THE Joondalup Wolves capped off a perfect weekend in response to their first loss of the 2019 Women’s SBL season beating the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 80-66 on Sunday.
The Lady Wolfpack suffered their first defeat of the season the previous Friday night, losing to the defending champion Lakeside Lightning by 20 points, but they responded well on Saturday night beating the Perry Lakes Hawks by 10 at HBF Arena.
They then had a short turnaround to take on Kalamunda at Ray Owen Sports Centre on Sunday with the Eastern Suns also looking to build on their momentum from having won at Cockburn on Friday night.
After a tight first half, Joondalup pulled away in the third quarter with 27 points to 10 which set the stage for their eventual 14-point victory. That sees the Wolves improve to a 5-1 record while the Eastern Suns are 2-4.
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With both teams coming off wins already in Round 5, it was a tight opening until Kayla Steindl, Chelsea Belcher and Isabelle Miotti gave the Wolves a 6-0 run to lead 12-6.
Rebecca Motroni responded with a three for Kalamunda and Jewel Williams knocked down another soon after from downtown to keep the Suns within one.
The Wolfpack only led 17-16 by quarter-time and despite another 8-0 run capped off by a Belcher triple saw them lead by eight, the Eastern Suns stayed in touch and the visitors led just 37-31 by half-time.
It was a determined Wolves team that came out of half-time ready to take the game out of reach and they did that piling on 27 points in the third term while keeping the Eastern Suns just to 10 points.
That saw Joondalup lead 64-41 by three quarter-time and despite Kalamunda producing an improved last quarter where they outscored the Wolves 25 to 16, the Wolfpack still won well by 14 points managing to take advantage of their edge in size and athleticism.
There wasn’t much that separated the teams statistically-speaking with the Wolves ending up pulling in eight more rebounds but they did have 19 turnovers to 18.
In the end, the Wolves shared the ball better with 24 assists on their 29 field goals while they shot the ball better too. The Wolfpack ended up going 29/68 at 42 per cent from the field with Kalamunda going 23/70 at 32 per cent.
Chelsea Belcher finished the afternoon with 14 points for the Wolves with fellow guard Mikayla Pirini adding 14 points, five assists and three rebounds. The pair combined for 7/15 from three-point range.
Kayla Steindl also had 13 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots for the Lady Wolfpack while Amy Kidner contributed 13 points, six boards, four steals and two assists, and Isabelle Miotti eight points, five rebounds and five assists.
Lady Wolfpack coach Charles Nix, adorning a freshly shaved face after raising more than $1300 for cancer awareness the night before, was happy with the win on the back of the victory the night before over Perry Lakes.
“We knew it was a short turnaround and obviously last night’s game was what I thought was of a fairly high quality,” Nix said.
“So the girls had to work obviously to recover well and we knew it would be tough today with the really short turnaround against a team that has had a rest and carrying a little bit of confidence after winning on Friday. I’m happy with what I saw.
“We are still growing, we’re still learning and building that chemistry. But the patch in the third where we really locked down defensively and took advantage of some mismatches and got to the spots we wanted to, was really impressive.”
Jewel Williams continued her strong form for the Eastern Suns with 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals while shooting 5/11 from the field, 3/7 from beyond the arc and 3/4 from the foul line.
Chanah Crugnale produced 16 points, six rebounds and two steals off the bench for the Suns on shooting 6/10 from the field and 3/5 from deep too.
Jennie Rintala finished with eight rebounds, six rebounds and four steals, Hannah King seven points and five boards, and Lauren Jeffers six points, three rebounds and three assists despite shooting just 2/14.
WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 5
Schweigen East Perth Eagles 43 lost to Print Sync South West Slammers 78
Lakeside Lightning 67 lost to Willetton Tigers 76
Round 1 Fitness Cockburn Cougars 68 lost to Kalamunda Eastern Suns 78
Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves 69 defeated Scarboro Toyota Perry Lakes Hawks 59
Print Sync South West Slammers 68 defeated Round 1 Fitness Cockburn Cougars 61
Bethanie Warwick Senators 85 defeated Cachet Homes Mandurah Magic 72
Kalamunda Eastern Suns 66 lost to Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves 80