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WA SBL Round 2: Slammers, Lightning and Wolves stay perfect
Round 2 SBL action saw South West, Lakeside and Joondalup all remain undefeated across both divisions, while at the other end the Redback women suffered a third straight heavy defeat as alarm bells ring.
Perth Redbacks kicked off round two by securing an important 108-90 win over Perry Lakes. Using a blistering 44-point quarter as the catalyst, the Redbacks kicked away in the second half after a tight contest early on, with Dennis Tawhiti (27 points, 13 rebounds) and Jarrad Prior (21 points, 6-10 3PT) leading the scoresheet for the home side. Ben Purser refused to go quietly for the winless Hawks, registering 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Rockingham survived a second-half surge by Willetton Tigers to hold on to a 101-97 home win. After leading by 16 at halftime, the Flames struggled to score the ball in the second half as their opponents flew home but fell just short. Cooper Land was again huge for the victors, with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists getting his side over the line, while Thomas Remmerswaal (17 points, 11 rebounds) also registered a double-double. John Dickson (28 points, 16 rebounds) was massive in defeat for the Tigers.
Joondalup Wolves stayed undefeated with a 99-91 away win over Geraldton, who sunk to their second loss of the season. The Wolves came from behind in the second half to snatch the win over a spirited Buccaneers side, with Trian Illiadis (21 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists) leading a balanced attack for the visitors. The Buccaneers relied far too heavily on Odartey Blankson (32 points, 13 rebounds) and Bennie Lewis (30 points), with only three other players managing to get on the scoresheet.
Goldfields fell to their third consecutive defeat and are rooted to the bottom of the table after going down 112-97 to a strong Lakeside Lightning. The damage was steady as the Lightning extended their lead at every break, with Bradley Tinsley (32 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists) and Caleb Palkert (29 points, 11 rebounds) doing most of the damage. Lordan Franich (29 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks) tried everything for the Giants while Tommy Hannon (29 points, 8 rebounds) also played his part.
South West Slammers ground out a 95-87 home win over Kalamunda to stay perfect and consign the Suns to a 0-3 start to the season. Both teams shot below 45% and committed more than 20 turnovers each in an at-times scrappy affair, with the Slammers needing to work much harder than they did in their round one rout of Goldfields. Clive Weedon (27 points, 10 rebounds) and Ty Harrelson (27 points, 12 assists, 5 steals) led the sheet for the winners, while Louis Timms (19 points, 12 rebounds) and Adhar Mayen (17 points, 13 rebounds) headed five players in double figures for the Suns.
A 34-13 third quarter has seen East Perth see off the Stirling Senators in a 110-99 win. Despite a 30-13 last term in favour of the visitors, the damage had been done in the decisive ten minutes after half time. Austin Kisselev drained a team-high 25 points after a quiet round one, while 20 points each from the in-form Kyle Armour and former NBL star Drew Williamson saw the Eagles get the win. Impressive double-doubles from the red-hot Corey Cooperwood (29 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists) and Jordan Wild (25 points, 10 rebounds, 11-17 FG) were not enough to see the visitors home.
Willetton scored a 101-89 win over Cockburn Cougars to get their season off the mark, with the Tigers again getting plenty from John Dickson (31 points, 11 rebounds). The home side had plenty of contributors to help, however, with Nick Cody adding 19 points and 12 rebounds while Hayden Noordhoek was also handy with 18 points. The Cougars were led by Damian Scott (28 points, 8 rebounds) while Seva Chan (22 points, 5 assists) and Gavin Field (18 points, 12 rebounds) were also gallant in defeat.
Rockingham rounded out the weekend with a 110-98 win over Mandurah Magic to improve to 3-1 after a busy opening to the season for the Flames.
Perth Redbacks continued their shocking start to the season with a 71-53 loss to Perry Lakes. The home side failed to top 55 points for the third straight game and remain stranded at the bottom of the standings after round two. Kate Anthony’s all-round brilliance returned 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in the win, while Anna Kovats (14 points, 6 assists) also contributed well. Jessica Jakens (10 points, 9 rebounds) was again the best for the struggling Redbacks in another disappointing loss.
Rockingham used a 33-12 opening term to blow out Willetton Tigers at home, with the home side cruising after halftime en route to a 94-60 victory. Sam Whitcomb (18 points, 4 rebounds) led six players in double figures for the Flames in a well-balanced effort, while Ebony Antonio (22 points, 11 rebounds, 9-13 FG) played a lone hand in defeat for the visitors.
Enormous nights from Bianca Donavan (27 points, 7 rebounds) and Amy Patton (21 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists) have led the South West Slammers to a 64-50 win over Kalamunda. The star duo were simply unstoppable as the Slammers outscored the Suns 20-6 in the third term. The rest of the home side’s roster combined for just 16 points between them, with Lauren Jeffers (9 points) the next best in the win. Jessie Edwards (15 points) and Jennie Rintala (11 points, 17 rebounds) battled gamely.
East Perth and Stirling fought out a tough clash, with the Eagles coming away with a gritty 67-62 win. Dannielle Devenny (16 points, 8 rebounds) and Emily Burton (13 points, 8 rebounds) helped the home side to their first win of 2014, while Amber Land (12 points, 14 rebounds) was gallant in defeat for the Senators, who dropped to 1-1 after two rounds.
Cockburn Cougars used a 27-12 second quarter to propel them to a 75-63 away win over Willetton, with the visitors remaining undefeated after two rounds. Sam Richards (16 points) and Marita Payne (12 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks) stood up for the Cougars as they held on for the win despite a Tigers rally in the second half. WNBL duo Antonia Edmonson (19 points, 7 rebounds) and Lisa Walbutton (14 points, 10 rebounds) were again the best for the Tigers but don’t seem to have the support act early in the season.
Rockingham ran away with a 77-53 away win over Mandurah Magic in the only Sunday game for the weekend, with the Flames staying perfect at 3-0.
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