WITH only three rounds now remaining in the West Coast Classic and only four finals spots available every game is taking on greater significance including Maddie Allen trying to keep the Perth Redbacks alive against the team she led to last year’s SBL championship.
The Redbacks sit fifth and the Flames second coming into their Round 7 West Coast Classic match up on Saturday night at Mike Barnett Sports Complex in what is just one of a host of contests this weekend to have a big say in the eventual finals positions.
The game in Rockingham will mark the first time that Allen has played for the Redbacks against the Flames after she was instrumental in Rockingham winning the 2019 SBL championship when she was named MVP of the Grand Final won against the Warwick Senators.
With the Redbacks needing to win to stay in the finals race and the Flames looking to maintain their form to stay in the top two and it shapes as quite the tantalising match up.
Redbacks coach Craig Allen is looking forward to it and is confident of another big performance from his star big who has signed again with the Perth Lynx in the WNBL, but not necessarily because it’s against her former team.
“It will be a big night for Maddie obviously and it’s always a bit of a special occasion playing against your old team, and she has some really fond memories of playing with that group. Hopefully we can build memories for her in this environment too,” Allen said.
“We aren’t going to make too much of that and I won’t make that a focus of our preparation, but you always want to play well but in saying that you should be just as motivated for every other game as well. We’re looking forward to the challenge though.”
Round 7 in the West Coast Classic gets underway on Friday night with the East Perth Eagles hosting the Lakeside Lightning at Herb Graham Recreation Centre.
The Lightning have slipped outside the top four at 4-2 following losses to the Flames and Eastern Suns so they likely can’t afford another slip up if they want to return to the top four, and they can’t afford a slip up against an Eagles team that certainly is vastly improved in this West Coast Classic.
Then also on Friday night, the Cockburn Cougars play the South West Slammers at Wally Hagan Stadium.
The two teams might only have one win between them but are full of exciting young talent, and this is a real chance for one of them to enjoy that winning feeling before the season closes.
Then lastly on Friday night, the Willetton Tigers are back on their new home court against Warwick Senators at Willetton Basketball Stadium.
The Tigers are a dangerous team even though at 3-5 they can’t reach the top four and the Senators do need to keep winning to maintain their spot in the finals setting the stage for another enthralling contest in Round 7.
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Things continue in Round 7 of the West Coast Classic on Saturday evening starting at HBF Arena with the Joondalup Wolves hosting the East Perth Eagles.
East Perth will be backing up playing Lakeside on Friday night while the Lady Wolfpack will be fresh and hungry to bounce back from their first loss of the West Coast Classic last Saturday night in Rockingham against the Flames.
The Lakeside Lightning also back up on Saturday night at home to the Mandurah Magic at Lakeside Recreation Centre.
The experienced usual names of the Magic might not be there that have made this one of the great recent SBL rivalries, but the Lightning will still need to be on their game to get the win and they can’t afford not to if they hope to play finals.
Then also on Saturday is a cracking contest between the Warwick Senators and Kalamunda Eastern Suns at Warwick Stadium.
The Senators will have already played at Willetton on Friday and come into the round with a 5-1 record but this is a big test against an Eastern Suns team sitting in fourth position at 5-2 and who also need to keep winning if they want to stay where they are.
The round then concludes on Sunday with the Eastern Suns backing up at Ray Owen Sports Centre by hosting the Rockingham Flames in another tantalising match up between two teams sitting in the top four coming into Round 7.
WEST COAST CLASSIC 2020 – WOMEN
East Perth Eagles v Lakeside Lightning – Herb Graham Recreation Centre 6.30pm
Cockburn Cougars v South West Slammers – Wally Hagan Stadium 6.30pm
Willetton Tigers v Warwick Senators – Willetton Basketball Stadium 6.30pm
Joondalup Wolves v East Perth Eagles – HBF Arena 5.00pm
Lakeside Lightning v Mandurah Magic – Lakeside Recreation Centre 5.00pm
Warwick Senators v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Warwick Stadium 5.00pm
Rockingham Flames v Perth Redbacks – Mike Barnett Sports Complex 6.00pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Rockingham Flames – Ray Owen Sports Centre 12.00pm