Play-offs hopes still alive for Slammers’ men

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
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Michael Lay scored 22 points for the South West Slammers in their win over Perry Lakes on Sunday.
Camera IconMichael Lay scored 22 points for the South West Slammers in their win over Perry Lakes on Sunday. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock / South Western Times

A courageous seven-point win over the Perry Lakes Hawks at the Eaton Recreation Centre on Sunday has kept the Printsync South West Slammers’ play-offs hopes alive.

Captain Clive Weeden and fellow leader Michael Lay led from the front as the Slammers claimed their third win of the season, defeating the Hawks 95-88.

The Slammers needed the victory to continue their rise up the ladder and they started well thanks to Weeden, who was dominant on the paint.

Weeden claimed a strong double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds, with the Hawks unable to defend him on the inside.

The Slammers captain went to the charity stripe eight times and made 11 from 16 attempts, as he complemented the Slammers’ outside shooters brilliantly.

Lay (22 points, seven rebounds, five assists) was dominant across the floor and put plenty of pressure on the Hawks’ defence, which broke down under the Slammers’ varied offence.

Brian Voelkel (20 points, 21 rebounds) was outstanding at both ends of the court, while Brandon Thompson (20 points) worked his way into the game in the second half after some disappointing shooting in the opening two quarters.

Hawks import Jacob Holmen was one of his side’s few shining lights, scoring 28 points and grabbing 23 rebounds in a solid game.

Holmen’s 12-point third quarter helped to cut the Slammers’ lead from 16 at half-time to just nine at the final break and give the Hawks hope of a late fightback.

Perry Lakes’ captain Ben Purser worked hard with 14 points and seven rebounds, but was forced to watch much of the last half from the bench, as his defensive job on Weeden meant he was on four fouls early in the third term.

Hawks coach Matt Parsons threw everything he had at the Slammers, but Slammers centre Sam Sopolinski matched up well on 211cm Perry Lakes’ import Brian Carlwell (five points, three rebounds), while Jordan Hickert (two points, Lochlan Cummings (four points) and Daniel Thomas (10 points) all struggled to have an impact.

Sunday’s win was vital for the Slammers, who were defeated by the Perth Redbacks 120-95 at Belmont Oasis on Saturday night.

The Slammers were in the match at quarter time, trailing by just seven points, before Perth hit 35 points in the second term to blow out the lead to 19 at half-time.

Thompson was in foul trouble early in the third term and managed just 16 minutes of court time for two points, as the Redbacks increased their lead and dominated the Slammers.

A strong final quarter from the Slammers cut the margin back and they walked away with a respectable loss.

The Slammers struggled to stop Perth’s spread of scorers, with Maurice Barrow (24 points, nine rebounds), Ben Smith (24 points, eight rebounds) and Shaun Redhage (18 points, seven rebounds) all having a big impact.

Lay was outstanding for the Slammers with a game-high 33 points, while Voelkel scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Weeden scored 20 points and collected five rebounds.

Travis Durnin was also solid with 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Slammers now face the tough task of playing three-straight away games, starting with the Stirling Senators this Sunday at Warwick Stadium.

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