It was a weekend of mixed results for the South West Slammers’ men’s and women’s teams.
The Mother’s Day round saw both teams face the Perth Redbacks on their home court.
Following wins over Cockburn Cougars and Goldfields Giants, the Slammers’ men’s side was determined to continue its winning streak.
Benjamin Smith (24 points) got the Redbacks off to a strong start, while the Slammers weren’t too far behind.
Eager to win, both teams caused their share of fouls and turnovers throughout the first term.
Free throws from Redback Jackson Hussey pushed the margin out to seven, before Slammer Michael Lay (33) brought it back to four.
Despite solid performances from Slammers captain Clint Harvey-Weeden (20) and Brian Voelkel (11), Perth capitalised on multiple free-throw opportunities late in the term.
Up by seven at quarter time, the Redbacks increased their intensity in the second term.
Shawn Redhage (18) and Isaac Gattorna (15) went on the attack and extended the Redbacks’ lead to 19 with four minutes left in the quarter.
As the visitors gave away numerous fouls, Perth captain Joel Wagner’s free throws further widened the gap.
Both sides traded blows and converted opportunities throughout the third term.
The Slammers faced an uphill battle in the fourth term after falling to a 31-point deficit by three-quarter time.
The enthusiastic Slammers failed to prevent Perth’s convincing 120 to 95 victory.
The Slammers’ women’s team fared slightly better in its clash with Perth.
The Redbacks started well thanks to Kayla Standish (18) and Makailah Dyer (12).
Benefiting from star players and strength around the court, the visitors remained in contention.
Charlotte van Kleef (21) brought the margin back to one point in the second, while Georgia Denehey (10) manoeuvred through Perth’s defence.
A late surge from the Redbacks helped them push the margin out to eight at half time.
Slammers Tori Fisher (10) and Cian Parsons (8) took control and closed the gap in the third, keeping their team’s hopes alive.
In front by three at the final change, the Redbacks fought to maintain their lead in the fourth quarter.
Efforts from Alix Hayward (11) and Bianca Donovan (9) assisted Perth in nabbing a 74 to 65 win.
The next day, the Slammers wanted to prove themselves against Perry Lakes Hawks in Eaton.
Perry Lakes powerhouses Jacob Holmen (earning a double-double with 28 points and 23 rebounds) and Ben Purser (14) troubled the home side early on.
Voelkel (20 points, 21 rebounds), Harvey-Weeden (19 points, 14 rebounds), and import Brandon Thompson (20) then led the Slammers to a convincing margin at quarter time.
The Slammers went on to hold a wide margin and maintain composure in the second.
With assistance from Ryan Smith (22) and Daniel Thomas (10), the visitors picked up steam before three-quarter time.
Tensions on and off the court flared after Hawk Travis Hayto caused an unsportsmanlike foul in the final term.
Fouls from the Slammers, along with the Hawks’ strong defence, helped the visitors close the gap to four points with 35 seconds remaining.
Free throws from Voelkel and Matthew Leary (5) pushed the Slammers over the line for a 95 to 88 win.
The Slammers’ women were determined to make it two from two at home.
Hawks’ star Natalie Burton (17 points, 15 rebounds) got the visitors off to a rollicking start, before Slammers Denehey (14) and van Kleef (22) put their side in front.
The Slammers made strong decisions and powered through the Hawks’ defenders.
Tayah Burrows (12) then strived to keep the Slammers in front by the first change.
Amped up and hungry for victory, the Slammers maintained a comfortable margin throughout the second term.
Captain Courtney Bayliss (13) increased the home side’s lead by half time.
Burton and Antonina Farnsworth (14) banded together to help the reigning premiers catch up in the second half.
Their side trailed throughout the third term, before gaining traction in the fourth.
The home side held on for a 68 to 53 win and their fourth for the season.
The Slammers will clash with the Stirling Senators in Round 10 this weekend.