THINGS are heating up in the Women’s SBL with Round 8 action seeing the Warwick Senators with a real chance to show just how much of a championship threat they are this season starting on Friday night against the Rockingham Flames and then hosting the Joondalup Wolves on Saturday.
The Senators enter the weekend on a four-game winning run and now can make two more significants against the Flames at Mike Barnett Sports Complex on Friday night, and then at Warwick Stadium against the Joondalup Wolves on Saturday.
The other two Friday night matches in the Women’s SBL see the Perry Lakes Hawks host the Kalamunda Eastern Suns and the East Perth Eagles take on the Perth Redbacks.
There are then three other matches on Saturday night as well with the Perth Redbacks facing the South West Slammers, the Willetton Tigers hosting the Rockingham Flames and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns battling the Lakeside Lightning.
Friday night in the Women’s SBL begins with a look at the Lady Hawks hosting the Eastern Suns at Bendat Basketball Centre.
Perry Lakes comes into the game after 57-point win over East Perth but the Hawks had lost three straight prior to that and are only just inside the top eight at 3-5 entering Friday’s clash.
Kalamunda comes into the game also at 3-5 coming off a loss to Willetton on ANZAC Day coming into their double-header this weekend.
With both teams 3-5 and yet to play with their second import for the season, this game could have significant ramifications down the track.
Also on Friday night, the Eagles host the Redbacks at Herb Graham Recreation Centre.
East Perth had a horror Round 7 losing to the Wolves by 72 points and then to the Hawks by 57 with a combined 86 turnovers in those two matches. They dearly missed import Janee Johnson and will be desperate to have her at home on Friday against the Redbacks.
Perth broke through for its first win of the season under new coach Craig Allen on ANZAC Day against Mandurah and will now look to make it consecutive wins to begin their climb to playoff contention.
Veteran guard Denielle Lipscombe will also be celebrating her 250th SBL game this weekend in the Redbacks’ double-header. After being relieved they broke through for the first win of the season last Thursday, she hopes they can start building some momentum now.
“It was obviously good to finally get that win on the board. We have such a young team now this year and I’m one of the older ones in the team, but it was a good feeling to get that win alongside the younger girls and to feel like things were starting to come together,” Lipscombe said.
“Hopefully we can get another couple of wins now this weekend. We’ve got our second import coming in too so we will be pretty much at full strength so that is exciting and if we can get a couple of wins, suddenly we aren’t positioned to bad and hopefully we can go on a bit of a run in the second half of the season from there.”
The other Friday night fixture in the Women’s SBL pits the Flames up against the Senators at Mike Barnett Sports Complex.
While Rockingham will still be without Darcee Garbin, Maddie Allen and Christina Boag will hold down the frontcourt with Janelle Adams and Tayah Burrows showing the way in the backcourt with support from captain Chelsea Petrik.
They enter the clash at 4-2 following a bounce back win last week over the Cougars but it’s going to be a big test even on their home floor against the Senators on Friday night.
Warwick has now put together a four-game winning run to sit at 5-1 and that’s with Sam Roscoe, Hannah and Rebekah Throns, and Maddison Hooper having yet to play this season.
But with the additions inside of Bianca Villegas and Tayla Hepburn, and outside of Samaria Howard and Stacey Barr, it’s a terrific looking Senators team who can continue to impress with a strong showing against the Flames in Rockingham.
Saturday’s action then begins at Belmont Oasis with a 4pm tip-off scheduled for the Redbacks to play the Slammers.
The Redbacks will be coming off their Friday night clash away to East Perth, while the Slammers will come in fresh with their only appearance of the weekend.
The Slammers have lost their last couple to the Magic and Lightning, but are 4-4 coming into the match with the Redbacks with Makailah Dyer, Brittni Montgomery and Courtney Bayliss all playing well.
This game shapes as an important one for both clubs and will also see Lipscombe reach 250 games in the SBL. She couldn’t be happier than to be doing it on her home floor with the Redbacks.
“It’s great that it turns out the milestone will be at home so it will be nice and easy to get as many family and friends there as we can,” Lipscombe said.
“It’s also an earlier start so that’s great for the kids that it won’t be too late of a night or anything. I’m really looking forward to it but the focus will be on winning the game or else it won’t really be that memorable of a milestone game.”
The Senators back up their trip to Rockingham on Friday night by then hosting the Lady Wolfpack on Saturday night at Warwick Stadium.
The two teams already met earlier this season at HBF Arena with the Wolves winning 92-71 but the Senators haven’t lost since then while Joondalup comes into this round on top of the table at 7-1.
There’s every indication both teams are genuine championship threats so we could learn plenty by what we see with them taking on one another on Saturday night.
The last game of the round in the Women’s SBL then takes place at Ray Owen Sports Centre with the Eastern Suns hosting the Lightning.
Kalamunda will be coming off its clash at Perry Lakes on Friday while Lakeside will come in with a 7-1 record but will be without Ali Schwagmeyer for the first time this season.
WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 8
Scarboro Toyota Perry Lakes Hawks v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Bendat Basketball Centre 6.30pm
Schweigen East Perth Eagles v Texture WA Perth Redbacks – Herb Graham Recreation Centre 6.30pm
Class 1 Orthodontics Rockingham Flames v Bethanie Warwick Senators – Mike Barnett Sports Complex 6.30pm
Texture WA Perth Redbacks v Print Sync South West Slammers – Belmont Oasis 4.00pm
Willetton Tigers v Class 1 Orthodontics Rockingham Flames – Willetton Basketball Stadium 5.00pm
Bethanie Warwick Senators v Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves – Warwick Stadium 6.00pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Lakeside Lightning – Ray Owen Sports Centre 6.30pm