Thompson stars for Slammers
Teenage Printsync South West Slammer Raya Thompson became a star in front of the crowd at the Eaton Recreation Centre, leading the home side to a sensational four-point victory over the East Perth Eagles.
With Kate Fielding fouled out in the last quarter and Brittany Hodges being well held by a tight defence, Thompson stood up to score 24 points in the 72-68 win.
The victory equalled the Slammers win tally from last season and gave them a 2-1 start to 2017.
Thompson shot at 62 per cent from the field and also grabbed four rebounds in a best on court effort.
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Coach Peter Harper said Thompson took her game to another level.
“She was sensational both offensively and defensively,” he said.
“She has always had the ability, she is now just getting more of an opportunity.”
Captain Courtney Bayliss continued her solid start to the season with another double-double, scoring 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Bayliss was pivotal late in the game, scoring some clutch three-pointers as the buzzer neared.
Hodges (eight points, 11 rebounds) was unusually quiet and had to spend periods of time on the bench due to foul trouble.
This allowed Taylah Kemp to get some minutes on the court and she, along with Hannah Kurek impressed Harper.
“She (Kemp) had to cover for Brittany for a while,” he said.
“Hannah was also great, hitting some shots and grabbing five rebounds.
“It was pleasing that some girls who had not had minutes in the first two games stepped up when it counted.”
Haylee Desousa scored 22 points for the Eagles, who had an even spread of scorers on the night.
The Slammers though won the rebound count (42-36), which went a long way to grabbing the tight victory.
On Sunday the South West Slammers will have their first away game, when they take on the Stirling Senators at Warwick Stadium from 2pm.
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