THE Perth Redbacks enjoyed a stellar Friday night, with the men’s and women’s teams defeating their Rockingham Flames counterparts at Belmont Oasis.
The Redbacks women’s team made a strong start and by quarter-time had opened a nine-point advantage, but the Flames, despite missing Jacinta Bourne and Chelsea Armstrong, continued to fight hard on the back of a monster effort from new import Chastity Reed.
Rockingham got back within five points by half-time and the game was all tied up by three- quarter-time.
But down the stretch, the Flames just ran out of legs and with Dena English cramping up after having to pick up the slack from the absence of Bourne and Armstrong, the Redbacks hit some big shots when it mattered to come away with the 11-point win.
Rebecca Benson ended up top-scoring for the Redbacks with 20 points to go with three rebounds and three assists.
Gabby Clayton added 19 points and five assists while hitting 7-of-11 from the field and 3-of-5 from three-point territory.
Emilee Harmon contributed 18 points and six rebounds, with Ajay Johnson adding 11 points, six boards and five assists, Danielle Lipscombe seven points, six rebounds and four assists, and Lisa Wallbutton six points, eight boards and three assists.
In the men’s game, the Flames had a big job ahead of them to attempt to stop their four-game losing slide up against a Redbacks team that continues to win despite still missing a host of key players and with teenagers filling important roles.
With Michael Vigor back for Perth following the conclusion of his British Basketball League season, the home team opened an eight-point lead by quarter-time.
But if the Flames have one trait, it is their ability to fight and compete, and they did that strongly in the second quarter to trail by just three at the main break.
However, the Redbacks had another level to go to in the second half and with a host of players stepping up, young and old alike, cruised to the 17-point victory to improve to 8-2 on the season and hand Rockingham a fifth consecutive defeat.
Despite Vigor restricted to 18 minutes and seven points and five rebounds because of foul trouble, Shawn Redhage led the way for the Redbacks with 33 points and 11 rebounds.
Ben Smith added 23 points, three rebounds and three assists on 9-of-15 shooting from the field despite going 2-of-7 from deep. Joel Wagner also had two points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
But just as impressive were the Redbacks youngsters, with Riley Chappell moving into the starting line-up following Jayden Stone’s departure for college.
He finished with nine points and three rebounds.
Kyle Bowen had 10 points and eight rebounds.