Women's SBL Season Preview – Perry Lakes Hawks
COACH CJ Jackson has done a good job building a core at the Perry Lakes Hawks the last two years and now the arrival of Deanna Smith and Antonia Edmondson could be the additions needed to see them take that next step in the Women's SBL in 2016.
Since their remarkable run of being the standout SBL team up until the end of 2011, the Hawks have had to go through their first ever rebuilding period since the league began in 1989 the last four seasons.
And that building took a significant upward shift in 2015 with Perry Lakes finishing up in seventh position with a 10-12 record having managed just 24-42 the previous three seasons.
They made it back to the playoffs and while that ended up with a two-nil quarter-final loss to grand finalists the Willetton Tigers, it had been a season of promise for the Hawks.
And while Megan McKay has headed off to college at Saint Mary's University, Danika Pisconeri has retired and Kassi Conditt has returned to the United States taking 32.9 points and 24.4 rebounds a game with them, the Hawks look set to be capable of taking another leap forward.
The arrival of Smith is a massive get for Perry Lakes. Last season, the former WNBL star did a strong job as a playing-coach with the Cockburn Cougars leading them to the playoffs.
She managed to average 22.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists and be the power forward in the All Star Five, but now she could put up even more numbers without the responsibility of being coach.
Edmondson is the other big arrival for Perry Lakes from the Joondalup Wolves and fresh off playing a part in the Perth Lynx this season where she has appeared in 26 games and averaged almost four points.
Smith and Edmondson's arrival to join up with a team still including Mia Satie, Lauren Jeffers, Sarah Donovan, Lucy Stewart and Georgia Clarke should ensure the Hawks at least make the playoffs again in 2016.
During the SBL Blitz at Warwick Stadium, the Hawks scored victories over the Joondalup Wolves, Kalamunda Eastern Suns and Cockburn Cougars but lost to the Country team.
The Hawks don’t play their first game of the season until Round 2 when they host the Mandurah Magic at Bendat Basketball Centre on Easter Thursday, March 24.
Annika Renkema, Kate Anthony, Lauren Jeffers, Antonia Edmondson (restricted), Emma Clarke, Lucy Stewart, Sarah Donovan, Mia Satie, Brieana Nolan, Georgia Clarke, Emily Burton, Deanna Smith, Kristan Teasdale
Coach – CJ Jackson
Championship Winning Coach - VLAD ALAVA
PREDICTION - 6th
The gain of wings Toni Edmondson and Doccy Smith are huge- instant elevation on skill and talent on both ends of the floor. "Sticks" Donovan will need to stay injury free as they do not have the depth in the front court without her. This is the year that the Hawks make a serious push, keeping a core group together and adding proven talent like Toni and Doccy.
PREDICTION – 2nd
I believe the Hawks can be title contenders in 2016. Kate Anthony is a skilled guard who returns from injury. The recruitment of Deanna Smith and Toni Edmondson will see the Hawks soaring up the standings. The Hawks roster is very guard heavy, however there will be ample opportunities for Sarah Donovan to excel and take the next step in her development. Lauren Jeffers is one of the best players in the league at getting to the foul line and making teams pay.
PREDICTION – 5th
Huge signing to attract Deanna Smith and Edmondson is a more than handy addition from the Perth Lynx. Mia Satie is capable of a breakout year but the loss of McKay and Pisconeri hurts size and depth. Lauren Jeffers could be a star if she cuts down turnovers but chemistry of the group will be interesting particularly between Smith and Edmondson. Shouldn't be far off the mark.
Article by Chris Pike