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It's the first round of the best of three women's state basketball league quarter finals series this weekend and the South West Slammers will make their first ever finals appearance after finishing the season in third place.
Their quarter finals series will see them match up against the sixth place Perth Redbacks and game one is a danger game for the Slammers, having registered five of their six losses away from home.
The Redbacks themselves have struggled without Rachel Lisch and Marita Payne, however they enjoy an 8-3 record at home and will be confident against the star studded Slammers line-up.
Lakeside Lightning (seventh place) will need some home court magic when they take on the three time defending champion Willetton Tigers (second place) on Friday night.
With three WNBL players in their line-up and the last three championships next to their name, the Willetton Tigers have dominated the women’s competition in recent times and are looking to continue that success.
Heading into game one in the best-of-three series the Lightning are on a three game losing streak, while the Tigers are in strong form and have won their last seven games to finish the season in second.
Lakesides will need to be at their best defensively to stop Willetton’s leading scorers Jasmine Hooper (20 points per game) and Melissa Marsh (17 points per game).
Last years runners-up East Perth Eagles host top of the ladder Wanneroo Wolves, the Wolves are on a six game winning streak while the Eagles have lost three of their last five games.
Sam Norwood picked up 30 points last weekend against Kalamunda Eastern Suns and the Eagles will need her to be in that strong form if they are to get over the line against the strong Wolves line-up.
The fifth place Eastern Suns play the fourth place Rockingham Flames at home, Kalamunda are on a four game winning streak however the Flames have won eleven of their past twelve games.
Rockingham will be relying on their dominant forward line-up of Emma Cannon (25 points and 16 rebounds per game) and Kaye Tucker (15 points and seven rebounds per game), however their perimeter defence will need to be at its best with Kalamunda being the highest three-point shooting team in the league.
The Kickz101 Women’s State Basketball League Grand Final is on Friday 31 August at the WA Basketball Centre, tickets go on sale through Ticketmaster at 9:00am Monday 6 August.
Article by Hannah Coleman
Photo by Helen Theoharakis (Hoop Shots)