THE Lakeside Lightning further consolidated top spot in the Women’s SBL on Saturday night while the Perth Redbacks ended the impressive run of the defending champion Perry Lakes Hawks and the South West Slammers and Kalamunda Eastern Suns were also victorious.
The Round 15 action in the Women’s SBL began on Friday night with two matches taking place with plenty at stake with the Rockingham Flames beating the South West Slammers 82-64 and the Perth Redbacks defeating the Willetton Tigers 81-73.
There were then four more matches on Saturday night starting with the defending champion Perry Lakes Hawks putting their five-game winning streak on the line and coming up short with the Perth Redbacks prevailing 72-58.
The Kalamunda Eastern Suns also continued to close in on a top four spot beating the Cockburn Cougars 107-89 while the South West Slammers retained their spot in the top eight defeating the Joondalup Wolves 78-67.
The Lakeside Lightning remained clear on top of the table beating the Mandurah Magic 89-82 in a rematch of last year’s thrilling semi-final battle.
Saturday night’s contest at Bendat Basketball Centre had the makings of a beauty between the in-form defending champion Hawks and the firing Redbacks looking to further enhance their championship credentials.
Following a 1-9 start to the season, Perry Lakes had won five straight coming into the clash but the Redbacks had also won three straight including beating the Willetton Tigers at home on Friday night.
So the stage was set and the Redbacks answered the call to lead by three at quarter-time and then to be up 42-28 by half-time. The Lady Hawks tried to mount a comeback in the second half but Perth was able to hold them off and take out the 14-point win.
That improved the Redbacks to a 13-4 record on the season while the Hawks missed a chance to break into the top eight for the first time in 2018, at 6-10.
Mikayla Pirini top-scored for the Redbacks with just 13 points to go with four rebounds and four assists with good contributions from Kayla Standish (12 points, six rebounds), Alix Hayward (10 points, four boards), Makailah Dyer (eight points, four rebounds) and Bianca Donovan (eight points, two steals).
Last year’s Grand Final MVP Toni Farnworth put up 19 points to go with six rebounds and five assists for Perry Lakes with Nat Burton adding 13 points and nine boards, and Emily Burton seven points and eight rebounds.
Lakeside and Mandurah then did battle in a rematch of last year’s cracking three-game semi-final series at Lakeside Recreation Centre on Saturday night.
The Magic were trying to end a three-game losing slide and to maintain their top eight spot, and gave themselves a real chance leading 66-63 at three quarter-time.
But the Lightning responded with 26 points to 16 in the fourth period to run out seven-point winners for an eighth consecutive win to improve to 16-1 on top of the table. Mandurah slips to 7-8 having lost four in-a-row.
Ali Schwagmeyer finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Lakeside on shooting 7/13 from the field and 10/12 from the foul line.
Sydnee Fipps also put up 20 points and four rebounds for the Lightning, Courtney Byrnes 15 points and four assists, and Ash Grant eight points, six rebounds and three assists.
Anita Brown put in a big performance for the Magic with 29 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals with Regina Palusna adding 18 points and 12 boards, Emma Klasztorny 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Bree Klasztorny 11 points, four boards and two steals.
The Slammers returned home to Eaton Recreation Centre after being shorthanded in going down to the Flames in Rockingham on Friday. They were still missing Tori Fisher and Raya Thompson but their opponents the Lady Wolfpack were still without Ellyce Ironmonger, Abbie Ironmonger and Shani Amos.
The Wolves were on a nine-game losing run but did manage to lead the Slammers 40-37 at half-time. But South West responded well in the second half to outscore Joondalup 41 points to 27 to come away with the important 11-point win.
It steadied the Slammers to a 7-9 record inside the top eight while the Wolves have now lost 10 in-a-row at 4-13.
Slammers co-captain Courtney Bayliss came up big with 23 points and six rebounds on shooting 9/17 from the field and 4/9 from three-point territory.
Tayah Burrows also finished with 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Slammers with Charlotte van Kleef adding 12 points and four boards, Cian Parsons 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Georgia Denehey eight points, four assists, three steals and three rebounds.
Amy Kidner battled hard for the Wolfpack to finish the evening with 16 points and nine rebounds while Olivia Basso contributed 11 points, Tayla Pipes nine points and four rebounds, and Nikita Martin eight points, 12 boards, three blocked shots, two steals and two assists.
The Eastern Suns then continued to enhance their top four credentials in the Women’s SBL with a successive venture to Wally Hagan Stadium to take on the Cougars.
Kalamunda entered the game knocking on the door of the top four and did nothing to diminish those hopes. It was a tight first half with the Eastern Suns only leading 56-54 at half-time.
But it was all the Suns in the second half as they outscored the Cougars on their home floor 51-35 in the second half to come away with the 18-point victory to improve to a 12-6 record while Cockburn slipped to 5-11.
Jennie Rintala delivered another 25 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots for the Eastern Suns with Alex Ciabattoni also producing 23 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Jessie Edwards also had 20 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for the Suns with Jorjah Smith contributing 11 points and six assists.
Kisha Lee put up a monster performance for the Cougars despite the loss finishing with 42 points, 15 rebounds and three assists on the back of shooting 16/29 from the field, 4/10 from three-point range and 6/7 from the free-throw line.
BJ Moyes added 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Taryn Priestly contributed 11 points and five assists, and Vanessa Michael 10 points and six rebounds.
WEEK 15 WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Rockingham Flames 82 defeated South West Slammers 64
Perth Redbacks 81 defeated Willetton Tigers 73
South West Slammers 78 defeated Joondalup Wolves 67
Lakeside Lightning 89 defeated Mandurah Magic 82
Cockburn Cougars 89 lost to Kalamunda Eastern Suns 107
Perry Lakes Hawks 58 lost to Perth Redbacks 72