Weekly WABL Wrap – Round 16

The 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 16 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 Cockburn Cougars 83-33

Coach comments:

  • In this game we decided to put an emphasis on our full-court pressure, which the girls did a great job of executing. This caused turnovers and lots of easy scoring opportunities for us.
  • The girls also showed improvement with passing to cutters during offense, which also led to easier scoring opportunities and was another focus for us this game.
  • It was great to see Ella Welsh being really aggressive and forcing defenders to make decisions. She also did a really good job of passing the ball up the court early and creating a numbers advantage situation for us
  • Sasha Nona did a great job of driving and maintaining control on her dribble in this game. Was good to see increased confidence in that area of her game.
  • With a sore wrist (which I didn’t know about until the 4th quarter) Jem Barr was a menace on the defensive end. Never giving up on the chase and causing lots of turnovers as a result.
  • Paige Ogden once again did a great job on the boards. She also showed great improvement in keeping the ball high and not adding in unnecessary steps with her put back attempts
  • Remy Sumich did a much better job of keeping her knees bent and moving her feet on defence. This allowed her to stay in front of her player and minimise blocking fouls.
  • Grace Butcher has been working hard at training on her help defence, and in this game, it happened! Great job Grace! Good to see your hard work paying off.
  • Scarlett Hill played the best basketball I have seen from her all season. Good decisions on the offensive end, throwing in some fakes as well. Also, she did a great job on the defensive end highlighted by a phenomenal sprint effort in transition to slow down the Cougars fast break.

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

Won against Lakeside Lightning White 41-18

Coach comments:

  • I was extremely impressed with the girls’ balance between composure and aggression on both the offensive and the defensive end. The girls were strong and held their own despite the physicality of the game. Before the game we spoke about giving “no easy catches” and the girls did exactly that by getting steal after steal, keeping the ball in our half for 2 whole playing minutes, until the other team called a time out.
  • Harper Grace used her speed and aggression, both on the offensive end and the defensive. She was attacking the basket which led to many scores for not only her but also her teammates. She also stripped ball carriers, giving Lakeside nothing easy.
  • Leisha Charlie singlehandedly got the other team to an 8-second violation which caused a turnover. She got steal after steal by working to put her hand in the passing lane or stripping ball carriers.

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

Won against Mandurah Magic 49-38

Coach comments:

  • Having had a hard game against this same Mandurah team last week, we knew that speed in transition, strongly executed passes and care of our shots was of great importance.
  • Throughout the game every girl came off red-faced and puffing, having given everything.
  • Our team vibe was enhanced by Michelle Fletcher who rallied the girls on relentlessly and who learnt ‘bubblegum’ and ‘sunshine’ so quickly!!
  • Cara Hayes continues to be so valuable every game and today she really worked on her placement and stance, particularly in offense. The result was a great number of turnovers for a frustrated Mandurah and excellent shots taken on our girls’ part.
  • Both Allegra Care and Charlotte Davey showed great teamwork – always in space, with great assists and fierce defence, and Charlotte’s shot choices were excellent.
  • Mia Exeter defended her player with such zeal and determination that her opponent could hardly get to the ball.

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

Lost to Willetton Blue 81-35

Coach comments:

  • We started the game with good intent on transition defence and getting into our offence, unfortunately, we faded through the game.
  • Keira Tran showed some confidence offensively today and hit some nice shots.
  • Maddy Makavilitoga boxed out well and made improvements in her screening.

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

Lost to Southwest Slammers 70-36

Coach comments:

  • There were some really great passages of play in this game. Our fast-paced transition to offence worked really well and resulted in scoring. We were really unlucky with our shots not dropping, they seemed to go in and jump out. Whilst we are still having high numbers of turnovers, I am definitely seeing some new and improved skills in the girls.

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

Lost to Joondalup Wolves White 41-38

Coach comments:

  • The girls put their heads down and fought all the way to the last siren in this game.
  • Mila Reyes had some fantastic offensive and defensive displays.
  • Kaia Rukuata had about four blocks in a row and really got the team hyped!

U14 Division 4 Girls Grey – Lucy Dowling

Lost to Joondalup Wolves 76-13

Coach comments:

  • Our energy levels weren’t great early in the game and unfortunately, we found our energy too late. But we still had the opportunity to show what we can do when we box out, work together and work hard.
  • Charlotte Dillon executed good on ball defence
  • Arabella Kahl showed good offensive decision making

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

Lost to Kalamunda 52-50

Coach comments:

  • A great team effort against the top team in the league. We started out with great intensity and took an early lead. Unfortunately, throughout the game, we gave up too many offensive rebounds which let the Suns back into the game.
  • We played some great defence down the stretch but couldn’t quite get over the line.
  • Issy Woods showed what she is made of and played with great intensity as well as finishing off some of her trademark drives which helped to keep the team in touch.

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

Lost to Kalamunda 58-47

Coach comments:

  • We only had 7 fit players this week and we were facing the league’s top scorer and a good outside shooting team.
  • Everyone stepped up and played with great defensive intensity for long stretches and it was a very tight and hard-fought game.
  • Our first half was really good – we withstood a very aggressive full-court press and matched them with our own mid-court pressure. Unfortunately, we took a bit of time to get started again after halftime and the Suns raced to a 13 point lead. It showed how much this team has come since grading that we were able to work hard to get back to within one point midway through Q4 and we were still in a good position with 2 minutes to go. We tightened up a bit and forced a few plays in the final minutes but overall, the Redbacks can be very proud of this team.
  • Matilda Thomson and Ava Lindegger were outstanding in our D-Trans with great on-ball pressure and in stepping forward to help positions to force stops in the mid-court. Ava continued from last week and played with greater composure with the ball and made some good reads and a couple of great passes in transition that led to scores. Matilda’s ability to get her hands on the loose ball is without peer and she attacked the paint consistently all game.
  • Dinelka Fernando grew in confidence as the game progressed and attacked the rim hard on the break.
  • Ainsleigh Passi had a strong game at both ends – worked harder on D, nice offensive spacing at times and some strong post moves.
  • Isabella Wolfenden was deadly (again) from the FT line to be our top scorer. We spoke before the game about the need for her to also work hard on D and I was very pleased with her effort in this regard.
  • Hannah Saliacus was much more active in our shell D and ran hard in transition to fill the corner and stretch the Suns’ defence.
  • Abbey Macham played with great energy and made good reads to control the tempo at the point position when needed but also attacked the open lane 1:1 and made several nice passes to the open player.

U16 Division 4 Girls – Geoff Alger

Lost to Mandurah 61-52

Coach comments:

  • Our girls had a bit of a slow start but showed good resolve to challenge the opposition through the second half with improved commitment, focus and discipline.
  • There were some really excellent periods in the third and fourth quarters where they showed the basketball they are capable of – causing multiple turnovers from on-ball pressure and then creating good inside scoring opportunities.
  • Aaliyah Nunes was playing a fantastic game until having to go off after hurting herself fighting for one of many contested balls. Her passing decisions and spacing provided options for teammates while her usual ability to finish was on full display.
  • It was also excellent to have Takoda Johnson back on the court with her on-ball composure and vision.

U18 Division 2 Girls White – Brayden Cook

Lost to East Perth 77-75 (OT)

Coach comments:

  • After a slow first half, we changed our defence and this really kicked started our fightback. We were able to get multiple stops in a row and come back to lead at three quarter time. This defensive pressure continued into the last quarter and then into overtime.
  • Mickayla Little was outstanding in the second half finishing with 27 points including five three-pointers to lead the team back into the game.
  • Jasmin Wynne was strong inside of the boards and gave us the opportunity for second-chance points.
  • Kerry Hayden and Chloe Hind were solid, leading our guard matchups.

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

Lost to Joondalup 48-45

Coach comments:

  • We were down by 18 points in the first half and the girls worked really hard to get back and only lose by 3. The game was ours for the taking in the final minutes, however, we just couldn’t get it done. But a super effort from all, for never giving up. I was particularly proud of the girls when, during an injury time out where I was attending to our injured player, they all got together in a huddle and subbed on the best option with little input from me.
  • Emma Jones continued her fine form, sparking the team’s comeback. Emma top scored with 11 points, along with 2 assists, 4 rebounds and 6 steals.
  • Aaliya Shelhot worked very hard and had one of her best games of the season.

U12 Champs Boys – Aleks Lackovic

Won against Slammers 52-46

From a team effort point of view, what pleased you most about this game?

  • With just 7 boys available for the Bunbury road trip and losing big-man Parker Dunstan early in the 3rd quarter, our undersized Redbacks squad remained calm and focused. The team’s ball pressure, containment and help was a TEAM BEST performance.
  • The boys followed the plan and played a fast-paced, transition, attack the ring strategy. They absorbed the intense fourth-quarter press pressure, worked tirelessly, rotated and supported each like a very mature and experienced team.
  • James Galvin, Raj Berry and Tomas Lackovic led the defensive charge, initiating the trap, causing the opposition into turnovers whilst efficiently controlling game tempo, making great decisions, effortlessly breaking the slammers press.
  • James had a career-best day in every category, was super-efficient, his speed in defensive recovery was relentless whilst accepting the responsibility to ensure we attacked fast and advanced the ball to the advantage.
  • Tomas Lackovic made great decision after great decision to ensure the team first strategy was executed. His inbounding vision and execution was a pure facilitator role, finding the hot player and absorbing pressure.
  • Raj Berry worked selflessly at both ends of the court, accepting the changing defensive assignments, protecting the paint and creating massive pressure without fouling.
  • Parker Dunstan had a great first half before leaving the game injured, playing like a true big, creating paint pressure, causing deflections and hunting rebounds.
  • Xavier Allison, Seb Doyle and Tace Rankin outworked the bigger opposition, rotated in help and ensured the team won the rebound count. They always looked for the open teammate and got the ball moving to find holes in the defence.
  • The boys gelled with a team-first attitude, valuing making good decisions and hence setting a season record of just 7 game turnovers. The cheerleading and support from the travelling families were hugely important in ensuring the boys could dig deep and keep the energy and effort up till the final seconds.

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

Lost to Cockburn Blue 70-54

From a team effort point of view, what pleased you most about this game?

  • Couldn’t have been prouder of the boys today. Cockburn Blue is the undefeated top team, so we went into the game with some clear goals and strategies.
  • We wanted to run our offense at pace because we know that our team doesn’t score when we’re slow. 49 is the highest any team has scored against Cockburn all season and we put up 54 points. We moved the ball well and had one of our lowest turnover games for the season … and 20 steals!!! (All against the top team.)
  • Jett Murphy had undoubtedly his best game of the season with 4 rebounds, 4 steals and a 3 pointer.
  • As a team, we’ve played some great basketball over the past couple of weeks with two individuals putting up some solid one-percenter stats. Aiden Little had a monster fortnight with an average of 19 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals across the last two games, while Zeke Brian has continued his ruthless defence across a four-game stretch with an average of 5.5 steals.

U12 Division 4 Boys White – Tyler Cusworth

Won against Joondalup Wolves 46-37

Coach comments:

  • Our intent was to control the game at a fast pace and really keep the game moving at a high speed for four quarters. Each quarter, the boys improved and were able to implement the advice given at each break.
  • Zach Snell was a highlight reel in this game: shot beautifully, behind the back passes to save it from going out of bounds. He was in some form!
  • Vincent Ryder also had himself a game… I love to see him play aggressively and it was definitely one of his best performances all season.

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

Won against Mandurah Magic 74-36

Coach comments:

  • The boys came out firing and built a game-winning lead in the first quarter. From there we were working towards some team goals which we ticked off as well. Good warm-up into a tough game coming this week.
  • Travis Hunt got to wherever he wanted with his angles and footwork. Finished well today with 18 points.
  • Tate Mucjanko it the scoreboard hard which was a nice reward for his consistent performance across all other areas of the game
  • Rhys Tan showed maturity to think through situations and make winning plays for his teammates

U14 Champs Boys – Nik Lackovic (sponsored by Sto WA)

Won against Willetton White 74-26

Coach comments:

  • This was our best defensive game for the season as a team. We also set the unrealistic target of scoring 50% of our points in transition and we achieved 40% which was amazing. This was created to emphasise the value of committing to high-level pressure with great containment, being very active up the floor in passing lanes, denying ball reversal, keeping it to the narrow side of the floor and rotating early in weak side help and not leaving our feet on penetration. Then most importantly creating contact on the release of every shot and pursuing the rebound. I was incredibly impressed with the entire team’s commitment in these areas.
  • This was a game in which we emphasised being the first to strike – being the bigger aggressor from the opening tip on both ends. Every player stepped on the floor and impacted the game positively. We collectively had a real sense of pride of wanting to outwork our opponent for the entire game. Mission accomplished.

U14 Division 2 Boys – Mitchell Jesson

Lost to Kalamunda 71-50

Coach comments:

  • For the first time this season, we were challenged for fit bodies. We had only 8 available and two of those were coming off illness. Despite early foul trouble compromising our already limited rotations, we still managed to hold a slim lead in the first half and turned for the last quarter down only 6. However, we didn’t compete in the last few minutes and the lead quickly extended out to a 21-point loss.
  • Very proud of our effort over 3.5 quarters but a little disappointed that we dropped our work rate in the last few minutes to let the game get away. In the end though, it was the better team that won the day and this was a great learning opportunity for players and coaches alike that it takes a 32-minute effort to compete at this level.
  • I normally name up to three players and recognise their efforts. And there were many good efforts in this game by all our players. For this one report, however, I would like to break with tradition and focus on a single player – Jay Hazell.
  • Jay top scored and was our leading rebounder but what I want to highlight is his quiet ‘lead by example four-quarter effort’.
  • Jay works hard both ways, takes the brunt of the other team’s efforts to keep him off the block and tries to do everything he is instructed to do. Jay, you’re an inspiration to the coach and team alike. You epitomise ‘Redbacks Basketball’: hard work and team first.

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

Won against Kalamunda 52-48

Coach comments:

  • The boys were in control for most of the game.
  • We got challenged very late in the game and the players responded really well.
  • They showed great composure and didn’t panic in a tight finish to the game.
  • Kane Matondo had his best game of the season on both ends of the floor.

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

Won against Hills Raiders 60-54

From a team effort point of view, what pleased you most about this game?

  • Our transition in both offence and defence was great, as was our shot selection and hustle on the ball. It was great to see the boys take on the game and also limit turnovers.
  • Lenoxx Lyszkowicz shot the lights out and shut down any drives to the basket. He hit a crucial three in the final minute to put us in the lead
  • Lachie Wheals attacked right from the start and was very hard to stop. Not only attacking to the ring but rebounding and making some great passes to teammates
  • Seb Bourne played extremely well and executed coach instructions really well: he was in every rebound contest he could get in (and winning), made some great transition passes and presented in help defence to stop a crucial layup from being made.
  • Tyler Murphy did his job of shutting down one of their main scorers/shooters and restricted his opposition to only ONE made shot, as well as making some amazing drives to draw defenders and pass out.

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

Lost to Mandurah 88-50

Coach comments:

  • The team is commended on attempting to play with intensity – however, the physicality of the game and costly offensive and defensive errors at different stages allowed the scoreboard to blow out against us.
  • This is something that we can learn from and, I believe, need to experience to be able to build to greater successes over the longer term.
  • Staying ‘together’ as a team despite the disappointment of the game was much improved from similar challenges earlier in the season. This is a factor that the players should be proud of and continue to develop over the coming weeks as we enter the pressure of finals.

U16 Division 3 Boys White – Luke Simonette

Won against Mandurah 76-54

Coach comments:

  • I was really pleased with our good shot selection all round – this was created through an emphasis on making the extra pass. Everyone took care of the ball well and played great half-court defence against high scoring opposition
  • Harry Clarke took care of the ball great and ran the offence well
  • Drew Corry displayed great decision making
  • Bas Allegre and Sam Burnett were strong with a pair of double-doubles

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

Lost to Senators 91-55

Coach comments:

  • The highlight of the game was the plate of homemade cannolis/custard horns presented to the coach pre-game to dull the upcoming pain of playing the top team undermanned.
  • With injuries playing a big part in our recent weeks we went into the game against ladder leaders very short on bigs.
  • Senators went out to an early lead and we just couldn’t get back.
  • We kept positive but with players expected back this week, we look forward to getting back to the style of play we know in preparation for finals.

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

Lost to Willetton 66-65

From a team effort point of view, what pleased you most about this game?

  • With the 16-3s and 4s playing at the same time, the expert coaching team of Lyndon Brieffies and Mitch Nixon took the reins for this game.
  • With injuries still playing a big part, we had only 7 players.
  • Initially down 0-9 the boys kept positive and took this game right to the line.
  • The team gave it their all in one of their best games of the season and it went right to the wire in an agonising 1 point loss.
  • Very proud of the effort shown by every player.
  • Romain Suraweera was a monster on the glass.
  • Sasha Zugic and Noah Rees-Turner had their best games of the season with 14 points each.
  • There were great contributions from every player who worked hard and should feel very proud.
  • Thanks so much to Lyndon and Mitch for covering the game.

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

Lost to Kalamunda 84-75

Coach comments:

  • Once again we played very well in patches at both the offensive and defensive end – just never really at the same time. Our ball movement and penetration and pitch has been getting better each week, we just need to do these things for longer periods in the game.
  • Ethan Port Louis had a great first half. He shot well, was talking on D and providing a lot of energy early on.
  • Connor Wilson came off the bench and provided a spark. Connor just does a lot of the right things for long periods of time.

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

Lost to Redbacks Silver 67-66

Coach comments:

  • We applied some really good ball pressure in the backcourt all game long. Where we fell short was allowing the opposition to attack the keyway in their half-court sets. We didn’t contain the ball well enough which led to too many points for them close to the basket.
  • Anthony Pelle and Miguel Chaitika had great shooting games and applied some good defensive ball pressure.
  • Finn Warner was again great under the basket and knocking down shots.

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

Lost to Perry Lakes 63-60

From a team effort point of view, what pleased you most about this game?

  • We came out very flat and gave them a big lead. For the remainder of the game we played much better and the boys that came off the bench this week came in and gave us great energy.
  • Our bigs Tom Thorpe and Ethan Saliacus really came out and played hard against a very big team. This was key to our ability to come back and very nearly steal the win.

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

Won against Redbacks White 67-66

From a team effort point of view, what pleased you most about this game?

  • This was a tough, scrappy game with intense defence from both teams. Being down one of two point guards due to injury, we struggled to get into our offence and our spacing the whole game. We got this win through resilience and grit. And holding the second-ranked team in the comp to 66 points shows how far we’ve come on defence. One of our goals was to have the best pressure-D in the comp and I think we’re up there.
  • Aiden Cannington carried a huge load running the ball, spearheading our offence and playing his role on D. It was a big effort.
  • Jake Vilardi was very composed and made great decisions throughout the game. He came up with some big plays.
  • Mackenzie Tanner, Harry Maude and Tsepo Mhlope played big and helped us find a way to win in the fourth.
  • Declan Pyne gave some great minutes on the court and backed the team from the bench. His unselfishness and willingness to put the team first was fantastic.

U20 Men White – Michael Clarke

Won against Lakeside 90-67

Coach comments:

  • This was another important win to make it three in a row and move us just outside of playoff contention.

U20 Men Grey – Rob Gordon

Lost to Cockburn 88-79

Coach comments:

  • There were a lot of things that made a big difference to the team performance in this game:
  • Having CJ Jackson sit in with the team was a big plus – the energy was up right from the outset
  • Having Mitch Nixon join the squad was unbelievable – his contribution to the team and his defensive effectiveness was on show
  • We also had Robert Watson from the 18-3s join the group for the first time and his impact was rewarding – he attacks the basket hard and has a bright future ahead of him.
  • As for our main scorers, Cooper Mason as our shooting guard had a blow-out game scoring 23pts, Kaden Morcombe had another big day out,scoring 19pts as our small forward and Ashwin Creswell as our point guard chimed in with 16pts. All three including Mitch had a big day out with assists, rebounds, and the big ticket: points made from steals.
  • The tempo was up for most of the day, and it showed. We kept the top team to less than 100 pts and made our highest score for the season.
  • The fourth quarter was our best scoring 27-21. I’m a very happy coach and I am sure the spectators enjoyed it also.
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