WA SBL Round 17: Magic men and Suns, Lightning women finding form at the right time
Mandurah’s men, and Kalamunda and Lakeside’s women are all running into finals time on the back of big winning streaks. Mandurah caused an upset against Lakeside to continue their charge home, while Kalamunda moved into the top four with a win over previously in-form Stirling.
A red-hot start from Mandurah secured a 123-93 win over third-placed Lakeside to continue their push for a top four finish. The Magic shot at 76% in the first term and finished the match shooting at better than 56% in a blistering offensive display as both teams combined for just 29 foul shot attempts for the match. Paul Hafford (24 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists) led the home side while Ben Smith (23 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 10-16 FG) and Brendan Della Maddalena (21 points, 10-13 FG) were the catalysts behind the Magic’s blistering shooting. The Lightning lost their second straight game despite the efforts of Caleb Palkert (29 points, 6 rebounds, 11-19 FG) and Jarrad Prue (16 points, 21 rebounds).
Perry Lakes defeated Willetton 99-92 on the back of a 31-21 first quarter to keep their distant finals hopes alive and end the Tigers’ season in the process. The Hawks got plenty from Ben Purser (27 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists) and Justin Cecil (22 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) at the offensive end to propel them to the victory despite the side committing 20 turnovers. Quinn McDowell had 26 points and 11 boards for the Tigers while John Dickson added 22 points, 14 boards and 4 blocks but could only manage 5-of-17 from the foul line as his side’s season slipped away for good.
Geraldton suffered their second defeat in three games as Perth clung to fourth spot with a 106-96 away win. A 27-20 final term saw the Redbacks home in a match which featured 65 fouls and a whopping 85 foul shot attempts, with the victors connecting on 35-of-53 from the stripe to grab the win. Jarrad Prior netted 26 points and collected 7 rebounds to lead his side to the important win, while star duo Lee Roberts (24 points, 14 rebounds) and Stanley Okoye (21 points, 15 rebounds) were their usual destructive selves. For the Buccaneers, Aaron Ralph was dominant in netting 35 points but received little support from his teammates.
Rockingham got past plucky Goldfields with a 106-98 result that saw them all-but lock down second spot on the ladder ahead of the finals. A 30-15 second term set up the win but the Flames needed to survive a mammoth fight back as the Giants closed out the match with a 28-14 quarter of their own. Tom Remmerswaal netted 19 points to lead six players in double figures for the Flames, with his side shooting at 53% to 38% in a key difference. Miles Tierney (24 points, 6 rebounds) enjoyed a night out for the Giants as Duran Blue (13 points, 4-18 FG) had a rare off night, with the loss leaving Goldfields needing to win three games in the last three weeks to be any chance of avoiding the wooden spoon.
Joondalup slid outside of the top eight on the back of another loss, this time a 109-103 defeat at the hands of South West. A 34-20 second term was the difference as the Wolves went cold and Trent Worthington (29 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists) and Markus Monroe (25 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists) assumed control of the contest. The visitors collected a whopping 61 rebounds to outwork the flailing Wolves, who couldn’t ride Trian Illiadis (29 points, 6 rebounds), Seb Salinas (26 points, 11 rebounds) and Ephrem Davis (21 points, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks) to victory. The Wolves now sit two games adrift of the eighth-placed Slammers and face an uphill battle to reclaim a finals spot.
Stirling continued to build towards a finals berth with a 106-74 thrashing of Cockburn. A 38-14 first term quickly became a 67-31 half as the Cougars were blown away, with Cody Ellis registering 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting, including 6-of-9 from deep, to go with 10 rebounds and 4 assists in his best outing for the year. Jordan Wild (21 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists) also did plenty of damage before the benches were emptied in the second half, while for the Cougars only Alex Prince (13 points) and Damien Scott (12 points, 10 rebounds) could manage double digits in a bitterly disappointing performance which officially ends their season.
East Perth continued their impressive form line with a 102-86 win over Perry Lakes, ending the Hawks’ finals chances and keeping the door open for a top four finish of their own. The home side monstered their opponents early with a 36-18 opening quarter and went on to victory with a 27-17 final term after the Hawks had rallied to get with six with 12 minutes to play. Mathiang Muo (20 points) topped the score sheet while Joe-Alan Tupaea (17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) stepped up to deliver the win despite Tom Jervis (13 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks) being relatively well-held. Justin Cecil and Ben Purser were the best for the losing side with 21 points apiece, with the former adding 8 boards and 4 assists and the latter collecting 5 rebounds and dishing 4 assists.
Stirling all-but confirmed their appearance in the 2014 finals with a 105-97 victory over Kalamunda to finish the weekend with two wins. The contest was one of many runs, with both sides enjoying purple patches in the first half before the class of the Senators ultimately won out. A 33 to 14 foul count also favoured the visitors as Jordan Wild (29 points, 20 rebounds) ran riot. Cody Ellis finished with 24 points and 6 rebounds. For the Suns it was Kerrod Horn (6 rebounds, 3 steals) and Ben Smith (4 rebounds, 3 assists) each netting 24 points, while Adhir Mayen added 23 points along with 10 boards. With the win, the Senators moved to a 13-10 record and are looking safe in the top eight and only a single win behind fourth-placed Perth.
Lakeside opened the round with a 69-58 victory over Mandurah to remain two games clear in second spot and push the Magic two games behind the top four in the process. The Lightning won their sixth straight game thanks largely to a barnstorming 20-11 final term, with the home side only managing 4-of-19 shooting in the run home as the game slipped away. Kari Pickens was enormous in the win, netting 26 points and collecting 16 rebounds to go with 3 assists and 4 steals despite struggling to get going from the floor. Krystal Stoneking also came up big for the Lightning with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting, while for the Magic usual suspects Hayley Dunham (20 points, 4 rebounds) and Casey Mihovilovich (16 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) again led the way despite combing for just 14-of-41 from the field.
Willetton blew Perry Lakes off the court with an 81-49 win that kept their finals chances well and truly alive, moving them into the top eight on the back of other results. The Hawks could only manage 28% shooting for the match, including 15% in a horror first term, as the Tigers raced out to a 22-7 quarter-time lead and never looked back. A 53-31 rebound count was highlighted by the tireless work of Lisa Walbutton (11 points, 15 rebounds) inside, with Ebony Antonio (19 points, 5 rebounds) and Melissa Marsh (12 points, 4 rebounds) leading the score sheet. The disappointing Hawks got 10 points from Sarah Donovan in just 15 minutes as none of her teammates could manage to reach double digits.
Joondalup thrashed South West in a 99-72 result which set the Slammers’ finals chances back significantly. A 37-19 third term by the Wolves ended the match as a contest, with a 49-29 domination on the glass also telling as the visitors were torn apart. Nikita-Lee Martin (22 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assist, 6 steals) was the star for the home side, while Shani Amos added 20 points, 3 assists and 3 steals to steer her side to victory. For the Slammers, Amy Patton dominated from start to finish, netting 36 points on 14-of-24 shooting and collecting 13 rebounds to go with 3 assists and 5 steals in a monster stat line, while Lauren Jeffers added 20 points and 4 steals but their teammates could only add another 16 points between to leave their finals chances on a knife’s edge.
Perry Lakes outlasted East Perth 77-73 to hand the Eagles their fourteenth straight loss of the season and snap their own run of outs. In an often dour contest, the Hawks found a way to win on the back of Rosie Tobin’s hot shooting night as she netted 23 points on 8-of-9 from the field to go with 7 rebounds. Anna Kovats chimed in with 13 points and 6 assists for the victors as well, while for the lowly Eagles it was Stephanie Jones (24 points, 15 rebounds) and Nicole Jorre St Jorre (17 points, 6 assists, 3 steals) doing the damage in vain. The Eagles fell to 2-18 on the season and remain second last, while Perry Lakes moved to 6-13 and remarkably remain an outside chance of a finals berth just one and a half games behind eighth-placed Willetton.
Stirling fell to Cockburn in a 73-56 result which severely dented the top four hopes of the Senators. A dominant 46-21 first half ended the contest early and a late fight back was far too little too late as the home side was outpointed all over the court, in particular at the offensive end where they managed just 29% shooting for the game and 17% for the first half. The Cougars, in contrast, went at 48% and got plenty from their stars as Emma Pass (21 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists) and Marita Payne (15 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks) went to work. Amber Land was the best for the Senators with 16 points and 10 boards and Taylor Wild added 13 points and 4 boards but no other Senator made more than three field goals in a disappointing effort.
Kalamunda jumped the Senators into fourth spot just 24 hours later as they heaped on the misery with a 76-63 victory to leave the visitors with a winless weekend and the Suns with a seven game winning streak. Stirling attempted 19 more field goals than their opponents but had six less makes and could only manage 27% shooting in another poor offensive display as the Suns made them pay at the other end despite playing with a rotation of just seven. Jennie Rintala (21 points, 11 rebounds) had a night out while Alison Schwagmeyer added 18 points, 10 boards and 5 assists in a typically brilliant display. Taylor Wild (17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) was the best for the visitors but it was nowhere near enough as her side slumped to a disappointing weekend and fifth place on the table.
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