WA SBL Round 13: New faces, same story as top sides push on

A host of new faces in the men’s league failed to change up the competition as Geraldton and Rockingham continued to set the benchmark for the rest of the league with more strong wins in round 13 of the SBL season. While there were no new faces in the women’s league, the dominance of Rockingham continued as the Flames remained undefeated at 16-0 while Perth fell to 0-15 at the other end of the table.

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SBL Men

An entertaining encounter between Mandurah and Perth kicked off round thirteen, with the Redbacks getting an important 119-113 road win over their opponents. Perth’s latest addition in Lee Roberts (36 points, 15 rebounds, 3 steals) teamed up with fellow import Stanley Okoye (35 points, 5 rebounds) to lead their side to victory in what may prove to be one of the most lethal import duos in the league by season’s end. Taylor Mullenax led the Magic with 32 points and 10 boards in another strong performance, while Paul Hafford enjoyed a strong all-round game with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists despite the defeat.

South West moved onto the verge of the top four with a 103-87 road win against Perry Lakes, unveiling import Markus Monroe in the process. Monroe played just 26 minutes but led his side with 24 points and 10 rebounds in an impressive debut, while Clive Weeden also netted 23 points and pulled in 11 boards. The game was broken open in a decisive third term, which the Slammers won 31-16, as the Hawks failed to find an answer at their own offensive end. Justin Cecil (26 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) and Corey Easley (18 points, 10 rebounds) led their side in the loss.

Cockburn beat Willetton 115-105 to keep in touch with the top eight in a high-scoring affair. The Cougars shot the ball at 56% for the contest to just 43% for the Tigers, helping to overcome a lack of numbers on the bench in a stirring win. Despite having just seven players take the court, the home side got big contributions from Gavin Field (29 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 4 blocks), Anthony Borden (24 points, 9 rebounds) and Damien Scott (20 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists) and managed to rack up 30 assists to 15 in an emphatic offensive display. Quinn McDowell (30 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists) starred for the Tigers, while John Dickson worked hard for 21 points and 7 rebounds despite fouling out in just 28 minutes.

Stirling eased to a 111-91 win over East Perth as the Senators netted 38 points in the first term and never let the visiting Eagles back in the contest after quarter time. A 55-32 rebound count and 22-6 assist tally told the story of the extent of the home side’s dominance despite the score line as Josh Throns (35 points, 10 rebounds) and NBL star Cody Ellis (20 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists) led the way in the emphatic win which pushed the Senators back inside the top eight. Kyle Armour was easily East Perth’s best with 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field as the Eagles fell to a 9-9 season record.

Geraldton maintained their impressive run of form with a 90-83 win over 2013 champions Lakeside, marking an eight straight win for the league-leading Buccaneers which tightened their grip on top spot. A blistering opening term saw a 33-22 lead established before the home side managed to overcome a whopping 72 rebounds by the Lightning to hold on for the victory. Despite their huge advantage on the boards, the visitors could only manage 30-of-113 shooting for just 26% as they fell to 11-7 on the season. Bennie Lewis (28 points), Carter Cook (20 points, 7 rebounds) and Aaron Ralph (20 points, 11 rebounds) led the way for Geraldton in the debut of new import Jerrah Young (6 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks), while for the Lightning it was Brad Tinsley netting 30 points and Jarrad Prue collecting 33 rebounds in the loss.

Joondalup limped to a 103-97 away win at Goldfields, overcoming a slow start to come home with a whet sail in the second half. An even contest saw the Giants match it all the way with their more fancied opponents; however the brilliance of Seb Salinas (27 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists) saw the visitors get over the line. The Giants unveiled new signing Adrian Majstrovich (23 points, 9 rebounds) and showed they will be competitive in the back end of the season with him on board, while Duran Blue was again stellar with 34 points and 8 assists.

A 26-16 third term propelled South West to their second win in as many nights, this time a 100-85 win over Cockburn which saw the Slammers snare a spot in the top four as a result. Clive Weeden (27 points, 13 rebounds) completed a strong weekend for the home side while Ty Harrelson added 19 points, 10 boards and 6 assists in the win. Only Gavin Field (21 points, 6 rebounds) was the standout for the disappointing Cougars, who fell off the finals pace with the loss and will face an uphill battle to extend their season beyond the regular rounds.

Rockingham kept in touch with Geraldton at the top of the table with a 90-83 victory of Stirling. A tough battle was decided by a decisive rebound count, which the Flames won 55-40, with the brilliance of Cooper Land (30 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists) ensuring the home side would send the Senators packing. Jordan Wild led five Stirling players in double figures with 17 points and 9 boards, while Cory Cooperwood finished with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists in a strong all-round display.

Perry Lakes escaped with a 97-96 win over Kalamunda Eastern Suns, continuing the home side’s horror season and keeping the Hawks’ remote finals chances alive in the process. A tight contest was decided by Justin Cecil’s enormous night, with the Hawks star netting 44 points on 16-of-27 shooting, including 6-of-12 from beyond the arc. He got plenty of help from Ben Purser (28 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 12-18 FG), while Louis Timms was a standout for the lowly Suns with 29 points and 13 boards in defeat.


SBL Women

Mandurah opened the long-weekend action with a dominant 83-51 win over winless Perth. The Magic won every quarter as the Redbacks went 8-of-20 from the foul line and managed just 35% shooting from the floor. Casey Mihovilovich (23 points, 5 assists, 9-13 FG) and Hailey Dunham (17 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) led the Magic, while for the Redbacks it was Alix Hayward who led the way with 16 points and 15 boards in the absence of star Jessica Jakens. The loss was Perth’s fifteenth straight as they still search for their first win of the campaign.

Perry Lakes kept their finals hopes well and truly alive with an important 69-65 win over eight-placed South West. A 19-7 second term gave the Hawks a 20-point halftime lead before the Slammers turned the game on its head with a 25-7 quarter of their own before the home side steadied to take the win. Kate Anthony was the only Hawks player to hit double digits with 19 points and 4 boards, with five others scoring eight or nine each in a well-balanced attack. Lauren Jeffers (22 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals) starred for the Slammers while Amy Patton (19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals) also worked hard but the duo couldn’t get their side over the line.

Cockburn grabbed the first of two important victories over the weekend with a 69-56 win over Willetton. The Cougars ground out the win on the back of 19 points each from Emma Pass (5 rebounds, 3 assists) and Taryn Priestly (8 rebounds, 4 assists), while Marita Payne also chimed in with 16 points, 9 boards and 6 blocks in a big effort inside. WNBL pair Lisa Walbutton (18 points, 5 rebounds) and Melissa Marsh (13 points) led the struggling Tigers, who slipped to a 4-10 season record.

Stirling defeated East Perth 80-71 to remain within touching distance of fourth place, sending the Eagles to their ninth straight defeat in the process. Despite shooting just 37% from the field, the Senators got the win on the back of 10 three-pointers to just three and 30 trips to the foul line to 20 for the Eagles. Taylor Wild (22 points) continued her impressive form to lead her side to victory, overcoming 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting and 8 boards from East Perth’s Stephanie Jones.

Cockburn used a 42-28 first half advantage to take a 61-50 win out of their encounter with South West, putting considerable distance between themselves and ninth place in the process. A combined 19 field goals and 41 points were all that could be mustered by the sides in a scrappy second half as Marita Payne’s (21 points, 17 rebounds) monster double-double, despite committing 10 turnovers in the process, led the Cougars to the win. Brittany Gliddon (14 points, 5 rebounds) and Amy Patton (10 points, 15 rebounds, 7 steals) were the best for the Slammers, who slipped to a 5-9 record and are teetering on the edge of the top eight.

Rockingham’s dominance continued with a 72-60 win over Stirling extending their unbeaten start to sixteen games. A 22-7 first term by the Flames put the Senators well and truly on the back foot and meant the visitors were never really in the conversation as Darcee Garbin (28 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists) turned it on to lead her side to yet another victory. Amber Land (13 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks) was the leading scorer for the Senators, who slipped to 9-5 and fell outside of the top four.

Kalamunda used a 28-13 third quarter to propel themselves to a 90-72 win over Perry Lakes, ensuring the Hawks will remain outside the top eight for at least another week. Alison Schwagmeyer (18 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists) led five Suns in double figures as the home side squared their season at 7-7 and won for the fourth time in five games. Kate Anthony led Perry Lakes with 20 points and 4 assists as the Hawks fell to 5-9 with the loss to sit outside of the top eight on percentage alone.

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