Hawthorne’s heroics leads Lakeside home
LAKESIDE Lightning got back on the winners’ list with a seriously convincing win over the South West Slammers in Round 8 of the NBL1 West Women’s competition over the weekend, courtesy of a big outing from Laci Hawthorne.
The Lightning kicked off the round’s action, but fell to the Magic for their fourth consecutive loss to find themselves in a form slump. However, redemption offered itself in a match less than 24 hours later. Lakeside took on the Slammers at Eaton Rec Centre on Saturday night, and were eager to get the better of a struggling South West side.
The tempo of the match was set in the opening quarter, where the Lightning outscored the opposition 34-8 in a dominant start to the game. The visitors’ intent was evident early, and the match was essentially over by the time the buzzer sounded to mark the first break, with the Slammers unable to overcome the whopping deficit, and Lakeside eventually claimed a 44-point road win.
The win was headlined by a mammoth performance from Hawthorne, who was a constant presence on the match with her dominant play.
South West Slammers (50) def. by Lakeside Lightning (94)
Laci Hawthorne – 34 points, 15 rebounds, one assist, two steals, three blocks
Hawthorne was the defining performer in Lakeside’s win, doing a bit of everything and hurting the opposition with her consistent ability to affect the contest.
She finished with a game-high 34 points, and was a key figure as Lakeside got on top early. Hawthorne produced 10 points in the first quarter, and was instrumental in helping the Lightning build the match-winning lead.
The 23-year-old was also a problem for the defence in the third quarter, where she took over and poured in a whopping 14 points, most of them coming from inside the paint, which is where Hawthorne was at her most damaging.
She finished the match with 15 made baskets from 24 attempts, with 21 of those coming from inside the arc. Although Hawthorne tried her hand at long-range shooting, it was inside the paint with lay-ups where she found the most success. Her ability to push through contact and still finish was a real weapon, making her way to the free throw line for and-one opportunities on several occasions.
Hawthorne was also a machine on the glass, pulling down 15 rebounds, which was also the most of anyone on the court. Five of these came on the offence, and helped generate even more offence with some well-timed tip-ins.
The forward impacted the game defensively as well, protecting the paint with a pair of blocks as South West attempted to attack the paint to create some sort of scoring momentum, but these were thwarted by Hawthorne.
It was as strong a performance as anyone in the competition over the weekend, as Hawthorne stamped her authority on the contest and proved too much for the home side to overcome.