MENS SBL DIVISION 1 GRAND FINAL RECAP
THE Perry Lakes Hawks have been crowned 2017 SBL Division 1 Champions after a stellar performance Sunday evening at the Bendat Basketball Centre against rivals the East Perth Eagles, prevailing 95-76. The win was made extra special with the team overcoming a disappointing 1-point loss in the SBL the night before, and the ensuing 5-hour drive back to Perth.
East Perth managed to the challenge the Hawks in the first quarter, trading baskets and eventually taking the lead 18-19 prior to the first quarter break. From that point on the Eagles were outscored 27-11 as the Hawks wrestled back control of the game through on ball pressure and forcing turnovers, enroute to a half-time 45-30 lead.
Midway through the third term, a Kieran Berry triple was enough to cut the lead back to 52-41, forcing Coach Rob Cassir to call a timeout. Hamish Warden and Mitchell Clarke responded well, hitting crucial baskets down the stretch to put the game firmly out of reach.
The Hawks ended the game with four players in double digit scoring, with contributions from Warden (22PTS), Clarke (17PTS), veteran Travis Hayto (12PTS) and Jackson Simkovic (10PTS).
Stand outs for the Eagles included Aiden Murphy (21PTS, 3-3PM) and 2017 Division 1 All-Star Kieran Berry (18PTS). Jermaine Malie was the only other player with double digit scoring, providing 10 points.
For the Hawks, the work doesn’t end as they gear up for their SBL Finals campaign as the 8th seed, facing minor premiers the Willetton Tigers this Saturday 7:00PM at the Willetton Basketball Stadium.
The Eagles commence their off-season prematurely as the league team ended their 2017 chances at 11th spot on the SBL ladder.
WOMENS SBL DIVISION 1 GRAND FINAL RECAP
MANDURAH Magic have capped off a stunning 12-month SBL transformation by dethroning the 2016 Champions and 2017 minor premiers, the Perth Redbacks. The Magic ran out eventual winners 72-63, in a see-sawing spectacle at the Bendat Basketball Centre.
The first quarter was played with tremendous intensity from both sides, buoyed by a large showing of support from both camps. At the end of the first period, the Magic held a 1-point lead 13-12. Of the Redbacks’ dozen points, 8 came from SBL player Bianca Donovan.
The second quarter saw the tide shift as the Magic manage to draw fouls on Denielle Lipscombe and Donovan, 3 a piece, which forced their minutes to be managed for the remainder of the contest. Still, a 6-0 run to end the first half brought the Redbacks back into the game, trailing 29-24.
The ‘premiership’ quarter proved to live up to its name, as Morgan Ballantyne and the Mandurah Magic took a hold of the match out of the half-time break. Ballantyne was deadly from beyond the arc in the third term, nailing 4 3PT shots and a free-throw to surge the Magic ahead 57-39. The 28-point scoring quarter was made worse for the Redbacks as both Donovan and Lipscombe picked up their fourth fouls for the game, putting pressure on the Redbacks to find offense elsewhere.
Yet the Redbacks showed impressive resilience and experience down the stretch as they near erased the Magic lead in the fourth. A 12-2 run ending in a field goal from Neseya Williams forced a Magic timeout and gave the Redbacks plenty of hope, trailing 63-66. Jemma Gatti however came up clutch for the Magic, as a pair of free-throws resulted in the Redbacks battling with the clock for the remainder of the game. With time expiring, the Magic finished a sensational Division 1 season with a Championship.
Key performers for the Magic were Ballantyne (24PTS, 4-3PT) as well as Jemma Gatti (17PTS, 9-FTM).
The Redbacks received production from Lori Ashworth (18PTS), Donovan (13PTS) and Lipscombe (11PTS).
As fate would have it, the SBL Finals brings the two teams together once more as the second ranked Mandurah Magic host the seventh placed Perth Redbacks this Saturday 7:00PM at the Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre. With the Division 1 game providing plenty of spark between the two associations, this Quarter Final series is certainly one to watch.
SBL DIVISION 1 AWARDS
The SBL and WABL extend their congratulations to the following referees and players for their success in 2017.
2017 Women’s SBL Division 1 Grand Finals Referees:
Nick Sokolich and Matt Wardrope
2017 Men’s SBL Division 1 Grand Finals Referees:
Zac Bosnakis and Jacob Farrell
2017 Women’s SBL Division 1 All-Stars:
Paris Duffield (Lakeside Lightning), Eryn Fisher (East Perth Eagles), Maddison Hooper (Stirling Senators), Caitlyn Jones (Stirling Senators), Alecia Knowles (Lakeside Lightning), Akim Lual (East Perth Eagles), Sophie Maines (Willetton Tigers), Amanda Pether (Rockingham Flames), Mia Satie (Perry Lakes Hawks), Jewel Williams (Kalamunda Eastern Suns).
2017 Men’s SBL Division 1 All-Stars:
Guy Arrowsmith (Cockburn Cougars), Kieran Berry (East Perth Eagles), Ryan Curtis (Mandurah Magic), Jack Gartlan (Stirling Senators), Matthew Honey (Rockingham Flames), Neema Kazemi (Perth Redbacks), Benjamin Lee (Willetton Tigers), Rowan Mackenzie (Lakeside Lightning), Alier Riak (Stirling Senators), Logan Thwaites (Stirling Senators).