Slammers’ season over

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
Slammers guard Michael Lay tries to get in between three Redbacks' defenders.
Camera IconSlammers guard Michael Lay tries to get in between three Redbacks' defenders. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock

THE Printsync South West Slammers’ season is over after they lost games two and three of the quarter final series to the Perth Redbacks this weekend.

After losing game two by eight points on Saturday night, the Slammers were in a sudden-death final against the Redbacks, which they lost by six points at the Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre on Sunday.

With just 20 seconds left on the clock the Slammers trailled by two points, but pivotal free throws from Shawn Redhage (27 points, 10 rebounds) and Ben Smith (13 points) sealed the Redbacks a place in the semi-finals with a 87-81 win.

The Slammers started the game the better of the two sides and led by five goals at quarter time.

But they soon conceded six straight points and were on the back foot.

Some resistance from Brian Voelkel (16 points, 23 rebounds and nine assists) as well as Tre Nichols (30 points) had the Slammers down by two points at half-time.

Slammers import Brian Voelkel works his way through traffic.
Camera IconSlammers import Brian Voelkel works his way through traffic. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock

Again the momentum swung and the Slammers gained control and looked well place to defeat the Redbacks on their home court for the second time in two weeks.

But with Clive Weeden being benched with five fouls and Nichols, Teny Puot and Voelkel all in foul trouble, the Slammers were soon on the back foot.

The Slammers scored just 15 points in the final term and conceded 23 to end their season.

Marshall Nelson scored 18 points for the home side, while Lee Roberts scored 13 points and had 16 rebounds.

The Redbacks equalized the quarter final series when they defeated the Slammers 107-99 at the Eaton Recreation Centre on Saturday night.

In what was a tough and spiteful game at times, but Redhage (28 points, nine rebounds) proved to be the difference between the two sides.

The Slammers started the better of the two sides and were soon leading by five points.

Perth soon settled and Redhage began to find his range, while Roberts (19 points, eight rebounds) and Michael Vigor (16 points) looked dangerous.

Slammers star Tre Nichols (30 points, five rebounds) had a great second quarter, while Puot (15 points) was hitting a number of three-pointers.

Slammers co-captain Tre Nichols.
Camera IconSlammers co-captain Tre Nichols. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock

Nichols hit a buzzer-beating three pointer to make sure the Slammers led 53-49 at the main break.

Things looked as if they would continue to go the Slammers way when Vigor and Roberts were both benched for most of the third term due to foul trouble.

But the Redbacks began to use their superior passing and the outside shooting of Ben Smith (16 points) soon caused some damage.

Voelkel (11 points, 11 rebounds) soon joined them on the bench because of foul trouble, which allowed them to open the Slammers up defensively and win the third term by 13 points.

The last quarter was as exciting as any seen all season, with both teams spending the first seven minutes challenging each other on the transition and running the ball up the court as fast as they could.

Vigor and Roberts began to win the inside battle and stayed out of foul trouble, while Redhage and Smith both hit their free throws late in the game to lead them to the series-leveling win.

Slammers co-captain Tre Nichols tries to get in a lay-up.
Camera IconSlammers co-captain Tre Nichols tries to get in a lay-up. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock

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