Slammers overcome the odds

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
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A home court advantage in week one of the play-offs is a reality for the Printsync South West Slammers who grabbed two big wins at the weekend.

The Slammers kept their top four hopes alive by defeating both the Perry Lakes Hawks and Goldfields Giants, despite missing key personnel for both matches.

The Slammers won a thriller earlier to start the weekend, when they defeated the Perry Lakes Hawks by three points in over-time at the Bendat Basketball Stadium on Friday night.

Slammers forward Brian Voelkel.
Camera IconSlammers forward Brian Voelkel. Credit: South Western Times

The Hawks led by a point at the first change, but the two teams could not be separated from here on in with the Slammers needing five extra minutes to claim the 105-102 victory.

Brian Voelkel put on one of his best games of the season, recording a massive triple-double with 17 points, 19 rebounds and 20 assists, while Lay recorded a season-high 35 points.

The Slammers were missing Chris Douglas, Ty Harrelson and Tre Nichols for the clash, with the two former stars not playing at all at the weekend.

Both sides traded the lead throughout the game and with 18 seconds left, Hawks import Matthew Adekpokya scored two points to tie the game and send it into over-time.

Two late free throws from Lay put the Slammers up by three points with 22 seconds left and the Hawks could not level the scores, with Adekponya, Roberts Waters and Ryan Smith all missing shots.

Some of the Slammers youngsters played great games, with Travis Vogel (16 points) hitting four three-pointers and Teny Puot (13 points) hitting the scoreboard.

Clive Weeden played well with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Brian Carlwell grabbed 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Hawks.

Puot then on his best performance of the season 24 hours later when the Slammers defeated the Goldfields Giants by 13 points at the Eaton Recreation Centre.

Puot scored a game-high 23 points as well as four rebounds and three assists in the 92-79 victory.

Slammers guard Teny Puot puts a shot up under pressure. Puot scored 23 points for the Slammers in their win over the Goldfields Giants on Saturday night.
Camera IconSlammers guard Teny Puot puts a shot up under pressure. Puot scored 23 points for the Slammers in their win over the Goldfields Giants on Saturday night. Credit: South Western Times, Mitchell Woodcock

The Giants were the better team to start the game, with J.B. Pillard (11 points, eight rebounds) putting down some massive dunks and Jacob Holmen (21 points) hitting a few crucial mid-range jump shots.

But the Slammers wrestled back momentum in the second quarter, with co-captain Nichols (18 points, four assists) working his way into the match and hitting a number of vital three-pointers, despite returning from the United States just hours earlier.

Slammers guard Tre Nichols drives to the basket.
Camera IconSlammers guard Tre Nichols drives to the basket. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock

Scores were level heading into the final term, but a determined Slammers put on a key performance, with Weeden hitting a number of clutch free throws, while Puot, Nichols and Lay continued to hit a number of three-pointers.

Voelkel just missed out on his second triple-double of the weekend, finishing with 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Weeden (eight rebounds) and Brody England (six rebounds) were also dominant on the glass for the home side.

The Slammers now sit in fifth spot on the State Basketball League ladder and need to defeat the second-placed Joondalup Wolves this weekend if they are to climb into the top-four and get the home court advantage in the first week of the play-offs.

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