Depleted Slammers fall after slow start

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Ebony Bilcich sends the Slammers into attack, despite close checking from Senators defender Caitlyn Jones.
Camera IconEbony Bilcich sends the Slammers into attack, despite close checking from Senators defender Caitlyn Jones. Credit: Justin Fris

The Warwick Senators cruised to a 100-71 victory over the Printsync South West Slammers women’s team on Saturday night at the Eaton Recreation Centre.

Not only did Nathan Grover’s side slide to a fourth successive defeat, Saturday night’s loss was the heaviest so far in 2019.

In addition, the Slammers committed 31 turnovers for the game, which allowed the visitors to cash in with 39 points – while the home side could manage only two points from inflicting 10 turnovers.

Already dealing with the late omission of American import Makailah Dyer due to illness, the home side fell into a deep hole in the opening three minutes, with the Senators racing to an 8-0 lead.

Leading the charge offensively for the visitors were Stacey Barr (21 points, four rebounds, three assists) and Maddison Hooper (15 points, zero rebounds, one assist) – who both sunk five of their seven three-point shot attempts.

You could have been forgiven for thinking Barr worked full-time at a 7-11 convenience store outside of her basketball commitments, because she was always open.

Instigating wave after wave of promising attacks, the Senators led by 17 at quarter time and seemingly continued to do as they pleased – whether it was through recovering possession with one of 11 steals for the half, or executing offensively.

In her 200th SBL game, Slammers legend Courtney Bayliss (20 points, six rebounds, zero assists) tried her heart out in attempting to turn the tide for the hosts, while veteran Kate Fielding (22 points, five rebounds, two assists) also was prominent.

Down 79-52 at the final change, both teams injected youth into the game, with up and coming players 15-year-olds Skye Palmer and Javene Fitch – daughter of revered club legend James Fitch – not looking out of place at SBL level.

Grover’s side have a challenging month ahead of them, with three of its next four games against top eight opposition – with all of the Slammers’ four victories in 2019 against teams in the bottom four of the SBL standings.

The Slammers host the Rockingham Flames on Friday night at the Eaton Recreation Centre.

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