Makailah Dyer had a huge weekend for the Perth Redbacks in a win on the road to the Joondalup Wolves and then despite a defeat at the hands of the Willetton Tigers at home.
It was always going to be a fascinating Round 13 in the NBL1 West Women’s Division for the Redbacks after having the week off thanks to COVID-19 the previous weekend.
The Redbacks started on Friday impressively beating the Wolves at HBF Arena 75-64 before losing at Belmont Oasis on Saturday to the Willetton Tigers 82-75.
That leaves the Redbacks sitting on a 7-6 record after 13 rounds heading into a clash at home to the Lakeside Lightning this Saturday night.
It was a big challenge for the Redbacks on the road to the Joondalup Wolves on Friday night, and they were up to the task with Makailah Dyer firing up against her former coach.
There’s a natural rivalry there between the Lady Wolfpack and Redbacks with Charles Nix having left Perth to coach Joondalup and then with a host of players joining him headlined by Kayla Steindl, Nes’eya Williams and Alix Hayward.
You can’t argue with the results with Nix leading the Wolves to a West Coast Classic championship triumph last year and then an 8-1 record to be leading the NBL1 West Women’s Division coming into Friday night’s game at HBF Arena against the Redbacks.
But it was a motivated Redbacks outfit to open Round 13 looking to build on their past two wins against the South West Slammers and Perry Lakes Hawks.
It was a tight opening to the game with the Lady Wolfpack leading 14-13 by quarter-time and only narrowly extending that advantage to 31-29 by the half-time break.
But the Redbacks came out an inspired outfit for the second half and took charge of the contest with 24 points to 18 in the third quarter, and 22 to 15 in the fourth to come away with the impressive 75-64 victory.
Getting to the foul line 30 times and shooting 40 per cent from the field while holding the Wolves to 19 free throws and 27 per cent shooting was a big factor in the eventual win for the Redbacks.
Makailah Dyer had another standout night for the Redbacks finishing with 27 points, four steals, three assists and two rebounds, but she had plenty of help too.
Captain Jess Jakens put up 15 points and 10 rebounds with Maddie Allen contributing 10 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, Shenae Hartree nine points and two steals, Raya Thompson five points and seven rebounds, and Denielle Ashworth five points and 12 boards.
It was always going to be another significant challenge against the Tigers on Saturday even on their home floor at Belmont Oasis.
That meant that both teams were actually on three-game winning streaks coming into the contest and you add in the long-time friendship and coaching bond between head coaches Simon Parker and Craig Allen, and it was always going to be a fascinating battle.
However, coming off Friday’s home win over Rockingham, the Tigers kept that momentum rolling to come out roaring putting up 31 points in the first quarter while the Redbacks scored just 20 and were left to play catch up the rest of the night.
The Redbacks were able to stick with the Tigers the rest of the way but never really close the gap or threaten the comeback victory.
Willetton still led by 12 points at half-time, nine points at three-quarter-time and despite the margin getting as low as 4 late in the pieced, squeezed out the win 82-75.
Dyer had a huge night for the Redbacks doing everything she could to try and will them back into the contest finishing with 37 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists on the back of shooting 11/19 from the floor, 4/7 from deep and 11/11 from the free-throw line.
Captain Jess Jakens added 14 points and five rebounds for Perth with Raya Thompson finishing with seven points, Bri Bailey seven points, Denielle Ashworth four points and nine rebounds, and Maddie Allen two points, 12 boards, six blocks and four assists.
Dyer was awarded NBL1 West’s Women’s Player of the Week for her efforts in the weekend’s double header.
Photo courtesy of June Halliday