The South West Slammers will have to win in Perth on Sunday if they are to advance to the 2017 State Basketball League semi-finals with the Perth Redbacks levelling the quarter-final series at one-all on Saturday night.
After the Slammers impressive 97-94 game one win in Perth last weekend, the South West side returned to the Eaton Recreation Centre court with a loud-and-proud home crowd to cheer them on.
The Slammers began the match they way they finished the last, fast-paced and eager to score.
Tre Nichols shot with great accuracy early while Brian Voelkel was instrumental in securing important turnovers.
Clive Weeden worked hard to minimise the impact of former Perth Wildcat Shawn Redhage who still has plenty of skills to offer at 36 years of age.
By the first buzzer, the Slammers had opened up a four point advantage, 22-18.
The intensity of the clash increased in the second term, with both sides becoming fiery.
Lee Roberts made space around the court for the Redbacks and converted his opportunities well while Michael Lay and Teny Puot hit great three-point jump shots for the home side.
Perth took the lead midway through the term but it was short lived with Travis Durnin getting into the three-point action.
The home side were on their feet and screaming as the half time buzzer rang out with Nichols hitting a long range throw for three as the final second ticked away.
At the half, the Slammers led 53-49.
But sadly for the Slammers, the tables began to turn in the third. Marshall Nelson hit eight straight points for the Redbacks while Joel Wagner also started to find the basket.
Nichols did the bulk of the scoring for the home side in the third but at the final break, the visitors were in front 73-76.
Redhage and Michael Vigor continued to put pressure on the Slammers defence early in the final period, forcing the home side to take risks when attacking to bridge the gap.
Puot and Nichols both hit three-point jump shots in the final minute of the clash but Perth took the win 107-99.
Nichols finished the game with 30 points while Lay scored 20 points and Voelkel had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Redhage finished the game with 28 points for the Redbacks while Nelson scored 22.
The winner of the clash between the two sides in Perth on Sunday will progress to the semi-finals while the loser’s season will be over.