WA SBL Quarter Finals (Week 2): Lightning men progress in triple OT thriller

Lakeside’s men moved into the final four with a triple overtime win over Stirling in the decisive third game of their series, while East Perth also moved on with an impressive defeat of Rockingham in their deciding encounter. In the women’s competition, Kalamunda fought back from 1-0 down to win twice at home and send Cockburn crashing out of the playoffs.

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SBL Men

Two strong bursts to open the game and the second half saw Perth see off Mandurah 116-94 as they advanced to the second round of the playoffs. The Redbacks generated 28 more field goal attempts and were never seriously threatened after quarter time as Lee Roberts (34 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists) and Stanley Okoye (28 points, 9 rebounds) proved far too much to handle once more. Despite five players netting 14 points or more, the Magic failed to keep up with the explosive offensive power of their opponents, with only Taylor Mullenax (19 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, 9-15 FG) providing a constant threat as his side had their season cut short.

Lakeside levelled their series with Stirling thanks to a 112-99 win that forced a game three. The Lightning grabbed 54 rebounds to 43 and built their lead with a solid 48 minute performance, holding off a third term rally by their opponents. Brad Tinsley netted 34 points and dished 10 assists in a brilliant performance, while Caleb Palkert (28 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 13-20 FG) did a little bit of everything. The visitors were led by Jordan Wild (31 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 9-14 FG), Cory Cooperwood (25 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists) and Cody Ellis (23 points, 8 rebounds) but got a mere eight points from the rest of their side combined as they slumped to their first defeat of the post-season.

Rockingham survived a furious late rally from East Perth to post an 81-78 victory and force a deciding match in their series. A 32-18 start by the Flames gave them a comfortable buffer throughout the first half but the visitors threatened to steal the show with a 26-15 final term before coming up short. Cooper Land (25 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists) was superb for the home side and Ryan Godfrey came up with 17 points and 6 boards to play an important role in the win. The Eagles relied far too heavily on Tom Jervis (23 points, 14 rebounds, 4 blocks), with the NBL star comfortably his side’s best player as the usually industrious Kyle Armour (12 points) was held to just five shot attempts.

Geraldton saw off a determined South West to claim a 93-92 win and a series sweep in the process. A 33-24 second term meant the Slammers took a shock lead into half time as they improved dramatically from their game one showing, but a 26-10 third term put the Buccs in firm control heading into the final term. The visitors, however, were not done with as they flew home with a 30-20 last quarter flurry to take the lead before Jerrah Young’s basket in the dying seconds sealed the win. Aaron Ralph (29 points, 16 rebounds) and Bennie Lewis (25 points, 4 assists) led the way for the home side, while Markus Monroe (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Ty Harrelson (11 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists) nearly willed their side over the line with tireless displays.

Lakeside advanced to the final four with a dramatic 150-144 triple overtime victory over Stirling. A Cody Ellis three-pointer with six minutes to play in regulation put the Senators ahead by 12 before the home side rallied, with Brad Tinsley’s three-point bomb with three seconds to play sending the game into extra time. Both sides missed opportunities to win in the first extra period and a Josh Throns triple at the buzzer in the second overtime extended the game again before the home side pulled away to win. Tinsley was huge, netting 56 points in 52 minutes to go with 7 boards and 6 assists, while Chris Sofoulis (28 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists) nailed big shots down the stretch. Throns led the visitors with 42 points on 8-of-15 from deep, 7 boards and 5 assists, while Cody Ellis finished with 28 points, 11 boards and 4 assists despite struggling with his shot (4-17 3PT) as his side was bundled from the playoffs in the most bitterly disappointing fashion.

East Perth sent Rockingham packing for the 2014 season on the back of a 92-81 win over the Flames to seal a 2-1 series win. The Eagles rode a 29-20 final term to victory after a tight tussle between the sides for the first three quarters, with the Flames shooting at just 33% for the match and failing to go with the surging visitors down the stretch. Tom Jervis (22 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks, 8-13 FG) again led the way for the Eagles but this time had plenty of help as Kyle Armour (20 points, 6 assists), Austin Kisselev (16 points, 8 rebounds) and Drew Williamson (16 points) all stepped it up. Rockingham got 22 points and 8 boards from Cooper Land but only Ryan Godfrey (14 points) reached double digits as the second-seeded team was bundled out of the playoffs at the first hurdle.


SBL Women

Lakeside moved into the second round with a comfortable 86-73 win over Mandurah. The Lightning used a 21-14 third term to break the game open as they dominated on the glass, doubling the rebound tally of the visitors to finish with a 49-24 advantage. Kari Pickens (25 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists) was superb to lead her side while Kate Stoneking and Emily Fielding each finished with 16 points and 7 boards in fine displays. The Magic were led by Hayley Dunham (27 points, 4 assists, 3 steals) and Casey Mihovilovich (16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) but failed to match the depth of the home side as their season was brought to a close.

Rockingham rallied in the second half to claim an 89-70 win over Willetton and eliminate the Tigers from the 2014 season in the process. The visitors had taken a shock seven-point advantage into the halftime break and the smell of an upset lingered before the home side dominated the third term to turn the game on its head, using a 32-9 run to take a match-winning 16-point lead into the final quarter. Samantha Whitcomb (22 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) and Darcee Garbin (20 points, 13 rebounds) got their side home with brilliant displays, while for the Tigers it was WNBL pair Melissa Marsh (24 points, 6 rebounds) and Lisa Walbutton (17 points, 11 rebounds) rising to the occasion but receiving little support with the next best Tiger finishing with just 7 points as Rockingham’s far superior depth won out.

Kalamunda levelled their series with Cockburn courtesy of an 84-73 home win. Both teams shot below 40% but the Suns used 10 extra trips to the foul line to their advantage to put themselves in a position to win early and withstanding anything the Cougars threw at them after half time. Jennie Rintala was brilliant in netting 27 points and grabbing 6 boards, while Alison Schwagmeyer (25 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) also enjoyed a strong night out. Deanna Smith led the Cougars with 18 points, 6 boards and 4 assists and Marita Payne added 16 points, 11 boards, 6 assists and 5 blocks but it wasn’t enough in the absence of former Australia guard Sam Richards.

Joondalup advanced to the second round with a 70-58 win over Stirling, with the home side pulling away late to secure the win. A 49-26 rebounding advantage was crucial for the Wolves in a match which featured just 11 total free throw attempts between both sides. Nikita-Lee Martin (18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) was the only Wolves player to reach double figures as five others netted eight apiece in a balanced team performance, while for Stirling it was Taylor Wild setting the stadium alight with 26 points. Bench production was a key factor in the contest with the victors getting 25 points off the pine, compared to just five from the Senators.

Kalamunda rounded out week two of the playoffs by claiming a 72-62 win over Cockburn and advancing to the final four. An 18-8 second term set the Suns on their way and, despite both sides struggling from the field, they were able to net 30 points from a whopping 40 attempts at the foul line to get home. Alison Schwagmeyer (22 points, 9 rebounds) was again the star, while Adrienne Jones (14 points, 4 steals, 12-13 FT) and Melissa Moyle (13 points) were solid contributors despite the former managing just 1-of-10 shooting from the floor. The inclusion of Sam Richards (10 points) off the bench for just 16 minutes wasn’t near enough to help the Cougars grab the win, with Deanna Smith (18 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals) brilliantly leading her side but just coming up short as they were left to begin planning for season 2015.

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