Mandurah Magic women fall short in grand final rematch against Hawks

A cohesive effort wasn’t enough to secure the Mandurah Magic women a win as they dropped their second straight game in a grand final rematch against the Perry Lakes Hawks on Saturday night.

Anita Brown led the way for the Magic with 14 points, but the home side could do little to stop Perry Lakes star Antonia Farnworth, who went 25 points, five rebounds and five assists to lead the Hawks to the victory.

It was a fourth-quarter collapse that led to Mandurah’s woes, with the Hawks outscoring the Magic a stunning 18-5 in the final 10 minutes to finish 59-68 winners.

It was a different story in the first half, with the hosts piecing together a wonderful second quarter to take a sizable lead into the long break.

The Magic absorbed an initial shock from the Hawks, with the absence of star guard Casey Mihovilovich doing little to phase them as they broke away after the opening 10 minutes.

Team-based basketball gave Mandurah the edge, with Brown (five points), Rachel Halleen (five) Bree Klasztorny (four), Regina Palusna (four), Emma Klasztorny (four) and Kelly Bailey (three) all hitting the scoreboard as their side took an 11-point lead into half time.

Morgan Ballantyne grabbed eight rebounds on the night. Photo: Justin Rake.

Morgan Ballantyne grabbed eight rebounds on the night. Photo: Justin Rake.

But it was all Perry Lakes in the final two periods.

The Hawks trimmed the lead back to a slim four points at the end of the third, with Gabrielle O'Sullivan leading the way with six points.

Mandurah needed to conjure one last final push to save the game, but unfortunately things fizzled out for the Magic as they were grilled in the final term.

Mihovilovich’s absence appeared to have caught up with the squad, as they were outscored by 13 down the stretch on their way to a nine-point loss.

Brown finished with a team-high 14 points to go with her four rebounds and six steals, while Bree Klasztorny compiled a stat line consisting of six points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals in under 16 minutes of game time.

Farnworth was the leader for Perry Lakes, supported by 12 points and 13 rebounds coming from fellow star Natalie Burton.

The Magic remain in sixth on the ladder following the loss with a 7-6 record, holding a handy buffer over the seventh-placed Stirling Senators, who have played three more games than Mandurah and suffered three extra losses.

Round 14 will see the Magic hit the road bound for Rockingham, with a tough test lying ahead against the 10-3 Flames.