Weekly WABL Wrap – Round 1

This Weekly WABL Wrap is proudly sponsored by Woods Insurance Brokers

Congrats to all our WABL players, coaches, managers and parents for bringing great energy to Round 1 of the 2021 WABL season. Here’s the wrap up of how all our teams went including comments from coaches:

U12 Champs Girls – Josh Wallace (sponsored by Welsh Real Estate)

Won against Willetton Tigers 84-16

Josh loved to see:

  • The way the girls approached the game with the mentality of wanting to outwork the Tigers and were relentless in their approach to that.
  • The girls’ unselfish play and willingness to make the extra pass to get the easy shot. A clear display of the “we” rather than “me” mentality.
  • Grace Butcher, Malia Williams and Scarlett Hill playing in their first WABL games, and doing a great job on court
  • Lainey Panizza has been working really hard to get her body right for round 1, after a tough run with injuries, and she exceeded my expectations and had a great game.

U12 Division 3 Girls – Emma Ormond (sponsored by DLA Piper)

Lost to East Perth Eagles 42-20

Emma loved to see:

  • Our defensive efforts, especially in transition. The girls caused quite a few turnovers by pressuring the ball carriers which led to some fast breaks for us. Considering this was the first WABL game for all of them, I was so impressed with how they handled the pressure and everything that was thrown at them.
  • Georgie Clark really set the tone for our team in regard to pressure on defence. Alone she caused an impressive number of turnovers with her hard work.
  • Harper Grace’s positioning on the offensive end got us a lot of open shots. She also really stood out on the defensive end with her amazing defence, causing lots of turnovers herself too.
  • I was super impressed with Leisha Charlie’s ability to take what we’ve been doing in training and incorporate it into the game. Her ability to get her teammates into the game and get them shots is something very rare to see at this age. She worked hard and was incredibly unselfish.

U12 Division 4 Girls – Marcia Dowling (sponsored by One for Women)

Won against Perry Lakes Hawks 39-18

Marcia loved seeing:

  • Every single girl gave 100% to her team, on and off the court.
  • I was very impressed with Lottie Ballantine’s numerous assists as a result of great spacing choices and Cara Hayes and Nadia Slee’s defence was hard to beat.

U14 Champs Girls – Haylee Smyth (sponsored by Mount Lawley Orthodontics)

Lost to Willetton Tigers White 48-44

Haylee loved to see:

  • That our positioning in help defence is much-improved
  • Miki Deshon continues to lead with her effort and work ethic at both ends of the floor. She finished with 19 points and was a huge reason as to why we were able to stay in the game.

U14 Division 2 Girls – Shannon Ball (sponsored by Active Discovery)

Lost to Willetton 50-30

Shannon loved to see:

  • The way the girls worked to help out in defence like we practised at training.

U14 Division 4 Girls White – Zac Belton (sponsored by Red Ink Homes)


U14 Division 4 Girls Grey – Lucy Dowling

Lost to Lakeside 42-33

Lucy loved to see:

  • The girls didn’t stop fighting. And even though the game went for ages, they didn’t give up. They also executed a lot of things that as a team we’ve been practising, which was great to see.
  • I’m so proud of all the girls but our four bigs (Arabella Kahl, Imogen Reiger-Ross, Olivia Weddikkara and Mya Slee) did an amazing job in defence holding their ground against much larger opposition.

U16 Division 2 Girls – Bryn Arnold (sponsored by Smart Capital)

Lost to Willetton 58-46

Bryn loved seeing:

  • Improved intensity from the team which led to some outstanding defence.
  • Jenna Jackson’s decision-making on the offence was excellent. This saw her leading the team in scoring with 11 points.

U16 Division 3 Girls – Adrian Warner (sponsored by MSP Electrical)

Lost to Cockburn 55-43

Adrian loved to see:

  • The way we re-grouped and came back hard in the 4th quarter to hold Cockburn scoreless
  • First gamers Ellen Brieffies and Hannah Saliacus both performed very well (both got their names on the score sheet!) and are set for a big first year in WABL.
  • Abbey Macham attacked the paint with purpose and got results on the scoreboard.
  • Ava Lindegger showed great defensive instincts in the mid-court trap areas which resulted in a number of turnovers in the last quarter.
  • Matilda Thomson’s desire for the ball and overall effort sets the standard for the team.
  • Isabella Wolfenden really focused on her positive self-talk and, as a result, had a big impact in the last quarter with much improved decision making and execution.
  • As always, Tegan Wilkinson puts in 100% effort and her contest for the hard ball is impressive.
  • Ainsleigh Passi uses her voice better than most which is one of the key things we have talked about as a team. She also pulled off a power move to the bucket from the deep corner that we had worked on at training last week, which shows how dominant she can be.
  • Dinelka Fernando worked hard on defence to apply the team principles we have agreed on and showed better spacing and good attacking skills at times.

U16 Division 4 Girls – Geoff Alger

Lost to Lakeside 69-27

Geoff loved seeing:

  • With only eight players in their first full 40-minute game, the team continued to try all the way to the end. They played basketball our way regardless of the score, only losing the last quarter by two points and matching the opposition point for point in the last 5 minutes.
  • It’s difficult to pick individual players because so many contributed in their own way but Jasmine Ford showed effort and commitment in every aspect of the game from beginning to end. Well done.

U18 Division 2 Girls White – Brayden Cook

Won against Hills Raiders 100-27

Brayden loved seeing:

  • Great effort and intensity right from the start. We were able to execute our full court defence and get some steals and easy points. Everyone in the team contributed on the scoreboard while also being disruptive on the defensive end.
  • It was particularly impressive watching Mickayla Little score 29 points while also being defensively disruptive. She led the charge in our full court defence adding multiple steals and assisting her teammates for fast break points.

U18 Division 2 Girls Grey – Brad Dowd (sponsored by Protek)

Lost to Willetton 52-34

Brad loved to see:

  • That we stuck to our game plan no matter the score. Our defence made it very hard for them to score. Our offence gave us many good opportunities to score.
  • Charlotte Horniman, Shaqirah Akune and Meg Capewell scored well, with Kirsty Slinger securing the rebounds. Aaliya Shelhot and Emma Jones were all over the Tigers with their energy. A great team effort all round though.

U12 Champs Boys – Dylan Vilardi

Lost to Willetton 52-25

Dylan loved seeing:

  • We started the game with great energy and were up 13-2 in the first five minutes. Unfortunately, effort and energy levels faded over the remainder of the game in the face of a very strong opponent. Lots to work on at training this week!
  • With our captain Raj Berry out due to injury, James Galvin had to both start, and play big minutes for us in this game. James really stood up and led the way out on the court. His pressure was always at 100%, he took on the pressure and handled it really well. He helped the ball handlers carry the ball as well as sprinting the lanes to get down the court and create space.

U12 Division 2 Boys – Ash Brian (sponsored by Drafting Now)

Lost to Willetton White 46-42

Ash loved to see:

  • The kids came ready and played with passion. We learnt about a few adjustments that need to make moving forward, but in general the boys were great and nearly stole the game in the final minutes.
  • Aiden Little had a double double and was solid in the paint all game.
  • Matthew Lucano really lifted his intensity late in the game with two crucial steals in the final quarter. This turned the momentum in our favour and almost got us the win.

U12 Division 4 Boys White – Tyler Cusworth

Lost to Willetton 44-27

Tyler loved seeing:

  • The boys’ intent which could not be questioned. The effort was there against a very organised team. With me coming on as coach late in the pre-season, we’ve only had a small time together but we showcased a huge amount of potential in this game and showed if we can get the small things right moving forward we will be highly competitive every weekend.
  • Mitch Thompson really stood up for us. I asked him to be a leader for the boys on the floor and he was excellent at that.
  • Jake Chew had a big impact on the scoreboard
  • Ollie Gruber and Zach Snell on the rebounds were huge.
  • Our 3-men Luca Genovese and Liam Shelhot really showed a massive improvement between each quarter. Listened and learned which is awesome to see.
  • Nic Knight and Vincent Ryder are our little hustlers so it was great to see them continue to hunt for steals.

U12 Division 4 Boys Grey – Andrew Logan (sponsored by MD Building Maintenance)

Won against Willetton 65-39

Andrew loved to see:

  • The boys were engaged from the tip off. They applied excellent defensive pressure which led to easy scoring opportunities to open the game up early.
  • Travis Hunt read the opposition well and picked off 10 steals
  • Ethan Kingsbury had 6 rebounds against a tall opposition
  • Toby Summers rounded it out with 12 points off the bench shooting at a high percentage.

U14 Champs Boys – Aleks Lackovic (sponsored by Sto Australia)

Lost to Willetton 89-25

Aleks loved to see:

  • The resilience and maturity the boys showed
  • The efforts of our rebound and ball pressure leaders:
    • Ben Galvin’s attack on the boards with 8 Rebounds and 5 steals,
    • Cleon Ryder’s 7 Rebounds and 3 steals
    • Romeo Lyszkowicz’s 5 rebounds.
  • The efforts of our efficiency leaders:
    • Maksim Lackovic and Zac Anfuso with just 1 turnover each.

U14 Division 2 Boys – Mitchell Jesson

Lost to Cockburn 55-48

Mitch loved to see:

  • The respect shown to the referees and our opponents was top notch.
  • We have made a commitment to not lose a rebound count and we had a +18 indicator.
  • It was a close game throughout, and we didn’t give up when they took the lead for the first time in the final quarter. And with 1.6 seconds on the clock and the outcome decided, I loved how we still secured the rebound and looked to score.
  • Our two bigs Jay Hazell (in his first WABL game – congrats Jay) and Jaden Exeter both worked extremely hard against smaller, quicker opponents.
  • Hamish Gibson took a fantastic charge that really gave us some momentum. I’m very proud of every charge we take and loved to see Hamish leading by example.
  • Whenever Kade Mendes hits the court he is always ready to play and has a tremendous ability to make something happen. He hit a couple of much-needed midrange jump shots in this game to punish Cockburn for double-teaming our bigs.
  • In a game where we struggled offensively, Cooper Hewer was the best of our scorers with 11 points (including 3 three-pointers at 43%, one of those being a 3/4 time buzzer-beater from nearly half-court).

U14 Division 3 Boys – Ron Flores (sponsored by Euroz Hartleys)

Lost to Willetton 65-48

Ron loved to see:

  • Our defensive pressure. As a whole we kept the full court pressure to a standard that we are happy with, causing regular turnovers
  • Anthony Flores was the main leader in our defensive pressure with good ball pressure. He also positioned himself well to take a great charge call for the team at a crucial moment.

U14 Division 4 Boys – Alex Maude (sponsored by Masterwall)


U16 Division 2 Boys – Paul Cassir (sponsored by Infuse Life)

Won against Willetton 76-59

Paul loved to see:

  • The players are to be congratulated on their efforts across the preseason that led to a decisive first quarter that permitted us to build a strong lead. It was also pleasing to see them working for each other to plug defensive holes and rebound as a team. Despite losing some momentum in the third quarter,  we were able to maintain a focus and demonstrate a high level of resiliency.
  • Congratulations to Andrew Chilufya and Yawasyaf Yohans for making their WABL debut for our club and to Harry Wheatland who was playing in only his second WABL game. We hope that you continue to develop and represent the Redbacks for many years to come.

U16 Division 3 Boys White – Luke Simonette

Won against Cockburn 82-51

Luke loved to see:

  • I loved our 40-minute defensive effort, the way we controlled the tempo offensively and consistently capitalised on offensive transition opportunities. Also loving the energy and culture in the team.
  • Samuel Burnett was close to a triple-double (points, rebounds and steals) and demonstrated some great outlet passing
  • Taj Racey capitalised on many fast break opportunities
  • Bas Allegre and Ben Wesseldine made confident WABL debuts. Congrats to you both!

U16 Division 3 Boys Grey – Anthony Nixon (sponsored by Auto Control Systems)

Won against Rockingham 100-86

Anthony loved to see:

  • The pressure we put on the ball and trap and the work rate to do so especially at the end of the game was outstanding
  • It’s very tough for me to highlight individuals but here goes:
    • Jordan Yum’s 20pt first half and devastating attack from the wing.
    • Our guards Benji Berardis, Ethan Harders, Ethan Logan and Caleb Hoenig and the outstanding ball pressure that they kept up for nearly all of the game.

U16 Division 4 Boys – Anthony Nixon (sponsored by TECC and Insight)

Lost to Rockingham 86-71 (OT)

Anthony loved to see:

  • This was a very competitive and consistently close game that went to overtime. Every player scored and every player worked hard the whole game.
  • Naoki Thomas Walker worked hard all game and scored a clutch 2-point shot with seconds remaining to put us into overtime.
  • Sasha Zugic, Declan Kenny and Romain Suraweera battled well against bigger bodies playing a tight zone.
  • Riley Panizza, Josh Welsh and Noah Rees-Turner all worked hard and scored double figures.

U18 Champs Boys – Simon Daff (sponsored by Della Franca Farms)

Won against Lakeside 98-77

Simon loved to see:

  • The great ball movement in this game is indicative of the growing trust within the team. Everyone played with composure and our rebounding was better than it’s been to date.
  • Connor Wilson had a great all round game. He does all the little things I ask of him: crashes the boards hard at both ends, plays great team and one-on-one defence and moves very well without the ball.
  • Riley Lenzo was a great vocal leader out there.
  • Ethan Port-Louis once again scored the ball well and came up with some clutch shots to steady us at times.

U18 Division 3 Men White – Luke Notley (sponsored by McDonalds Karratha)

Won against Cockburn 68-65

Luke loved to see:

  • Our half-court defence is much-improved from pre-season and we dug in when required in the first and second half
  • Miguel Chaitika played great containment defence and attacked the basket well.
  • Jesse Wilcox played a key role as point guard controlling the tempo.
  • Finn Warner played great defence and attacked the basket as much as possible.

U18 Division 3 Men Grey – Brandon Riley (sponsored by Inspirations Paint)

Won against Willetton 102 to 60

Brandon loved to see:

  • Our defensive energy and willingness to play for each other unselfishly on offence.
  • Tom Thorpe and Melvin Nwankwo playing their first WABL games. It was a huge effort from both boys and Melvin top scored.

U18 Division 3 Men Silver – Sam Fox (sponsored by Strut Specialists)

Lost to Southwest Slammers 85-72

Sam loved to see:

  • We did an excellent job of playing our style of basketball and had a good game running our offence. When we could get out in transition, we advanced the ball well. And in the half-court, we had lots of movement and paint penetration. Foul trouble and a lack of rebounding let us down in the end, but it was a great first run we can build upon.
  • Our guards were strong in this contest. Aiden Cannington had an excellent offensive game, scoring 22 points, dishing a number of assists and taking care of the ball well. Akira Rowe-Fox had a great game on both ends, applying pressure without fouling and scoring 12 points. This duo went 11/12 from the free-throw line – a point of focus for us in the offseason.

U20 Men White – Lyndon Brieffies

Won against Willetton 70-61

Lyndon loved to see:

  • The boys started positively and created an early lead. (Thanks to Louis Timms who stepped in to get them started.) Everyone was rotated and contributed in their role. Willetton challenged us in the fourth quarter and we remained composed and controlled their run. The boys are developing an understanding of controlling the tempo of the four phases of the game.

U20 Men Grey – Lyndon Brieffies

Lost to Cockburn 97-68

Lyndon loved to see:

  • The response from the group especially in the second half in terms of effort and concentration. They could have easily dropped their bundle but finished the game positively against a well-prepared and talented opposition.
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