WA SBL Round 4: Lightning keeps striking as Perth women sink to new low
Lakeside have two of the three undefeated sides remaining across both competitions and continue to look impressive after four rounds of SBL action, while at the other end of the spectrum Perth’s women suffered their biggest defeat of the season in yet another crushing blow.
Perth and Willetton opened round four with a shootout as the Redbacks came away with a 129-112 win. The home side scored at least 29 points in every quarter to wear down the Tigers, who simply ran out of ways to keep up on the scoreboard. Stanley Okoye (32 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks) had the line of the night, while Jarrad Prior (23 points, 5 rebounds, 6-11 3PT) and Dennis Tawhiti (23 points, 10 rebounds, 9-10 FG) each proving very handy. John Dickson was electric for the visitors, with his 44 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists on 15-of-23 shooting unable to get the Tigers over the line.
Perry Lakes held off a fast-finishing Cockburn side for a 95-92 win on the back of three huge defensive plays inside the final 40 seconds. The Hawks got their first win for 2014 on the back of three big blocked shots as the clock wound down, including Alex Prince’s last-ditch attempt at tying the game from behind the arc that was sent back by Ben Purser. Justin Cecil had 24 points in the win, with Josh Garlepp (19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Purser (14 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks) also strong. Damien Scott (22 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals) and Seva Chan (22 points) were good in defeat for the Cougars.
Geraldton ran riot in the first and third quarters as they blew away South West in a 120-100 victory. The Buccaneers established a 37-18 lead at the first break and went into the final term with a 32-point lead before the Slammers saved some face late. Bennie Lewis netted a game-high 34 points for the home side, while Carter Cook had 28 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists on 11-of-14 shooting in an impressive display. Jonathon Todd Henley (31 points, 5 rebounds) was the go-to man for the Slammers, while Ty Harrelson (19 points, 8 rebounds, 13 assists, 3 steals) fell agonisingly short of a triple-double.
Goldfields handed Cockburn their second tight defeat of the round in a 98-97 win, with an exciting display from Tommy Hannon ensuring the Cougars would finish round four with a 0-2 weekend record. The Giants star had 33 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists while shooting 14-of-20 from the floor in an all-round brilliant display, while Duran Blue provided the able backup with 28 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals in his own impressive line. For the hometown Cougars, Damien Scott (27 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists) continued his strong form, while Gavin Field (23 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks) bounced back from a poor showing the night before, however both efforts were in vain.
East Perth and Mandurah put up 197 field goal attempts between them in a free-flowing 148-118 win to the Eagles. The home side nailed 18-of-34 three-point attempts and hit the 40-point mark in the first and third quarters in a huge offensive effort. Kyle Armour went off for 43 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, with Sunday Dech (35 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals) overshadowed despite his own red-hot game. For the Magic it was all about import Taylor Mullenax’s 37 points and 8 boards on 16-of-24 shooting, while Paul Hafford chimed in with 26 points and 9 rebounds.
Kalamunda Eastern Suns spoiled Cody Ellis’ debut for Stirling with a 125-116 upset win on the road. Kerrod Horn (33 points, 4 assists) led the way in a spectacular shooting display, while Ben Smith (32 points, 6 assists, 14-14 FT) and Louis Timms (29 points, 7 rebounds) also put in big performances for the Suns. Ellis struggled for the Senators, finishing with 18 points and 9 rebounds on 5-of-15 shooting, with Josh Throns (24 points, 6 rebounds) leading six players from the home side in double digits. Cory Cooperwood played just 23 minutes but managed 17 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
Perry Lakes went on a big run in the second quarter en route to a 132-112 away win over struggling Willetton. Justin Cecil continued his rich vein of form with 34 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in the win, with Ben Purser (25 points, 7 rebounds) lending a hand. Quinn McDowell (23 points, 7 rebounds) led five players in double figures for the Tigers, who fell to 1-4 and sit second last in the standings after four rounds of action.
Rockingham moved to a 5-1 record and outright second place on the competition ladder with a scrappy 95-85 win over Goldfields. A 29-17 last term by the Flames proved the difference in a game where flowing offense was at a premium, with Cooper Land’s 22 points leading the way for the home side in the win. Duran Blue (28 points, 6 rebounds) backed up his performance on Saturday night with another big showing but had no help as the likes of Tommy Hannon (7 points, 11 rebounds, 3-15 FG) failed to fire.
Joondalup used some hot shooting to rout Perth with a 113-81 victory. The Wolves shot the ball at 53% to the Redbacks’ 33% in the big difference in the contest, with the 26-9 assist count suggesting the ball movement at the home side’s end was much better. Robert Huntington (22 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals) and Trian Illiadis (20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) led the way for the winners, while Joel Wagner (18 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) was the best for the Redbacks, who fell to 3-3 on the season.
Undefeated Lakeside continued their early-season dominance with a 113-104 win over East Perth to finish off round four. A 39-24 spurt in the ten minutes after halftime proved the difference in the match, as the home side turned a deficit into a double digit lead at the final break. Jarrad Prue (21 points, 31 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 10-10 FG) was at his machine-like best as he took the cake for stat line of the round, while Brad Tinsley (29 points, 6 assists) and Caleb Palkert (27 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks) enjoyed good shooting nights as well. The visitors were kept in it thanks to Kyle Armour’s 43 points, 6 boards, 3 assists and 4 steals, which gave him a total of 86 points in two games for the weekend.
Perth’s offensive woes continued into round four of SBL competition as the Redbacks went down 73-47 to Willetton. Managing just 28% shooting from the floor and unable to top 14 points in any quarter, the home side was blown away for the fifth straight game and are red-hot favourites for the wooden spoon. Willetton, missing Lisa Walbutton, got 14 points and 10 rebounds from Ebony Antonio, with Desiree Kelley and Toni Edmonson netting 11 points each. Jessica Jakens and Alix Hayward both finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds for the Redbacks.
Perry Lakes upset Cockburn 78-66, with the Cougars suffering their first defeat of season 2014 as the Hawks finished with a 24-14 quarter. A balanced attack for the home side was led by Rosie Tobin (17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists) and Kate Anthony (17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists), with five Hawks players hitting double figures. In stark contrast, only Emma Pass (23 points, 7 rebounds) and Sammy Richards (22 points, 5 assists) netted more than eight points as the rest of their teammates combined for a total of just 21 between them.
Despite making just one field goal in the first quarter, Mandurah left East Perth with a 77-70 win over the Eagles. Jorja Smith caught fire for the Magic, nailing 6-of-10 from deep on her way to 22 points in the win, while Casey Mihovilovich (19 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals) was her typical self. American Stephanie Jones (30 points, 15 rebounds) was far and away the best for the Eagles, with only Emily Burton (10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks) managing to hit double figures on the score sheet.
Kalamunda went ice cold in the final quarter as Stirling finished strong in a 75-55 win. The Senators ended the game with a 23-6 period as the Suns shot 1-of-13 from the field in a disappointing end to the match for the visitors. Tegan Walker (17 points, 9 rebounds) led the scoring for the home side, while Amber Land (9 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals) provided a bit of everything. Jennie Rintala had 16 points and 8 rebounds to lead the visitors in defeat.
Willetton used a 31-15 second half to run away to a 67-45 win over Perry Lakes in a scrappy affair. The Tigers rounded out a 2-0 weekend despite shooting at just 39%, with their opponents managing just 21% including 6-of-38 in the second half. Antonia Edmonson capped a strong weekend with 23 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, while WNBL star Melissa Marsh made her 2014 debut with 15 points. Anna Kovats (13 points, 6 rebounds) was the only Hawk to reach double figures as her side fell to a 2-2 record, while the Tigers are suddenly 2-3 and looking ominous.
Perth’s weekend, and season, went from bad to worse with a 100-36 thrashing at the hands of Joondalup. The visitors were completely outclassed and comprehensively beaten in every quarter, with a 24-12 opening term the closest they came to the Wolves. Chelsea Burns (21 points, 6 rebounds, 7 steals, 4 blocks, 9-13 FG) was in everything for the home side as Nikita-Lee Martin (17 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals) did her best to keep up. Jessica Jakens (8 points, 14 rebounds) was again the best for the Redbacks, who are looking increasingly likely to pick up the SBL women’s wooden spoon in 2014.
Lakeside stayed perfect on the back of a comfortable 96-67 win over East Perth to round out the weekend. The Lightning increased their lead at every change in the win, which was set up thanks to a huge double-double-double by Kari Pickens (21 points, 20 rebounds, 4 assists). Stephanie Jones was again the shining light for the Eagles, this time picking up 27 points and 8 boards to easily be her side’s best player. The Lightning are now one of two undefeated sides remaining in the women’s division.
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