WA SBL Round 11: Flames men suffer winless weekend to lose top spot as Senators women stay hot
Rockingham’s men endured a horror weekend to fall from top spot, with shock losses to East Perth and Cockburn ending their tenure on top of the league. Stirling flew into the top four of the women’s league with their fourth and fifth straight wins, with the Senators taking the scalp of Lakeside in the process.
Lakeside’s patchy run continued with a 101-79 defeat at the hands of struggling Cockburn, with the Lightning seemingly a long way off the top two based on current form. The home side shot at just 36% from the floor as the Cougars, who went at 51%, extended their lead in every quarter in an impressive performance. Gavin Field (23 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists) led a balanced attack to victory as five of the visiting party netted double digits. Brad Tinsley (22 points, 7 assists) led the struggling Lightning as Jarrad Prue recorded 21 rebounds but was held to just 4 points. The win breathed new life into Cockburn’s fledging season, with the Cougars now sitting just one loss outside of the top eight.
High-flying Rockingham suffered a shock home defeat to East Perth in a 104-101 result which saw the Flames surrender top spot for the first time this season. A 31-20 third term to the Eagles broke the game open as the visiting side held on in a tense final quarter for an unlikely victory. Mathiang Muo, playing his second game after recovering from an injury prior to the NBL season, came up big with 25 points and 6 boards as Sunday Dech (19 points, 6 rebounds) and Kyle Armour (19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals) also enjoyed strong showings. The visitors had to overcome a huge night from Cooper Land, who netted 41 points on 13-of-19 shooting and pulled in 10 boards to be the standout for Rockingham.
Perry Lakes and Stirling played out a double overtime thriller, with the Hawks coming away with an important 138-134 win to keep touch with the top eight. In a game which featured plenty of entertainment, it was Justin Cecil (39 points, 12 rebounds), Corey Easley (34 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists) and Ben Purser (28 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists) who filled the box score. Stirling played without Cody Ellis and despite Jordan Wild (46 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists) exploding they failed to get enough help to make up for their NBL star’s absence.
Geraldton moved into top spot in the standings with a nail-biting 92-90 win over Mandurah, with the Buccs using a 28-18 third term to erase a deficit and take the lead before holding on in the final stages. Despite import Odartey Blankson playing just 18 minutes and fouling out with 11 points and fellow star Bennie Lewis shooting just 7-of-25 from the field, the home side rallied on the back of a monster performance from Carter Cook (42 points, 9 rebounds, 17-29 FG). For the visitors, it was Taylor Mullenax (37 points, 11 rebounds) who nearly pulled his side over the line as the gallant Magic fell agonisingly short of what would’ve been a very important win.
Perth used a 35-26 final term to get away with a 111-106 win over Goldfields, with the bottom-placed Giants pushing the Redbacks all the way in front of their home fans. In an otherwise even contest, the visitors went to the foul line 22 times to 5 in the final term as the Giants racked up 13 fouls in the final 12 minutes. Stanley Okoye (33 points, 15 rebounds) stayed hot with another strong showing, while Dennis Tawhiti chimed in with 22 points and 7 boards on 9-of-14 shooting. Duran Blue (35 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals) typically led the charge for the Giants, while Lordan Franich (24 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks) was also very good, however it couldn’t prevent their side slipping to a seventh straight defeat.
South West continued their charge up the ladder with a 97-88 win over Joondalup that consigned the Wolves to their second straight loss and a drop out of the top four. The Slammers shot at 51% to just 37% for the Wolves, using a 29-20 third term to put their opponents on the back foot after an up-and-down first term. John Todd Henley (30 points, 5 rebounds), Clive Weedon (25 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals) and an incredible performance from Ty Harrelson (21 points, 8 rebounds, 12 assists, 7 steals) were the catalysts in the win for the Slammers, while the Wolves got good mileage out of Rhys Smyth, who netted 20 points to lead the visitors.
A blistering final term display saw Cockburn shock Rockingham 98-94 and hand the Flames their second defeat in as many days. The Cougars shot at 75% in the final term and nailed 11-of-15 at the line to finish with a flurry, netting 38 points to steal the match away from the Flames. Alex Prince (25 points), Gavin Field (22 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) and Anthony Borden (21 points, 11 rebounds) all worked tirelessly as the Cougars stormed to their second win for the weekend. The disappointing Flames were again led by Cooper Land, who had 27 points and 11 boards but lacked support from his teammates.
Lakeside stormed to a convincing 118-80 win over undermanned Stirling, with the Lightning simply keeping touch with the top four despite alternating wins and losses in its past six games. Brad Tinsley netted 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting to lead six players in double figures, with Jarrad Prue (15 points, 27 rebounds) back to his best after a quiet performance a night earlier. Josh Throns (17 points, 6 rebounds) was the best for the Senators, who were without NBL star Cody Ellis once again and seemingly lacked options on offense to match their explosive opponents.
Willetton continued Kalamunda’s miserable season with a 112-99 victory over the Suns, returning them to the loser’s list after their last-start win. A 38-22 second quarter was the difference, with a 49-33 advantage to the Tigers on the glass also proving too much to overcome for the home side. Quinn McDowell (39 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 7-11 3PT) caught fire from the outside while John Dickson (29 points, 12 rebounds) worked hard on the boards all night in the victory, while for the lowly Suns it was Ben Smith (24 points) and Louis Timms (18 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks) leading the way.
Lakeside thrashed Cockburn 70-48 to open round 11, with the mid-table Cougars no match for the second-placed Lightning. The home side limited their opponents to just 31 points after quarter time in the rout, forcing 24 turnovers and allowing just 55 field goal attempts for the match. Kari Pickens starred with 23 points and 8 boards in the win, while for the visitors, who were missing former WNBL star Sam Richards, it was Emma Pass (8 rebounds) and Marita Payne each netting 14 points.
Rockingham shut down East Perth in the middle two quarters to cruise to a 77-54 victory. The Flames went on a 42-18 run between the quarter time breaks and held the Eagles to just 6 points in the third term to seal the result, with Samantha Whitcomb (34 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) again the dominant player on the court and was the clear difference between the sides. For the disappointing Eagles, Nicole Jorre St Jorre (16 points, 9 rebounds) was solid but lacked the help to go with the top-of-the-table Flames.
Perry Lakes slumped to their fourth straight loss on the back of a 96-68 defeat at the hands of Stirling. The Hawks were overrun in a devastating 32-8 final term, with the visiting Senators attempting 24 more field goals for the match whilst forcing 27 turnovers from their opponents. Taylor Wild (18 points, 8 assists) led six players in double digits in the victory in a display of her side’s dominance at the offensive end, while for the Hawks it was Kate Anthony (18 points) and Sarah Donovan (13 points, 15 rebounds) leading the way. The result saw the Senators win their fourth straight to move to the verge of the top four, while the Hawks fell to ninth but remain even with eight-placed South West.
The Slammers moved into the eight with a 79-66 win over Joondalup, with the second half making for some of the most remarkable reading this season. With South West leading by eight at the main break, the Wolves came out with a 29-6 third term to seemingly be cruising to a victory before a complete reversal of form saw the Slammers finish on a 35-9 run themselves to snatch the win. Bianca Donovan (23 points, 5 rebounds), Lauren Jeffers (21 points, 4 rebounds) and Amy Patton (16 points, 19 rebounds, 5 assists) all put in big performances to get their side over the line, while Chelsea Burns (20 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals) led the Wolves despite committing 10 turnovers in the process.
Cockburn fell to its second defeat of the weekend at the hands of undefeated Rockingham in a 73-65 result. A 24-11 run after halftime led the Flames to victory despite being on the wrong end of a 51-38 rebound count, with Samantha Whitcomb again imposing on her way to 21 points and 12 boards. Kaye Tucker (16 points) and Darcee Garbin (14 points, 6 rebounds) also contributed to the win, while for the undermanned Cougars it was Emma Pass (25 points, 12 rebounds) and Marita Payne (17 points, 11 rebounds) who were the clear standouts.
Stirling won a tight contest over Lakeside to continue their hot form and move into the top four after a 78-75 victory. A 25-16 final term saw the home side snatch the win in the dying stages as the Lightning fell to a rare defeat despite dominating the glass 47-30 and attempting 21 more field goals. Taylor Wild (18 points, 4 assists), Tegan Walker (15 points) and Amber Land (14 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) combined well to lead their side to an important win, while Kari Pickens (27 points, 13 rebounds) did plenty to keep her side in it but lacked the support down the stretch.
Kalamunda finished off the round with a 76-62 win over Willetton, sending the Tigers to their third straight loss and seemingly to an early off-season. A dominant 50-29 first half set up the win before the Eastern Suns cruised home in the second twenty minutes, with Alison Schwagmeyer leading the way with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists in a strong display. Ebony Antonio and WNBL star Lisa Walbutton led the Tigers with 17 points and 7 boards apiece as fellow WNBL star Antonia Edmonson was held scoreless on 0-for-8 shooting.
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