THE Eastern Suns take on the Rockingham Flames at home on Saturday after victories over the Perth Redbacks in the SBL’s Rivalry Round.
Meanwhile, Kalamunda Eastern Suns players Melissa Moyle, Jennie Rintala and Courtney Belger played for the North side in the WA Day SBL All-Star match.
In the Rivalry Round the Eastern Suns men’s team ended its eight-game losing streak in style with a 85-79 win over the Redbacks.
It was import Rob Brandenberg’s best game of his short SBL career with 27 points, five steals and three rebounds while the Eastern Suns other import Courtney Belger scored a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
The Redbacks led by as much as 13 points in the first half, but the Eastern Suns came out full of energy after the main break to hand the Redbacks their sixth loss of the season.
It was the Eastern Suns fourth win of the season.
Suns men’s head coach Michael Clarke said the win was one of the best of the season and a much needed confidence boost for his young side.
“The Redbacks are a high quality side, and feature a number of experienced players including former Perth Wildcat Shaun Redhage,’’ he said.
“I am so proud of the boys – they didn’t stop believing and executed with precision our game plan.
“I am also thrilled for Rob Brandenberg who played his best game for us.”
The women’s Eastern Suns recorded its third win of the season beating the Redbacks at Belmont Oasis by four points.
The Eastern Suns started and finished strongly for the impressive victory as they improve to a 3-11 record on the season.
Tahlia Fejo was outstanding for the Eastern Suns with 19 points, seven rebounds, six steals and four assists.
Melissa Moyle added 12 points for the Eastern Suns, Jennie Rintala 12 points and 14 rebounds, Jorjah Smith 12 points and Rebecca Motroni 11.
Suns women’s head coach Tom Knowles was full of praise for his players after the surprise victory.
“There’s a fair bit of belief now in the program that we are running and everyone is very happy,’ he said.
“I was really happy with quite a few patches of play and I think we showed that when we run the tempo we want to run and play the style of game that we want to play it’s actually pretty tough for teams to guard us.”
By David Harrison