Slammers pull of ultimate comeback

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
Slammers forward Brian Voelkel recorded an impressive triple-double in the quarter final win.
Camera IconSlammers forward Brian Voelkel recorded an impressive triple-double in the quarter final win. Credit: South Western Times

The Printsync South West Slammers pulled off one of the comebacks of the season, when they defeated the Perth Redbacks by three points to take game one of the quarter-final series at Belmont Oasis on Saturday night.

Trailing by 10 points at the final break, the Slammers scored 38 points and kept the home side to just 25 to claim a vital 97-94 victory.

A three-pointer from Tre Nichols (24 points, seven rebounds) with a minute left on the clock gave the Slammers the lead, before two vital free throws from Michael Lay (24 points) with just nine seconds left in the game extended the lead and gave them the vital win.

Redback Lee Roberts top scored for the match, hitting 31 points and grabbing 14 rebounds, while ever reliable Slammers forward Brian Voelkel had yet another triple-double (17 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists).

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Neither side could gain a great advantage for much of the first quarter, with the Redbacks gaining a slight break in the last minute to lead by five points at quarter time.

The Slammers opened the game up in the second term, with Clive Weeden, Nichols, Voelkel and Lay all beginning to hit their shots, while Roberts kept the Redbacks in the game.

With a three-point lead at the main break, it looked as if the Slammers would take control.

Perth came out firing after half-time, scoring the first 11 points and keeping the Slammers scoreless until Voelkel hit a shot in the seventh minute.

This gave the Redbacks a commanding 69-59 lead at the final break and victory for them looked in sight.

But Nichols and youngster Travis Durnin refused to give up.

Both players hit a number of vital three-pointers, with Nichols scoring 10 points in the final term, while Durnin scored eight points and had an important steal.

Former Perth Wildcat Shawn Redhage was unusually quiet for the Redbacks, scoring just 14 points at 33 per cent from the field, while Ben Smith (20 points) and Michael Vigor (17 points, five rebounds and four assists) were in good form for the home side.

Roberts gave the Redbacks an advantage on the paint as Perth outscored the Slammers 58-32, but the Slammers’ spread was better, with their bench contributing 34 points to just four.

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