THE Perry Lakes Hawks have made an unbeaten start to the 2016 Women’s SBL season ahead of a double-header in Week 4 against the East Perth Eagles and Stirling Senators.
The Hawks have started 2016 impressively beating the Mandurah Magic and Lakeside Lightning following the signing of veteran quality pair Deanna Smith and Antonia Edmondson to add to a team that did a good job of making the playoffs in 2015.
They now will aim to end Week 4 with a 4-0 record with matches to come on the road to the East Perth Eagles (0-3) on Friday night and then the Stirling Senators (2-2) at Bendat Basketball Centre on Saturday.
It is a monster night tonight with four other matches taking place with Willetton Tigers (3-0) playing Cockburn Cougars (1-3), Joondalup Wolves (1-1) facing Perth Redbacks (3-0), South West Slammers (0-3) hosting Mandurah Magic (1-1) and Stirling Senators (2-2) battling the Kalamunda Eastern Suns (1-3).
Tomorrow, Rockingham Flames (4-1) face Lakeside Lightning (1-2) at Mike Barnett Sports Complex in Rockingham.
Perry Lakes coach CJ Jackson cannot fault the first up wins over Magic and Lightning following the opening week bye.
There is plenty to work on still, though, heading into the clashes this weekend with the Eagles and Senators; he expects things to continue to come together particularly with the more Edmondson and Smith play with their new teammates.
“I’m pretty happy considering that our preparation hasn’t been all that crash hot, as is the case with a few of the other clubs with injuries and some of the WNBL players coming in after the Lynx had a successful season. We have overcome that and are getting better,” Jackson told SBL Slam on Sonshine FM 98.5.
“We’ve been trying to get better at not turning the ball over and we feel that with the playing group we have now that our turnover rate should be further down and our assist to turnover ratio should be very high. Unfortunately, it didn’t play out like that on the weekend though.”
Jackson has done well developing a competitive group with the Hawks the last couple of years and now they have the star power to go even further in 2016 with Smith and Edmondson along the way.
So far this season the pair has received plenty of support at the Hawks from the returning Kate Anthony along with Mia Satie, Sarah Donovan and Lauren Jeffers.
Now that he has more talent at his disposal, Jackson wants his team playing a more high-tempo style in 2016 and he is giving them his full support to back themselves.
“What we try to do is implement an up-tempo style. I feel a lot of clubs are doing that and with that style we feel we have a lot more guards this year and we can even have Deanna play as a point forward, and Antonia acts as a point forward,” he said.
“We have a lot more players who can put the ball on the floor to try and get into the paint to create for themselves and their teammates.
“We want them to take the shots we are given and give whatever shot it is a good crack. The girls are starting to buy into that type of system and it’s been working pretty good for us.”
Week 4 Women’s SBL Fixtures
Willetton Tigers v Cockburn Cougars, Willetton Basketball Stadium 6.30pm
Joondalup Wolves v Perth Redbacks, Joondalup Basketball Stadium 6.30pm
South West Slammers v Mandurah Magic, Eaton Recreation Centre 6.30pm
Stirling Senators v Kalamunda Eastern Suns, Warwick Stadium 6.30pm
East Perth Eagles v Perry Lakes Hawks, Morley Sport and Recreation Centre 6.30pm
Perry Lakes Hawks v Stirling Senators, Bendat Basketball Centre 6pm
Rockingham Flames v Lakeside Lightning, Mike Barnett Sports Complex 6.30pm