PERTH Redbacks coach Craig Allen is glad that his team were able to create such an imposing home court advantage for the West Coast Classic and now he wants them to take that form on the road to try to qualify for finals.
The Redbacks won all five of their matches in the Women’s West Coast Classic at Belmont Oasis in impressive fashion and those victories against the Cockburn Cougars, East Perth Eagles, Willetton Tigers, South West Slammers and Kalamunda Eastern Suns were well supported.
The game night atmosphere at Redbacks home games was tremendous during the West Coast Classic, people turned out in good numbers and a good time was had by all, not the least because of the fact that their home team was winning games of basketball.
Now with three rounds of the West Coast Classic remaining, the Redbacks have two games to play in the women’s competition and they just happen to be must-win affairs on the road to the Rockingham Flames and Lakeside Lightning.
The Redbacks currently hold a 6-3 record to sit just outside the top four and while it’s a challenging way to now finish against Rockingham this Saturday night and then away to Lakeside after a bye, the Redbacks know all they can do is win those games and give themselves a chance.
And there’s plenty to like about what the Redbacks are producing too starting with the imposing front court of Maddie Allen and Jess Jakens, both who have won SBL Shootaround Player of the Round awards already during the West Coast Classic.
Then there’s the experience of Denielle Lipscombe in the back court to help show the way for an exciting young group include Bri Bailey, Sarah Allen, Shenae Hartree, Brooke Malone and Chanah Crugnale.
Now that it’s at the business end of the West Coast Classic, Allen is fully aware that the last two games are must-win for the Redbacks if they want to play finals but he’s looking forward to seeing how his group handles that with an eye of a full season in 2021.
“Every game you go into you do it planning to win and you have a plan you want to execute to get that done, and that’s what we will do over the next two games. If it falls our way as a result then great, hopefully we go into that finals weekend,” Allen said.
“We’ll just keep training as we have been and keep working on executing what we’re trying to do. There’s lots for us to keep working on so we’ll keep doing that but in some regards it’s nice to have a little break from the intensity of game scenarios too.
“It has been an odd season where we played four games in the first eight days and now our last four games are spread over five weekends.
“It is an interesting way to go out but at the end of the day we just have to keep fronting up for the games and execute our plans, and try to get the job done. If we do that two more times then it will work for us.”
As for the West Coast Classic season that saw the Redbacks win five games from five attempts at Belmont Oasis, Allen enjoyed the home court atmosphere and advantage the Redbacks are now creating as they continue to be innovative with the night out they provide the supporters.
“That is really nice actually to have your home court as your home as such and defending that home title. That home presence is something that’s important to have and the crowd has been great, and I think we put on a decent show for the crowd,” Allen said.
“All of that just helps to build the club as a whole to be honest. We’ve been really lucky and privileged to see the number of girls come down to see us play along with the parents and friends and everyone else. I think that adds to the support and we own our court now so it’s nice to know and nice to see.”