FRESH off making a coaching change, the Rockingham Flames delivered contrasting performances in Round 13 of the Women’s SBL while the Kalamunda Eastern Suns and Perth Redbacks continued to stay in touch of the playoffs as the South West Slammers kept on winning.
It was a fascinating weekend in the Women’s SBL with teams that played in double-headers having severely contrasting results with Lakeside winning on Friday but losing Saturday, Rockingham winning big on Friday and losing Saturday while Mandurah struggled on Friday but delivered their best showing of 2019 just 24 hours later.
The Perry Lakes Hawks also lost twice while the Slammers won again to maintain their playoff spot as the Redbacks and Eastern Suns won to stay in touch with the top eight.
ROUND 13 SPOTLIGHT | FLAMES RESPOND WITH BIG WIN OVER MAGIC
ROUND 13 WOMEN’S SBL PREVIEW
ROUND 12 WOMEN’S SBL RECAP
ROUND 12 SPOTLIGHT | SLAMMERS TURN UP HEAT ON LADY WOLFPACK
TIAHRN FLYNN | 200 SBL GAMES
Round 13 in the Women’s SBL began on Friday night with the last two champions going at it with the Lakeside Lightning beating the Perry Lakes Hawks 64-60 at Lakeside Recreation Centre.
The Perth Redbacks also beat the East Perth Eagles 94-43 at Belmont Oasis and the Rockingham Flames, under caretaker coach Keegan Crawford, beat the Mandurah Magic 68-54 at Mike Barnett Sports Complex.
Then on Saturday night, the Cockburn Cougars snapped their losing run to beat the Willetton Tigers 66-63 at Willetton Basketball Stadium.
The South West Slammers scored another impressive road win beating the Perry Lakes Hawks 79-66 at Bendat Basketball Centre with the Mandurah Magic bouncing back impressively to defeat the Lakeside Lightning 71-42 in a Grand Final rematch at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre.
The last game of the round then took place at Ray Owen Sports Centre with the Kalamunda Eastern Suns strengthening their playoff push with a third straight win to beat the Rockingham Flames 79-68.
Now following 13 rounds of the 2019 season, it’s the Joondalup Wolves (11-3) who return to the top of the standings despite having the bye in Round 13. They are just ahead of the Lakeside Lightning (11-3) and Warwick Senators (10-3).
The Willetton Tigers (11-6) remain fourth with the Rockingham Flames (7-7), South West Slammers (7-7), Mandurah Magic (7-7) and Kalamunda Eastern Suns (6-8) rounding out the top eight.
The Perry Lakes Hawks (6-8) have slipped to ninth spot ahead of the Perth Redbacks (5-9), Cockburn Cougars (3-10) and East Perth Eagles (1-14).
WOMEN’S SBL ROUND 13
LAKESIDE LIGHTNING 64 defeated SCARBORO TOYOTA PERRY LAKES HAWKS 60
Lakeside and Perry Lakes are the last two champions in the Women’s SBL so Friday night at Lakeside Recreation Centre was always going to provide a fascinating contest and it didn’t fail to deliver.
The Lady Hawks won the championship in 2017 while the Lightning broke through in 2018 to claim the title and beat Perry Lakes along the way in the quarter finals.
Both teams have added bigs in recent weeks too with Lakeside welcoming new import Hannah Stewart while Nat Burton is back for Perry Lakes while the import point guard battle between GeAnna Lualu-Summers and Jamie Cherry was always going to be fascinating.
Perry Lakes managed to lead narrowly 16-14 by quarter-time but by half-time Lakeside had worked on top to lead marginally 34-32.
Things remained tight but it was the Hawks who worked back on top in the third quarter with 17 points to 14 to lead 49-48 by three quarter-time.
Two quick baskets to Burton and then a jumper to Rebecca Benson then saw the Hawks lead by seven a minute and-a-half into the fourth quarter.
Burton then made another layup with just over five minutes to go to keep Perry Lakes five points on top but then Lakeside’s bigs brought them back starting with an Ash Grant layup and then a rare triple from Ellyce Ironmonger to tie scores up.
Grant then got to the basket again to put Lakeside up two before Ironmonger nailed another triple. When Jess Van Schie scored on a layup too, all of a sudden the Lightning had turned the game on its head to lead by seven with two minutes to go.
Perry Lakes scored the last three points but Lakeside still prevailed 64-60.
Hannah Stewart delivered an impressive performance for the Lightning with 19 points, six rebounds and two steals while Ellyce Ironmonger was a powerful force with 15 points, 14 rebounds, three steals and two assists including nailing 3/4 from three-point range.
GeAnna Luaulu-Summers also produced 17 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals while Ash Grant contributed six points and 14 boards, and Jess Van Schie four points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Nat Burton finished with 15 points and five rebounds for Perry Lakes with Morgan Ballantyne producing 10 points and six assists, Sarah Donovan nine points and 15 boards, and Rebecca Benson seven points, three rebounds and two assists.
TEXTURE WA PERTH REDBACKS 94 defeated SCHWEIGEN EAST PERTH EAGLES 43
The Perth Redbacks kept their playoff hopes alive with a strong 94-43 win over the East Perth Eagles at Belmont Oasis on Friday night.
The Redbacks might have come into the game on the back two straight losses, but they had been at the expense of the top two teams Joondalup and Lakeside.
But with Lauren Mansfield, Morgan Pullins and Taylor Roberts now all into the line-up and Jess Jakens back in the line-up as well along with emerging star Nes’eya Williams and strong leaders Denielle Lipscombe, Alex Hayward and Jess Hughes, it’s a good squad Craig Allen is working with.
So if they want to stay in the playoff hunt Friday night against the bottom placed Eagles was a game they couldn’t afford a drop off in, and they didn’t have one.
The Redbacks started strongly and by quarter-time led 28-13. They then held East Perth to just six points in the second period while piling on 33 points themselves to take a comprehensive 61-19 lead into the half-time interval.
The Eagles again struggled in the third period scoring just nine points while the Redbacks extended their lead to as much as 53 points. East Perth, though, did outscore Perth in the last quarter 15 to 14 despite the Redbacks still winning by 51 points.
The Redbacks did well moving and sharing the ball finishing with 33 assists on 39 made field goals. They also forced the Eagles into 34 turnovers and scored 36 points from those on top of scoring 54 points in the paint.
Redbacks import Morgan Pullins delivered her best game of the season with 21 points, 12 rebounds four assists and two steals on 9/14 shooting from the floor.
Nes’eya Williams continued her emergence into one of the brightest young stars in the country with another 21 points, five rebounds, five steals, three assists and three blocked shots.
Jess Jakens also had 18 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Redbacks with Lauren Mansfield contributing 10 points, five assists, four boards and three steals, and Pearl Coppin nine points.
Eryn Fisher top-scored for East Perth with 14 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals but struggled shooting with 6/17 from the floor.
Cameron Flynn has been the bright spark for the Eagles this season but also struggled shooting on Friday night going 3/15 for eight points, four steals and three rebounds.
Georgia Lowe contributed seven points, four rebounds and four assists.
CLASS 1 ORTHODONTICS ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 68 defeated CACHET HOMES MANDURAH MAGIC 54
It is amazing how often it happens. No matter the sport, no matter the level it is almost guaranteed that if a club makes a coaching change their team will come out and win and that’s what happened with the Rockingham Flames against the Mandurah Magic on Friday night.
Having had Ryan Petrik at the helm from 2009-2018 which included winning two championships from three Grand Final appearances, the Flames have already had two coaches in the space of 13 games since he moved on to coach the Rockingham men in 2019.
Craig Reynolds was a well-credentialed coach and appeared an astute appointment in 2019 by the Flames. But things never quite clicked over the first 12 games with Rockingham sitting at 6-6 and the club bit the bullet this week and parted company with Reynolds.
That meant that 23-year-old Keegan Crawford took over on Friday night having been assistant to Petrik in recent years and despite his age, having developed his coaching including a stint at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.
With Petrik sitting beside him to offer some guidance, Crawford was in charge for the first time on Friday night and got the desired response from his talented Flames playing group.
They raced to a 12-0 lead in a stunning opening to the game against a Magic team that made them look decidedly ordinary in the quarter finals last year despite Rockingham finishing the regular season in second spot and Mandurah seventh.
The Flames continued on with the job to lead 21-2 with Darcee Garbin, Maddie Allen and Christina Boag taking on a physical and intimidating approach that Mandurah could do little about especially since the departure of their own import centre, Ginka Palusna.
Rockingham went on to win the game 68-54 and it was Maddie Allen, Christina Boag, Janelle Adams and then captain Chelsea Petrik firing early to set up the 12-0 lead.
Garbin continued to be a strong presence but was getting plenty of support as the Flames led 21-2 and then still 23-6 by quarter-time.
Rockingham went on to lead 32-9 and the damage was done, and the game effectively won but to the credit of the Magic, they did outscore the Flames the rest of the way 45-36.
That showed some grit from a Magic team that has reached the past two Grand Finals but is now down to one import and for the second straight game, Delany Junkermeir worryingly went scoreless from four shots and 18 minutes of court time.
Casey Mihovilovich, fresh off her match-winning display late against Cockburn last Friday night, refused to give up and produced another standout display for Mandurah with 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Kelly Bailey added 11 points, three rebounds and two steals, Jemma Gatti seven points, Carly Boag six points and 10 rebounds, and Bree Klasztorny six points and four boards.
But by the time they started to play better, Rockingham had the game sewn up and Darcee Garbin finished with 21 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Christina Boag added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Flames with Maddie Allen producing nine points, 10 boards and four blocked shots, Janelle Adams eight points and four rebounds, and Ella Kennedy seven points, seven boards, six assists and three steals.
WILLETTON TIGERS 63 lost to ROUND 1 FITNESS COCKBURN COUGARS 66
Despite having farewelled star import Kisha Lee, the Cockburn Cougars snapped their losing run in style on Saturday night at the expense of the Willetton Tigers at Willetton Basketball Stadium.
The Cougars came into the game on the back of a 10-game losing streak and having parted company with former Perth Lynx WNBL forward Kisha Lee coming into the game.
That meant they had the job ahead of them against a Tigers team looking to further consolidate themselves in the top four, but the Cougars had other ideas.
Cockburn went into half-time having produced a strong first half to lead 29-25 and then to start the fourth quarter, Matilda Muir and Alina Hartmann combined for four quick points to see their lead grow to 54-48.
The Tigers did get back within a point on multiple occasions, but the Cougars responded on each occasion including on successive baskets to 351-gamer Jodee Sontay.
Captain Vanessa Michael then put Cockburn up six with 1:30 left and they held on for the 66-63 victory when Laina Snyder’s three-point attempt on the buzzer didn’t fall for the Tigers.
Alina Hartmann was playing just her third game as a new import for the Cougars and she was outstanding delivering 27 points and eight rebounds while shooting 9/17 from the floor, 4/7 from three-point territory and 5/5 from the free-throw line.
Matilda Muir added 17 points, six steals and five rebounds while Jodee Sontay produced 11 points and four boards, and Vanessa Michael eight points, 10 rebounds, four blocked shots and three assists.
Laina Snyder delivered another strong game for the Tigers despite the loss with 20 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Wendi Bibbins added 15 points and four rebounds for Willetton, Emma Gandini 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists, Hayley Winter five points, seven assists and four boards, and Zoe Harper five points in her 248th SBL appearance.
SCARBORO TOYOTA PERRY LAKES HAWKS 66 lost to PRINT SYNC SOUTH WEST SLAMMERS 79
The South West Slammers backed up their stunning road win seven days earlier to knock off the Perry Lakes Hawks at Bendat Basketball Centre on Saturday night.
The Slammers sent a message of what they are capable of last week with the win against the league-leading Joondalup Wolves at HBF Arena. But to then back it up on Saturday night again on the road against the Lady Hawks shows that they are a team to be taken seriously in 2019.
Perry Lakes came into the game having lost on Friday night to Lakeside and did start solidly on their home floor against the Slammers to lead 19-15 by quarter-time.
The Hawks maintained their edge in the second term as well to head into half-time with a degree of control, leading 41-36.
But that’s where the Slammers turned it around. Just as they did last week against the Wolves, it was in the third quarter where South West got going and it all started at the defensive end with the pressure they applied on their opponents.
They held Perry Lakes to just 10 points for the third period while forcing them into six turnovers. They then rammed home their advantage by scoring 23 points themselves.
The frustrations of the Hawks spilled over midway through the quarter with Jamie Cherry picking up two tech fouls to see her night end early.
South West then went on with the job in the fourth term too to end up winning 79-66.
The win consolidates the Slammers inside the top eight with a 7-7 record while the Hawks slip to ninth position having lost three in-a-row at 6-8.
Brittni Montgomery was terrific inside for South West to top-score for her team with 22 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 10/12 from the field.
Makailah Dyer continued her outstanding form too with 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks despite the 11 turnovers.
Bianca Donovan also had 10 points and six assists for the Slammers, Courtney Bayliss nine points and six assists, Ebony Bilcich eight points and five rebounds, Adele East five points and five boards, and Kate Fielding four points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Nat Burton top-scored for Perry Lakes with 14 points and seven rebounds while Jamie Cherry contributed 12 points and six assists, Sarah Donovan 11 points and seven rebounds, and Rebecca Benson seven points and three steals.
CACHET HOMES MANDURAH MAGIC 71 defeated LAKESIDE LIGHTNING 42
The Mandurah Magic struggled in Rockingham on Friday night and had lost six of their past nine matches, but they returned home on Saturday and produced their best performance of the season to thump the Lakeside Lightning in a Grand Final rematch.
Motivation was anything but lacking for the Magic coming into Saturday night’s clash with the Lightning at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre.
Not only did the Magic need to bounce back from their loss the previous night to the Flames, but memories of last year’s Grand Final would be fresh in their minds. Losing any Grand Final is tough, but losing by conceding the game’s last 21 points is a whole other thing.
Add in the fact that Lakeside came to Mandurah sitting on top of the Women’s SBL again this year and coming off a good win over Perry Lakes on Friday night meant the job was ahead of the Magic even on their home floor.
While Mandurah did lose to Rockingham by 14 points on Friday, they actually outscored the Flames over the last three quarters so brought a degree of momentum in Saturday. That didn’t initially pay off with the Lightning leading 16-10 by quarter-time.
But the Magic did turn that around in the second quarter, outscoring the Lightning 20 points to 10 and they kept that momentum going the rest of the way.
Mandurah outscored Lakeside 41 points to 16 through the entire second half, while holding the Lightning to only four points in the fourth period, and that saw the Magic claim the 71-42 victory to improve to a 7-7 record.
The Lightning dropped from top spot as a result of the loss just behind the Lady Wolfpack with both top two teams holding 11-3 records.
Carly Boag delivered a tremendous performance for the Magic with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Following two successive scoreless games, Mandurah import Delany Junkermeir responded encouragingly with 12 points, four rebounds, four steals and two assists in 23 minutes off the bench.
Casey Mihovilovich added 10 points and 10 assists for the Magic with Rachel Halleen contributing nine points and three assists in her 299th SBL appearance.
Hannah Stewart top-scored for the Lightning with 13 points and 10 rebounds with GeAnna Lualu-Summers contributing 13 points, and Ellyce Ironmonger seven points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
KALAMUNDA EASTERN SUNS 79 defeated CLASS 1 ORTHODONTICS ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 68
The contrasting weekend of the Rockingham Flames following their coaching change was on show on Saturday night with the Kalamunda Eastern Suns winning well at Ray Owen Sports Centre.
Coming into Friday night’s home game with Mandurah, Rockingham had parted ways with coach Craig Reynolds with 23-year-old assistant Keegan Crawford to take over in a caretaker role for the rest of 2019.
The Flames came out and blew the Magic away on the way to a 14-point victory but they couldn’t keep it going on Saturday night with the Eastern Suns continuing their best run of form this season on their home court.
Kalamunda opened up a 24-16 lead by quarter-time and then that grew to a 42-31 advantage by half-time.
While Rockingham made a run at a comeback in the second half, the Eastern Suns responded well with 24 points to 18 in the fourth term to claim the 79-68 victory.
The win is a third straight for the Suns and it sees them move up into eighth position on the table ahead of the now ninth place Perry Lakes Hawks.
After splitting their two games this weekend under a new coach, the Flames are 7-7 and clinging to fifth position.
In the end, the Eastern Suns hitting 12/30 three-pointers opposed to 3/20 from the Flames was the major difference.
Rebecca Motroni led the way for Kalamunda with 17 points, three steals, two rebounds and two assists including hitting 5/10 from downtown.
Lauren Jeffers ran the team well for the Eastern Suns with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals with Katie Yohn producing 12 points and nine assists, Jewel Williams 11 points, Jennie Rintala nine points and 11 rebounds, and Carla Drennan nine points and four boards.
Darcee Garbin delivered 19 points and eight rebounds for Rockingham with Christina Boag adding 11 points and boards, Ella Kennedy 10 points and four rebounds, Janelle Adams nine points and three steals, and Maddie Allen seven points and 13 boards.