THE inside size and strength and all-round depth of the Perry Lakes Hawks was again on show at Bendat Basketball Centre as they knocked off the league-leading defending champion Lakeside Lightning to the tune of 28 points.
Perry Lakes already came into the on a four-game winning streak to be building some impressive momentum but taking on Lakeside remained the biggest challenge in the Women’s SBL with the Lightning retaining top spot with a 13-point win over Kalamunda at home on Friday night.
The Lady Hawks were playing their only game of Round 19 on their home court on Saturday night and they delivered a standout performance to be on top most of the night, lead by as much as 29 points and go on a 15-0 run at one stage on the way to the 84-56 victory.
With the inside force of Megan McKay, Nat Burton and Sarah Donovan, experienced pair Rebecca Benson and Nikita Martin, and then Jamie Cherry settling nicely as point guard supported by Morgan Ballantyne and Gabby O’Sullivan, and it’s a Perry Lakes team that looks made to have an impact come playoff time.
And they showed their full potential on Saturday night with the big win over Lakeside but the Lightning will look to shake that off as they prepare for their title defence.
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Perry Lakes and Lakeside came into Saturday night’s battle as the past two champions in the Women’s SBL and having already played out a tight affair earlier this season with the Lightning winning by four points at home.
Lakeside came into the game still sitting in top spot with a 16-4 following Friday’s win against the Eastern Suns while the Lady Hawks were building some impressive momentum having won the last four games with Megan McKay’s presence upon return from college instrumental in that.
The Lightning actually got off to a flying start hitting the game’s first seven points and holding the Hawks scoreless for almost the opening four minutes of the contest until McKay got them on the back.
Once Perry Lakes did get going, they dominated the rest of the contest and by quarter-time, had turned that seven-point deficit into a four-point advantage.
The Hawks then pulled further away during the second period with 18 points to 11 to head into half-time with a 39-28 advantage over the reigning champions.
It was more of the same throughout the second half for Perry Lakes with 23 points to 18 in the third quarter, and 22 points to 10 in the fourth as they run out commanding 84-56 victors.
The win is a fifth straight for Perry Lakes who improve to 12-9 on the season ahead of one last regular season game on the road to the Willetton Tigers on Saturday.
Lakeside is now 16-5 ahead of finishing the regular season at home to the Rockingham Flames.
Megan McKay was again outstanding for Perry Lakes and that was while only playing 26 minutes. She produced 22 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two stelas on 10/15 shooting.
Nat Burton ensured the Hawks dominated inside also delivering 16 points and eight rebounds while Rebecca Benson was tremendous to o with 19 points and nine assists while hitting 4/8 from three-point range.
Jamie Cherry finished with 10 points and eight assists for Perry Lakes with Nikita Martin adding seven points and four rebounds.
Perry Lakes coach Deanna Black couldn’t have been happier with the performance and how the Hawks are coming together ahead of the playoffs.
“It’s not very often that I’m super happy after a game, but I thought that the girls really executed the scout and what we talked about in terms of our game focus for tonight,” Black said.
“I thought we were able to do that for the whole four quarters for one of the first times this season. It’s a good time to put it together but obviously it’s just another stepping stone in what we are chasing.
“Lakeside are a really quality team and they’ve shown that the past couple of seasons being on top and they are still the team to beat. I think for us to be able to produce something like that against the top team is really good for our confidence, but it’s also a sign that we are slowly gelling.
“We’ve had a few massive ins to our team which has taken a bit of time, but hopefully all the roles are set now and everyone knows where they fit and those pieces are starting to come together. That’s why we are starting to produce a bit more consistency in our game.”
Ash Grant ended up top-scoring for Lakeside with 18 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
Ellyce Ironmonger also had 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals while GeAnna Lualu-Summers added seven points, three assists, two rebounds two steals.
WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 19
Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves 76 defeated Round 1 Fitness Cockburn Cougars 53
Willetton Tigers 92 defeated Print Sync South West Slammers 68
Bethanie Warwick Senators 77 lost to Class 1 Orthodontics Rockingham Flames 101
Lakeside Lightning 88 defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 75
Texture WA Perth Redbacks 79 lost to Cachet Homes Mandurah Magic 89
Scarboro Toyota Perry Lakes Hawks 84 defeated Lakeside Lightning 56