Maley monster double downs youthful Lightning
A monster of a double double from an incoming Opal returning from their recent training camp saw the Bendigo Spirit upset a youthful homeside 62-74 at the Lights Community and Sports Centre last Saturday…
Anneli Maley dropped 26 points and grabbed 21 rebounds including 7 offensive and constantly was allowed to get her hands on the ball close to the hoop whilst adding three triples to her afternoon of carnage on the Lightning. For the Lightning it was the two Brook’s in Chelsea and Basham that grabbed their opportunity with both hands; Basham knocking 11 points and Brook with 16 points at 55 percent, 5-7 from the free throw line and 5 rebounds.
THE WRAP Q BY Q
Ally Wilson dropped the first followed by a Maddie Garrick triple (17 points and 6 rebounds for the afternoon) before stand-in skipper Abbey Wehrung used the cut and finish to the hoop. Garrick banged another triple but Marena Whittle hit her floating jumper then used a nice pump fake to Brook sending her to the charity stripe. Maley showed her range with a three before Sam Simons regathered a loose ball and finished against some fierce spirit defence; Garrick having a blinder to open with 8 points for the quarter. Basham entered the game with a point to prove along with several Lightning players given extra opportunity with a breakaway finish then was held by Garrick with a steal in transition and deemed unsportsmanlike where she converted both at the stripe. Brook rained in a three then Basham beat the buzzer with the floating jumper to give the Lightning a 20-13 lead at quarter time.
The Spirit came out filled with it as Tessa Lavey (12 points at 50 percent, 7 rebounds with 3 offensive and 5 assists) and Megan McKay (8 points and 10 rebounds including 5 offensive) got some easy looks then Mary Goulding dropped the fancy pass behind the back to Maley and Chris Lucas called an early break after a 0-6 start to the quarter. Lavey had them in front with a jumper, Maley then with the cut extended it to a 0-10 run broken by the first WNBL triple and score to young rookie guard Tayla Brazel. Wehrung then found Shook with an easy postup then did the same for Brook but a couple of careless turnovers resulted in Garrick then Carly Boag getting buckets causing Lucas again to call timeout. Brook responded to her coach’s call with a deuce late in the clock, but the Spirit smacked the Lightning on the glass as the home side gave up 14 rebounds including 5 offensive rebounds in the quarter plus turned the ball over 6 times; Spirit led by three 29-32 at the main break.
Kylee Shook after a quiet first half denied Maley on the first play of the third signalling intent. Maley got her back on the next one with another offensive rebound putback then Lavey grabbed an easy layup. Maley continued to have a stellar game chalking up some more points and causing the Lightning fraternity to boil over igniting a significant run of the game 4-10 and adjustments had to be made. Wehrung reeled off a triple in response, but Maley continued to tick over her scoreboard whilst also sharing the scoring with McKay. Brook got one back then Basham knocked another tre as did Brazel but a Lavey long bomb plus the offensive glass continued to be the Lightning’s kryptonite as they handed the Spirit a 46-56 lead going into the last. The rebound count was 32-37 with a staggering 13 offensive rebounds to the Spirit.
Wehrung and Basham got the Lightning lit up early in the fourth creating a 4-0 run and caused the Spirit trouble creating their offensive structure and in response, Tracy York reeled off an early timeout to stop the momentum of the home side. Shook put Maley on her backside in a sign of aggression, but Lavey and Garrick answered with triples to keep the Spirit just ahead 52-64 with 5:15 to go. Garrick knocked another triple with Simons answering, then Shook with 8 points in the final term looked to give the Lightning a chance to finish with the home crowd behind them. The story of the game reared its head again as the Spirit kept getting through the backdoor on their motion and cuts and dominating the glass with McKay finishing another easy one; Ally Wilson hitting a triple to put it beyond doubt and Maley finishing with a monster of a match to upset the homeside 62-74.
THE MOMENTS LIGHTNING STRUCK
- The Lightning finished the opening quarter with an 11-0 run led by the bash of Brooke and Brook on the back of a 13-2 second five minutes of the quarter; 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and an efficiency of 28 were the hallmarks of that quarter.
- The Lightning got plenty of production out of their bench with 17 points coming through Basham (11 points) and Tayla Brazel (6 points)
- It was a late contribution but import Kylee Shook gave the Lightning a window to get back into it in the final quarter with 8 points on 4-4 shooting with 3 rebounds.
THE PLAYERS VIEW
Brooke Basham said the players were disappointed with their work on the glass and know they got outdone in that area. “We gave up 22 offensive boards and they got 20 points from our turnovers; if you take that out that’s pretty much the game.” Basham highlighted the areas where the Lightning lacked in the contest.
The other challenging aspect of the game was the emotional nature of it with several players playing against well-known individuals; but Basham explained that it wasn’t much of a factor. “It wasn’t too hard, once we step over the white line we pretend we don’t know them and from there it’s game on. We had three starters out but we tried to not use that as a cop out, we had lots of young players step-up and I thought they did their job pretty well and though we are disappointed with the loss it was good to get them experience for the games ahead.”
Basham did have an inkling her number was going to be called and like all the players subscribed to the sentiment and mentality of always being ready to answer the call. “Chris told me all week to just be ready as I think my number was going to get called and Nat (Hurst) and Matt (Clarke) they all put confidence into everyone and they trust me and believe me so I wanted to play hard for them.” Basham said about another breakout game in her WNBL career.
WHEN THE NEXT STRIKE COMES
The numbers that stands out from this one are 22 and 53. There’s no way to paint a pretty picture about this, Lightning got annihilated on the glass at both ends of the floor. The replay will be a tough watch if witnessed and a valuable lesson for young players who had possession of the basketball on the defensive end off rebounds and suddenly had the number 15 in Gold and Blue swipe it from their fingers. There were plenty for the other Spirit players too with an extra 20 plus possessions generated for their opposition.
The mid-season break has come at a good time for the Lightning to reassess, re-jig and prepare for their next contest with hopefully some inform Opals putting in some sensational performances in Serbia. Sitting at 5-3 after 8 games, the Lightning are in a good position to launch into the second half of the season.
We did find out one thing in this one about the Lightning, Brooke Basham belongs in the big time; watch for her to see more time in future games.
ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 62 (Brook 16, Shook 12, Basham 11, Wehrung 9) DEFEATED BY BENDIGO SPIRIT 74 (Maley 26, Garrick 17, Lavey 12, McKay 8, Wilson 7) at the Lights Community and Sports Centre