Australian basketball great Mark Worthington grew up in the South West, with both the South West Slammers and region close to his heart. On Friday night at the Eaton Recreation Centre, the former Slammers player and coach shrugged off a niggling calf concern to play a massive role in Willetton’s 108-83 win. Following the completion of his warm up pre-game, the 40-year-old forward quickly wandered over towards the Slammers bench, where he embraced Slammers assistant coach James Fitch with a warm hug, along with greeting several of the former players he coached. Although he periodically spent time on the massage table, Worthington’s shooting beyond the arc — 4/5 successful attempts — had spectators from both sides looking on in awe. Due to the Tigers playing Geraldton Buccaneers at home on Saturday afternoon, the clash was brought forward to 6.30pm, in order for the travelling players and coaches to drive back home and recover. The Slammers began the game positively, attacking the offensive glass and racking up two defensive steals in the opening minute of the game. Unfortunately, the home side had four shots in quick succession from the free-throw line early in the game and missed every single one. This appeared to affect momentum on both sides and the Tigers gradually began to pull away, aided by several trips to the charity stripe due to the foul-plagued Slammers. Canadian import Ben Stevens (12 points, 18 rebounds) had a night to forget offensively for the Slammers, finishing 5/16 inside the paint. Despite his positive intent and quality of the offensive looks provided, his shots routinely would rim out. A ray of light during the home loss was another strong performance from Buay Tuach, who dropped 40 points — his second 40-point effort in the space of seven days. Willetton proceeded to lose its home clash against the Geraldton Buccaneers, 89-81, which means they now travel to the Mid West for a rematch against the Buccaneers in Saturday’s qualifying final. Keeper stats Overall offence (Tigers 40/79, Slammers 35/74); field goals (Slammers 29/54, Tigers 24/45); three-point attempts (Tigers 16/34, Slammers 6/20); free-throw attempts (Tigers 12/22, Slammers 7/14); total rebounds (Tigers 47-38 Slammers); assists (Tigers 16-10 Slammers); steals (Slammers 10-5 Slammers); turnovers (Slammers 15-14 Tigers); fouls (Slammers 20-11 Tigers).