Winning start for women

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
VideoThe Slammers women's program complete their pre-game shoot around.

The Printsync South West Slammers women’s side made a winning start to the 2019 SBL season under new coach Nathan Grover with a 90-68 victory over the East Perth Eagles on Saturday night at the Eaton Recreation Centre.

From the opening tip-off, Slammers fans looked on in delight as American import Brittni Montgomery (25 points, 10 rebounds, one assist) imposed her will under the glass and provided a solid inside target for her teammates.

The home side bolted out to a 12-4 lead inside the opening two and a half minutes, with the dynamic tempo putting the visitors on the back foot.

However, gradually the Eagles – who finished 0-22 in 2018 – managed to frustrate the visitors with their inside shooting and were back within range at quarter time.

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The breakneck speed which the Slammers had been operating under began to impact some passages of ball movement, which Eagles duo Janee Johnson (14 points, 12 rebounds, three assists) and Cameron Flynn (23 points, three rebounds, two assists) gleefully took advantage when an ideal offensive look presented itself.

Fellow Slammers American import Makailah Dyer (14 points, eight rebounds, nine assists) took charge of the game in the second term, with her hustle and willingness to take on defenders a real asset for her side.

With Dyer burrowing her way at the bucket, Kate Fielding quelling Johnson’s physical effectiveness and Courtney Bayliss (21 points, seven rebounds, four assists) draining a series of shots from down town, the home side regained momentum and headed into the second half with a sizeable lead.

Flynn and Johnson continued to ask questions of the Slammers’ rearguard for the remainder of the match, however the visitors never seriously challenged for the lead at any time.

With time winding down in the final quarter – and with the result secured – Grover was able to give his starters a breather and inject plenty of youth into the fray.

Although the Slammers did not score a point from general play in the final five minutes of the match, the sting had well and truly been extinguished from the contest.

The Slammers women’s program have a bye in round two, before hosting the Willetton Tigers on March 30 at the Eaton Recreation Centre.

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