KALAMUNDA Eastern Suns women’s team have to look to next season now missing the finals for only the second time since joining the SBL in 2008.
The Suns needed to beat finals team the Perry Lakes Lady Hawks on Friday at the Bendat Basketball Centre to retain 8th spot but lost the clash 94-72.
Stacey Barr top-scored for the Suns – who were again without the suspended Carley Mijovic – with 29 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. Melissa Moyle added nine points and four boards, and Sarah-Jane McMahon had nine points and seven rebounds.
The team, which defeated the Hawks in their previous encounter, have had a blend of youth and experience this season under coach Jason Smith and assistant Tom Knowles, who is also an assistant at the Perth Lynx.
The roster includes three Lynx squad members, some senior basketballers who returned to the club and young players.
The Eastern Suns men’s team again finished outside the finals but have improved under coach Mike Clarke. They finished on six wins after losing to the Hawks 102-96.
The Hawks drew on their experienced players and secured eighth spot at East Perth’s expense.
Courtney Belger top-scored for the Suns with 26 points, nine rebounds and three steals while Brandon McGill added 23 points, six boards, four assists and four steals.
Ryan Blanchett finished with 14 points and seven rebounds for Kalamunda, Anthony Edgar nine points and eight boards, Cooper Lowe eight points and Travis McIlroy five in the final game of his SBL career.
“The men’s game has been very fast and high-scoring this season,” club chairman Peter Hanson said.
“We’ve been among the top teams in categories such as highest-scoring team and three-pointer team.
“We just weren’t putting it into games won. Though we have had our fair share of wins and it has been a better season than the past couple.
“Things look promising for the future if we can keep the team together.”