Redbacks men into fourth, Cougars to eighth (Week 14 Saturday night SBL wrap)
A MASSIVE night of SBL action on Saturday ended up with some crucial results seeing the Cockburn Cougars men move into the top eight and the Perth Redbacks into fourth while the Slammers, Lightning, Wolves and Suns recorded crucial women's wins.
There were four women's SBL matches on Saturday with the Collie Crane Hire South West Slammers thrashing the Perry Lakes Hawks 84-55 at Eaton Recreation Centre and the Lakeside Lightning winning a 63-62 thriller over the Willetton Tigers at Lakeside Recreation Centre.
The Joondalup Wolves also beat the Schweigen East Perth Eagles 63-58 at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns thumped the Perth Redbacks 97-70 at Ray Owen Sports Centre.
The Slammers scored a thumping 29-point win at home over the Hawks to see them bounce back from a Friday night loss to Willetton to improve to a 6-10 record and back up into eighth position in the standings.
Meanwhile, Perry Lakes slips to a 5-10 record in ninth spot.
Lauren Jeffers had a night out for the Slammers with 31 points, eight assists, four rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots with Tahna Sears also contributing 13 points and 12 boards.
Rosie Tobin top-scored for Perry Lakes with nine points while Anna Kovats and Sarah Donovan added eight apiece.
The Lightning had a tough fight against the Tigers but prevailed by a point to improve to a 12-3 record to remain clear in second position while Willetton's playoff hopes took another hit. The Tigers now sit in 10th spot at 5-11.
Courtney Byrnes led the way for the Lightning with 16 points, four rebounds and three assists with Emily Fielding contributing 14 points, seven boards, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
Lisa Wallbutton finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds for Willetton with Emma Lobb adding 14 points and six boards, and Ebony Antonio 13 points and six rebounds.
The defending champion Wolves also had a tough battle against the Eagles but prevailed by five points to improve to 10-4 in third position while East Perth remains second last at 2-14.
Nikita-Lee Martin returned for the Lady Wolfpack and was terrific with 23 points and nine rebounds on the back of shooting 10-of-15 from the field.
Alex Kerr also added 12 points, five rebounds and two assists for the Wolves.
Stephanie Jones top-scored for East Perth with 19 points to go with seven rebounds and three assists with Nicole Jorre St Jorre adding 10 points.
The Redbacks also remained winless this season now after 16 matches with the Eastern Suns cruising to a 27-point record. Kalamunda improves to 8-7 in sixth position as a result.
Alison Schwagmeyer top-scored for the Eastern Suns with 21 points, eight rebounds and five steals with Jessie Edwards adding 18 points and eight boards, Jennie Rintala 14 points and 10 rebounds, Adrienne Jones 14 points, Natalia Soli'ai 10 (12 rebounds) and Chelsea Armstrong 10.
Jess Jakens top-scored for the Redbacks with 21 points and eight rebounds with Gabby O'Sullivan scoring 14 points and Monique Kickett 12.
It was a huge night of men's action meanwhile with the six matches beginning at Active West Stadium with the Sun City Plumbing Geraldton Buccaneers beating the Stirling Senators 106-84 and the Cockburn Cougars beating the Silver Lake Resources Goldfields Giants 98-92 at Neils Hansen Basketball Stadium.
There was one more regional clash on Saturday night as well with the Perry Lakes Hawks getting the win over the Collie Crane Hire South West Slammers 93-89 at Eaton Recreation Centre.
And then around Perth, the Lakeside Lightning beat the Willetton Tigers 125-116 at Lakeside Recreation Centre, the Vorian Agency East Perth Eagles defeated the Joondalup Wolves 97-89 at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre and the Perth Redbacks thrashed the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 127-98 at Ray Owen Sports Centre.
The Buccaneers maintained their one-game lead at the top of the SBL table with a solid 22-point win over the Senators at home. Geraldton improves to a 16-3 record with the win while Stirling slips to 10th position on 8-9.
Aaron Ralph had a remarkable night out for the Buccaneers finishing up with 49 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and two steals on the back of shooting 17-of-37 from the field, 8-of-18 from three-point territory and a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Bennie Lewis also had another good night for the Buccs with 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists with Matt Wundenberg also contributing 16 points and 22 rebounds.
Cody Ellis had likely his best game of the season for the Senators finishing with 32 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
Jordan Wild also added 16 points and 14 rebounds for Stirling with Austin Bruton adding 15 points and Josh Throns 11 to go with seven boards.
The Giants were again competitive despite remaining on the bottom of the standings with three wins for the season, but the game in Kalgoorlie was crucial for the Cougars' playoff hopes.
Cockburn got the job done with a six-point victory to improve to a 9-10 record and to now move into eighth position as a result.
Even more impressive was the fact that the Cougars only had seven players suit up but all made a strong contribution with Damien Scott top-scoring with 30 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Gavin Field also was a strong performer with 24 points, 13 rebounds and six assists with Jaarod Holmes adding 20 points and Adam Nener 10 to go with 14 rebounds and three steals.
Michael Haney led the way for the Giants with 23 points and 10 rebounds with Duran Blue contributing 21 points, nine assists and seven boards.
Adrian Majstrovich contributed 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists in his second game for the Giants with Lordan Franich adding 11 points, eight boards, four assists, four steals and two blocked shots.
The Slammers then lost for the second time this weekend having also gone down to Willetton on Friday and then back up with a narrow four-point loss at home to Perry Lakes on Saturday.
It was an important win for the Hawks as well to keep their playoff hopes alive even if they remain in 11th position. Despite that at 8-10, they are just one game behind the eighth-placed Cougars while South West Slammers slips to 10-9 and down into sixth after starting the weekend fourth.
Corey Easley finished with 25 points and nine rebounds for the Hawks with Justin Cecil adding 20 points and 11 boards, Josh Garlepp 17 points and Ben Purser 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Markus Monroe had a good night for the Slammers with 25 points with Ty Harrelson adding 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists, Clive Weeden 16 points and nine boards, Josh Weir 13 points and Trent Worthington 11 to go with 16 boards, five assists and three blocks.
The Lightning then further secured their place in third spot with a nine-point win at home over the Tigers on Saturday night.
Lakeside improves to a 12-7 record with the win to remain three games behind the second-placed Rockingham Flames but a game clear of the fourth-placed Perth Redbacks. The loss all but ends the Tigers' playoff hopes with a 6-11 record despite a good win on Friday over the Slammers.
Brad Tinsley top-scored for the Lightning with 29 points and nine assists with Caleb Palkert contributing 24 points, 13 rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals.
Jarrad Prue had yet another incredible night with 23 points, 27 rebounds, five blocks and two assists on the back of shooting 11-of-14 from the field.
Brad Jackson also scored 15 points and Chris Sofoulis 11 for Lakeside.
John Dickson had another solid night for the Tigers with 26 points and 12 rebounds with Nick Cody adding 20 points and nine boards.
Mitchell Clarke also scored 18 points for Willetton with Quinn McDowell scoring 17, Jacob Reed 13 and Hayden Noordhoek 11.
The Eagles scored a crucial eight-point win over the Wolves in a battle of two teams currently in the bottom half of the eight, but still with championship possibilities.
East Perth improves to a 10-9 record and into fifth position with the win while last year's runner-up Joondalup slips to 9-9 in seventh spot.
Tom Jervis returned from his time with the Boomers in the Sino-Australia Challenge with China, and fresh off re-signing with the Perth Wildcats, and led the way for the Eagles on Saturday with 23 points, 11 points, six blocked shots, three assists and two steals.
Sunday Dech also scored 14 points for the Eagles, Mathiang Muo 13, Joe-Alan Tupaea 11, Drew Williamson 10 and Kyle Armour 10.
Trian Iliadis did all he could for the Wolves with 32 points, five rebounds and three assists while Seb Salinas contributed 18 points, eight boards and four assists. Ephrem Davis also added 16 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.
The Redbacks shot up into fourth position with a convincing 29-point win over the Eastern Suns. Perth now sits on an 11-8 record while Kalamunda remains second last with 3-14.
Dennis Tawhiti top-scored for the Redbacks with 27 points while star import duo Lee Roberts and Stan Okoye had strong nights again. Roberts finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and five steals with Stan Okoye ending up with 23 points and 12 boards.
Jarrad Jackson also contributed 16 points and six rebounds for Perth with Marshall Nelson adding 14 points.
Luke Nevill returned for the Eastern Suns having recently done well for the Boomers against China, and finished with 22 points and nine rebounds but it was Ben Smith the star for the Suns with 33 points on the back of shooting 12-of-22 from the field and 5-of-8 from downtown.
Adhar Mayen also added 22 points for the Suns.
SATURDAY WOMEN'S SBL MATCHES
Collie Crane Hire South West Slammers 84 defeated Perry Lakes Hawks 55
Lakeside Lightning 63 defeated Willetton Tigers 62
Schweigen East Perth Eagles 58 lost to Joondalup Wolves 63
Kalamunda Eastern Suns 97 defeated Perth Redbacks 70
SATURDAY MEN'S SBL MATCHES
Sun City Plumbing Geraldton Buccaneers 106 defeated Stirling Senators 84
Silver Lake Resources Goldfields Giants 92 lost to Raw Nutrition Cockburn Cougars 98
Collie Crane Hire South West Slammers 89 lost to Perry Lakes Hawks 93
Lakeside Lightning 125 defeated Willetton Tigers 116
Vorian Agency East Perth Eagles 97 defeated Joondalup Wolves 89
Kalamunda Eastern Suns 98 lost to Perth Redbacks 127
Article by Chris Pike
Photo by Mick Cronin