Comeback aids finals ambitions

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Cian Parsons heads to the charity stripe for the Slammers earlier this season. It is a massive weekend for Nathan Grover’s side.
Camera IconCian Parsons heads to the charity stripe for the Slammers earlier this season. It is a massive weekend for Nathan Grover’s side. Credit: Justin Fris

Printsync South West Slammers women’s coach Nathan Grover was delighted with how his side recovered from a slow start against the Perry Lakes Hawks on Saturday at the Bendat Basketball Centre.

Trailing 10-2 in the opening three minutes, the visitors fought their way back with great heart to record a sterling 79-66 victory.

“We were a bit flat in the first half and weren’t our usual selves,” he said.

“We had turnovers and weren’t executing our offensive structures. To the girls’ credit, they fought pretty hard to get back within seven by half time to keep it within single figures.

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“I said to them that we needed a third quarter like we had the week before against Joondalup.”

Towering centre Brittni Montgomery (22 points, 10 rebounds) again was extremely potent inside, landing 10 of her 12 attempts from the field.

“She was able to withstand the physicality early and got into a bit of a spat with Nat Burton,” Grover said.

“And I think that took Nat’s head out of the game for a little bit and Bianca Donovan was able to get to the basket pretty easily and get her some open shots.

“Adele East and Ebony Bilcich did the same sort of thing – and when Makailah Dyer had control, she was able to find her to get some looks as well.

“Her rebounding was also good, she blocked some shots and yeah I think they probably looked at her a little bit too much and that allowed the guards to get free.”

Although happy with another road win, Grover’s post-game focus shifted towards the Magic and Flames, with victories in both able to boost their finals hopes.

The team are the meat in the top-eight SBL sandwich this weekend.

Both the Mandurah Magic and Rockingham Flames sit below and above Nathan Grover’s side respectively and two victories over the weekend could give the Slammers’ finals hopes a sizeable lift.

Magic: Enter tomorrow night’s clash in seventh, having won two of their last three matches, although both of these victories have been at home. Comprehensively dismantled the second-placed Lakeside Lightning on Saturday, although have lost four of their last five away.

Flames: Won five of their opening seven games, before dropping three games in a row and showing some chinks in their armour. In a plus for Craig Reynolds’side, three of their next four are at home, where they hold a 5-1 record.

Nathan Grover’s take (Slammers)

“Our loss against the Magic was another game where we were in it until midway through the fourth quarter when we had some lapses and let it go.

“But we are a very different team now than we were back then, so I guess we are after a bit of revenge after losing the first one.

“It’s also important to keep our momentum and cement a place in the eight. A couple of results have helped us along the way and it’s another crucial game for us.

“If we lose, we let the other teams claw a bit of space from us, but if we win, we will get a bit more comfort.”

Scouting reports(Magic and Flames)

Magic: League position: 7th; home record: 5-1; away record: 2-6; last round: lost to Rockingham Flames 68-54, defeated Lakeside Lightning 71-42

Top performer (vs Lightning): Carly Boag – 21 points (8/17 from the field, 1/4 from beyond the arc, 2/5 from free-throw line), 12 rebounds, two assists.

Flames: League position: 5th; home record: 5-1; away record: 2-6; last round: defeated Mandurah Magic 68-54, lost to Kalamunda Eastern Suns 79-68

Top performer (vs Eastern Suns): Darcee Garbin – 19 points (6/12 from the field, 0/4 from beyond the arc, 7/9 from free-throw line), eight rebounds, one assist.

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