THE Perry Lakes Hawks ensured they enter a week off with some strong momentum producing a tremendous performance to lead big over the Rockingham Flames and withstand their charge for a six-point win on Friday night.
The Lady Hawks had won their previous two games heading into Friday’s clash with Rockingham but taking down the Flames was expected to be a significantly bigger test than the last up wins over East Perth and Kalamunda.
But Perry Lakes started impressively and led the game by as much as 14 points, when up 71-57 on the back of a layup from Annika Renkema.
Rockingham wouldn’t be denied, though, and scored the next eight points and did close to within three in the dying stages but Perry Lakes did enough to hold on and win 75-69.
That makes it three straight wins for the Hawks to see them improve to 5-5 ahead of the weekend off in Round 10 while the Flames are 5-4.
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Perry Lakes came into the game on the back of winning its past two games but Rockingham started well on the back of consecutive triples from captain Chelsea Petrik.
Paris Duffield came on and hit another to give the Flames a 9-4 start but a triple soon after for Perry Lakes from Jamie Cherry had them one point down, and then ended up working their way on top to lead 27-16 by quarter-time.
The Flames did score the opening five points of the second period, but the Hawks soon got going again and their lead grew to double-figures after a make inside from Kristan Teasdale.
The Lady Hawks still led 44-37 by half-time before Cherry started the second half with a three to put the home team back up by 10.
Another Cherry triple made it 12 soon after and with Gabby O’Sullivan finished the third period with seven quick points, Perry Lakes turned at three quarter-time in control at 61-51.
Perry Lakes then led 71-57 when Annika Renkema made a strong layup with five minutes remaining. She couldn’t make it a three-point play and then the Flames threw everything at the Hawks starting with the full-court press.
It worked too and when Maddie Allen scored with 1:20 remaining, the Flames were suddenly only five points down.
Ariana Hetherington then made it a three-point game after the Flames forced the Hawks into another turnover.
But they wouldn’t get any closer with Teasdale making a free-throw for Perry Lakes. The Lady Hawks then got possession back and when the Flames didn’t elect to foul, Perry Lakes was able to take time off the clock for the six-point win.
Perry Lakes coach Deanna Black was delighted for the most part in the performance from her team to make it three straight wins.
“I’m really happy with that obviously. I felt like the girls really took it to them and we were ready for this game,” Black said.
“Last time we played them we were close and we knew they were going to come out and get themselves back into the game even when we had a big lead. I thought our girls did a good job of responding to that pressure in some parts, but there’s still a lot to take away from that game.
“But for us the positives have to outweigh the negatives. We are building towards the brand of basketball that we want to play and I was really proud of what the girls put together because we know Rockingham are such a quality team who will be there at the end.
“We had different players step up at different times which was great as well, it was a real big team effort. I thought especially in the first half the way we pushed the ball and moved it, our team game was pretty impressive.”
Jamie Cherry top-scored for the Hawks with 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals despite shooting just 4/16 from the field. She did hit 3/7 from deep and 8/9 from the free-throw line.
Sarah Donovan added 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Lady Hawks while Gabby O’Sullivan produced 11 points and six rebounds, Nikita Martin nine points, five assists and boards before going off with an ankle injury, Kristan Teasdale seven points and seven rebounds, and Rebecca Benson seven points, four assists and three boards.
Maddie Allen finished with 19 points and six rebounds for Rockingham with Janelle Adams contributing 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals, and Chelsea Petrik 14 points.
Christina Boag was hindered by foul trouble and played just 18 minutes for five points, eight rebounds and four assists with Ella Kennedy finishing with seven points, four boards and three assists.
With both teams having limited use of a star playing with Martin hurt for Perry Lakes and Boag fouling out for Rockingham, and still awaiting the arrival of WNBL stars Nat Burton and Darcee Garbin, it was a fascinating contest.
Black knows that the Flames will be different when at full strength, but so will her Hawks and she’s happy now heading into a week off at 5-5 with a three-game winning streak.
“They’ve still got Darcee to come in as well so you can only play the team that’s on the court, and we can only focus on the team that’s healthy so that’s the focus for us to play without Nikita when she got hurt and then still being without Nat,” Black said.
“We have a week off now to regroup and then we have Cockburn after the break so it’s a good opportunity for us to have a breather because it’s been pretty full on with pre-season and then Jamie coming in close to the start of the season.
“The girls have been working pretty hard the past few months so it’s a good chance for them to have a weekend off to regroup, rest the bodies and come back for a big second half of the season.”
WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 9
Scarboro Toyota Perry Lakes Hawks 75 defeated Class 1 Orthodontics Rockingham Flames 69
Willetton Tigers 94 defeated Texture WA Perth Redbacks 68
Round 1 Fitness Cockburn Cougars 68 lost to Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves 84
Print Sync South West Slammers v Bethanie Warwick Senators – Eaton Recreation Centre 6.00pm
Schweigen East Perth Eagles v Lakeside Lightning – Herb Graham Recreation Centre 8.00pm
Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves v Cachet Homes Mandurah Magic – HBF Arena 8.00pm