THE Perry Lakes Hawks, Warwick Senators, Rockingham Flames and Lakeside Lightning all won their Women’s SBL quarter-final series’ in two games to set the stage for two fascinating semi-final match ups to determine the Grand Finalists of 2019.
All four of the quarter-final series’ ended up being decided on the weekend in two games with none of them going to three games, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t some high-quality basketball along the way.
There were two Game 2 quarter-final matches played on Friday night starting with the Perry Lakes Hawks again proving too strong for the Joondalup Wolves, winning 103-59 despite finishing the regular season in sixth place and the Wolfpack in third.
But the presence of Megan McKay, Nat Burton and Sarah Donovan up front combined with the experience of Rebecca Benson and Nikita Martin, and dynamic point guard Jamie Cherry, the Lady Hawks proved too strong up against a Wolves team who never quite recovered from the loss of Kayla Steindl and Amy Kidner.
QUARTER FINALS GAME 2 SPOTLIGHT | LIGHTNING OVERCOME SPIRITED SUNS
QUARTER FINALS GAME 2 SPOTLIGHT | HAWKS FIRE AGAIN TO ELIMINATE WOLFPACK
MAGIC DETERMINED TO BRING GAME 3 BACK TO MANDURAH
CRAWFORD PUMPED FOR FLAMES’ CHANCE ON HOME FLOOR
CONFIDENCE TO AVOID SLOW START KEY FOR TIGERS
RECRUITING DEPTH PAYS DIVIDENDS FOR SENATORS
QUARTER FINALS WEEK 1 WOMEN’S SBL WRAP
LADY HAWKS CLICKING BUT REAL WORK NOW STARTS
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EASTERN SUNS PRIMED FOR ANOTHER CRACK AT LIGHTNING
Then also on Friday night, the Warwick Senators closed the deal against the Willetton Tigers with a dominant 88-58 victory on neutral ground at Wally Hagan Stadium.
It was an emphatic two-game performance by the Senators who might have struggled in the back end of the season, but now with Tayla Hepburn, Bianca Villegas and Sam Roscoe all available up front, and Stacey Barr and Samaria Howard an impressive back court, they are looking imposing.
Then on Saturday night, Game 2 between Rockingham and Mandurah took place at Mike Barnett Sports Complex, and it was the Flames who came from behind to beat, and eliminate, the Magic 65-64.
It was quite the battle over the two games between the two local rivals but in the end Rockingham prevailed in two tight affairs despite finishing in seventh position to eliminate the No. 2 seed Magic who had played in the last two Grand Finals.
The last game in the Women’s quarter finals then took place at Ray Owen Sports Centre and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns started on fire with eight three-pointers in the game’s first 11 minutes against the Lakeside Lightning.
They couldn’t quite maintain that pace and in the end Lakeside’s size and experience shone through especially when Jennie Rintala fouled out for the Suns as the Lightning went on to win 91-81 to reach a third successive semi-final series in the Women’s SBL.
The results mean that the semi finals will now feature the Perry Lakes Hawks taking on the Rockingham Flames, and the Lakeside Lightning playing the Warwick Senators. They will battle over the next two weeks to determine the Grand Finalists of 2019.
WOMEN’S SBL QUARTER FINALS – WEEK 2
SCARBORO TOYOTA PERRY LAKES HAWKS 103 defeated CHAMBERS FRANKLYN JOONDALUP CITY WOLVES 59
The Perry Lakes Hawks are sure going to take some stopping this Women’s SBL season as they flew to an eighth consecutive win on Friday night in emphatic style to beat the Joondalup Wolves by 44 points to advance to the semi finals.
Perry Lakes were in hot form coming into the playoffs with those six straight wins and that only continued last Saturday night with the 36-point win in Game 1 of the quarter finals against the Wolfpack at HBF Arena.
With the imposing front court of Megan McKay, Nat Burton and Sarah Donovan, experienced wings in Nikita Martin and Rebecca Benson, and Jamie Cherry on fire as point guard with a strong supporting cast, it was going to take a big effort from Joondalup to fire back.
The reality is if they had Amy Kidner and Kayla Steindl it might have been possible, but the loss of two such key pieces had been a stumbling block the Wolfpack could never quite overcome despite how hard late season arrival Jasmine Martin continued to battle especially.
The signs were glaring early that Perry Lakes was at another level and by quarter-time, the home team had opened up a 15-point advantage and by half-time that had stretched to 21.
It was more of the same in the second half as Perry Lakes cruised to the 103-59 victory to make it eight consecutive wins as they advance to the semi finals.
The size differential ending up being a major factor with the Hawks collecting 69 rebounds to 37 for the night while scoring 50 points inside the paint to just 26 from the Wolves.
Shooting was the other major different with Perry Lakes ending up going 39/84 from the field at 46 per cent and 9/24 at 37 per cent from downtown. Joondalup shot 20/75 at 26 per cent from the floor and 7/29 at 24 per cent from three.
While Perry Lakes’ bigs dominated, point guard Jamie Cherry was again a difference-maker too with another 18 points and five assists including hitting 3/6 of her three-point attempts.
Megan McKay had another 18 points, 13 rebounds and four steals on 9/12 shooting with Sarah Donovan contributing 14 points, 13 boards, four assists and two steals, and Nat Burton eight points, 12 rebounds and four assists.
Rebecca Benson contributed 14 points and three assists, Nikita Martin 10 points, five rebounds and four assists, and Sam Ashby 11 points and three boards as she prepares to head off to college.
It was tough going for the Lady Wolfpack but Georgia Denehey had an impressive first half with 10 points and three rebounds including hitting two threes before their plight was magnified when she left the court with a knee injury and didn’t return.
Mikayla Pirini finished with 10 points and three assists, Chelsea Belcher 10 points, two rebounds and two steals, Tahni Geel six points and two steals, Jasmine Martin six points and five rebounds, and Amber Land six points and 11 rebounds.
WILLETTON TIGERS 58 lost to BETHANIE WARWICK SENATORS 88
Willetton and Warwick ventured to a neutral venue on Friday night for Game 2 of their quarter-final series and it was at Wally Hagan Stadium that Senators completed their task with a 30-point victory over the Tigers.
The Senators had come out on fire in Game 1 last Saturday night at Warwick Stadium to lead by as much as 24 points during the second quarter before then surviving a Willetton second half fight back to still take away the win and hold a one-nil lead coming to Wally Hagan Stadium on Friday.
Tigers coach Simon Parker was confident in his team’s ability to bounce back and force a decider and they started well enough in that mission to lead 24-21 by quarter-time.
But the Senators were able to work their way on top of the contest in the second quarter with 24 points to nine to head into the half-time interval leading 45-33 and they would never look back.
Warwick dominating the second half restricting Willetton to just 25 points while putting up 43 themselves including a 12-0 run to at one stage lead by 33 points.
That ended up seeing the Senators win the game 88-58 to take the series two games to nil and to advance to the semi finals in the first season with Dion Dagostino as coach.
They will now await the winner of the Lakeside Lightning and Kalamunda Eastern Suns’ series to see who they meet in the semi finals.
Despite Willetton battling hard all night, ultimately it was their inability to make shots that was the difference in the game with the Tigers attempting 15 more field goals in the game but still losing by 30 points.
The Senators finished up going 30/75 at 40 per cent from the field and 8/27 from deep at 29 per cent along with going to foul line 24 times compared to Willetton’s 15. The Tigers shot just 23/90 from the floor at 25 per cent and 6/28 from three-point land at 21 per cent.
Stacey Barr proved unstoppable for the Senators up against her former team putting up a remarkable 42 points, seven rebounds and five assists on the back of shooting 15/24 from the field and 8/14 from three-point range.
Tayla Hepburn added 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots while Samaria Howard contributed 10 points, seven boards and three assists, Caitlyn Jones six points and two rebounds, and Sam Roscoe six points, seven boards, three blocked shots and two assists.
Desiree Kelley top-scored for Willetton with 15 points, five rebounds, four steals and four blocked shots while Emma Gandini produced eight points and nine rebounds, Hayley Winter eight points, Wendi Bibbins seven points, seven boards and four assists, and Laina Snyder six points seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.
CLASS 1 ORTHODONTICS ROCKINGHAM FLAMES 65 defeated CACHET HOMES MANDURAH MAGIC 64
The hardest fought series of the quarter finals was always likely to feature Rockingham and Mandurah, and even though the Flames ended up prevailing in two games, that certainly proved the case.
It was a tremendously gritting and spicy contest last Friday night in Mandurah with Rockingham claiming the Game 1 victory 76-65, but the Magic had entered the playoffs on a nine-game winning streak to finish in second position so they were never going to go away without a fight.
Game 2 took place on Saturday night at Mike Barnett Sports Complex and after both had tough shooting nights last Friday, Taylor Brown and Casey Mihovilovich started on fire leading the Magic to an early 8-4 advantage.
Mandurah still led 17-15 by quarter-time and things remained close most of the second period until the Magic began to pull away starting with an and-one play from Brown. She then scored three more baskets to put the visitors up 12 which became 14 with a Mihovilovich layup as well.
The Magic still led 41-29 by half-time with Game 3 back in Mandurah on Sunday looking a likely outcome which became more so the case when they were back up 14 when Kelly Bailey scored to open the second half.
Despite a 6-0 Rockingham run, Mandurah steadied back out to an 11-point lead with a Bailey triple and then a layup as she scored seven quick points in two and-a-half minutes.
Rachel Pettit then scored and the Magic were pulling away up 15 and they still led by 12 at three quarter-time despite a Christina Boag late triple for the Flames.
But it was Maddie Allen proving the difference up the other end for Rockingham and she almost single-handedly pulled them back within six points with eight minutes remaining.
Alex Ciabattoni then warmed up to make the margin four and then Christina Boag scored again to make it two with five minutes on the clock.
Free-throws from Ciabattoni then pushed Rockingham in front before Carly Boag restored a one-point advantage for Mandurah. Mihovilovich soon stretched that to three before Ciabattoni responded with a layup for the Flames.
Allen scored the game’s last basket with a jumper to put Rockingham up 65-64 and with the Flames missing their desperation game-winner out of a timeout through Bailey, the Flames held on to win by that score and advance to the semi finals to face the Perry Lakes Hawks.
Alex Ciabattoni finished with 21 points and five assists for the Flames while shooting 8/14 from the field and 5/6 from the foul line.
Maddie Allen also produced 19 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots with Darcee Garbin delivering 12 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists, and Christina Boag seven points and 11 boards.
Taylor Brown top-scored for the Magic with 21 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals but she did shoot 9/23 from the field.
Casey Mihovilovich added 11 points and five assists with Carly Boag contributing 11 points and 11 rebounds, Kelly Bailey nine points and three boards, and Emma Klasztorny eight points and six rebounds.
KALAMUNDA EASTERN SUNS 81 lost to LAKESIDE LIGHTNING 91
The Lakeside Lightning had to fight back from a stunning shooting display early on Saturday night by the Kalamunda Eastern Suns at Ray Owen Sports Centre but the defending champions soon steadied to advance to the semi finals for a third straight year.
With Lakeside having only won five of their past nine matches to close the regular season despite finishing in top spot and Kalamunda in good form winning eight of 11, it was always going to be a fascinating series between two teams that know one another well.
Lakeside had to work hard to claim Game 1 on their home floor and then Kalamunda was welcomed home on Saturday night with a large and vocal crowd to cheer them on.
The Suns then went on to give them plenty to cheer about in a remarkable first quarter.
It became a three-point onslaught from the Eastern Suns starting with Jennie Rintala knocking one down to give them a 7-6 lead. Rebecca Motroni then joined in soon after before Katie Yohn converted a three-point play.
Motroni then hit another from beyond the arc, Rintala hit another too and Jewel Williams joined in the fun with Kalamunda hitting 30 points with more than two minutes remaining in the period.
Yohn was the next to hit from downtown for the home team with Williams hitting her second and the home team led 36-25 at quarter-time.
That became 39-25 with Alecia Knowles hitting a three to start the second term and then when Yohn hit a mid-range jumper, the Suns were simply on fire and leading by 16.
But with Hannah Stewart and Ash Grant in particular getting aggressive, Lakeside was able to keep scoring inside and then just down the Suns up the other to only trail by two at half-time.
Kalamunda then started the second half with a 7-0 to go back up by eight but Lakeside had picked up confidence and Courtney Mansfield hit a three to get them on track. When Ellyce Ironmonger scored too, they took the lead and they remained up by two at three quarter-time.
When Rintala picked up her fifth foul with seven minutes remaining, the game took a decided turn in the favour of the Lightning and suddenly the Suns had no match for the size of Ironmonger, Stewart and Grant.
Despite that, it was still a one-point game with five minutes left until Grant knocked down a three for Lakeside. Mansfield then did the same and when GeAnna Lualu-Summers scored inside, they were up nine and it appeared a task beyond Kalamunda.
That would prove the case with Lakeside going on to win 91-81 but they were certainly made to earn it over the two games.
Lakeside’s size advantage came to the fore with them gathering 17 more rebounds and scoring 46 points in the paint to 28. Despite Kalamunda’s hot start shooting, the Lightning ended up shooting better too with 34/74 at 45 per cent from the field and 9/23 at 39 per cent from three.
The Suns finished up going 30/83 at 36 per cent from the floor and 10/41 at 24 per cent from long-range.
Ash Grant ended up with a huge night for the Lightning with 27 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots on a remarkably economical 11/13 shooting. Hanna Stewart added 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists, and Ellyce Ironmonger seven points, nine boards and three assists as the trio of bigs came up big.
GeAnna Lualu-Summers added 18 points and four assists for Lakeside, and Courtney Mansfield 16 points, eight boards and seven assists.
Katie Yohn battled hard all night for Kalamunda finishing with 22 points, nine rebounds, four steals and two assists while before fouling out, Jennie Rintala had 19 points and eight boards.
Jewel Williams contributed 13 points, six rebounds and three assists, Rebecca Motroni 12 points and five assists, and Lauren Jeffers 10 points, five assists and three rebounds.