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WA SBL Round 15: Top sides suffer shock defeats as Suns men, women find form
Kalamunda is the talk of the league after the Eastern Suns notched big wins over Rockingham in both divisions, with the women’s side handing the Flames their first defeat of the campaign in the process. Geraldton were the other big side to drop a game in round 15 of the SBL season as the Buccs fell to Willetton to break a twelve game winning streak.
Men’s action kicked off with a high quality 117-108 win to Lakeside in their third versus fourth battle with Perth. The visitors finished strongly to grab the win and move clear in third place on the back of 52% shooting from the field and big performances from Brad Tinsley (30 points, 5 rebounds, 12 assists, 10-16 FG, 10-10 FT) and Caleb Palkert (23 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks). The Redbacks relied heavily on import duo Lee Roberts (34 points, 13 rebounds) and Stanley Okoye (29 points, 9 rebounds), while Joel Wagner finished with 12 points and 12 assists. Perth remain fourth but now sit just one win ahead of ninth place and are remarkably in a fight for a finals spot with just five rounds remaining.
Mandurah broke East Perth’s much-vaunted winning streak with a tense 115-110 victory over the Eagles. A big second half saw an eight-point halftime deficit erased as a 53-38 rebound count proved too much for the visitors to overcome. A balanced Magic attack saw Rhett Della Maddalena (23 points, 7 rebounds, 10-16 FG) and Taylor Mullenax (23 points, 13 rebounds) lead the way, while Paul Hafford added 20 points, 5 boards and 6 assists in a strong all-round showing. Perth NBL stars Tom Jervis (24 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks) and Mathiang Mao (21 points) led their side while Kyle Armour dished 14 assists in the disappointing defeat.
Rockingham fell to a huge defeat at the hands of lowly Kalamunda, with the Flames going cold after quarter time as they slumped to a 111-75 loss. The Suns were ruthless as they monstered their much-fancied opponents, running away with the match in a 27-12 final term as the home side shot just 3-of-21 from the field, including 0-of-9 from behind the arc. Luke Nevill (33 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists) was a driving force in the paint as he led his side to a 54-37 victory on the glass against one of the best rebounding sides in the league, while Ben Smith finished with 22 points and Joel Questel dished out 12 assists. Cooper Land (25 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) led the Flames in defeat.
Stirling rocketed out of the blocks with a 36-17 first term to record a 121-111 win over Cockburn on the road. Jordan Wild starred for the Senators with a double-double-double as he recorded 23 points and 20 boards, while NBL star Cody Ellis (27 points, 6 rebounds) was the high-point man as six players netted 14 points or more. Damien Scott was brilliant in defeat with 37 points, 12 boards and 5 assists, while Gavin Field played every second of the contest to finish with 29 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals in an impressive line, however the Cougars are unlikely to play finals as they slipped two losses behind the pace.
Geraldton missed a golden opportunity to all-but sew up top spot in a 115-106 loss to lowly Willetton. The Tigers were able to maintain a 10-point halftime advantage as the game wore on and the home side challenged, ultimately holding on for a deserved win on the back of an enormous performance from Quinn McDowell (46 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 14-18 FG, 13-15 FT). The Tigers star got help from John Dickson (22 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists) to get his side over the line, while at the other end it was Bennie Lewis (7 rebounds) and Carter Cook (8 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals) who each netted 28 points in a losing performance. Willetton remains a remote chance of competing beyond round 20 as they sit at 7-11, just one loss beyond eighth but with three games in hand.
Stirling snuck past a resurgent Goldfields in a 98-93 home win which moved the Senators into the top eight with a 10-9 record. The class of the Senators got them home in a very tight contest, with Josh Throns (24 points, 5 rebounds) leading the way and Jordan Wild (21 points, 18 rebounds, 3 assists) completing a strong weekend’s work. Duran Blue had 27 points for the Giants, while recent signing Adrian Majstrovich netted 26 points, pulled in 9 boards and dished 4 assists but it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat for the bottom-placed visitors.
Joondalup grabbed a much-needed victory over Perry Lakes, with the Wolves finishing with a 30-17 final term to snatch a 111-107 win. A loss would’ve seen the home side tumble out of the top eight and it was looking likely as the Hawks dominated in a 33-22 third term, only for Joondalup to rally late. Trian Illiadis netted 22 points to lead six Wolves in double figures, with Seb Salinas (21 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) and Ephrem Davis (20 points, 16 rebounds) also showing good signs. Ben Purser led the Hawks with 31 points on 12-of-16 shooting, 8 rebounds and 5 assists but it proved just short of enough to secure victory as his side crumbled down the stretch.
East Perth bounced back with a 104-83 win over a faltering South West Slammers. After an even first half it was a 30-12 third quarter by the Eagles which put the game to bed as their opponents could only manage 2-of-16 shooting from the floor for the term. Tom Jervis (24 points, 8 rebounds, 8-12 FG) came up big again while Austin Kisselev netted 21 points and grabbed 6 boards in just 27 minutes on court to guide the home side to victory. Markus Monroe (28 points, 10 rebounds) was the dominant force for the Slammers but his mid-season injection into the line-up has done little to help as they slumped to a third straight loss to slip to ninth.
Kalamunda enjoyed their second win of the weekend in a 118-103 home win over Cockburn on the back of Luke Nevill’s mammoth night out. The former NBL big man netted 48 points on 18-of-26 shooting, including 5-of-7 from deep, to go with 22 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks in arguably the best performance of the season league-wide. Nevill’s ridiculous numbers outshone Ben Smith’s 34 points in another very good contribution as the pair finished with 82 points between them. Damien Scott (37 points, 7 rebounds) and Gavin Field (24 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists) worked tirelessly for the Cougars but simply couldn’t go with the Suns as they grabbed their fifth win of the season and finished the weekend without a loss.
Mandurah finished off the round with a 117-102 win over Goldfields, consigning the Giants to their fourth straight defeat and what looks to be the 2014 wooden spoon. Taylor Mullenax (32 points, 7 rebounds, 13-19 FG) was unstoppable inside as he led his side to victory, while Rhett Della Maddalena finished a strong weekend with 25 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Duran Blue (26 points, 5 rebounds) and Michael Haney (20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 10-15 FG) were the best in defeat for the visitors, who sit last with a 3-17 record and two wins behind Kalamunda. Mandurah moved into fifth with an 11-9 record and are riding a three-game winning streak.
Lakeside got past a spirited Perth side to open round fifteen women’s action, with the Lightning posting a 79-63 victory. Aside from a lopsided rebound count (46-31) in favour of the visitors, the Redbacks were able to match their opponents across the board but couldn’t generate enough offense to stay close. Emily Fielding finished with 21 points and 9 rebounds in a team-high 22 minutes for the Lightning as the benches were emptied early, while for Perth it was Gabby O’Sullivan (19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals) who led the way as the home side fell to a seventeenth straight defeat.
Mandurah thumped a dispirited East Perth Eagles 75-40 to keep pace with the top four and consign the visitors to an eleventh straight loss in the process. The Magic completely dominated the contest, holding the Eagles to just 28 points to three-quarter time and 22% field goal shooting for the match, including 5-of-35 after the main break. Hayley Dunham (28 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists) monstered the outclassed visitors, while Casey Mihovilovich (11 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 10 steals, 6 blocks) finished the night with the season’s best line. Nicole Jorre St Jorre and Stephanie Jones each netted 11 points for the woeful Eagles, with the latter being very well-held.
Kalamunda continued their hot form by handing Rockingham their first loss of 2014 in an 84-78 upset. The win was the Suns’ fourth straight and came away from home in an impressive display as the Flames were held to just 36% shooting from the field. Alison Schwagmeyer (20 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) and Jennie Rintala (20 points, 5 rebounds) were superb in leading their side, while strong showings from Darcee Garbin (24 points, 14 rebounds) and Samantha Whitcomb (22 points, 6 rebounds) for the Flames were not enough to keep their incredible undefeated season alive.
Stirling hung on for an important 71-65 road win over Cockburn to consolidate their spot in the top four. A strong second half on the glass saw a 23-13 advantage and a 27-17 third term on the scoreboard propelled the Senators to victory, with Tegan Walker (18 points, 7 rebounds) leading a balanced attack. The Cougars got plenty from their stars in Marita Payne (20 points, 11 rebounds, 9-13 FG) and Sammy Richards (14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) but couldn’t find a way to go with their opponents when the game kicked up a gear in the second half, with the loss leaving the door open for the likes of Willetton and Perry Lakes to catch the Cougars in the top eight.
A 20-9 third term put Joondalup in control of an up-and-down contest against Perry Lakes, with the Wolves eventually running out 77-64 winners to win their fourth straight and lay further claim to a top four finish. Alex Kerr shone for the home side, netting 28 points and pulling in 8 rebounds in a big performance, while Shani Amos finished with 14 points and 7 assists. Sarah Donovan (20 points, 4 rebounds, 10-13 FG) led the Hawks in defeat as they slipped to a 5-11 record and almost out of finals contention as they now begin to rely heavily on other results going their way.
An improved performance from East Perth wasn’t enough to generate a win, with the Eagles falling to South West in a 64-56 result. A 20-6 final term by the visitors, which included 10 fouls to just 2 and 16 free-throw attempts to none, stunned the home fans after the Eagles had built a six-point lead at the final change and looked set to break a long losing streak. Amy Patton (18 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals) led the charge for the Slammers to secure an important win, while Stephanie Jones finished with 19 points and 10 boards for the Eagles, who committed 12 turnovers and shot 3-of-14 from the field in the final term as they imploded.
Kalamunda notched their fifth straight win in a 95-55 thumping of a disappointing Cockburn. A lopsided 35-14 foul count ensured the Suns were never troubled as they benefited from 48 foul shot attempts to just 10, translating to 36 points to 3 from the stripe. Alison Schwagmeyer finished with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists to lead her side and Jessie Edwards had 13 points and 9 boards in a strong showing for the Suns, while Emma Pass (17 points, 9 rebounds) and Marita Payne (16 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks) led the Cougars, who played without star point guard Sam Richards.
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