Women's Basketball: Redbacks bite back

CAMERON NEWBOLDAlbany Advertiser

The Perth Redbacks caused a huge upset in round 16 of the women’s State Basketball League played in Albany on Saturday night.

Picture by Laurie Benson: Perth Redback’s Marita Payne gets plenty of attention under the basket

Playing at Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre, they beat the Mandurah Magic by 10 points, led by player-coach Narelle Henry.

Henry scored 12 second-half points as her side turned around a nine-point half-time deficit to defeat the Magic 59-49 and keep their slim finals hopes alive.

The Magic started strongly against the Redbacks, with Hailey Dunham causing some real problems in offence on her way to 10 first-term points.

Dunham and centre Casey Mihovilovich paved the way for the great start, with the lead at one stage stretching to 14 points.

In the second half it was all the Redbacks, Henry dropped shots as she liked while Marita Payne and Jessica Jakens gave the home side some real aggression.

With Mihovilovich in foul trouble, the Magic were in a big hole and sank just four points in the third period as the Redbacks’ belief grew on the back of a big three-pointer from Henry.

With just a point separating the two sides at the final break, both teams worked frantically in offence in the opening minutes but a Brooke Hiddlestone jumper gave the Redbacks the lead %with just four minutes remaining.

When Redbacks young gun Jessica Jakens extended the lead to seven after a brilliant offensive rebound and basket, the game had slipped from the Magic’s grasp.

Henry was ecstatic with the win, saying it had all come together on the night.

“We have been struggling to get it together but tonight we finally did,” she said.

“We played great defence as a group and, to be honest, Mandurah went a bit individual at the end ... we decided to work on defence tonight and it worked.”

Henry paid credit to Payne and Jakens. “Marita has a lot of heart, she played with an injured calf,” she said. “JJ plays with pride, attacks constantly and she is going to be a superstar.”

Magic coach Mark Utley was savage at the loss, saying his team couldn’t run and hide.

“All credit to them, all season I have rated them higher than they sit,” he said. “We have lost three in a row now. The girls have got to get better ... when things go poorly, we can’t go into our shell.”

Perth Redbacks 59 (Marita Payne 16, Narelle Henry 15, Brooke Hiddlestone 9, Kerise Delcoure 7) defeated Mandurah Magic 49 (Hailey Dunham 22, Casey Mihovilovich 10, Tarsha Fletcher 7, Tracey Richter 4).

Got a story? Email Cameron.newbold@albanyadvertiser.com

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