THE Mandurah Magic and Perth Redbacks remain the hottest teams in the Women’s SBL as they close in on top four positions after Round 16 while two wins for Warwick Senators could prove critical in deciding a top two spot.
There is now just four rounds of the 2019 Women’s SBL season remaining and with teams having between three and six games remaining over that final month, things are really getting interesting in the playoff race.
The Senators consolidated second spot with their wins over the Cougars and Slammers in Round 16 while wins for the Magic and Redbacks meant they have now both won five in-a-row to have gone from fighting for a spot in the eight, to being a chance of sneaking into fourth.
The Lady Hawks then split their games with the Magic and Eagles to leave their battle over eighth spot with the Slammers and Eastern Suns a fascinating one.
ROUND 16 SPOTLIGHT | SENATORS BACKCOURT TOO STRONG FOR SLAMMERS
ROUND 16 SPOTLIGHT | REDBACKS CONTINUE HOT FORM OVER FLAMES
ROUND 16 WOMEN’S SBL PREVIEW
ZOE HARPER | 250 SBL GAMES
ELLA KENNEDY | 200 SBL GAMES
MANSFIELD EXCITED BY FRESH LIGHTNING CHALLENGE
JODEE SONTAY | 350 SBL GAMES
‘DOCCY’ BLACK HAPPY TO LEAD WAY FOR FEMALE COACHES
Round 16 in the Women’s SBL began on Friday night with a standalone fixture at Mike Barnett Sports Complex which saw the Perth Redbacks defeat the Rockingham Flames 72-67.
Saturday evening’s action began with the Mandurah Magic continuing their winning ways beating the Perry Lakes Hawks 73-60 while the Warwick Senators bounced back to beat the Cockburn Cougars 83-74.
The Willetton Tigers then returned to third position in the battle of top four teams desperate for a win as they defeated the Joondalup Wolves 71-53 at HBF Arena.
There were then two matches on Sunday afternoon with the Perry Lakes Hawks beating the East Perth Eagles 104-47 and the Warwick Senators defeating the South West Slammers 105-86.
Following Round 16, the Lakeside Lightning (13-3) remain on top of the Women’s SBL despite having the bye while the Warwick Senators (13-5) are second ahead of the Willetton Tigers (12-7) and Joondalup Wolves (11-7).
The Mandurah Magic (11-7) are in fifth position with the Rockingham Flames (9-8), Perth Redbacks (9-9) and Perry Lakes Hawks (8-9) rounding out the top eight with the South West Slammers (8-10) and Kalamunda Eastern Suns (7-9) just outside.
That leaves the Cockburn Cougars (3-14) and East Perth Eagles (1-17) as the only sides out of the playoff hunt.
ROUND 16 WOMEN’S SBL
CLASS 1 ORTHODONTICS ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 67 lost to TEXTURE WA PERTH REDBACKS 72
The Perth Redbacks have claimed another big scalp to continue their hot Women’s SBL form overcoming a significant size differential to beat the Rockingham Flames 72-67 on Friday night.
Having started the season with six consecutive losses, the Redbacks’ form has been building impressively and they have now gone 9-3 since then and won their past five matches to even be a chance of finishing top four after only breaking into the top eight a couple of weeks ago.
The Redbacks did start the game well on the road to the Flames to lead 20-15, but things closed up a little in the second quarter and became decidedly scrappy with plenty of uncharacteristic turnovers from either side.
In the end, the Flames scored 14 points to nine for the quarter and scores were all tied at 29-apiece at the major break.
Rockingham would go on to take a three-point lead to three quarter-time with Darcee Garbin warming to her task offensively nicely forming a good combination with Alex Ciabattoni in her third game with the club.
But it was all the Redbacks at both ends of the floor in the fourth quarter and in a physical game, they frustrated the Flames and through their willingness to put their bodies on the line, overcame the size they were giving up.
The Redbacks put up 27 points to 19 in the fourth term to come away with the tremendous 72-67 road win.
The Redbacks did well to only lose the rebound count by five given the dramatic size difference and with Morgan Pullins restricted to 20 minutes with foul trouble.
But at the same time, Garbin and Maddie Allen battled with fouls in the second half too as frustrations mounted. Even Rockingham backup guard Jesni Cooper struggled to stay on the floor, fouling out in less than 12 minutes.
With Mansfield pushing the pace and Deegan aggressive too, the Redbacks ended up getting to the foul line 26 times and making 16 from there with the Flames only going 8/11 from the free-throw line.
Nes’eya Williams hit some massive jump shots at the most crucial times for the Redbacks highlighting what a remarkable future star she has the potential to come. She finished the night with 16 points, six rebounds including hitting 2/3 from three-point range.
Jess Jakens finished with 13 points and five rebounds having played all but three minutes of the game while Rosie Deegan contributed 14 points, 11 rebounds and four steals, and Lauren Mansfield 11 points, five boards and three assists.
Alix Hayward also had six points and three assists for Perth, Denielle Lipscombe five points, four rebounds and three assists, and Morgan Pullins four points and five rebounds.
Darcee Garbin had another impressive night for Rockingham with 26 points and nine rebounds while Alex Ciabattoni added 20 points, eight boards, four assists and two steals.
Maddie Allen contributed 11 points and 13 rebounds while Christina Boag had 11 rebounds despite two points on 1/7 shooting.
CACHET HOMES MANDURAH MAGIC 73 defeated SCARBORO TOYOTA PERRY LAKES HAWKS 60
The Mandurah Magic continued their hot form on Saturday evening at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre making it five straight wins with a 73-60 victory over the Perry Lakes Hawks.
Mandurah and Perry Lakes played off in the 2017 Grand Final so any rematch from players involved in that always takes on some extra significance, and this time it took an overtime period for the game to be decided.
Coming into the game on a four-game winning run, the Magic started strongly leading 20-14 by quarter-time but the Lady Hawks fired back in the second term with 16 points to eight to lead 30-28 by half-time.
It was 13 points apiece in the third period with the Hawks still up by two head into the last term.
Perry Lakes was then on top most of the fourth quarter too, going up five with 2:30 remaining when Gabby O’Sullivan hit a jumper.
Magic captain Rachel Halleen responded with a pair of free-throws but then Megan McKay steadied Perry Lakes to a five-point advantage with just under a minute and-a-half left.
Who else but Casey Mihovilovich then drained a triple for the Magic and then new import Taylor Brown also connected from downtown to tie scores up with the game going to overtime with Perry Lakes unable to convert a host of opportunities for the winner.
Then in overtime, it was all the Magic as they outscored the Hawks 15 points to two to come away with the 13-point victory.
The win is a fifth in-a-row for Mandurah to improve them to an 11-7 record to be knocking on the door of the top four. Perry Lakes slips to 7-9 with a game to come on Sunday at home to East Perth.
Taylor Brown had a tremendous game for the Magic finishing with 24 points, six rebounds and five assists while shooting 9/21 from the field and 3/3 from three-point territory.
Captain Rachel Halleen also delivered a season-best 16 points, four rebounds and three assists with Casey Mihovilovich contributing another 15 points, three boards and three assists.
Carly Boag added seven points and 11 rebounds for Mandurah with Emma Klaztorny adding six points and six boards, and Bree Klasztorny five points and nine rebounds.
Sarah Donovan top-scored for Perry Lakes with 14 points and nine rebounds while Megan McKay contributed nine points and eight boards, and Kristan Teasdale eight points and nine rebounds.
ROUND 1 FITNESS COCKBURN COUGARS 74 lost to WARWICK SENATORS 83
The Warwick Senators had a couple of tough losses in Round 15 to put their top two spot in jeopardy but they responded solidly on Saturday night to overcome the Cockburn Cougars by nine points at Wally Hagan Stadium.
The Senators suffered losses to the Perry Lakes Hawks and Lakeside Lightning last weekend and considering they are the past two championship winning teams in the Women’s SBL, that wasn’t room for too much concern provided they bounced back well in Round 16.
And Warwick did that on Saturday night on the road to Cockburn but the Cougars certainly put up a good fight and didn’t hand them anything.
The Cougars have time and time again shown themselves much better than the 3-13 record they came into the game with including an overtime loss to the Slammers last weekend, and they came out with a tremendous first quarter.
Cockburn would go into quarter-time leading 29-24 but Warwick marginally closed that gap in the second quarter despite the Cougars still heading into half-time leading 50-47.
The Cougars still held firm in the third period as well and were up 66-62 at three quarter-time so the job was ahead of the Senators if they would return to the winner’s list.
But the Senators, and in particular Stacey Barr, refused to lie down though and produced a monstrous last quarter as they scored 21 points to eight to win 83-74.
Barr hit 11 points in the fourth quarter alone on the way to her massive night made up of 39 points, nine rebounds and two steals where she nailed a simply remarkable 9/13 from three-point range continuing to prove she’s the best and most natural pure scorer in the competition.
Samaria Howard proved a tremendous backcourt partner for Barr with 19 points, 14 rebounds, three steals and two assists while Nicole Jorre De St Jorre had another seven points, five boards, four assists and two steals.
Bianca Villegas had to respond for Warwick in the absence of both Sam Roscoe and Tayla Hepburn and after a quiet couple of weeks, and she did with 12 points and 12 rebounds in just 24 minutes of court time.
Matilda Muir delivered a huge performance for the continually understrength Cougars who fought valiantly. Muir finished with 27 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists on 11/22 shooting from the field.
Vanessa Michael added 17 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and four steals for Cockburn while Haylee De Sousa contributed 10 points and seven rebounds, Alina Hartmann 10 points and 16 boards, and Nicole Roberts five points, four rebounds and three assists.
CHAMBERS FRANKLYN JOONDALUP CITY WOLVES 53 lost to WILLETTON TIGERS 71
The Joondalup Wolves and Willetton Tigers are both top four teams and both appear still capable of fighting for a championship, but it was the Tigers who got back to some form on Saturday night at HBF Arena.
Despite their best basketball being as good as any other side in the Women’s SBL, it’s been a tough stretch for the Lady Wolfpack and Tigers coming into Saturday’s clash at HBF Arena.
Prior to losing to Willetton back on May 17, the Wolves looked dominant at 10-1 but they lost that night to the Tigers and then following a win the next week over the Redbacks, they’ve now lost four straight entering the clash at Joondalup against Willetton.
Willetton, meanwhile, looked on top of the world after that win over the Wolfpack in the last meeting between the two. But since then the Tigers have been on quite the rollercoaster too with losses to East Perth, Warwick, Cockburn and Perth, and just the lone win over Rockingham.
So all that significantly raised the stakes coming into Saturday night’s contest and it was the Lady Wolfpack leading narrowly 16-15 by quarter-time.
Willetton turned the tide in the second period with 19 points to just 13 from Joondalup to see the Tigers take a 34-29 lead into the half-time break.
The Tigers continued that momentum after the break too with 15 points to nine in the third term, and 22 points to 15 in the fourth quarter to end up winning impressively and emphatically 71-53.
The win improves Willetton to a 12-7 record on the season in third position while the Lady Wolfpack have now lost five in-a-row to be 11-7 and just clinging to fourth spot.
Laina Snyder strengthened her MVP credentials on her first season in SBL producing 22 points, 20 rebounds, five assists and two steals for the Tigers.
Emma Gandini also produced 14 points and 11 rebounds for Willetton, Wendi Bibbins 13 points, five boards, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots, Desiree Kelley 10 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Zoe Harper five points and nine boards in her 200-game milestone.
There was no Amy Kidner for the Wolves with Amber Land fighting valiantly in her absence with seven points and 13 rebounds.
Isabelle Miotti top-scored for Joondalup with 10 points and seven rebounds while Andee Ritter contributed eight points and three boards, Jasmine Martin seven points and six rebounds, and Mikayla Pirini six points, three boards and three assists.
SCARBORO TOYOTA PERRY LAKES HAWKS 104 defeated SCHWEIGEN EAST PERTH EAGLES 47
With the battle over eighth position really heating up, the Perry Lakes Hawks couldn’t afford a slip up against the East Perth Eagles on Sunday and they delivered a 57-point win.
The Lady Hawks were coming off a loss the previous night in Mandurah and they needed to win to ensure they finished the round inside the top eight.
It was East Perth’s only appearance of the weekend too so they were fresh and ready to take it up to the Hawks at Bendat Basketball Centre on Sunday afternoon.
But in the end, Perry Lakes asserted its authority from the outset and outscored East Perth 30 points to 15 in the opening quarter.
The Hawks continued with the momentum in the second quarter by putting up another 18 points and holding the Eagles to just six to go into the half-time break leading 48-21.
Perry Lakes produced another 28 points to 12 in the third period and 28 points to 14 in the last term to end up with the emphatic 104-47 victory.
The win improves the Lady Hawks to an 8-9 record on the season in eighth position. The Eagles have lost their past six matches to be 1-17.
It was a tremendous all-round performance by Perry Lakes with 51 rebounds to 24 and 36 assists on their 35 made field goals and going 26/35 at the free-throw line. The Hawks also shot 35/65 at 53 per cent from the field and 8/18 at 44 per cent from three-point range.
The Hawks did have 24 turnovers as well but opposed to them, the Eagles shot at just 29 per cent from the floor and 25 per cent from beyond the arc while having 32 turnovers from which Perry Lakes scored 33 points from.
Megan McKay was tremendously efficient for the Lady Hawks with 21 points, nine rebounds, four steals and two assists on 7/9 shooting from the floor and 7/10 from the free-throw line.
Rebecca Benson also had 19 points, eight assists, four steals and three blocked shots for Perry Lakes with Nat Burton contributing 11 points, eight boards, six assists and three steals, and Sarah Donovan 10 points and four rebounds.
Nikita Martin added eight points and four rebounds, Annika Renkema eight points, four boards and three steals, Morgan Ballantyne seven points and two assists, and Jamie Cherry six points and eight assists.
Bree Fisher top-scored for East Perth with 11 points while Eryn Fisher finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
Rose Aryang again impressed by battling hard inside with seven points, nine rebounds and three steals. Shannon Street also scored eight points to go with three steals.
BETHANIE WARWICK SENATORS 105 defeated PRINT SYNC SOUTH WEST SLAMMERS 86
After two losses in Round 15, the Warwick Senators ensured they hit back with two wins in Round 16 on the back of a combined 52 points from Stacey Barr and Samaria Howard in Sunday’s win against the South West Slammers.
The Slammers came into Sunday’s game at Warwick Stadium having won three of their past five matches with those three victories all coming on the road to Joondalup, Perry Lakes and Cockburn.
So while taking on the Senators on their home floor was a big task, it wasn’t a daunting task for the visitors with both teams also fresh of wins over the Cougars – the Slammers last Saturday in overtime and then the Senators this Saturday night also at Wally Hagan Stadium.
The Slammers got the first break of the game leading early 8-4, 10-6 and then 13-8 following a three-point play from Bianca Donovan. But five quick Stacey Barr points hat Warwick back in front five minutes into the first term.
But the lead continued to change hands leading into quarter-time with the Slammers finishing the first term leading 25-23 when Donovan drained a three.
While the Slammers did briefly breakaway again during the second quarter thanks to Makailah Dyer hitting a three-pointer, things remained tight heading into half-time with Warwick narrowly up 47-46 at the major break.
A triple from Barr and jumper from Samaria saw the Senators’ lead grow to six to start the second half and that advantage would soon grow to seven with last year’s championship-winner with Lakeside, Sam Roscoe, also hit from outside the arc.
The lead was then eight thanks to a three from Barr as well but the Slammers wouldn’t go away and with nine quick individual Dyer points, the Slammers were only down three with 2:45 left in the third quarter
But by three quarter-time, the Senators pulled away to lead 83-74 and then dominated the fourth term with 22 points to 12 to come away with the crucial 105-86 win on their home floor.
The Senators back court was outstanding with Stacey Barr, Samaria Howard and Caitlyn Jones all proving the difference in the contest.
Barr finished with 28 points on 9/17 shooting from the field, 5/10 from downtown and 5/6 from the foul line while Howard contributed 24 points, eight rebounds and three assists, and Jones 16 points with 4/9 from three-point range including a couple from way downtown.
With the absence of Tayla Hepburn, Bianca Villegas needed to stand up inside for the Senators and she did with 16 points, 11 rebounds and three assists with Sam Roscoe adding seven points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
Evergreen 387-game veteran Nicole Jorre De St Jorre had a big impact too with seven points, six rebounds and five assists.
There was still a lot to like about the Slammers performance despite the eventual 19-point loss with Makailah Dyer leading the way with 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Bianca Donovan finished with a season-high 17 points, six rebounds and three steals as well while Brittni Montgomery battled hard inside despite foul trouble for 16 points and 13 rebounds on 7/11 shooting.
Courtney Bayliss also delivered 12 points, six rebounds and three assists, Kate Fielding 11 points, seven assists, four boards and three blocks, and Adele East four points and six rebounds.
Slammers coach Nathan Grover was quite happy with his team’s offence to put up 86 points on 40 per cent shooting from the field and going 17/19 from the free-throw line.
But giving up 105 points to the Senators where they hit 11 threes and got to the foul line 29 times was where the problems arose.