WILLETTON Tigers captain Desiree Kelley is hoping leaving the comforts of home can help her team return to the winner’s list in the West Coast Classic on Friday night against the Perth Redbacks to stay in the hunt.
The Redbacks hosting the Tigers at Belmont Oasis is just one of seven tantalising match ups in Round 4 of the West Coast Classic as the battle heats up to try and book in a place in that top four for the finals weekend at the end of September.
After three rounds of the West Coast Classic, we have the Joondalup Wolves, Rockingham Flames and Lakeside Lightning all undefeated still so they have put themselves in prime position for a finals spot.
You then have the Warwick Senators and Kalamunda Eastern Suns who have only lost once as well so they are well placed while things are looking challenging for the winless Cockburn Cougars and South West Slammers.
The Round 4 action gets underway with three matches on Friday night as the Perth Redbacks play the Willetton Tigers, the Cockburn Cougars are away to the East Perth Eagles and the Lakeside Lightning host the Rockingham Flames.
Then on Saturday night, the Mandurah Magic host the Joondalup Wolves while the South West Slammers are at home to the Perry Lakes Hawks, the Rockingham Flames take on the East Perth Eagles and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns face the Lakeside Lightning.
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Friday night sees the Eagles who are coming off recording their first win of the West Coast Classic last week over the South West Slammers hosting the still winless Cougars at Herb Graham Leisure Centre.
Then it’s a battle of the last two champions in the SBL at Lakeside Recreation Centre with the Lightning hosting the Flames.
Lakeside still has the experience of Courtney Mansfield, Ellyce Ironmonger and Ash Isenbarger along with some exciting young talent led by Mia Jacobs and Kyrah Daniels, and have made a perfect start under new coach Steve Bezant.
Rockingham is yet to put a foot wrong after winning last year’s championship despite the absence of that vaunted front court of Darcee Garbin and Maddie Allen. The Flames have still won their first two games and look to keep that going to start a double-header weekend.
Then at Belmont Oasis, the Redbacks are looking to remain unbeaten on their home floor in the West Coast Classic to stay in the top four hunt.
Their opponents are a Willetton team who has won just one of four matches so far, but Tigers captain Desiree Kelley is hoping that taking their show on the road does the trick to get back to winning ways.
“It’s going to be a good game for sure especially with Craig and Simon going up against each other. I think that’s a nice little battle and they both will know each other’s game plans I would say,” Kelley said.
“Then you have Maddie Allen who is another big again who we are going to have to try and contain as well as Jess Jakens. There are a lot of key players on their side that will be our main focus.
“But like any game, you always go in with some belief and I always believe that we can win. I never doubt that for a second, it’s just if we can put it altogether and play as a team, and play as well as we can play.
“I don’t usually like playing at Belmont that much but we’ve had a good run with home games and it has been nice to break in our new stadium. But maybe an away game is just what we need now.”
Then on Saturday night, the Magic host the Wolfpack at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre with both teams playing their only game of the weekend. Mandurah will be just trying to be competitive against the championship favourites who remain undefeated.
The Slammers are back at home at Eaton Recreation Centre to host the Perry Lakes Hawks in another big challenge for Nathan Grover’s young team.
The Flames are back at home at Mike Barnett Sports Complex to host the Eagles with both teams backing up from Friday night while the Eastern Suns play their only game of the weekend against a Lightning team who will have played Rockingham on Friday.
WEST COAST CLASSIC 2020 – WOMEN
Perth Redbacks v Willetton Tigers – Belmont Oasis 6.30pm
East Perth Eagles v Cockburn Cougars – Herb Graham Recreation Centre 6.30pm
Lakeside Lightning v Rockingham Flames – Lakeside Recreation Centre 6.30pm
Mandurah Magic v Joondalup Wolves – Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre 5.00pm
South West Slammers v Perry Lakes Hawks – Eaton Recreation Centre 5.00pm
Rockingham Flames v East Perth Eagles – Mike Barnett Sports Complex 6.00pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Lakeside Lightning – Ray Owen Sports Centre 6.30pm