SBL: tight defeats tough to take for Eagles men and women

East Perth's women listen to instructions.
East Perth's women listen to instructions.

EAST Perth Basketball Association’s men and women’s teams both suffered tight defeats at the weekend against Willetton Tigers in the State Basketball League.

In the men’s game, Willetton led by seven points with three minutes to play after Ray Turner shot a basket.

Eagles’ player Mason Bragg scored five quick points before Corey Easley made it a two-point game with 90 seconds left.

Bragg added three points to snatch the lead less than a minute left before a lay-up from Tiger Jay Bowie 13 seconds from time put the Tigers ahead by a point.

Bragg then missed a buzzer-beater, ensuring Willetton held on for a one-point win.

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Kevin Davis was the stand out player for the Eagles with 23 points, 17 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks.

Bragg also had 17 points and eight assists for the Eagles, while Easley had 13 points and eight rebounds.

Coach Joe Tupaea said there were some positives to take from the 83-82 loss.

“I felt execution and direction let us down as we struggled with discipline both offensively and defensively,” he said.

“Not a style of game we’re happy with but definitely exciting to know that we lose by one against one of the favourites to win the championship and we played no where near the style we want to play in.”

The defending champion Tigers defeated the Eagles women’s side 75-67.

The Eagles had control until the Tigers earned a hard fought eight-point victory having come from behind at three quarter time.

With Willetton missing several key players, the Eagles women fought hard to take advantage of the situation, leading for the majority of the game.

East Perth star Haylee DeSousa top scored with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Teammate Jodee Sontay added 15 points, nine boards and four assists while Eryn Fisher 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Assistant coach Bill Edwards said the team needed to believe it could win.

“We had the lead right up to the third quarter and we need to take the opportunities to win when they come to us,” he said.

East Perth plays Kalamunda Eastern Suns at the Ray Owen Sports Centre in Lesmurdie on Saturday April 22.