EASTER Round in the Women’s SBL sees all six matches take place on Thursday night with all 12 teams involved headlined by a top-of-the-table clash between the Joondalup Wolves and Rockingham Flames at HBF Arena.
It’s a monster night in the Women’s SBL with the Easter Thursday action producing an evening with six matches ahead of the break for the entire competition for Easter.
All six games have a tip-off time of 6.30pm with the clashes including the Perry Lakes Hawks playing the Willetton Tigers, the East Perth Eagles hosting the Kalamunda Eastern Suns, the Cockburn Cougars taking on the Lakeside Lightning.
The other three matches see the Joondalup Wolves play the Rockingham Flames, the Mandurah Magic take on the South West Slammers and the Warwick Senators host the Perth Redbacks.
There are six matches to take a look at for the Easter Round of the Women’s SBL starting at Bendat Basketball Centre with the 2017 champion Lady Hawks hosting the 2016 champion Tigers.
Perry Lakes comes into the game in eighth spot at 2-3 while Willetton is sixth at 4-3 so it’s a big game as they both try to consolidate their place in the top eight.
The Hawks are attempting to bounce back from a 10-point road loss to the Wolves while the Tigers were tremendous handing Lakeside their first defeat of the season last week on the back of 28 points and 20 rebounds from new import Laina Snyder.
The Eagles and Eastern Suns then do battle at Herb Graham Recreation Centre.
East Perth is back on its new home floor still searching for its first win of the season and to snap that unwanted 38-game losing slide while Kalamunda is still trying to build some momentum this season on the back of last year’s semi-final appearance.
The Suns went 1-1 last weekend winning on the road to Cockburn and then losing at home to Joondalup but they will still be without import Katie Yohn as they look to improve on their 2-4 record.
It’s then onto Wally Hagan Stadium for a battle of two teams close geographically with the Cougars hosting the Lightning.
It might be the worst possible time for Cockburn to catch Lakeside with the reigning champs coming off their first loss of the season last weekend at the hands of the Tigers.
The Cougars have lost their past three games too and will be sweating on the fitness of star import Kisha Lee. Without Lee, it looks a monstrous task for Cockburn to take it up to Lakeside even on their home floor on Easter Thursday.
Potentially the game of the round in the Women’s SBL is set for HBF Arena with the Joondalup Wolves hosting the undefeated Rockingham Flames.
The Lady Wolfpack suffered their first, and only, loss of the season two weeks ago against Lakeside but responded strongly in Round 5 with wins against the Hawks and Eastern Suns.
The Flames have already had two byes for the season over the opening five rounds, but have looked good in their three wins against the Hawks, Cougars and Redbacks.
The top-of-the-table clash now looks set to be a cracking contest with tremendous match ups all over the floor.
Whether it’s the battle of the bigs with the Wolves going in with Kayla Steindl, Amber Land and Amy Kidner against Rockingham’s Maddie Allen and Christina Boag, or the backcourt featuring Joondalup’s Georgia Denehey, Mikayla Pirini and Chelsea Belcher against Rockingham’s Tayah Burrows and Chelsea Petrik, or the small forward match up of Isabelle Miotti and Janelle Adams, there’s plenty to look forward to.
Lady Wolfpack coach Charles Nix was happy with his team’s response last week to their first loss and now is looking forward to taking on the Flames.
“It’s a massive game. They’re a team that hasn’t lost a game yet and they are obviously coming in with some confidence,” Nix said.
“We are at home, which is great, but it’s a short turnaround against a tough team who has just come off a bye so we know they will be fresh. We’ll do everything we can to come away with the win, but more importantly we’ll keep building to where we want to be at the end of the year.”
The Magic hosting the Slammers at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre is another game that could end up vying for match of the round consideration.
Mandurah has played in the past two Grand Finals and has started the new season under coach Craig Watts with a 3-3 record, having lost to the Senators on the road last Saturday on the back of losing to the Hawks the previous Friday night.
Meanwhile, the Slammers are in some impressive form having now won three straight matches to head into their trip to Mandurah on Thursday night full of confidence and with Makailah Dyer, Brittni Montgomery and Courtney Bayliss all in good form.
So with the Slammers on a three-game winning run and the Magic looking to avoid a third straight defeat, it should be a tremendous contest.
The last game to look at for the round is another between traditional rivals when the Senators host the Redbacks.
Warwick will be celebrating Indigenous Recognition Round on the night with the Senators wearing special Aboriginal themed jerseys as they look to build on their 3-1 start to the season against the winless Redbacks.
Senators coach Dion Dagostino is happy with the way his team is coming together and the way Stacey Barr and Samaria Howard have now quickly fitted in, but he knows the Redbacks will be a significant test as they chase that first win for 2019.
“This week will be a bit of a tricky one. We’ll only have one session on the Tuesday and then go into the game on Thursday knowing that the Redbacks are fresh and will have been waiting for us,” Dagostino said.
“We know they will be a lot tougher than they were in that first game of the season too so we know we are going to have to play well. But we’re excited to play at home again on Easter Thursday and it’s the first of two really big games for us.
“We then play next Thursday too and it’s a bit different having two Thursday games in-a-row, but we’ll just have to do our best to come to terms with the challenges that brings and put our best foot forward.”
WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 6
Scarboro Toyota Perry Lakes Hawks v Willetton Tigers – Bendat Basketball Centre 6.30pm
Schweigen East Perth Eagles v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Herb Graham Recreation Centre 6.30pm
Round 1 Fitness Melville Cockburn Cougars v Lakeside Lightning – Wally Hagan Stadium 6.30pm
Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves v Class 1 Orthodontics Rockingham Flames – HBF Arena 6.30pm
Cachet Homes Mandurah Magic v Print Sync South West Slammers – Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre 6.30pm
Bethanie Warwick Senators v Texture WA Perth Redbacks – Warwick Stadium 6.30pm