THE Mandurah Magic, Rockingham Flames, Lakeside Lightning and Willetton Tigers all geared up for the playoffs in the Women’s SBL with impressive Round 19 Saturday night victories.
It is the second last round in the Women’s SBL regular season for 2018 and it began on Friday night with the Lakeside Lightning beating the Rockingham Flames 87-76 and the Willetton Tigers defeating the Kalamunda Eastern 87-76.
There were then four matches on Saturday starting late afternoon at Wally Hagan Stadium with the Mandurah Magic beating the Cockburn Cougars 84-61.
The Rockingham Flames then defeated Joondalup Wolves 87-75 at HBF Arena while the Lakeside Lightning beat the East Perth Eagles 96-71 at Lakeside Recreation Centre and the Willetton Tigers locked in fourth spot defeating the Perry Lakes Hawks 62-50 at Willetton Basketball Stadium.
FRIDAY NIGHT WOMEN’S SBL RECAP – WEEK 19
FARNWORTH’S CONTINUED GROWTH KEY TO HAWKS’ RESURRECTION
WOMEN’S SBL PREVIEW – WEEK 19
DYER ENJOYING LIFE AT REDBACKS AHEAD OF TITLE PUSH
MOTIVATION STRONG DESPITE TOP SPOT SECURED FOR LIGHTNING
NIX TAKES NEXT STEP AS COACH BUT REDBACKS SUCCESS HIS FOCUS
The Saturday Women’s SBL action for Round 19 got underway at Wally Hagan Stadium with the Magic taking on the Cougars needing to win to cement themselves inside the top eight.
It was a tight first half, though, with Cockburn welcoming back import Kisha Lee having lost the past three matches in her absence to fall out of the playoff race.
Cockburn led by a point at quarter-time before Mandurah headed into half-time with a 42-40 advantage.
The Magic began to pull away in the third quarter, though, with 23 points to 17 before then holding the Cougars to just four points the entire last quarter to claim the crucial 23-point win.
The victory improves Mandurah to a 10-11 record to stay solid inside the top eight while Cockburn lost a fourth straight to be 6-15.
Mandurah import Anita Brown had a strong performance finishing with 25 points, five rebounds and three assists on the back of shooting 12/19 from the field.
Regina Palusna delivered what was likely her best performance since joining the Magic around Anzac Day. She finished the game with 24 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and four steals while shooting 11/20 from the floor.
Emma Klasztorny added 12 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals for Mandurah while Casey Mihovilovich contributed eight points, 10 boards, five assists and five steals.
Kisha Lee played just 27 minutes on her return for the Cougars but did have 21 points, four rebounds and three steals.
BJ Moyes added 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals for Cockburn while Isabelle Miotti contributed nine points, three boards, three assists and two steals.
It was then on to a crucial match up at Willetton Basketball Stadium between two teams that met in the semi finals last year, Willetton and Perry Lakes.
The Tigers came into the contest on the back of moving into fourth position with a Friday night win over Kalamunda while the Hawks have been in hot form winning eight of their last 10 to book in a playoff berth.
Willetton came out and started impressively too with a 17-10 first quarter. The Tigers then restricted the Lady Hawks to just eight points in the third quarter and then went on to score the crucial 12-point victory.
It was the last game of the regular season for the Tigers ahead of the final round bye and they finish at 14-8 and should have fourth spot locked away. The Hawks slip to 9-12.
Ashli Payne top-scored for the Tigers with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals with Leah Cotton adding 11 points and three boards.
Sam Norwood finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds too for Willetton while Emma Gandini contributed eight points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals.
Toni Farnworth was the only Perry Lakes player to score in double-figures with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists despite shooting just 3/15 from the field and 0/6 from three-point territory.
Kate Anthony finished with nine points and five rebounds for the Hawks, Gabby O’Sullivan nine points and seven boards, and Bella Green eight points and four rebounds. Nat Burton pulled in 13 rebounds.
It was top against bottom with Lakeside hosting East Perth at Lakeside Recreation Centre. Following the Lightning’s 70-point win at Morley earlier in the season, the Eagles were looking to be vastly more competitive this time around.
East Perth did manage to take it right up to the minor premiers as well and deliver a competitive performance, but the Lightning, minus Ali Schwagmeyer, led by eight points at quarter-time, 16 at half-time, 25 at three quarter-time and went on to win by that 25-point margin.
It was a 13th consecutive win for Lakeside for them to improve to 20-1 on the season while the Eagles remain winless at 0-21 with a final round game against the second placed Redbacks to go.
Ash Grant had a big night for the Lightning with 23 points, 10 rebounds and four assists on the back of shooting 10/18 from the field.
Sydnee Fipps added 23 points, six assists and four rebounds for the Lightning while Sam Roscoe contributed 16 points, three boards, three assists and two steals, Mel Moyle 12 points and nine rebounds, and Jess van Schie 10 points, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals.
East Perth import Ladondra Johnson didn’t play in that first game of the season against Lakeside and made a significant difference this time around putting up 38 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals on shooting 14/24 from the field, 5/9 from three-point range and 5/6 from the foul line.
Sam Jackson added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Eagles, and Eryn Fisher nine points and 13 boards.
The final game of Saturday night in the Women’s SBL saw the Lady Wolfpack play host to a Flames team looking to bounce back from a loss to the Lightning on Friday night that all but denied them a chance of claiming second position.
The Wolves were coming off two games last weekend where they had strong first halves against both Perry Lakes and Lakeside but couldn’t quite maintain it in the second half.
So they deservedly came out at HBF Arena with a positive mindset and by half-time only trailed Rockingham by three points.
Then the Wolves delivered an impressive third period with 22 points to 17 to head into the fourth leading 60-58. But the Flames turned the tide to claim the 12-point win to improve to 15-6 while the Lady Wolfpack slipped to 5-16.
The Flames were again without playmaker Jacinta Bourne but got big games out of imports Taneisha Harrison (25 points, five rebounds, four assists) and D’Lesha Lloyd (24 points, five boards, two assists).
Maddie Allen produced another 11 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, three assists and two steals for Rockingham with Chelsea Armstrong contributing 11 points including nailing all three of her attempts from beyond the arc.
Amy Kidner did what she could for the Wolves with 21 points and six rebounds while Kourteney Zadina added 18 points and seven boards, Chelsea Belcher 12 points and six rebounds, and Nikita Martin 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
WEEK 19 WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Rockingham Flames 76 lost to Lakeside Lightning 87
Kalamunda Eastern Suns 76 lost to Willetton Tigers 87
Cockburn Cougars 61 lost to Mandurah Magic 84
Joondalup Wolves 75 lost to Rockingham Flames 87
Lakeside Lightning 96 defeated East Perth Eagles 71
Willetton Tigers 62 defeated Perry Lakes Hawks 50
South West Slammers v Stirling Senators – Eaton Recreation Centre 12.00pm