Basketball: Mandurah Magic beat Perth Redbacks 66-59 in opening SBL game

Casey Mihovilovich scored 20 points and also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Casey Mihovilovich scored 20 points and also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

THE Mandurah Magic women made the perfect start to the State Basketball League playoffs on Saturday beating the Perth Redbacks 66-59 in Game 1 of the quarter-final series.

The Magic women finished the regular season in second position in the SBL with a 19-3 record and that set up them having home court advantage in the best of three quarter-final series with the Redbacks.

Game 1 took place at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre on Saturday night and after a strong start, the Magic came away with the seven-point victory to be one win from now advancing to the semi finals.

Mandurah raced out to an impressive early lead and at one stage scored 17 straight points to lead by 23 points during the first half.

The Magic were still on top 40-20 by the half-time break. The Redbacks have too much quality and experience to not make a contest of it and they certainly did that in the second, but the Magic held on for the seven-point victory.

The back court of Mandurah was outstanding with Nici Gilday finishing with 23 points and eight rebounds while Casey Mihovilovich contributed 20 points, five boards, three assists and three steals.

Carly Boag battled hard inside all evening to end up with eight points, eight rebounds, five steals and two assists while Bree Klasztorny pulled in 13 rebounds for the Magic.

Game 2 is on Saturday night at Belmont Oasis and if the Redbacks win that, the decider will be back at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre on Sunday.

The other women’s quarter-final Game 1 matches saw the Perry Lakes Hawks beat the CockburnCougars 83-68, the Lakeside Lightning defeat the Joondalup City Wolves 76-58 and the Stirling Senators down the Willetton Tigers 79-74.

In the men’s quarter finals it was the Joondalup City Wolves beating the Cockburn Cougars 90-83, the Perry Lakes Hawks defeating the Willetton Tigers 90-80, the South West Slammers beating the Perth Redbacks 97-94 and the Geraldton Buccaneers defeating the Stirling Senators 89-80.