Wolves bite Slammers in crucial game
The Joondalup Wolves held on for a tense 91-90 victory over a heavily depleted Printsync South West Slammers at the Eaton Recreation Centre on Saturday night, with Makailah Dyer’s last gasp jump shot sailing wide right as time expired.
It was a tough loss for the Slammers, who dropped to 10th following the loss and now face a massive test of adversity in their bid to reach the play-offs.
With stalwart Kate Fielding and Ebony Bilcich both unavailable due to SWFL women’s commitments, coupled by Courtney Bayliss battling illness and Bianca Donovan nursing bruised ribs, the home side relied on a blend of youth and experience to see them through against the play-off bound Wolves.
Dyer (42 points - 5/13 from the field, 5/6 from beyond the arc, 17/18 from the free throw line, six rebounds, two assists) shouldered more than her fair share of offensive production, while Adele East and Brittni Montgomery also chimed in to keep the Slammers within the hunt.
After a promising quarter and a half, the visitors managed to cut loose, with several trips to the bucket completed with relative ease.
Unhappy with how things were playing out, Slammers coach Nathan Grover called time-out with six minutes and change left in the half and urged his side to improve defensively.
Wolves import Amber Land (22 points, 15 rebounds, one assist) and Makayla Pirini were causing the bulk of the damage, while Isabelle Miotti (14 points - 4/5 from the field, 2/3 from beyond the arc, two rebounds, one assist) relished her opportunities of being left open.
Trailing 51-40 at half time, the home side returned with plenty of endeavour, however several promising offensive possessions fizzled out.
In the final two and a quarter minutes of the third quarter alone, the home side committed four turnovers offensively, which arguably came back to haunt them.
Dyer continued to nurse the ball routinely for the Slammers and made several plays, whether by excellent shot or earning a trip to the charity stripe.
Both teams traded buckets up until the final thirty seconds of the game, with Dyer putting her side up by two points following back to back free throws.
With Wolves coach Charles Nix encouraging his side to strike quickly, Andrea Ritter coolly drained a long range three to put the Wolves up by one point with 13 seconds left.
Grover instantly called time-out and on the ensuing drive, Dyer patiently held the ball while assessing her options.
When nothing was forthcoming, she drove to bucket, but her pressured attempt fell wide and into the arms of waiting Wolves defender Pirini.
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