The Rockingham Flames have fallen to fifth position on the men’s and women’s State Basketball League ladders after a mixed weekend double-header against Lakeside and Cockburn.
Both sides were struck by the Lightning at Lakeside Recreation Centre last Friday night, before clawing back against the Cougars at the Hot House on Saturday.
Men’s coach Ryan Petrik lamented his team’s slow start and lack of intensity in the 94-96 defeat by the Lightning and said given the quality of teams in the SBL, no side could afford to put in anything less than a full effort for 40 minutes.
“They wanted to beat us badly and we didn’t bring the effort required to win the game,” he said.
“We went through the motions a bit and were down 10 before the players realised they had to start playing. The league’s too good (to play like that); there’s too many teams that can beat you if you don’t bring your A-game.
“We’ve clearly got some talent but it’s not enough. If we play with energy and talent, we’re hard to beat, but if the energy is missing, it doesn’t matter how much talent we’ve got — we’re going to be in trouble.”
US import Caleb White hit eight of 11 three point attempts on his way to a season-high 25 points, including a late long-range bomb to put the Flames ahead, but it just wasn’t enough to get the Flames over the line as a resilient Lightning fired straight back and held the lead.
Greg Hire added 17 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, Chudier Pal scored 13 and registered 8 boards, while Josh Ritchart and Luke Travers chimed in with 12 points each.
The women were overwhelmed on defence in their 85-109 loss to reigning champions Lightning, but coach Craig Reynolds took some heart in putting up a score that would best most teams in the league, who are not stacked with the talent at Lakeside’s disposal.
“They gave us a bit of a lesson but we were pretty good offensively — scoring 85 points, you’re looking to win most games,” he said.
“But defensively we didn’t do a good enough job covering their shooters, and allowing pick and roll penetration.”
Maddie Allen, who re-signed with WNBL side Perth Lynx late last week, had 21 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks, while the industrious Janelle Adams and Chris Boag each scored 16, and Chelsea Petrik scored 14.
Reynolds was happier with the way his side responded on Saturday, grinding out the first quarter against Cockburn before finding momentum in the second and third on the way to an 86-67 win.
Bigs Allen and Boag combined for 34 points and 32 rebounds against the Cougars, with Boag drawing praise from the coach for the way she has battled through a recent bout of illness.
“Maddie and Chris really dominated I thought, over both games,” he said.
“Thirty-four points and 32 rebounds between them on Saturday is great for us. Chris was a little underdone in the Lakeside game but backed up well on Saturday and put in her best game of the season so far.”
Boag finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds, while Allen pulled down 17 rebounds and added 13 to the scoreboard, and Chelsea Petrik and Tayah Burrows each scored 13.
After giving his players a “kick up the butt”, Petrik praised the way they bounced back against Cockburn, especially their application in racing out to an early 14-0 lead on the way to a 94-70 win.
“The beauty of game film review is that we can show the players the possessions where they were terrible… when you show them in film, there’s nowhere to hide, it stands out in black and white and they can’t make excuses,” he said.
“To the players’ credit, they corrected the issues from Friday night and played much better against Cockburn. They weren’t going to have a repeat of Friday, the energy was up and they played how we wanted, thus the 14-0 start.”
Ritchart led all scorers with 24, the impressive Justin Beard scored 17 in arguably his most complete game of the season, while White and Hire each added 14 points.
The Flames face another double-header this weekend, starting with a home clash against Warwick Senators on Friday night and a trip to Willetton on Saturday.