WA SBL Round 3: Lightning men and women stay perfect

Lakeside Lightning has a perfect record across both divisions after three weekends of action, with the men sending a statement to the competition in a devastating performance. Plenty of thrilling finishes and a couple of big comebacks headline this week’s SBL action.

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SBL Men

Lakeside used a 33-20 second quarter to skip away to a 123-94 over South West Slammers to open round three. Brad Tinsley continued to impress with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, while Jarrad Prue (10 points, 24 rebounds) had yet another enormous double-double as the Lightning finished round three as the only undefeated men’s team. Jonathon Todd Hendley (29 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) was the best for the blown-away Slammers, who shot at just 39% from the field and just 27% from deep as they struggled for offense all night.

Kalamunda and East Perth played out a high-scoring and entertaining clash, with the home side recovering from a 20-point deficit at quarter time to fly home to a 108-102 victory. The Suns enjoyed a 41-point final term as they snuck over the line, with Ben Smith breaking the shackles for 36 points in the win. Adhar Mayen (17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists) was also prominent for Kalamunda, while Kyle Armour (27 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists) and Austin Kisselev (15 points, 14 rebounds) worked hard all night for the Slammers in a bitterly disappointing loss.

Geraldton moved to a 2-2 record with a crucial away win over East Perth Eagles behind a stellar night from Odartey Blankson. The Buccaneers ran out 123-103 victors, with Blankson (42 points, 14 rebounds) unstoppable all night long in a brilliant display. Bennie Lewis (28 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) supported him well, while Carter Cook (21 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists) and Aaron Ralph (21 points, 6 rebounds) also contributing in the win. Kyle Armour led six Eagles in double-figures with 25 points and 4 assists, with Drew Williamson (17 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals) doing a little bit of everything.

Stirling used a blistering 37-12 third quarter to stun Goldfields and leave the Giants winless after three rounds with a 118-105 away victory. The home side was much improved but simply had no answer to Cory Cooperwood (32 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists) and Jordan Wild (27 points, 12 rebounds), who were both in menacing form. Duran Blue was just as electric in defeat for the Giants, tallying 33 points, 11 assists and 4 steals while shooting 7-of-12 from beyond the arc. Tommy Hannon (27 points, 12 rebounds) and Lordan Franich (16 points, 12 rebounds) also recorded double-doubles.

An incredible shooting display from Ben Smith led Mandurah to a 103-92 road win over Perth Redbacks. The Magic star dropped 38 points and had 10 rebounds on an astonishing 14-of-16 shooting from the field and 8-of-9 at the foul line. Taylor Mullenax chimed in with 27 points and 12 boards to provide the help, while for the Redbacks too much was left to Stanley Okoye (31 points, 12 rebounds).

The scheduled match between Willetton Tigers and Perry Lakes Hawks was postponed due to a power outage which occurred in the early stages of the women’s contest.

Geraldton rounded out a perfect weekend on the road with a 113-97 win over Perry Lakes Hawks. Odartey Blankson had 34 points and 14 rebounds in the win, taking his tally from round three to 76 points and 28 rebounds across two games. Bennie Lewis added 25 points while Aaron Ralph had 21 points and 9 boards off the bench. Josh Garlepp (20 points, 11 rebounds, 8-11 FG) led six Hawks in double figures but the home side couldn’t find a standout to take control of the contest.

Joondalup and Rockingham played out a thriller, with the Flames staying perfect after holding on to a 106-105 win. The visitors led by 11 with less than two minutes remaining before the Wolves flew home to take an unlikely lead with just eight seconds on the clock. Cooper Land then nailed the game-winner just four seconds later to deny the home side a memorable victory. Land finished with 40 points and 12 rebounds in a typically brilliant performance for the Flames, while Trian Illiadis (37 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals) did his best to keep up for the Wolves.

Mandurah and Cockburn took an extra period to finish off round three action, with the Magic securing a 107-101 victory after overtime. Taylor Mullenax went berserk, using the extra five minutes to finish with 41 points and 23 rebounds, while Ben Smith had 30 points and 15 rebounds on 11-of-16 shooting to finish the weekend with 68 points and just seven missed field goals. Damien Scott (34 points, 11 rebounds) and Gavin Field (32 points, 16 rebounds) were the best for the Cougars, who nearly pulled off the upset.


SBL Women

Lakeside opened round three for the women’s division with a 115-57 rout of a hapless South West Slammers. After a tight opening term, the home side was unstoppable and extended their lead comfortably at each break before rocketing home with a 37-5 final term. Emily Fielding (26 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals) and Krystal Stoneking (25 points, 9 rebounds) did most of the damage for the dominant Lightning, with Lauren Jeffers (13 points) top scored for the dismal Slammers, who made just two field goals and committed 11 turnovers in the final quarter.

Kalamunda survived a late fight back from East Perth to secure a 67-58 home win in a low-scoring affair. Former WNBL player Chelsea Armstrong finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in the victory, while Jess Rintala (11 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks) put up solid numbers despite a poor shooting night. Jodee Sontay had 14 points in defeat for the Eagles, while Stephanie Jones debuted with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Both teams shot just 32% from the floor, with the Eagles failing to connect on a single three-point attempt.

Mandurah continued Perth’s horror start to season 2014 with another devastating 101-51 win. The Redbacks have failed to score more than 54 points in any game this season and have now lost by a combined total of 152 points in their four matches so far. Casey Mihovilovich was superb for the visiting Magic, netting 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting in just 20 minutes of playing time. Briana Klasztorny (16 points, 4 rebounds, 5-7 FG) and sister Emma (15 points, 4 rebounds, 6-10 FG) also enjoyed strong performances. Alix Hayward (12 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks) was the best for the floundering Redbacks.

Willetton and Perry Lakes played just two minutes and 53 seconds of their clash before a power outage at Willetton Stadium caused the match to be postponed. The Tigers had taken an early 6-2 lead before the match was called off.

Undefeated Rockingham came from the clouds to stun Joondalup 68-60, with the Flames putting together a 49-23 second half in the win. Joondalup had used a 25-8 second term to go into the main break with an 18-point advantage before Samantha Whitcomb (28 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals) led her side back from the dead. Nikita-Lee Martin (21 points, 7 rebounds) had earlier given her Wolves full control of the clash.

Cockburn Cougars joined the Flames in finishing the round with a perfect record after a 68-60 road win over Mandurah. Marita Payne (16 points, 17 rebounds) had a huge double-double for the Cougars while Emma Pass top scored with 17 points. Briana Klasztorny’s game-high 19 points and 6 rebounds weren’t enough to get the Magic over the line as the visitors finished off the game much stronger.

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