THERE was lots to learn from Round 15 in the Women’s SBL with the Warwick Senators and Joondalup Wolves both suffering two tough losses while the Perry Lakes Hawks, Mandurah Magic, Rockingham Flames, South West Slammers, Perth Redbacks and Kalamunda Eastern Suns crucially won.
All of a sudden the gap the top four teams had on the chasing pack has diminished with the Senators having lost two straight, the Lady Wolfpack four straight and the Willetton Tigers two straight opening the door for the Magic and Flames to be knocking right on the door.
Then you have the Redbacks and Slammers winning crucial games in Round 15 to cling to their places inside the top eight while the Hawks and Eastern Suns won their games too to continue to put pressure on for a playoff berth.
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That all added up to a fascinating Round 15 in the Women’s SBL beginning on Friday night with the Perry Lakes Hawks beating the Warwick Senators 92-77, the Mandurah Magic defeating the East Perth Eagles 83-53 and the Rockingham Flames downing the Joondalup Wolves 76-62.
Saturday evening’s action then began at Wally Hagan Stadium and the game went to overtime with the South West Slammers crucially for their season managing to beat the Cockburn Cougars 99-93.
The Perth Redbacks continued their good form too beating the Joondalup Wolves 101-80 while the Lakeside Lightning defeated the Warwick Senators 88-77 and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns downed the East Perth Eagles 79-46.
Those results see the Lakeside Lightning (13-3) move two games clear on top of the table ahead of the Warwick Senators (11-5), Joondalup Wolves (11-6) and Willetton Tigers (11-7).
The Mandurah Magic (10-7) are fifth and closing in on fourth as are the Rockingham Flames (9-7) with the Perth Redbacks (8-9) and South West Slammers (8-9) rounding out the top eight.
The Perry Lakes Hawks (7-8) are just outside as are the Kalamunda Eastern Suns (7-9) ahead of the Cockburn Cougars (3-13) and East Perth Eagles (1-16).
ROUND 15 WOMEN’S SBL
BETHANIE WARWICK SENATORS 77 lost to SCARBORO TOYOTA PERRY LAKES HAWKS 92
While the Perry Lakes Hawks desperately needed a win, going to Warwick Stadium to knock off a Warwick Senators team on a six-game winning streak was going to be a significant test.
The Lady Hawks had lost their past three matches heading into the bye last weekend while their men’s team headed to Kambalda and that had seen them fall outside the top eight just weeks after banging on the door of the top four.
So while they needed a win, getting it against the form team of the competition who possess remarkable depth was going to be tough work.
But Perry Lakes did welcome Megan McKay back for the first time since she played 35 games for the club between 2013-2015. Fresh off her time at St Mary’s College where she continued the fine tradition of Australian basketballers, the power forward made an immediate impact for the Hawks.
It was a tight opening to the game with Perry Lakes leading 25-24 at the end of the first quarter before the Lady Hawks locked down on defence holding Warwick to 11 second quarter points.
They scored 20 themselves to go into half-time leading 45-35. They continued with that momentum after half-time with 21 points to 15 in the third period to end up leading by as much as 20 points before going on to score the crucial win, 92-77.
It was Perry Lakes’ only game of the weekend and improved them to 7-8 on the season while it snapped a six-game winning run for Warwick ahead of a trip on Saturday night to Lakeside.
Jamie Cherry starred for the Lady Hawks with 26 points and six rebounds including shooting 4/8 from deep while Megan McKay made an immediate difference with 22 points, nine rebounds and three steals on 8/10 shooting.
Rebecca Benson contributed 14 points, five rebounds and five assists as well with Nat Burton producing 12 points, six rebounds and three assists, and Sarah Donovan four points, eight boards, four assists and two steals starting in the absence of Nikita Martin.
One loss in seven games is hardly time to panic for the Senators who got 22 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals out of Stacey Barr.
Tayla Hepburn also contributed 18 points and seven rebounds, Caitlyn Jones 11 points, five boards and four assists but the Senators were missing Bianca Villegas.
SCHWEIGEN EAST PERTH EAGLES 53 lost to CACHET HOMES MANDURAH MAGIC 83
The Mandurah Magic arrived at Herb Graham Recreation Centre in their best form of the season on Friday night but they had to work hard to overcome the East Perth Eagles before winning by 30 points.
Ever since they suffered a disappointing loss in Rockingham to start Round 13, the Magic have been sparked into top gear this season with impressive wins over Lakeside, South West and Joondalup heading into Friday night’s away clash with the Eagles.
East Perth has been more competitive of late too and even without Fiona Heart, Ashley Munrowd-Harris, Janee Johnson and with Cameron Flynn injured, they did take it right up to Mandurah.
Even though the Magic did lead by 10 points at quarter-time, the Eagles had been competitive and then turned that up a notch in the second period holding Mandurah to just 10 points while scoring 19 themselves.
That cut the Magic lead to 35-33 at half-time and it was game on. But the Magic’s experience, depth and class shone through in the second half as they scored 48 points to just 20 from East Perth to run out 83-53 winners to improve to 10-7 on the season having now won four games in-a-row.
Mandurah finished with 22 more rebounds than East Perth and also forced the Eagles into 31 turnovers from which they scored 32 points which helped make up for shooting just 38 per cent from the field and hitting only 3/28 from three-point range.
Emma Klasztorny delivered a stunning performance for the Magic finishing with 28 points, 17 rebounds, six steals and two assists on a remarkably efficient 13/17 shooting from the field. The rest of the team went just 23/77.
Casey Mihovilovich produced another 15 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals for the Magic while Bree Klasztorny delivered 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists as the visitors had little trouble covering the absence of Carly Boag.
Imports Taylor Brown (eight points) and Delany Junkermeir (seven points, four rebounds, three assists) were solid contributors too.
Bree Fisher top-scored for East Perth with 17 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals while Eryn Fisher contributed 11 points and four boards, Kalypso McCallum-Smith seven points and Rose Aryang six points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
CLASS 1 ORTHODONTICS ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 76 defeated CHAMBERS FRANKLYN JOONDALUP CITY WOLVES 62
ROUND 1 FITNESS COCKBURN COUGARS 93 lost to PRINT SYNC SOUTH WEST SLAMMERS 99
It was an overtime thriller to open Saturday evening’s Women’s SBL action and in the end the South West Slammers got the crucial win they needed over the Cockburn Cougars at Wally Hagan Stadium.
The Slammers might have arrived at Wally Hagan Stadium on Sunday needing to win to hold on to their place in the top eight, but that didn’t mean the Cougars were going to hand them anything.
Cockburn had halted its losing slide a couple of weeks back upsetting the fourth placed Tigers and despite missing key players including Kisha Lee and recent 350-gamer Jodee Sontay, they were ready to throw down the gauntlet to the Slammers.
South West had been in tremendous form with road wins over the Wolves and Hawks prior to a double loss weekend to the Flames and Magic that left them clinging to eighth position.
So that set the tone for a fascinating early Saturday evening battle which started with a 51-point first quarter which led to a 27-24 lead for the Slammers by quarter-time.
But Cockburn evened things up by half-time and scores were tied heading into the break at 44-44.
Things remained tight the rest of the way but the Slammers appeared on track for the win when leading by six after an Adele East layup with 4:40 remaining in regulation. However, six straight Cougars points over the next minute and suddenly scores were all square again.
The Slammers reclaimed a four-point lead thanks to scores inside from Brittni Montgomery and Kate Fielding before the Cougars responded with a triple from Nicole Roberts.
Cockburn then took the lead thanks to Kirsty Pitcher in her first game of 2019. She then hit a free-throw too to put the Cougars up two but Makailah Dyer hit a pair from the stripe too for the Slammers and the game went to overtime when Alina Hartmann’s attempted game winner didn’t fall.
Then in overtime, the Slammers strung buckets together through Fielding and Montgomery to take a three-point lead but still with 1:15 left Vanessa Michael put the Cougars back up by a point.
But the Slammers took over from there with a layup from both Courtney Bayliss and East who made it an and-one play. Dyer then made three more free-throws and South West got the 99-93 win to improve to 8-9 on the season in eighth position.
Brittni Montgomery produced an outstanding performance for the Slammers made up of 31 points and 14 rebounds on shooting 14/16 from the field.
Adele East had the best game of her 19-game SBL career with 24 points, six assists and four rebounds while Courtney Bayliss contributed 18 points and nine boards, Makailah Dyer 11 points and 10 assists, and Kate Fielding eight points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Matilda Muir lifted with the increased responsibility she had in the absence of Lee and Sontay, producing 26 points and nine rebounds for Cockburn.
Captain Vanessa Michael produced a season-best 21 points, nine rebounds and four steals as well while Alina Hartmann contributed 19 points, 11 boards, five assists and three steals, Kahlia Morgan 12 points and three rebounds, and Nicole Roberts six points and eight assists.
CHAMBERS FRANKLYN JOONDALUP CITY WOLVES 80 lost to TEXTURE WA PERTH REDBACKS 101
The season-best form of the Perth Redbacks and struggles of the Joondalup Wolves continued on Saturday night at HBF Arena.
It was a big game for both teams on Saturday night with the Lady Wolfpack looking to avoid a fourth successive defeat and the Redbacks trying to win a fourth consecutive match.
It’s been an interesting journey in recent times for the Wolves. After they beat the Redbacks at Belmont Oasis a month ago, they sat on top of the standings at 11-2 and they looked likely to be staying there.
But since then, they had lost three straight matches to the Slammers, Magic and Flames coming into the return clash on their home floor against the Redbacks with coach Charles Nix and point guard Mikayla Pirini coming up against the team they were part of in 2018.
The Redbacks have been heading in the opposite direction. Their playoff hopes were hanging by a threat after that last loss to the Wolves and then another to the Lakeside Lightning a week later which left them 4-9.
But they have built some momentum since with wins over the Eagles, Tigers and Cougars coming into the clash with the Wolves while being fresh with it their only game of the weekend while Joondalup had already lost in Rockingham on Friday.
Perth came out and started strongly to lead by five at quarter-time before putting up 22 points in the second term and holding Joondalup to 14 to lead 51-38 at half-time.
The Redbacks continued on with the job with 28 points to 18 in the third quarter and they went on to lead by as much as 27 points during the night before settling with the 101-80 victory.
It was a fourth consecutive Redbacks victory as they improved to an 8-9 record in seventh position while the Lady Wolfpack slipped to third at 11-6 with the fourth straight defeat.
Lauren Mansfield continued her tremendous form for the Redbacks with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists while knocking down 4/7 from downtown.
Morgan Pullins also delivered 20 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals for Perth while Jess Jakens contributed 20 points and eight boards, Rosie Deegan 18 points and five rebounds, and Nes’eya Williams 13 points, six boards, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots.
Mikayla Pirini top-scored for the Wolves with 19 points and four assists against her former club with Amber Land adding 14 points and 11 rebounds, Chelsea Belcher 10 points and three rebounds, Georgia Denehey nine points and three assists, and Jasmine Martin nine points and three boards.
LAKESIDE LIGHTNING 88 defeated BETHANIE WARWICK SENATORS 77
The top two teams of the Women’s SBL locked horns at Lakeside Recreation Centre on Saturday night and it was the defending champion Lakeside Lightning who came out victorious over the Warwick Senators.
Lakeside came into the game fresh making their only appearance of the weekend while Warwick was looking to bounce back from a defeat at home to the Perry Lakes Hawks 24 hours earlier.
Both teams occupied the top two spots on the table too and the Senators had handed the Lightning one of their three defeats of the season already at Warwick Stadium, and they started well this time on the road to lead 25-23 by quarter-time.
But the Lightning worked their way on top in the second period with 21 points to 14 to go into the half-time interval leading 44-39.
However, the game took a turn in the third period and the Senators took control putting up 26 points and holding the Lightning to 16 to head into three quarter-time leading 65-60.
So the challenge was on the Lightning to respond and that’s exactly what the defending champions did with a 28 points to 12 fourth quarter to claim the 88-77 victory.
That win improves the Lightning to a 13-3 record to be two games clear in top spot with the Senators remaining second at 11-5 despite the two Round 15 losses.
New Lightning import Hannah Stewart had a terrific night with 23 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks, three steals and two assists.
She had plenty of support too with Ellyce Ironmonger producing 21 points and 10 rebounds while Courtney Mansfield delivered 18 points and six assists, GeAnna Luaulu-Summers 16 points and four assists, and Ash Grant 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Stacey Barr again top-scored for the Senators with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Samaria Howard contributed 16 points, six boards and five assists, Tayla Hepburn 17 points and six rebounds, Sam Roscoe 10 points and five boards, and Nicole Jorre De St Jorre 10 points and four rebounds.
Bianca Villegas returned after missing the game with Perry Lakes on Friday but had just one point and three rebounds in 18 minutes.
KALAMUNDA EASTERN SUNS 79 defeated SCHWEIGEN EAST PERTH EAGLES 46
To stay in touch for a playoff spot in the Women’s SBL, the Kalamunda Eastern Suns couldn’t afford a slip up against the East Perth Eagles on Saturday night and they didn’t have one ending up winning 79-46 at Ray Owen Sports Centre.
The Eastern Suns did beat the Eagles by 52 points earlier in the season at Herb Graham Recreation Centre, but despite plenty of personnel changes East Perth have put in some more competitive showings in recent times.
With import Janee Johnson let go and Sam Jackson, Ashley Munrowd-Harris and captain, and assistant coach, Fiona Heart unlikely to play again this year and with their brightest spark of 2019, Cameron Flynn, not playing, it was quite the different East Perth line-up at Ray Owen Sports Centre.
Despite that, the Eagles did start well after having coughed up eight of the opening 10 points of the game. From there, Eryn Fisher scored four quick points, Sarah Lakay hit a jumper, Rose Aryang scored four quick points and Mya Dimanlig scored a basket.
That cut Kalamunda’s lead to just 15-12 halfway through the first quarter but the Eastern Suns then went on a 14-3 run to close the opening period and lead 29-15 by quarter-time.
From there the Eastern Suns remained in control the rest of the way with their defensive press a big part in forcing the Eagles into 33 turnovers as they struggled for genuine ball handlers in the absence of Heart, Flynn, Munrowd-Harris and Jackson who have all filled that role at times this season.
The game remained physical and feisty, though, with the scrappiness of it leading to the referees falling in love with the jump ball calls throughout the night as players fought over possession.
That didn’t necessarily help the quality of the contest or with the frustrations of the players due to the physical nature that both teams were playing at, but despite that the Suns still continued to do enough to remain well on top.
The Eastern Suns would end up leading by as much as 42 points in the second half, including holding the Eagles to just six third quarter points, before going on to win the game by 33 points.
The win improves Kalamunda to a 7-9 record on the season while East Perth slips to 1-16.
There were plenty of missed shots on both sides so plenty of rebounds going around with both Kalamunda and East Perth pulling in 47 apiece. But the Suns ended up taking 16 more shots on the back of forcing the Eagles into 33 turnovers from which they scored 27 points.
Jewel Williams had a night out for the Eastern Suns with 23 points, three assists and three steals while shooting 8/16 from the field.
Lauren Jeffers added 15 points, five assists, five steals and four rebounds for Kalamunda with Jennie Rintala contributing 13 points, three boards, three assists and three steals, and Katie Yohn nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in only 17 minutes of court time.
Rose Aryang was the shining light on the night for East Perth with the way she battled impressively inside. She finished with 10 points and seven rebounds while shooting 4/8 from the floor.
Bree Fisher finished with 10 points, six rebounds and four steals for the Eagles with Eryn Fisher delivering eight points and eight boards, and Mya Dimanlig seven points and three rebounds.