Two more home wins for Redbacks over Tigers

THE Perth Redbacks remain undefeated at Belmont Oasis in the West Coast Classic after two more impressive victories against old foes the Willetton Tigers on Friday night.

There was West Coast Classic action at Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre for the third successive Friday night and there were two more entertaining match ups that the Redbacks took part in, this time against the Tigers.

In the end, the Redbacks continued their unbeatens runs in both the women’s and men’s West Coast Classic competitions with a pair of victories against the Tigers.

The women opened up the action on Friday night with a 77-66 victory against Willetton before the men backed up their buzzer-beating win over the Geraldton Buccaneers with another heartstopper, this time beating the Tigers 94-92.

The win for the Redbacks women improves them to a 4-2 record to be knocking on the door of the top four while the men are now 5-2 to be in fifth position.

Both Redbacks teams now prepare for double-headers in Round 5 of the West Coast Classic starting Saturday night back at Belmont Oasis against the South West Slammers.

Then on Sunday, the Redbacks take on the Warwick Senators at Warwick Stadium.

The West Coast Classic evening on Friday at Belmont Oasis began with the women’s contest and it was the visiting Tigers that made the stronger start after the Redbacks did manage the first six points of the match.

Willetton dominated the rest of the opening quarter from there outscoring Perth 22 points to eight the rest of the first period to go into quarter-time leading 22-14.

Maddie Allen then scored six quick points for the Redbacks to open the second quarter and when Briana Bailey knocked down a three-pointer, scores were all tied.

By half-time, the Redbacks had worked their way to a 34-32 advantage and then it was a dominant third period with the home team piling on 28 points and holding the Tigers to just 13 which proved to be the difference ultimately in the game.

The Redbacks would go on a 13-0 run and lead by as many as 20 points before then withstanding a charge from the Tigers to prevail 77-66 in the finish and stay right in the West Coast Classic finals race.

The Redbacks made getting and going inside a focus which saw them end up outscoring the Tigers inside the paint while also getting to the foul line on 29 occasions where they were able to convert 23.

Jess Jakens continued her sensational form with another 17 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Redbacks on 4/5 shooting from the floor and 9/10 from the foul line.

Maddie Allen was outstanding as well flirting with a triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and two steals.

Briana Bailey continued her emergence as point guard with 13 points, two rebounds and two assists with Chanah Crugnale scoring 10 points for the Redbacks and Sarah Allen nine.

Brooke Malone added four points and four rebounds, Brooke Rebel four points, Ella Thornton-Elliott three points and Shenae Hartree two to go with three rebounds. Denielle Lipscombe might not have scored but she contributed seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.

It was then time for the Redbacks men to see if they could continue their momentum from two wins last weekend against the East Perth Eagles and the Geraldton Buccaneers, but it was Willetton who came to Belmont Oasis and started strongly.

Like the Redbacks women, though, the home team got off to a flying start before the opposition took over in the first quarter. Caleb White and Marshall Nelson opened the contest with back-to-back threes for the Redbacks, but that was as good as it got for the home team in the first quarter.

Andrew Black scored the next four points for Willetton and then Damien Scott drained a three to put the Tigers on top. White then did respond for another from downtown, but the Tigers were then able to go on a 9-0 run to take control leading 16-9, and to still be up 24-20 by quarter-time.

Willetton maintained its edge during the second quarter as well putting up another 26 points to 21 from the Redbacks to remain on top 50-41 by the half-time break.

The Redbacks were able to gradually work their way on top during the third quarter to close the deficit to seven heading into the fourth term and it was then all the home team in the fourth period as they overran the Tigers with 26 points to 17 to end up claiming the win, 94-92.

Big buckets in the last three minutes from Tevin Jackson, Marshall Nelson and Caleb White were just enough for the Redbacks to hold off the Tigers who refused to give in.

The free-throw differential between the two teams was remarkable with the Tigers finishing with 25/32 from the stripe and the Redbacks just 6/10. But the Redbacks did go 12/35 from downtown compared to the Tigers 9/23 even if Perth outscored Willetton 48-32 with points in the paint.

Caleb White had another big Friday night outing for the Redbacks finishing with 27 points, five rebounds and three assists including hitting 5/8 from three-point territory.

Marshall Nelson also put up 24 points, nine assists, six rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots while Tevin Jackson contributed 18 points and seven boards.

Dennis Tawhiti finished with seven points and three rebounds, Ethan Vlahov seven points and four boards, Michael Riley five points, Neema Kazemi four points and Ezra Nikora two points.

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