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WA SBL Semi Finals (Week 2): Buccs, Eagles men and Lightning, Flames women to face off in deciders
Geraldton will play East Perth in the men’s decider while Rockingham will face Lakeside in the women’s final after all four teams won through in clean sweeps.
East Perth advanced to a grand final from seventh on the ladder with a 105-94 defeat of Perth to sweep the Redbacks 2-0 and end their season. A strong start saw the Eagles take a 12-point lead into the first break and they never looked back, answering every rally from the home side to advance to the decider. Perth could only manage 31% and, despite riding a nine game winning streak into the series, were bundled out in straight sets by the rampaging Eagles. Tom Jervis (16 points, 18 rebounds, 11 blocks) recorded an enormous triple-double to lead his side to the victory, while Kyle Armour (22 points), Mathiang Muo (21 points, 16 rebounds) and Drew Williamson (20 points) all hit the scoreboard. Stanley Okoye led Perth with 26 points and 11 boards before he fouled out, while Lee Roberts could only manage 3-of-20 shooting en route to 14 points and 21 boards. East Perth will now take on top seeded Geraldton in the 2014 SBL grand final.
The Buccaneers held off Lakeside 96-86 to advance to the big dance on the back of a clean sweep of the Lightning. A 47-35 second half did the damage for the home side after the visitors had gotten off to a fast start, however 25% shooting in the second half saw them come undone as their season came to an end. The Buccs played with just seven players and relied on some brilliance from Carter Cook (35 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists) to pace their offence as Bennie Lewis (12 points, 6-25 FG) struggled with his shot. Aaron Ralph added 18 points and 11 boards to provide plenty of support for Geraldton in the win. Lakeside was led by Caleb Palkert (23 points, 15 rebounds) but lacked the offense around him to stay with the Buccs as Brad Tinsley (15 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists) was well-held after showing some blistering form in recent weeks.
Lakeside cruised to a 79-66 win over Joondalup to advance to the grand final, setting up the win with a 24-10 second term. A huge 43-26 advantage on the boards meant the Lightning were able to get home despite committing a whopping 20 turnovers, leaving the Wolves to rue missed opportunities as their season was brought to a close. Kari Pickens (32 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists) was superb and was the difference between the sides, while Krystal Stoneking added 18 points and 10 boards in a polished display. Shani Amos was the best for the visitors, finishing with 21 points, 6 assists and 4 steals but got no help from her teammates with only Megan Lee (10 points) reaching double figures. Lakeside will now face off against Rockingham in a grand final featuring the top two finishing sides for season 2014.
Rockingham advanced to the decider with an 84-64 win over Kalamunda, sending the Suns from the playoffs in disappointing fashion. The visitors took a surprise three-point lead into halftime after a strong first term before the Flames blew them away in the second twenty minutes with a 47-24 run. Samantha Whitcomb (24 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals) and Darcee Garbin (23 points) simply had too much firepower for their opponents, with the former showing blistering form to fall agonisingly short of an impressive triple-double. The Suns’ top scorer finished with just 10 points, as Alison Schwagmeyer, Chelsea Armstrong and Jennie Rintala all reached this mark, but lacked the offensive firepower to compete with the Flames once they stepped it up a notch.
For full results, ladders and reports head to www.sbl.asn.au or click here.