WA SBL Round 19: Buccs men looking shaky as Tigers women seem finals bound
Geraldton’s men continued their patchy form ahead of the finals, splitting their weekend with another poor loss followed by an explosive win. The Buccs sit just one win clear on top of the ladder and will enter the finals on shaky ground after looking ominous earlier in the season. In the women’s competition, Willetton look to have secured an unlikely finals berth thanks to a strong win against high-flying Joondalup, with the Tigers turning their once-flailing season around in the final month of SBL 2014.
Stirling grabbed an important win over Lakeside in a 114-105 result which saw the teams draw level on 15-10 in the battle for fourth spot. A 37-18 third term by the visitors broke the game wide open and the Senators were able to hold off a final quarter charge by the home side en route to victory. Stirling shot the ball at 52% and was led by the red-hot Jordan Wild (28 points, 12 rebounds) and NBL star Cody Ellis (23 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks), while Cory Cooperwood was brilliant in gathering 22 points, 11 boards and 7 assists. The visitors were able to hold rebounding monster Jarrad Prue (12 points, 15 rebounds) but had to overcome 44 points and 6 assists from Lightning star Brad Tinsley to secure the win.
Rockingham survived a major scare from Perry Lakes to post a 105-98 win and keep the heat on Geraldton for top spot. Both sides traded leads with each quarter and the Hawks took an eight-point lead into the final term before the Flames rattled off 30 points to just 15 to secure the result. Jarryd Griffin finished with 23 points on 5-of-6 from downtown to go with 7 boards to star, while Cooper Land (23 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists) and Ryan Godfrey (20 points, 4 rebounds) were also strong contributors. Corey Easley (25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) and Justin Cecil (23 points, 9 rebounds, 6 blocks) were the best for the gallant Hawks but it was to no avail as the class of the second-best side in the league got them home.
Perth used a 37-point final quarter to see off Cockburn 107-102 and consolidate a top four spot with their fourth straight win. The Redbacks made the most of their trips to the foul line to net 27 points at 84% compared to just 16 at 55% for their opponents in a telling statistic. Perth’s Stanley Okoye (42 points, 12 rebounds, 13-21 FG) and Cockburn’s Gavin Field (41 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, 15-24 FG) went toe-to-toe in an epic battle, but the added depth of the visitors saw them home. Lee Roberts (27 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Dennis Tawhiti (19 points, 8 rebounds) were solid as usual for Perth, while Seva Chan (16 points, 5 assists) and Damien Scott (14 points, 8 assists) were the next best for the Cougars as they slipped to 9-16 and remain in eleventh place after six straight losses.
South West continued Geraldton’s shaky run of form with a hard fought 104-102 win that vaulted the Slammers back into the top eight ahead of faltering Mandurah. In an even contest it was the brilliance of Ty Harrelson (26 points, 7 rebounds, 11 assists) that saw the home side secure the victory, with Clive Weeden (23 points, 11 rebounds) and Markus Monroe (19 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists). Buccs star Bennie Lewis exploded for 44 points in a losing effort, while Carter Cook had 27 points, 8 boards and 6 assists and Mark Wunderberg added 14 points and 20 boards. The loss saw Geraldton lose their third straight contest and leave the door wide open for the chasing Flames in second spot.
Goldfields upset Mandurah in a 116-111 win that left the Magic’s finals aspirations on the brink of extinction. The Giants took a 63-46 lead into half time before surviving a second-half charge from the visitors to snap their eight-game losing streak and win their fourth game of the season. Adrian Majstrovich (38 points, 14 rebounds) and Duran Blue (37 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals) were simply unstoppable for the lowly Giants while Michael Haney (9 points, 8 rebounds, 13 assists) fell just short of a triple-double. For the Magic, Paul Hafford (30 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists) and Rhett Della Maddalena (26 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists) nearly dragged their side over the line but didn’t get the support from their teammates as they tumbled out of the top eight with just one round of matches to play.
A barnstorming 52-34 second half saw Perth grab a 91-79 victory over East Perth and move into third spot in the standings with a fifth consecutive victory. The home side were dominant in the second half, finishing the match with 51 rebounds to just 40 and shooting 33-of-39 at the charity stripe. Lee Roberts (29 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks) was a standout for the Redbacks and didn’t require much help against a Tom Jervis-less Eagles. Kyle Armour (22 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) starred for East Perth before fouling out in Jervis’ absence but it wasn’t enough to avoid a defeat, with a possibility of falling from the top eight still looming ahead of their final match as a result.
Joondalup recovered from a poor second quarter to run over the top of Willetton for a 121-111 win. The Wolves trailed at the main break after the Tigers netted 42 points in a huge second quarter, but the home side rallied after halftime to grab the win on the back of a 53-39 advantage on the glass. Trian Illiadis (28 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists), Ephrem Davis (24 points, 7 rebounds) and Seb Salinas (23 points, 13 rebounds) combined brilliantly for the home side to secure an important victory. Despite the defeat, John Dickson (36 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) was superb and Quinn McDowell (26 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) provided plenty of support but it wasn’t enough to deny the Wolves a third straight victory.
Geraldton snapped their losing streak in emphatic fashion, netting 139 points in a 47-point thumping of Willetton. The Buccaneers exploded for back-to-back 40-point quarters to open the game, leading 85-49 by half time and going on with it after the main break. The Tigers were never in the contest as Aaron Ralph (36 points, 11 rebounds, 13-20 FG), Bennie Lewis (29 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) and Carter Cook (29 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 13-18 FG) all got off the leash. Quinn McDowell finished with 29 points and 7 boards for the extremely disappointing home side as they were blown away by a side harnessing three matches worth of frustration.
Perry Lakes built on their strong showing against Rockingham with a 92-78 win over Kalamunda on the back of a whopping 70 rebounds. Despite the Hawks being +28 on the glass they needed a 32-14 final term to snatch victory as both teams struggled with 35% from the floor. Justin Cecil (28 points, 8 rebounds), Ben Purser (20 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals) and Corey Easley (19 points, 18 rebounds, 8 assists) were brilliant for the home side, while the Suns got strong performances from Ben Smith (32 points, 6 rebounds) and Adhir Mayen (25 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, 11-17 FG) despite the defeat.
Lakeside defeated Stirling 106-97 in a high-scoring, up-and-down contest to win their eighth straight contest. A 29-19 final term by the Lightning sealed the result as Kari Pickens (32 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists) and Krystal Stoneking (28 points, 8 rebounds, 11-15 FG) starred. For the Senators, who slipped to 12-9 and out of contention for a top four finish, were led by Taylor Wild (29 points, 6 assists) and Tegan Walker (22 points, 6 rebounds) but failed to match the depth of the championship contenders that were their opponents.
Rockingham thrashed Perry Lakes 100-67 to all-but tie up top spot ahead of the finals and send the Hawks to a third straight defeat. A 59-31 first half saw the contest pronounced dead at the main break before the visitors showed some fight in the second stanza. Jacinta Bourne (34 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 7 steals) had a night out for the home side, nailing 7-of-11 from beyond the arc, while Darcee Garbin added 23 points, 8 boards and 3 steals and Sam Whitcomb finished with 20 points, 7 boards, 5 assists and 4 steals in the rout. Chelsea Boyanich (22 points) was the standout for the Hawks despite the heavy defeat.
Cockburn won their fourth straight contest and moved into sixth on the ladder with a 90-50 thrashing of bottom-placed Perth. The match was over at quarter time as the Cougars blitzed their opponents 24-9 before going on with it after halftime to have it all their own way, holding the Redbacks to just 27% shooting from the field and 1-of-16 from deep. Deanna Smith starred with 19 points, 7 boards, 3 assists and 4 steals in just 18 minutes on court, while Marita Payne (18 points, 13 rebounds, 5 blocks) was also dominant in minimal game time. Gabby O’Sullivan (12 points) led the scoring for Perth.
The Redbacks bounced back just 24 hours later with their second win in three games, and of the season, in a 72-67 victory over East Perth. The loss was the Eagles’ fifteenth in a row and saw the teams draw level on two wins apiece in the battle for the wooden spoon. The home side ground out the win on the back of strong performances from Gabby O’Sullivan (18 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals) and Jessica Jakens (17 points, 11 rebounds) as a 16-11 final term saw them home. Stephanie Jones was again East Perth’s best with 20 points and 9 boards but it wasn’t enough to get over the top of their opponents.
Willetton all-but secured was seemed an unlikely finals berth with a shock 78-67 win away to Joondalup. A 46-35 advantage on the boards and better use of their trips to the foul line saw the Tigers cause the upset and go two games clear of ninth-placed South West. Ebony Antonio (18 points, 4 rebounds) led four players in double digits in a balanced effort, with all the Tigers’ stars striking big blows. Nikita-Lee Martin led the disappointing Wolves with 24 points, 6 boards and 4 assists but it wasn’t enough to prevent the defeat. Despite the loss, Joondalup will finish third.
A 57-18 run over the middle two quarters saw Kalamunda finished 84-52 victors over Perry Lakes to move clear in fourth spot ahead of the last round of the season. The home side struggled at the offensive end and succumbed to the pressure of their much more polished opponents, with Alison Schwagmeyer (22 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals) and Melissa Moyle (20 points, 4 rebounds) stealing the show. Only Rosie Tobin was the standout for Perry Lakes, finishing with 17 points and 8 boards as the rest of her teammates failed to reach double figures.
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