DEFENDING women’s champions Rockingham Flames scored a win in a grand final rematch over Willetton Tigers on Saturday night, all but securing a top two position and leaving the Tigers clawing for a top four finish.
The 76-62 defeat at Mike Barnett Sports Complex proved Rockingham too strong for the Tigers, who have suffered a run of late season defeats.
Kate Malpass top-scored for the Tigers with 20 points, nine rebounds and two assists with Louella Tomlinson adding 15 points, seven boards, five blocks and four assists.
A Saturday night washout was delayed until Sunday when the Tigers men’s fell to the Flames 88-84.
It could prove a crucial contest in deciding a top four position come the end of the regular season in two weeks.
The thriller backed up the Flames’ strong come from behind win over Stirling Senators at Warwick Stadium on Friday and improves them to 15-9 while the Tigers have lost two straight to also sit on 15-9 with two rounds, and three games, left.
Rockingham led by five points at quarter-time, three at half-time and by seven heading into the fourth but it was Willetton who opened the final period on fire with the opening 10 points to take a 77-73 lead.
The Tigers then went up by six after a basket by Kyle Armour with five and-a-half minutes left but the Flames responded and with a minute left they were back in front following a make from Taylor Land before Cooper Land and Ryan Godfrey iced their win at the free-throw line.
Cooper Land backed up his 45 points and 14 rebounds from Friday with 39 points and 10 boards for the Flames shooting 16 of 27 from the field.
Jay Bowie did all he could to get the Tigers over the line finishing with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers take on Lakeside Lightning on Friday July 22 at home, women’s tip off 6.30pm followed by the men at 8.30pm.