WA SBL Round 9: Flames women survive scare to stay undefeated as Slammers men continue to climb

Rockingham made it 11 from 11 to start the season despite falling over the line against a gallant Willetton in the women’s competition, while South West continued to be the hottest team in the men’s side of the league as they enjoyed another perfect weekend with wins over Lakeside and Stirling.

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SBL Men

Lakeside Lightning bounced back from a last-start defeat by overcoming Stanley Okoye and the Perth Redbacks in a 112-107 win. A final quarter comeback from the visitors had the Lightning on the back foot, but the home side recovered and held on thanks to Brad Tinsley’s enormous haul of 42 points, 4 boards and 4 assists. Teammates Caleb Palkert (24 points, 7 rebounds) and Brad Jackson (21 points, 6 rebounds) also chimed in to contribute, while for the Redbacks superstar Okoye netted himself 46 points and pulled in 8 boards in a dominant display, which included 18-of-31 shooting. The Redbacks lost their second straight game and fell to 6-5 on the season after the defeat.

Rockingham recovered from a slow start to finish 96-86 victors over Joondalup in a top-four calibre matchup, with just 17 turnovers between the sides in an entertaining affair. Cooper Land (29 points, 21 rebounds, 4 assists) was instrumental in the win, delivering a huge double-double-double, with Ryan Godfrey (22 points) providing the help. Seb Salinas (27 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists) nearly dragged his side over the line with a little bit of everything for the Wolves, while Robert Huntington topped the score sheet with 29 points and 10 boards. The defeat put the Wolves outside the top four by half a game, while the Flames grabbed some breathing space at the top of the standings with the win.

Geraldton surged to a 107-95 victory over Perry Lakes on the back of a 30-14 third term to retain second spot in the standings. A determined Buccs simply shot the ball better than their opponents in the only real difference in a tight contest, with Bennie Lewis netting himself 37 points at 50% shooting from the field to lead his side. Odartey Blankson (23 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists) continued his own fine form as well, forming a lethal one-two punch with Lewis. Justin Cecil (21 points, 11 rebounds) led four players in double figures despite connecting on just 8-of-22 field goal attempts as the Hawks slumped to 5-5 on the season.

Joondalup bounced back to the winners circle as they cruised past bottom-placed Goldfields with a 102-83 home win. A 57-42 rebound count and 27-13 assist tally, both in favour of the Wolves, told the story despite the Giants shooting at a higher clip than their opponents. Usual suspects Robert Huntington (24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) and Seb Salinas (15 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists) were at it again for the Wolves, while Duran Blue (27 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists) was a clear best for the Giants, who lost their fourth straight game.

South West continued their charge towards the top four with a 92-76 win over Lakeside, toppling the Lightning with a 54-28 first half built on defensive intensity. Both teams struggled from the field, as the visitors managed just 24 field goal makes for the entire contest. Clive Weeden (26 points, 8 rebounds) managed to keep his shooting touch as others failed to get going, while Ty Harrelson chimed in with 22 points, 4 boards and 6 assists of his own. Brad Tinsley led the Lightning with 22 points and 11 boards but had little support from his teammates in a disappointing night for the visiting side.

East Perth saw off in-form Willetton 118-106 in a high-scoring contest which seriously dented the Tigers’ finals hopes. A 36-22 last quarter by the Eagles sealed the deal and sent their opponents home empty handed, with the introduction of NBL star Tom Jervis (28 points, 12 rebounds, 12-16 FG) seeing an immediate impact. Sunday Dech (29 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 11-16 FG) was also very good in the win, while for the Tigers it was all about Quinn McDowell (34 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists) and John Dickson (27 points, 4 rebounds). The home side shot at 52% for the contest and had an incredible 33 assists to just 15 for their opponents.

Two huge three-pointers in the final 70 seconds from Gavin Field saw Cockburn get home over Mandurah 100-96. Field had 38 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks and shot at 67% from the field as he connected on 16-of-24 field goal attempts in the line of the round, snatching victory away from the Magic down the stretch. Anthony Borden (29 points, 13 rebounds, 13-20 FG) was also big in the win, while for the visitors it was Ben Smith (32 points, 11 rebounds, 11-14 FG) and Tim Mullenax (31 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks) doing most of the damage.

Perth ended their weekend on a high with a dominant 108-73 demolition of hapless Goldfields, who fell to a dismal 2-10 season record with their fifth straight loss. Jarrad Prior (24 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 8-13 FG) and Stanley Okoye (19 points, 13 rebounds) led a balanced attack, which monstered the Giants on the boards and in the assists column with 57-38 and 18-7 advantages, respectively. Duran Blue again played a lone hand with 22 points for the visitors as the Redbacks stayed in touch with the top four.

East Perth held off a spirited Kalamunda in a 96-88 victory which ensured a perfect weekend for the Eagles. In a tight contest it was the Suns’ lack of polish which saw them fall short as Kyle Armour (24 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists), Sunday Dech (24 points, 7 rebounds) and Tom Jervis (17 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocks) got the job done for the home side. Former NBL star Luke Nevill made an immediate impact for the Eastern Suns, netting 28 points and pulling in 8 boards but couldn’t drag his side over the line as they fell to a seventh straight loss.

South West and Stirling played out a double overtime thriller as the Slammers got home 115-112 after Austin Bruton’s attempt to send the game into a third extra period was off at the buzzer. Remarkably, the Senators only had five players score and four of them combined for 108 of their 112 points, with Cody Ellis (30 points, 8 rebounds), Jordan Wild (29 points, 17 rebounds), Josh Throns (26 points, 7 rebounds, 6 steals) and Bruton (23 points, 7 assists) all eclipsing the 20-point mark. For the Slammers, the 14 bench points proved crucial in backing up big performances from stars John Todd Hendley (28 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists), Ty Harrelson (21 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists) and Clive Weedon (20 points, 9 rebounds).

Rockingham rounded out the weekend with a tough 110-102 away win at Willetton, sending the Tigers down to twelfth spot after a 0-2 return in round nine. Thomas Remmerswaal was huge with 28 points and 9 boards for the Flames, while Cooper Land and Ryan Godfrey each netted 26 points to finish off strong weekends. Quinn McDowell (37 points, 8 rebounds) was the standout for the Tigers, who seemingly have hit a speed bump after a strong patch over the past month which saw them fly up the ladder.


SBL Women

Lakeside put in a dominant team display to arrest a two-game slide and send Perth to their eleventh-straight defeat with an 88-42 win. The Lightning held their opponents to just 27 points to three-quarter time before cruising home in the final term, with Emily Fielding (17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks) and Kari Pickens (12 points, 11 rebounds) leading from the front and Ashleigh Grant coming off the bench to collect 14 points and 9 boards in limited minutes. Remarkably, three Redbacks combined for 36 of their side’s 42 points, with usual suspects Jessica Jakens (15 points) and Alix Hayward (10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals) again the standouts for a side that had showed promise in recent weeks but failed to fire against one of the league’s premier teams.

Rockingham remained undefeated by accounting for top-four aspirants Joondalup with a 77-63 result. A 20-11 first term set up the win and a 25-11 third quarter sealed it as the Wolves looked hapless against a rampaging Samantha Whitcomb (28 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists), who is in MVP form at this point in the campaign. Darcee Garbin (16 points, 5 rebounds, 5-8 FG) and Jacinta Bourne (12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) were solid in support for the Flames, while Alex Kerr shone with 21 points and 5 boards on 9-of-12 shooting for the outclassed visitors.

Lakeside finished an impressive weekend with another big win, this time 76-48 over South West. The Lightning allowed just 90 points across two games combined whilst scoring 164 of their own to regain second spot with an 8-2 record. They were led by usual suspects Kari Pickens (25 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 11-16 FG) and Emily Fielding (22 points, 10 rebounds) as they held their opponents to just 25% shooting for the match. The Slammers lost their third straight game and left far too much to Amy Patton, who finished with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in a strong showing.

Willetton got back on track with a much-needed 84-72 away win over East Perth, with the Tigers finally clicking against the struggling Eagles. After a slow start it was a dominant display from the visitors, who got 26 points and 5 boards from Ebony Antonio, as their trio of WNBL stars continued to underperform. Nicole Jorre St Jorre (16 points) and Emily Burton (11 points, 14 rebounds) were the best for the Eagles, who now sit second last to only winless Perth on the ladder.

Mandurah showed their championship credentials with an 80-48 thumping of finals contenders Cockburn. The Magic shot at 50% or better in each of the first three quarters whilst holding their opponents to 12 points or less in each period to establish a 31 point lead before cruising home in the final term. Hailey Dunham dominated with 30 points and 10 boards in an impressive display, while Casey Mihovilovich (20 points, 5 assists, 6 steals) was also strong. Only Sam Richards (12 points, 3-17 FG) reached double digits for the disappointing Cougars.

Kalamunda continued East Perth’s misery on Sunday with a 99-71 thumping of the hapless Eagles. Alison Schwagmeyer was huge for the Suns, netting 26 points and pulling in 6 boards in just 25 minutes of game time to guide her side to their fifth win of the season. Jodee Sontay had 12 points to lead the Eagles, with nobody willing to step up and take the game by storm despite a balanced attack. The Eagles gave up 30 points from 40 attempts at the foul line in a telling indication of the result.

Tegan Walker won a shootout with Amy Patton to lead Stirling past South West in a thriller. The 65-63 win was largely thanks to a Walker, who managed 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting to go with 10 rebounds as none of her teammates hit double digits. A slight edge in the rebound count and a better shooting percentage also helped the Senators to victory despite Patton, who had 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Slammers fell just short of a 2-0 weekend.

Rockingham’s undefeated streak is still intact despite a huge threat from Willetton, with the Flames escaping with an 80-76 victory. They seemingly had control of the contest after a 19-8 second term broke the game open before the Tigers came roaring back as their stars finally found form, getting within two points in the dying seconds but failing to capitilise. Samantha Whitcomb (24 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals) proved the difference in the end for the Flames, nailing two game-sealing foul shots with 13 seconds remaining, while for the gallant Tigers Toni Edmonson exploded for 30 points in just 27 minutes before fouling out, as Melissa Marsh (17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) and Lisa Walbutton (11 points, 11 rebounds) also found some better form.

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