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Slammers ready to fire

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

An experienced outfit will hit the court at Eaton Recreation Centre on Saturday night when the Printsync South West Slammers start their 2017 campaign.

The Slammers will battle the Lakeside Lightning at 6pm and it is a chance to win back some respect for last year’s cellar dwellers.

The main obstacle for the Slammers will be reigning State Basketball League Most Valuable Player Ali Schwagmeyer.

Slammers coach Peter Harper said his side was going to need to play “in your face, team defence” to stop her.

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“Either Raya (Thompson) or Kate (Fielding) will probably get that match-up,” he said.

“She is tall and strong, so we will need a stronger body to play on her.”

Harper said he did not expect the Lightning to produce a tall side this weekend, with their import and their centre not expected to play.

He believed this could allow them to get Schwagmeyer into foul trouble, as she may be the only defensive option to play on Slammers import Brittany Hodges.

“We will look to get the ball inside to Brittany and get Schwagmeyer into foul trouble,” he said.

On the offensive side, the Slammers will look to use the pick-and-roll to get Courtney Bayliss free from beyond the arc, while the move of Georgia Denehey to shooting guard from point guard should give them another attacking option.

“I am fairly confident that Georgia and Raya will play better this season,” Harper said.

“The girls have prepared really well.”

The Slammers will have greater depth this year with Fielding’s return complemented by the signings of Hodges and Canadian college basketballer Tori Dugan.

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