THE South West Slammers set up a dramatic finish to the Women’s SBL regular season by beating the Stirling Senators in overtime at Eaton Recreation Centre on Sunday.
The Slammers needed to win on their home floor to keep their playoff hopes alive and while it took overtime for them to accomplish that, they beat the Senators 85-82 to set up a dramatic final round with South West, Stirling, Perry Lakes and Mandurah fighting over seventh and eighth position.
Round 19 in the Women’s SBL began on Friday night with the Lakeside Lightning beating the Rockingham Flames 87-76, denying Rockingham a chance to still finish second. The Willetton Tigers also beat the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 87-76.
Then on Saturday, the Mandurah Magic went a long way to securing their playoff berth beating the Cockburn Cougars 84-61 while the Willetton Tigers locked away fourth spot defeating the Perry Lakes Hawks 62-50.
The Rockingham Flames also hit the road to beat the Joondalup Wolves 87-75 at HBF Arena while the Lakeside Lightning kept the East Perth Eagles winless, winning 96-71.
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There was plenty on the line coming into the Sunday clash between the Slammers and Senators at Eaton Recreation Centre with both teams making their only appearances of Round 19.
Stirling came out strongly with 22 points to 17 in the first quarter before South West closed the gap to cut the Senators lead to 37-34 by half-time.
The Slammers then caught fire in the third period with 24 points to 17 to head into the fourth period leading 58-54, but the Senators wouldn’t be denied.
A Jasmine Martin triple tied scores again with just under seven minutes remaining but the Slammers again pulled away through buckets to Charlotte van Kleef and Georgia Denehey to lead 70-66 with 3:30 left.
Once again, a triple from Martin pulled the Senators back within two with 1:30 left and she again delivered the tying basket with 27 seconds remaining.
That’s where things remained heading into the overtime period where after a pair of free-throws for Stirling to Martin, Tori Fisher responded for the Slammers with a three-point play.
Van Kleef made a jumper to give the home team an 81-78 lead with just over a minute left and when Denehey hit a layup and then converted two free-throws, it was enough for the Slammers to win with Amber Land missing a desperation tying three on the buzzer.
The win leaves the Slammers still in ninth position at 9-12 with a final round meeting with the fifth placed Kalamunda Eastern Suns to come. The Senators are also 9-12 in eighth with a game to finish against the also 9-12 Perry Lakes Hawks. The Magic are 10-11 with a game against the Wolves.
Charlotte van Kleef finished with 22 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots for the Slammers on shooting a tremendous 8/11 from the field and 4/6 from three-point territory.
Georgia Denehey added 22 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals too for South West with Tori Fisher contributing 13 points, nine boards and four assists, and Tayah Burrows 11 points and five assists.
Co-captains Kate Fielding (eight points, two assists and two blocks) and Courtney Bayliss (seven points, nine rebounds and three assists) also made strong contributions.
Jasmine Martin put up a huge performance for the Senators with 36 points, five rebounds and two steals made up of shooting 12/16 from the floor, 4/6 from beyond the arc and 8/9 from the foul line.
Janee Johnson added 16 points, 11 rebounds and four steals for Stirling while Rebekah Throns had seven points and five boards, Amber Land six points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals, and Nicole Jorre de St Jorre six points and two assists.
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 85 defeated Stirling Senators 82