Diamond Valley’s interior dominance paved the way for their commanding 87-70 Round 13 SEABL victory of the Carrum Downs Laser Electrical Blues women.
With the ‘twin towers’ of WNBL duo Lauren Scherf and Ezi Magbegor combining for 37 points and 18 rebounds, the Eagles tormented the Blues front court who were missing star forward Shereesa Richards who sustained a knee injury in their loss to the Lady Bandits last week.
Having risen up through Frankston’s junior ranks, Blues Captain Sammie Simmons played her 200th SEABL game. The Blues played their hearts out for Simmons, but despite her achievement and the occasion, they were not match for the Eagles.
Stacey Barr led all scorers with 22 points and Tocarra Ross added 17, but the the Eagles’ superior size and depth shone through right from the start, going on to win their 6th straight game and move up into 5th place in the standings.
The signs were ominous for the Blues early, with the Eagles scoring inside and out. While Scherf was trying to assert her dominance, Abbey Wehrung and Maddi Rocci were making life difficult for Steph Reid and Barr. Ross was able to get going, with her mid-range game on target. Cassidy Gould them stepped on court for the Eagles and made back-to-back triples to have the visitors in total control despite Barr draining one from deep as well.
Gould continued to fire in the second term, but Barr and Reid were starting to break free of the shackles to get the scoreboard moving. Emma Nankervis was no match for Scherf one-on-one, and with Magebor also prowling in the paint, the Eagles went into half time with a double-digit lead.
While Barr was not able to get going from beyond the arc, she found a way to get to the free throw line instead. Coupled with some big, timely shots from Shannon Perrett, somehow the Blues were managing to hand around. While the Eagles continued to threaten to blow out the lead as Bree Whatman hot a couple of three-pointers, strong drives from Reid and and Ross kept the margin to around 10.
Playoff-bound Diamond Valley continued to rotate players through the game and it was taking a toll on the Blues as Nankervis and Ross found themselves in foul trouble and almost running on empty. While Barr and Reid impressed and Ross toiled away, it was only fitting that Simmons would score the final bucket of her 200th game in what proved to be a tough game. The Eagles were just too good for the short-handed Blues to handle, going on to win by 17 points in a gallant defeat.
Barr made 10-12 from the line and added 4 rebounds and 4 assists, with Reid compiling 14 points and 4 assists. Perrett chipped in 12 points, but the Eagles had a spread of scorers in support of big games from Scherf (20 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists) and Magbegor (17 points and 8 rebounds). Gould hit 4-5 from downtown for her 13 points with 5 rebounds and 4 assists, while Whatman had 11 points on 3-7 three-pointers.