WA SBL Round 14: Eagles men flying as Buccs men, Flames women continue dominance

East Perth’s men continued their purple patch of form since the arrival of NBL star Tom Jervis with another strong win, while Geraldton (nine game winning streak) and Rockingham (seventeen game winning streak) continued to dominate at the top of the men’s and women’s SBL competitions respectively.

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SBL Men

Rockingham opened round fourteen with a 108-98 win over finals aspirants Mandurah, with a 26-17 final term seeing the home side get over the line. Cooper Land starred for the Flames, netting 41 points on 15-of-24 shooting, including 6-of-8 from deep, and collecting 9 rebounds, while Ryan Godfrey finished with 19 points and 5 assists. Taylor Mullenax (27 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) led the Magic, who fell to 8-9 after the loss despite a strong showing against one of the premier sides in the league.

A blistering 40-23 first term saw Willetton upset South West 123-110 to keep their slim finals chances alive. The Tigers nailed 9-of-15 three-pointers in the first quarter alone to record the important victory on the back of hot shooting from Nicholas Cody (30 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 13-19 FG), John Dickson (29 points, 10 rebounds, 4-6 3PT) and Jacob Reed (19 points, 5-7 3PT). For the Slammers, usual suspects Clive Weeden (34 points, 11 rebounds, 13-16 FG) and Ty Harrelson (18 points, 9 rebounds, 15 assists) kept their side in touch after quarter time but the damage had been done.

A dominant final term saw Geraldton win their ninth straight game with a 102-81 result over Stirling. 41% shooting to just 29% proved to be the difference, with the Buccs led brilliantly by a big night from Aaron Ralph (49 points, 13 rebounds). Bennie Lewis finished with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists despite shooting just 10-of-30 from the field and Matt Wunderberg finished with 16 points and a game-high 22 rebounds to provide the support in the victory. NBL star Cody Ellis netted 32 points and 15 boards for the Senators but also struggled with his shot, finishing the night shooting just 10-of-28 from the floor as his side went down and remain on the brink of the top eight.

A shorthanded Cockburn escaped with a 98-92 win over Goldfields, overcoming a halftime deficit and a 48-34 rebound count to claim an unlikely win. Damien Scott (30 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) and Gavin Field (24 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists) both led from the front and played all 48 minutes for the visitors as the Cougars rotated just seven players. Michael Haney led the Giants with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Duran Blue netted 21 points, collected 7 rebounds and dished 9 assists as their side fell to a 3-15 record on the season.

South West fell to a second straight defeat with a 93-89 home loss to Perry Lakes in an up-and-down contest. Corey Easley (25 points, 9 rebounds) and Justin Cecil (20 points, 11 rebounds) led the visiting Hawks to victory to keep their season alive, while for the Slammers it was Markus Monroe (25 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals), Ty Harrelson (18 points, 7 rebounds) and Clive Weeden (16 points, 9 rebounds) doing the damage despite the defeat. The Slammers, who looked to be pushing for a top four finish before this weekend, slumped to 10-9 and are in amongst a mid-table logjam.

Perth thrashed Kalamunda 127-98 to consolidate a top four spot, using a blistering 77-point second half to overturn a 4-point halftime deficit. The Redbacks shot 27-of-44 after the main break, including 14-of-20 at 70% in the third term, to blow away their opponents and get the win. Dennis Tawhiti (27 points, 6 rebounds, 9-11 FG), Lee Roberts (26 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists) and Stanley Okoye (23 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals) combined to lead the rout and help the Redbacks bounce back from a last-start defeat. For the Suns, Ben Smith (33 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) led the way and Luke Nevill (9 rebounds, 3 assists) and Adhir Mayen each netted 22 points but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the rampaging Redbacks.

Lakeside and Willetton fought out a high-scoring and entertaining clash, with the Lightning getting their fourth win in five matches in a 125-116 result. The home side attempted 100 field goals and shot at 50% in the victory, with Brad Tinsley (29 points, 9 assists), Caleb Palkert (24 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals) and Jarrad Prue (23 points, 27 rebounds, 5 blocks, 11-14 FG) all playing big roles. John Dickson’s 26 points and 12 boards wasn’t enough to get the Tigers a second win in as many days despite six players reaching double figures for the improving visitors.

East Perth’s charge up the table continued, this time with a 97-89 win over faltering Joondalup. A 56-41 advantage on the glass proved decisive as NBL and Australia big man Tom Jervis (23 points, 11 rebounds, 6 blocks) went to work inside to lead six Eagles in double digits. Sub-par performances from Seb Salinas (18 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 6-20 FG) and Rob Huntington (8 points, 5 rebounds), with the latter fouling out in just 28 minutes, saw Trian Illiadis recapture his best form with 32 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists despite another disappointing loss for the Wolves, who fell to 9-9 on the season and sit just half a game ahead of ninth-placed Cockburn.

A decisive 70-36 run over the middle two quarters handed Mandurah a 112-83 win over Kalamunda to round out the weekend’s action. A dominant performance on the glass (58-43) and a very handy foul count (26-13) were also catalysts in the win as Taylor Mullenax (29 points, 9 rebounds, 9-12 FG), Ben Smith (20 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals) and Trent Gerovich (20 points, 7 assists, 3 steals) all ran riot. Luke Nevill (27 points, 6 rebounds, 13-19 FG) was superb for the Eastern Suns and Louis Timms added 22 points and 9 boards but their side was ultimately outclassed as they fell to a 3-15 season record to be tied for bottom place on the back of five straight losses.


SBL Women

Rockingham thrashed Mandurah to remain undefeated, with the high-flying Flames running out 98-59 victors over the Magic on the back of a 54-25 smashing on the glass. The home side got plenty from Darcee Garbin (30 points, 17 rebounds) and Samantha Whitcomb (28 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 steals), with the star duo falling just one point and one rebound shy of matching the entire Magic team’s output in those areas. Casey Mihovilovich was again her side’s best with 22 points and 4 boards as the visitors fell outside the top four as a result of the loss.

Willetton jump started their fledging season with a 79-62 win over South West, with the Tigers setting up the result during a 41-25 run between quarter and three-quarter times. The win propelled the Tigers to within a win of the top eight; temporarily putting them level with the Slammers in the battle for the final playoffs spot. Lisa Walbutton was clearly her side’s best, netting 22 points to go with 8 boards, 3 assists and 2 steals in a strong performance, while Amy Patton tried to drag her side over the line with 29 points, 12 boards and 4 assists in a big night for the Slammers star.

The Slammers bounced back 24 hours later with a comfortable 84-55 thrashing of Perry Lakes. The home side held the Hawks to just 28% shooting and won every quarter in a strong four-quarter performance, with Lauren Jeffers getting to the line at will en route to 31 points on 18-of-19 shooting from the charity stripe. Jeffers added 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks in a huge night, while Tahna Sears added 13 points and 12 boards in the absence of Amy Patton. Rosie Tobin (9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals) and Anna Kovats (8 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) were the leaders for the disappointing Hawks, who fell to 5-10 to sit ninth behind the 6-10 Slammers.

Lakeside survived a huge scare from a rejuvenated Willetton to hold on for a 63-62 home win, with the Lightning improving to 12-3 and locking down second spot for the time being. In a very even contest across the board, both sides could only manage 49 points between them in the second half as the Tigers challenged their much more fancied opponents. Courtney Byrnes (16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) and Emily Fielding (14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) led the Lightning in the low-scoring affair, while Lisa Walbutton (14 points, 13 rebounds) starred again for the Tigers. The loss left Willetton sitting a win behind eighth place with a 5-11 record.

Joondalup won a scrappy affair with East Perth, with the Wolves holding on for a 63-58 away win that keeps them safely in the top four. Nikita-Lee Martin (23 points, 9 rebounds, 10-15 FG) was a standout for the winners, stepping it up as her teammates found it difficult to score in the low-scoring scrap. For the Eagles, Stephanie Jones finished with 19 points and 7 boards but could only manage 6-of-23 shooting from the field as her side slumped to a tenth-straight defeat.

Perth remained winless after fourteen rounds of SBL action after a 97-70 loss, this time at the hands of Kalamunda Eastern Suns. A 57-29 rebound advantage was telling as the home side proved far too good, with Alison Schwagmeyer (21 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals) leading six players in double figures for the Suns. Jessica Jakens led the lowly Redbacks with 21 points and 8 boards, however it wasn’t enough once more as the visitors moved to a 0-16 record on the season.

The Eastern Suns continued their good form 24 hours later with a 94-85 away win over Mandurah, overcoming a monster night from Hayley Dunham to grab the result and move to within a game of fourth-placed Stirling. The visitors shared the load again with four players reaching double figures as Alison Schwagmeyer (19 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals) again led the way and got good support from Jennie Rintala (18 points, 7 rebounds) and Adrienne Jones (16 points, 6 assists). Dunham was huge for the Magic but couldn’t get her side over the line despite finishing with 36 points on 14-of-20 shooting, 9 rebounds and 4 assists.

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