SBL 2017: Slammers down the Redbacks in quarter-final one

Victory: Tre Nichols scored 24 points for the South West Slammers during Saturday night's quarter final against Perth. Photo: Mick Cronin/SBL.

Victory: Tre Nichols scored 24 points for the South West Slammers during Saturday night's quarter final against Perth. Photo: Mick Cronin/SBL.

The South West Slammers took a giant step towards the 2017 State Basketball League semi-finals on Saturday night with a gritty comeback victory against the Perth Redback in quarter-final one. 

Heading to Belmont Oasis on Saturday night, the Redbacks were out in front early, opening up a seven point lead midway through the first period.

By the first buzzer, the Slammers had bridged the margin to five points 24-19. 

The Slammers improved their shooting percentage in the second and hit the front late in the period to lead at the main break 46-43. 

Perth then turned up the heat in the third quarter, scoring the first 11 points of the period. They heading into the final term with a 10 point advantage. 

But as the Slammers have shown this season, they certainly know how to dig deep and did so again here.

A dynamic fourth quarter saw the visitors shoot 38 points to 25 to claim a three point win 97-94. 

Tre Nichols racked up 24 points, seven rebounds and three steals for the South West side while Michael Lay also impressed with 24 points, three assists and two steals. 

Brian Voelkel had the tough job of guarding former Perth Wildcat Shawn Redhage and finished the clash with a triple-double (17 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists). 

Clive Weeden contributed 12 points and four rebounds for the Slammers while Travis Durnin managed eight points. 

For the home side, Lee Roberts notched 31 points and 14 rebounds, while Ben Smith celebrated his 250th State Basketball League game with 20 points and five rebounds. 

Michael Vigor added 17 points while Redhage finished the match with 14 points and nine rebounds. 

Game two will be played at Eaton Recreation Centre on Saturday night.

If the Slammers win, the Redbacks are out. If Perth win, the sides will face off in a third-and-final clash in Perth on Sunday. 

The clash will have added importance for the South West Slammers with Brian Voelkel and Teny Puot both celebrating 50 State Basketball League games. 

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