiree Kelley 10 points, nine boards, five steals and five assists, Ajay Johnson eight points, five boards and three assists, and Tayla Hepburn eight points.
It was then a big night at Mike Barnett Sports Complex as Rockingham hosted South West with the Flames attempting to host a crowd that reached 1000 people for the first time in SBL regular season history.
Their home team put on a strong performance in front of the bigger crowd too to continue to retain second position on the ladder.
The Flames led by seven at quarter-time against the Slammers and had stretched that advantage to 48-33 by half-time.
Little separated the teams through the second half but Rockingham maintained its edge to come away with the 18-point victory to improve to a 12-4 record on the season while the Slammers slipped 6-9 ahead of hosting the Joondalup Wolves on Saturday night.
D’Lesha Lloyd had an impressive night for the Flames finishing with 26 points, five rebounds and three assists on shooting 12/23 from the floor and 2/4 from three-point territory.
Maddison Allen added 12 points and 12 rebounds for Rockingham, Chelsea Armstrong 10 points, three boards and two steals, Dena English nine points and four assists, and Taneisha Harrison eight points and four assists.
Slammers import Charlotte van Kleef finished with 20 points and four rebounds for the Slammers with Ebony Bilcich contributing 11 points. Tayah Burrows also had nine points, four rebounds and four assists, and Courtney Bayliss eight points, four boards and three assists.
WEEK 15 WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Rockingham Flames 82 defeated South West Slammers 64
Perth Redbacks 81 defeated Willetton Tigers 73
South West Slammers v Joondalup Wolves – Eaton Recreation Centre 6.00pm
Lakeside Lightning v Mandurah Magic – Lakeside Recreation Centre 6.00pm
Cockburn Cougars v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Wally Hagan Stadium 6.00pm
Perry Lakes Hawks v Perth Redbacks – Bendat Basketball Centre 6.00pm