The Suns are look­ing to win tonight to en­ter the semi-fi­nals

Hills Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Kala­munda Eastern Suns women are just one game away from ad­vanc­ing to the semi-fi­nals in the State Bas­ket­ball League for 2018.

The SBL play­offs be­gan last week­end and while the Eastern Suns men nar­rowly missed qual­i­fy­ing, the women en­tered from fifth po­si­tion on the ta­ble, set­ting up a quar­ter-fi­nal bat­tle with the Wil­let­ton Tigers.

Game 1 took place on Satur­day night at Wil­let­ton Bas­ket­ball Sta­dium, with the Suns pro­duc­ing a tremen­dous per­for­mance to de­liver the 72-65 vic­tory on the road.

The Eastern Suns started well de­spite it be­ing a scrappy first half as they en­tered the half-time break with a 29-26 ad­van­tage against a Tigers team that won the 2016 cham­pi­onships and reached the semi fi­nals in 2017.

Kala­munda opened a nar­row lead, outscor­ing Wil­let­ton 20-18 in the third quar­ter, and then with an­other 23 points to 21 in the fourth they were able to se­cure the seven-point vic­tory away from home.

There were a host of stand­out per­for­mances for the Suns but none bet­ter than Perth Lynx WNBL star Alex Ci­a­bat­toni. She fin­ished the night with 31 points, nine re­bounds, three as­sists and three steals on shoot­ing 12/19 from the field and 7/8 from the foul line. Jen­nie Rin­tala added 18 points and four re­bounds, Re­becca Motroni 11 points, four steals and three boards, and Jor­jah Smith seven points and three as­sists.

Game 2 will now be tonight at Ray Owen Sports Cen­tre from 7pm, with Kala­munda hav­ing the chance to ad­vance to the semi-fi­nals with the win.

A Wil­let­ton vic­tory and the de­cid­ing Game 3 will be held back at Wil­let­ton Bas­ket­ball Sta­dium on Satur­day night.

Alex Ci­a­bat­toni.

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