WA SBL Round 6: Easter upsets blow competition wide open

Easter long-weekend SBL action saw the men’s competition blown wide open with perennial powerhouses Joondalup and Lakeside suffering defeat and only a single loss separating second from eighth by round’s end. Rockingham and Lakeside continued to dominate the women’s competition as the only two undefeated teams remaining in 2014, however more upsets meant mid-table congestion after six rounds.

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SBL Men

Stirling caused an upset and got their season back on track with a 103-96 away win over Joondalup. The Senators moved into the top eight on the back of 22 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists from import Cory Cooperwood, while Cody Ellis (17 points, 15 rebounds) had a big double-double. The visitors outworked the Wolves on the glass to finish with a 51-39 victory in the rebound count, which proved enough to overcome Seb Salinas exploding for 39 points and 7 rebounds on 14-of-25 shooting from the field.

Rockingham rocketed home with a 33-15 final term to snatch a 102-85 victory over a plucky Cockburn Cougars side. Cooper Land (27 points, 14 rebounds) and Tom Remmerswaal (22 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) provided plenty of spark and were instrumental in the win. Damien Scott had 21 points, 9 boards and 4 assists to lead his side once again, while Gavin Field was solid with 18 points and 8 rebounds for the struggling Cougars, who were denied an enormous upset victory by the rampaging Flames in the final 12 minutes.

Perry Lakes Hawks got an important win against East Perth in a mid-table duel, with the home side getting home 90-80. Despite taking the same amount of field goal attempts it was the Hawks who connected on eight more to separate themselves from the Eagles by game’s end, with Ben Purser (26 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists) starring and Justin Cecil (22 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 blocks) coming up with an impressive line of his own. Kyle Armour (17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) and Austin Kisselev (17 points, 9 rebounds, 6 blocks) top scored for the Eagles, who fell to a 3-6 season record with the defeat.

Geraldton cruised to a strong win over Goldfields in a 102-84 result which saw the Buccaneers close in on the top two. Odartey Blankson was unstoppable for the home side, netting 37 points and collecting 16 rebounds as his teammates swamped the Giants on the glass, with Bennie Lewis (21 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists) also prominent. Lordan Franich (22 points, 13 rebounds), Duran Blue (21 points, 4 rebounds) and Tommy Hannon (17 points, 13 rebounds) all worked hard for the outclassed visitors, who are now facing an uphill battle to make the finals.

Mandurah exploded in the second half to run all over the top of South West Slammers in a 116-95 victory. Paul Hafford (32 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists), Tim Mullenax (21 points, 9 rebounds) and Brendan Della Maddalena (17 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 6-8 FG) all got amongst it despite foul trouble for the latter two, with the Magic shooting at 53% from the floor in the win. Ty Harrelson (29 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists) played a lone hand for the Slammers in a defeat which saw them fall to a disappointing 2-4 record after displaying some strong early season form.

Enormous performances from their stars saw the Willetton Tigers hand Lakeside their second defeat in two weeks with a 112-104 win. John Dickson (40 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, 15-26 FG) and Quinn McDowell (38 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 14-23 FG) stole the show with sizzling displays for the Tigers, who managed to stifle the impact of the Lightning’s big names. Despite tallying 28 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists, Brad Tinsley could only manage 11-of-29 shooting while Jarrad Prue (12 points, 20 rebounds, 5-7 FG) was solid yet unspectacular by his lofty standards.

Rockingham Flames continued to set the pace with a comfortable 102-73 win away to Kalamunda, with the Eastern Suns shooting at a dismal 31% despite attempting 17 more field goals than their opponents. The visitors took full advantage of a 55-39 rebound count and 27-10 assist tally to blow their opponents away on the back of Cooper Land’s 28 points and 7 boards, as well as Taylor Land’s (13 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists) triple-double. Ben Smith (20 points) and Louis Timms (19 points, 13 rebounds) were the best for the well-beaten Suns.

Perth finished off the round by defeating Joondalup in a tight contest, with the 100-93 victory seeing the Redbacks jump the Wolves in the standings. Despite the score line, the Redbacks won almost every statistical category, with only 31 foul shot attempts to just 15 keeping the visiting side in the contest. Stanley Okoye was brilliant, dropping 36 points and collecting 12 rebounds and 4 steals to lead his side to victory, while Joel Wagner had 19 points and 9 dimes. For the Wolves it was Seb Salinas (28 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists) and Robert Huntington (22 points, 5 rebounds) keeping their side in it as the only two players to reach double digits.


SBL Women

Joondalup held off a fast-finishing Stirling in a 64-61 win, despite the Wolves failing to make a single field goal in the final 12 minutes. An early onslaught on the glass resulted in a double figure lead to set up the win in the opening term, with Nikita-Lee Martin (23 points, 8-11 FG) and Ellyce Ironmonger (10 points, 17 rebounds) powering their side. Taylor Wild (15 points, 7 rebounds) and Amber Land (11 points, 10 rebounds) led the way for the Senators, who will rue their poor start in a game they may well have gone on to win had they been closer at three-quarter time.

Rockingham thumped Cockburn on the back of a blistering first half, with the Flames hitting 58 points in the first 24 minutes en route to an 83-55 victory. A 27-14 foul count couldn’t slow the tenacious Flames as Sam Whitcomb (26 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) lit it up. Kaye Tucker (16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) and Darcee Garbin (13 points, 7 rebounds) were also solid in the win, while for the Cougars only Emma Pass (16 points, 7 rebounds) and Marita Payne (15 points, 11 rebounds) reached double digits.

Perry Lakes used a strong second term to defeat East Perth Eagles 84-63. The Hawks enjoyed standout performances from Kate Anthony (23 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists), Anna Kovats (17 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals) and Sarah Donovan (17 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists) in the strong win, while Nicole Jorre St Jorre was a clear standout in defeat for the Eagles with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 5 steals.

Mandurah fought back to record a come-from-behind 87-82 win over South West Slammers in a tight contest. Casey Mihovilovich was the match-winner, dropping 30 points and dishing 6 assists in a brilliant display, while Ashlee Sidebottom enjoyed her night with 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting off the bench. Amy Patton was superb for the Slammers with 31 points and 14 rebounds, while Lauren Jeffers (22 points, 5 assists, 11-13 FT) continued her good recent form.

Lakeside stopped a resurgent Willetton side in their tracks with a comprehensive 83-62 road victory. Krystal Stoneking (21 points, 7 rebounds) and Kari Pickens (21 points, 14 rebounds) were superb in leading their side to the win, with Emma Fielding chiming in with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals. The Tigers looked completely out of sorts despite some recent good performances, with Melissa Marsh (13 points) and Lisa Walbutton (11 points, 7 rebounds) the most serviceable.

Rockingham continued their dominance in a 94-64 win over Kalamunda, with the Suns shooting at just 28% as the Flames gave them no chance to get going at any stage of the contest. A 50-24 second half sealed the Suns’ fate, with Sarah Whitcomb (19 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists) continuing her strong form of the weekend in a near triple-double performance. Jacinta Bourne (22 points, 5 rebounds) and Darcee Garbin (21 points, 11 rebounds) were similarly superb in the victory, while for the Suns it was Jennie Rintala leading the way with 19 points and 9 rebounds.

A determined Perth Redbacks finished the round by pushing top four aspirants Joondalup all the way in a 66-51 loss. A 20-10 third term and a 44-27 advantage on the boards proved the difference in what was otherwise a tight affair, with Wolves simply more aggressive at the rim throughout. Alex Kerr (15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 blocks) and Ellyce Ironmonger (13 points, 11 rebounds) led the visitors to victory, while for the improving Redbacks it was once again Jessica Jakens leading the way with 18 points and 6 boards, while Alix Hayward (12 points, 10 rebounds) managed a solid double-double as well.

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