THE Quarter Finals in the Women’s SBL got underway on Friday night with wins for the Rockingham Flames and Lakeside Lightning before the Perry Lakes Hawks won big on Saturday and the Warwick Senators went up one-nil over the Willetton Tigers.
Entering the Women’s SBL playoffs for 2019, all eight teams came into it genuinely believing they could beat their opponents setting the stage for four fascinating Game 1 match ups on the weekend with the higher ranked teams having home court advantage.
It all got underway on Friday night with the Rockingham Flames pulling away late from the Mandurah Magic to win 76-65 at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre.
The defending champion Lakeside Lightning again finished on top to close the regular season and they started off with a Game 1 win in their series with the Kalamunda Eastern Suns, winning 85-77 at Lakeside Recreation Centre.
Then on Saturday evening, the Perry Lakes Hawks won a seventh consecutive match defeating the Joondalup Wolves 102-66 at HBF Arena.
And at Warwick Stadium also on Saturday night, the Warwick Senators prevailed 84-74 against the Willetton Tigers in the battle of the fourth and fifth ranked teams.
QUARTER FINALS GAME 1 SPOTLIGHT | SENATORS REGAIN SOME FORM OVER TIGERS
QUARTER FINALS GAME 1 SPOTLIGHT | GARBIN LIFTS FLAMES OVER MAGIC
LADY HAWKS CLICKING BUT REAL WORK NOW STARTS
LIGHTNING STILL WORK IN PROGRESS ENTERING FINALS
CRAWFORD WANTS FLAMES TO HAVE FUN IN FINALS
EASTERN SUNS PRIMED FOR ANOTHER CRACK AT LIGHTNING
QUARTER FINALS WEEK 1 WOMEN’S SBL PREVIEW
The teams who reach the semi finals in 2019 will now be determined this coming weekend. Friday night will see the respective Game 2’s held between the Perry Lakes Hawks and Joondalup Wolves at Bendat Basketball Centre, and the Willetton Tigers and Warwick Senators at Wally Hagan Stadium.
The Game 2’s between the Rockingham Flames and Mandurah Magic at Mike Barnett Sports Complex, and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns and Lakeside Lightning at Ray Owen Sports Centre will take place on Saturday night.
If required, the Game 3’s featuring Warwick-Willetton and Joondalup-Perry Lakes will take place on Saturday night. While the deciders between Lakeside-Kalamunda and Mandurah-Rockingham will be played on Sunday afternoon.
WOMEN’S SBL QUARTER FINALS – WEEK 1
CACHET HOMES MANDURAH MAGIC 65 lost to CLASS 1 ORTHODONTICS ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 76
A jetlagged Darcee Garbin has caught fire down the stretch to help deliver the Rockingham Flames an 11-point win to open their quarter-final series with the Mandurah Magic on Friday night.
Despite their change of coach mid-season with Keegan Crawford taking over the helm after Craig Reynolds and the Flames parted ways, it has been a Rockingham team built for finals action, but the same can be said about Mandurah coming off reaching the past two Grand Finals.
The Magic finished the regular season on a nine-match winning streak which started following a disappointing loss in Rockingham to the Flames. But Mandurah finished the season the hottest team in the competition on that winning streak and ending up in second position on the table.
That saw them earn home court advantage against a Flames team who might have finished in seventh spot, but also entered the post-season on a four-game winning streak setting the stage for what always loomed to be a hotly contested quarter-final series.
It was a nervous opening from both teams but the Flames settled first with Christina Boag scoring the game’s first five points with the visitors then going on to lead 12-4 after six minutes when she scored another bucket.
But the Magic were doing strong work to earn extra possessions and that started to pay off with Bree Klasztorny hitting a couple of inside baskets and then Delany Junkermeir connecting from downtown.
Despite that, Rockingham still led 18-13 by quarter-time before Casey Mihovilovich worked hard and continued to attack the rim to draw scores level heading towards half-time in a low-scoring finals grind.
Taylor Brown put Mandurah up four but then Christina Boag again hit five points in the matter of 30 seconds to regain Rockingham’s narrow advantage. Carly Boag then hit a big three for Mandurah with her sister then immediately responding with a deep two for Rockingham.
But Brown’s triple and pair of free-throws in the final minute helped Mandurah to a 36-33 lead at the major break.
Carly Boag’s three to open the second half stretched Mandurah’s lead to six but it didn’t take long for Rockingham to steady starting with Darcee Garbin knocking down some jumpers. Alex Ciabattoni hit a pair of free-throws to put them back up by one before Bree Klasztorny responded with a jumper.
Klasztorny then nailed one from long-range too and Mandurah was starting to build some momentum in front of a vocal home crowd despite the close proximity of the two teams.
Two huge threes from Garbin saw Rockingham lead 53-50 by quarter-time even though it did appear Bree Klasztorny putback on an offensive rebound got off before the buzzer. But it wasn’t to count.
Rockingham still came out to score immediately to start the fourth and regained the lead with Carly Boag finished on the inside two minutes into the quarter.
But this would prove to be Garbin’s nine and she hit another triple to regain the lead for the Flames on a Chelsea Petrik assist. She nailed yet another with 5:30 remaining and then when Maddie Allen finished on the side, Rockingham was up seven.
With Emma Klasztorny, Mihovilovich and Brown then all fouling out for Mandurah in the dying minutes, Rockingham maintained its advantage to go on to score the Game 1 victory to the tune of 11 points.
Less than 48 hours after arriving home from Phoenix, Darcee Garbin delivered a standout performance for the Flames made up of 32 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots while shooting 11/22 from the field, 5/9 from deep and 5/7 from the foul line.
Christina Boag added 23 points and six rebounds for Rockingham with Alex Ciabattoni producing 12 points, eight boards, five assists and two steals, and Maddie Allen six points, 13 rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots.
Taylor Brown had a tough night for Mandurah and didn’t get much love when she took the ball hard to the basket as she ended up with 19 points, four assists and four steals on 8/24 shooting.
Casey Mihovilovich added 15 points and four assists for the Magic, Bree Klasztorny 14 points and nine rebounds, and Carly Boag 12 points and nine boards.
LAKESIDE LIGHTNING 85 defeated KALAMUNDA EASTERN SUNS 77
The Lakeside Lightning certainly didn’t have it all their own way but the defending champions did enough to get over the line in Game 1 of their quarter-final series with the Kalamunda Eastern Suns on Friday night at Lakeside Recreation Centre.
The two teams had met in the semi finals last year but this time around it was a significantly better equipped and healthier Eastern Suns team ready to take it right up to a Lightning team who had again finished the regular season in top spot.
But Lakeside die enter the playoffs following a couple of losses to Perry Lakes and Rockingham while Kalamunda had qualified for the finals in eighth position having won five of their last seven matches.
It was always set up to be a terrific contest and it didn’t fail to deliver.
Jennie Rintala scored the first seven points for Kalamunda to keep pace with Lakeside before Katie Yohn hit two free-throws to give them the early lead until GeAnna Lualu-Summers knocked down a three for the Lightning.
It was Rintala on fore to star the game, though, and she scored five more quick points to put the Suns up 16-12 before an Abbie Ironmonger three and Hannah Stewart layup regained Lakeside’s narrow lead.
Kalamunda still led, though, 23-22 by quarter-time on the back of Rintala’s 14 points.
Things remained tight throughout the second period until Lakeside began to pull away late to lead 48-43 going into half-time but Yohn then hit a triple to start the second half to bring the Suns back within two straightaway.
Rintala then hit another basket to draw scores level but again late in the period the Lightning began to open up a handy lead and they were six points up by three quarter-time.
Courtney Mansfield nailed a triple to open the fourth quarter to make it a nine-point game and as hard as Kalamunda tried the of the game, they could never quite get close enough to strike and Lakeside held firm to claim the 85-77 victory.
Lightning point guard GeAnna Lualu-Summers delivered and impressive performance made up of 21 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals while hitting 4/10 from three-point territory.
Captain Courtney Mansfield added 18 points, eight assists and three rebounds with Hannah Stewart contributing 16 points, five boards and three assists.
Ash Grant finished with 12 points and seven rebounds while Ellyce Ironmonger produced seven points and 11 boards, and Jess Van Schie six points and eight rebounds.
Jennie Rintala finished the night with 22 points and five rebounds for Kalamunda while Katie Yohn contributed 20 points, nine boards and two assists.
Lauren Jeffers delivered 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Eastern Suns with Jewel Williams producing 12 points, six boards and five assists, and Georgia Adams eight points.
BETHANIE WARWICK SENATORS 84 defeated WILLETTON TIGERS 74
It was a game that had all the hallmarks of two teams desperate to try to regain some form but it was the Warwick Senators who started hot and finished strongly to claim Game 1 of their quarter-final series with the Willetton Tigers at Warwick Stadium on Friday night.
With the Senators entering the finals having won just three of their past eight games and the Tigers four of their past nine, it was always going to be a case of which team could regain some confidence first in their quarter-final match up.
It got underway at Warwick Stadium on Saturday night and Warwick started strongly with Tayla Hepburn scoring the first basket as she returned for her first game in six weeks.
A Samaria Howard and-one play then gave Warwick the opening five points and their lead soon became 9-2. A Nicole Jorre De St Jorre triple on quarter-time saw the Senators in control 30-16 after one before their lead grew to 16 with a Bianca Villegas pull up jumper with six minutes left in the half.
Sam Roscoe’s three-point stretched Warwick’s lead to 19 which soon ballooned to 24 with a Stacey Barr triple heading towards half-time.
But Willetton did respond over the last two minutes leading into half-time with 10 quick unanswered points courtesy of five from Hayley Winter, two from Emma Gandini and a three from captain Desiree Kelley.
The Tigers had warmed to the contest and to start the second half, Laina Snyder caught fire with six points in a minute to bring the deficit down to seven and that soon five with a Winter jumper forcing Senators coach Dion Dagostino into a timeout.
Soon after, Willetton was within two points after Snyder hit from downtown and when Winter did the same, the margin was just one before Barr responded with a three-point play for Warwick against her former team.
Hannah Throns then hit two free-throws to close the third quarter but Willetton scored the first six points of the fourth period to draw level and then they took the lead at 69-67 with a Snyder pull up jumper.
They were still leading by three too when Winter made a layup with four minutes remaining but from that point on Willetton wouldn’t score again.
A Jorre De St Jorre bucket brought the Senators back within one before a Roscoe free-throw drew scores level. Howard and Roscoe then scored to make the lead four with Howard again scoring to make it six before Jorre De St Jorre finished it at the foul line for the 84-74 victory.
Nicole Jorre De St Jorre produced her best scoring game of the season in the 393rd game of her career finishing with 19 points, five steals, four rebounds and two assists.
Samaria Howard added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Senators with Stacey Barr delivering 15 points and eight boards, Sam Roscoe 10 points, six rebounds, three steals and three blocks, Tayla Hepburn 10 points and four boards.
Bianca Villegas also returned from injury for six points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots in just 14 minutes.
MVP candidate Laina Snyder fought valiantly for Willetton finishing with 23 points, six rebounds and three assists while Hayley Winter was terrific with 14 points, six boards and four assists.
Wendi Bibbins contributed 12 points and 12 rebounds with Zoe Harper adding 12 points and seven boards, and Desiree Kelley seven points, 12 boards and three steals.
CHAMBERS FRANKLYN JOONDALUP CITY WOLVES 66 lost to SCARBORO TOYOTA PERRY LAKES HAWKS 102
The Joondalup Wolves and Perry Lakes Hawks both entered the playoffs with good recent form but it was the Lady Hawks that continued that on Saturday night at HBF Arena.
Perry Lakes had won its last six matches entering the finals for 2019 for a third straight season with Deanna Black as coach and while Joondalup did lose last Saturday night to Kalamunda, the Wolfpack had won three consecutive matches prior to that.
The Wolves did also finish higher in the standings so had home court advantage for Game 1 but it didn’t help with the Lady Hawks on top from early on in the contest as they kept their momentum going.
Perry Lakes would up leading 20-13 by quarter-time and would lead the entire contest. Another 19 points to 10 in the second quarter and the Hawks were up 39-23 at the half-time interval.
The visitors put their foot down in the third period with 32 points to 17 and at one stage went on a 14-0 run and led by as many as 43 points in quite the emphatic performance.
It was a free-flowing contest both ways in the last quarter with Perry Lakes scoring another 31 points to 26 to end up winning 102-66 to take the one-nil series lead with Game 2 to be held at Bendat Basketball Centre on Friday night.
It was always going to be a big ask for the Wolves to match the size and length inside of the Hawks since they lost Kayla Steindl and captain Amy Kidner from the team they started the season with. Perry Lakes finished the night with 63 rebounds to 45 and 42 points in the paint to 22.
The Hawks also shot the ball significantly better going 31/75 from the field at 41 per cent and 7/19 at 36 per cent from downtown. But they went to the foul line a phenomenal 36 times where they made 33 of them. It was a game with 55 fouls and 31 went against the home team.
The Lady Wolfpack shot just 21/81 at 25 per cent from the floor and 9/32 at 28 per cent from three but they only got to the line 21 times, making 15.
While Perry Lakes size had a big impact, point guard Jamie Cherry proved the star of the evening with 28 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists.
Megan McKay contributed another 16 points and 10 rebounds with Rebecca Benson producing 15 points and four boards, Morgan Ballantyne 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals, Annika Renkema seven points and three boards, and Sarah Donovan seven points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
Amber Land battled hard, as you would expect, for Joondalup and finished with 12 points, six rebounds and two steals.
Isabelle Miotti also produced 10 points and five rebounds with Mikayla Pirini producing nine points and seven assists, Jasmine Martin nine points, six rebounds and four steals, and Tayla Pipes eight points and three boards.