THE Lakeside Lightning once again showed what they are capable of winning a seventh straight match in the Men’s SBL on Friday night as they hit 20 threes on the way to a 113-66 win over the South West Slammers.
The Slammers had been showing some better signs in recent weeks since a horror 60-point loss to the Joondalup Wolves at HBF Arena, including getting their lone win of the season against the Goldfields Giants.
But the combination of not shooting the ball well on Friday night at Lakeside Recreation Centre and Terrell Carter not allowed to get any real momentum into the game due to foul trouble meant they just couldn’t go with the Lightning.
The Lightning ended up turning on an offensive clinic shooting 44/81 at 54 per cent from the field, 20/40 at 50 per cent from three-point range while having 25 assists and just the 12 turnovers for the night.
That saw the Lightning win a seventh straight match to improve to a 17-5 record and 9 -2 at Lakeside Recreation Centre to remain a chance to still finish with the minor premiership.
The Slammers fell to 1-21 with the defeat ahead of hosting the defending champion Perry Lakes Hawks on Saturday who are on their own five-match winning streak.
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Coming into the contest on a six-game winning run, the Lightning had to fight hard in the first quarter to work on top of the Slammers who had in some improved form in recent weeks.
Not only had the Slammers broken through for a win against the Giants, but they had put in strongly competitive efforts against the Wolves, Senators, Hawks, Cougars and Magic.
So Lakeside couldn’t afford to take anything for granted coming up against them on their home floor on Friday and the Lightning did only lead by four at the end of the opening quarter.
But the Lightning got going through the second quarter piling on 40 points as they started to shoot the lights out and the Slammers just couldn’t go with them especially when big man Terrell Carter was stuck sitting on the bench in foul trouble.
That saw the Lightning head into half-time in control leading 60-27.
The Slammers then did well in the third quarter to limit the damage and stick with the Lightning, but they couldn’t maintain that intensity and largely through bench players, Lakeside put up 32 more points to 18 in the fourth term to end up winning by a game-high 47 points.
It improves Lakeside to 17-5 on the season with four games over the last two rounds to come against Kalamunda, Perry Lakes, Rockingham and Geraldton.
South West has still won just one of 22 games this season and finish against the Hawks, Tigers, Buccaneers and Giants.
It was a terrific shooting night for the Lightning while they also pulled in 58 rebounds to 33 from the Slammers.
In the end, Jobi Wall nailed 7/9 from three-point range for Lakeside, Jack Isenbarger 4/5, Ben Lee 4/6, Liam Hislop 3/7, Michael Vigor 1/4 and Rowan Mackenzie 1/4.
The Slammers didn’t stop trying but just didn’t shoot the ball well with 27/80 at 33 per cent from the floor and 7/27 from deep at 25 per cent while getting to the foul line just seven times.
On the back of those seven three-pointers, Wall top-scored for the Lightning with 21 points, three rebounds and two assists.
Mackenzie added 19 points, four rebounds and three assists, Isenbarger 14 points, six boards and six assists, Lee 14 points, Hislop 13 points and four rebounds, Vigor 11 points and eight boards, and Jarrad Prue just the standard two points and 19 rebounds.
Despite the foul trouble limiting him to 24 minutes, Terrell Carter top-scored for the Slammers with 22 points and eight rebounds.
Tyler Livingston added 15 points and three assists, Mitch Keller nine points, six rebounds and three assists, James Allen nine points, three boards and three assists, and Michael Lay nine points, six rebounds and five assists.
Lakeside coach Dave Daniels was happy with what he got out of the game in terms of getting good run into the legs of all his players ahead of a massive final two rounds and then playoffs while not rubbing the Slammers noses in it.
“We started subbing in the first half but then in the third quarter we started to go to the bench right away, but we were trying to keep a mix of our key guys in there with some guys who don’t play a ton,” Daniels said.
“But with our young guys, we have some guys with really bright futures there so it’s good for them to get the chance to show what they can do. We just want to continue to build that championship-level culture so we expect them to play the same way when they come in.
“And there has been several games recently that when we’ve subbed guys in who hardly touch the floor that they’ve actually done some incredible things. Earlier in the year before Vigor got here and Jarrad was hurt, Josh Davey was starting and played fantastic averaging almost a double-double.
“He is a legit SBL player right now, but he is just behind maybe the best ever in Jarrad and a legit All-Star in Michael Vigor. It’s just about the timing of that but his time will come. We want to continue to build that culture where no matter who plays, we still get after it.
“I still think we got a lot out of the game and they had actually been playing really well lately so I was a little surprised tonight that we got away from them like we did. But we had a really good second quarter where we scored 40 and they didn’t shoot the ball that well so it was kind of over at that point.”
MEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 18
Kalamunda Eastern Suns 97 defeated Prestige Honda Melville Cockburn Cougars 86
Mandurah Magic 105 lost to Willetton Tigers 107
ID Athletic Perry Lakes Hawks 103 defeated Texture WA Perth Redbacks 82
Lakeside Lightning 113 defeated Print Sync South West Slammers 66
CMTG East Perth Eagles 71 lost to Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames 96
Willetton Tigers v Northern Star Resources Goldfields Giants – Willetton Basketball Stadium 7.00pm
Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers v Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves – Active West Stadium 7.30pm
Bethanie Warwick Senators v CMTG East Perth Eagles – Warwick Stadium 8.00pm
Print Sync South West Slammers v ID Athletic Perry Lakes Hawks – Eaton Recreation Centre 8.00pm
Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Mike Barnett Sports Complex 8.00pm
Prestige Honda Melville Cockburn Cougars v Northern Star Resources Goldfields Giants – Wally Hagan Stadium 12.00pm