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NBL1 West 2023: Lakeside Lightning duo Laci Hawthorne and Caitlyn Jones torment South West Slammers

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisBunbury Herald
Lauren Vincent (South West Slammers) is powerless to stop a soaring Laci Hawthorne on Saturday night.
Camera IconLauren Vincent (South West Slammers) is powerless to stop a soaring Laci Hawthorne on Saturday night. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

Greatness has been achieved by several duos in life — Lennon and McCartney, US hoops pairing of Swoopes and Leslie to name two.

Arguably, Lakeside Lightning duo Laci Hawthorne (34 points, 15 rebounds, two steals, three blocks) and Caitlyn Jones (19 points, six rebounds, four steals) should be added to this list, given their exceptional performances on Saturday night at the Eaton Recreation Centre.

The Lightning, riding high on a wave of desire and belief, thrashed the teenage-filled South West Slammers women’s team 94-50.

After starting positively inside the opening 90 seconds, the Slammers again suffered a major lapse, spotting the Lightning a 27-0 run in a lethal seven-minute burst.

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Wearing a look of fierce determination, Jones broke the game open in style, routinely pickpocketing Slammers players mid-court and turning her steals into points.

By the end of the term, Jones had 12 points and three steals, with her dominance putting the home side out of business with three quarters to play.

During the interval, Jones handed over the baton of excellence to Hawthorne, formerly of Utah State, who was coming off a relatively quiet night against the Mandurah Magic.

The young Slammers players were given front-row seats to a basketball masterclass as Hawthorne took control.

Aside from freely sinking shots inside the paint, the American’s hustle resulted in generating multiple offensive rebounds, allowing the Lightning offence to pepper away with ease.

Aside from new signing Paris Duffield, it was a night to forget offensively for the Slammers, who sank only six of their first 30 attempts.

A big reason for this was due to the Lightning jamming the keyway with two defenders, which made penetration to the basket and shooting difficult.

While not asking for mercy, the home side was granted it by the classy Lightning, who not only pulled their starters well before the final whistle, but also ran the clock out on the final possession.

Keeper stats

Field goals (Lightning 28/55, Slammers 9/43); three-point attempts (Lightning 8/29, Slammers 8/25); free-throw attempts (Lightning 14/20, Slammers 8/17); total rebounds (Lightning 60-45 Slammers); assists (Lightning 27-9 Slammers); steals (Lightning 16-7 Slammers); turnovers (Slammers 26-14 Lightning); fouls (Lightning 17-16 Slammers).

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