STACEY Barr snapped out of a recent shooting slump and exploded for 52 points, but it was not enough to get the Willetton Tigers women’s team over the line at Willetton Basketball Stadium on Friday night, falling 98-82 to Lakeside Lightning.
The Tigers were without captain Kate Malpass while she recovers from a calf injury sustained in last weeks win over Perth Redbacks, and in her absence, Barr took over, consistently weaving her way through traffic and getting to the rim to pace the Tigers offensively.
The game was tight throughout the first half, and the Tigers led 39-38 at the major break, but a disappointing second half saw them fail to keep the same intensity and focus level on defence, with Lightning stars Ali Schwagmeyer and Sydney Fipps combining for 59 points of their own to run away with it in the second half.
Speaking after the game, Tigers coach Simon Parker pinpointed where he felt things went wrong.
“It was our effort in the third quarter, we gave up 20 second-chance points, and that was it, they blew the game out and it was over. We just can’t afford to do that, so that’s basically where it was lost,” Parker said.
Outside of Barr’s massive game, the only other Tigers player to hit double figures was German import Jessica Hootmann who added 12 points, and Parker also spoke of the challenge of keeping the rest of the team functioning around Barr’s big night.
“It was good, but the hard part was trying to fit everyone else in around that, it was actually some good shots and getting to the hoop, but I think everyone else didn’t know how to work off that, so if we needed another opportunity to score, then we didn’t have it,” he said.
“But truly, we lost that game with the defense in the third quarter.”
Later in the men’s fixture, Willetton comfortably notched up a ninth-straight win, defeating the Lightning 98-79.
Kyle Armour top scored for the Tigers with 23 points, shooting an impressive 7 of 10 from three-point range, while Ray Turner scored 22 points and fellow import Jay Bowie dropped 18 points and added eight assists.
“It was a really good win for us,” Armour said.
“I’m a bit relieved because I’ve been in a shooting drought the last few weeks, so to knock a few down and see them go in tonight, did a world of good for my confidence.”
The Tigers men will aim to make it 10 straight wins on Saturday night against East Perth Eagles at Morley Recreation Centre.