A closely fought contest for the majority of the game, it was the locals who came up with the decisive run in the game to outlast their opponents.
Both teams fielded under-strength line ups as the Wolves continued to play with the absence of regular starters Shani Amos and Ellyce Ironmonger while Abbie Ironmonger was also missing. Meanwhile South West were without Raya Thompson and Tori Fisher but did have Georgia Denehey back after failing to finish last night’s game due to injury.
The two teams exchanged several lead changes in the first half and a half time lead of 40-37 in favour of Joondalup was a fair assessment of an even first twenty minutes of basketball that saw both sides battle for ascendency.
The third quarter remained an arm wrestle and continued the trend of several lead changes as both teams attempted to run each other into the ground with the game being played at a frenetic pace in transition. After an entertaining third serve of ten minutes, the game swayed to hold a 56-55 advantage to the Slammers.
The final ten minutes saw the locals initiate the first of the momentum swings with an 11- 3 run including back-to-back Tayah Burrows three-pointers. The Slammers cause was aided by some suspect officiating including a dubious technical foul assessed to Wolves Coach Craig Friday after a controversial over rule.
The margin extended to 11 points but an ensuing Wolves timeout saw the visitors respond to bridge the gap back to six points with the best part of 5 minutes remaining in the contest.
South West’s zone defense proved difficult to break with the Wolves struggling to convert several outside opportunities. On the other side of the court, the Slammers offense found rhythm when it needed too, none more typified than Courtney Bayliss connecting on eight straight points late in the fourth including successive three pointers to effectively edge the contest unattainable for the Wolves.
At the end of play, South West were victorious, 78-67.
The Slammers scoring was led by Courtney Bayliss who finished with 23 points and 6 rebounds. Equally impressive were youngsters Tayah Burrows (21 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists) and Cian Parsons (10 points, 12 rebounds).
Joondalup had veterans Amy Kidner (16 points, 9 rebounds) and Nikita Martin (8 points, 12 rebounds) led the way with Olivia Basso adding 11 points.
Article by Vlad Alava
Photo by Sports Imagery Australia