Tigers break Magic’s spell
THE Willetton Tigers won the women’s State Basketball League premiership at Perry Lakes Stadium last Friday night, defeating Mandurah Magic 73-63.
Both teams put on a great show for the sell-out crowd of 950 – the biggest audience ever for a women’s final – with no more than four points separating the teams during the first quarter.
Mandurah got off to a good start, claiming a 17-13 lead at quarter time, but the Tigers clawed back in the second term with Lynx players Ashley Gilmore and Kate Malpass taking the premiers to a 35-27 lead at half-time.
Magic got within four points of the Tigers in the final quarter, but Willetton hung on and eventually won the match by 10 points.
Gilmore was named MVP for the match, scoring 21 points, taking 10 rebounds and four steals while Tigers captain Malpass was equally impressive with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Shelley Boston was the shining light for Mandurah, scoring 15 points and taking 10 rebounds.
Gemma Thomas also impressed with 14 points and eight rebounds.
The league will move to the nearly completed, new basketball stadium across the road next season.
In the men’s final on Saturday night, Lakeside Lightning claimed its third SBL championship against the Hawks 85-77.
The Lightning were dominant in the first quarter. Led by US import Luke Payne and Captain Jarrad Prue they went into the first break with a 30-18 lead.
The Lightning stretched their lead to 20-4 to start the second quarter and extended their lead to 28 points with just over six minutes to go before half-time.
The Hawks strengthened their defence just before half time to go into the major break down by 42-60.
Hawks import Daniel Hawkins and former Wildcat Tom Garlepp worked hard, the two combining for 25 points up to three-quarter time helping the Hawks to break into the Lightning lead.
The fourth quarter saw the Hawks get as close as four points to the lead when Tom Garlepp went half from the free throw line with almost two minutes remaining.
An instant reply from Luke Payne at the other end gave the Lightning a six-point buffer and Ryan Sofoulis connected on 2/2 free throws to seal the game at 85-77 with 22 seconds remaining.
US Import Luke Payne was named the Grand Final MVP for his 29 points (41 shooting) and six rebounds.
Article & Photo by Western Suburbs Weeks
Lakeside photo by Lakeside Lightning