Rd 10 – Lightning vs Flames Match Report

January 6, 2024 | Adelaide Lightning news

Playing in front of a pumped-up crowd, both the Sydney Flames and Adelaide Lightning were prepared for a close battle on Lightnings home turf.


Starting strong early, the Flames created some great looks inside the paint using lots of off ball movement. Hitting some tough layups and early buckets, Lauren Nicholson and Didi Richards created multiple scores in the Flames first half. Lighting up the three-point line in the second quarter, Cayla George came out firing. Finishing fade aways and using lots of late shot clock opportunities, George and the Flames were playing some well executed basketball.

From the get-go, the Lightning worked hard to push in front. Attacking the basket and creating multiple kickout opportunities, the Lightning made a comfortable lead for themselves in the first quarter. Frequently using hand-off actions and moving the ball quickly, Jocellyn Willoughby and Tayla Brazel created some great looks on the basket. Also firing, Liz Tonks gathered her points effectively, hitting some big threes in the second quarter. Heading into half, the Lightning led the Flames by a narrow three points.


With a huge third quarter, the Flames were on a role. Using lots of teamwork and ball movement to create scores, multiple players in the Flames roster worked their way to double figures on the scoresheet. Pushing in transition and utilising pass and cut motion, Didi Richards and Emma Clarke worked hard around the basket. Finishing with a combined total of 35-points, Richards and Clarke had a major influence on the Flames big push in the third quarter. Hot from three was Cayla George, hitting some crucial late shot-clock points and fade aways in the paint, George finished the game with a huge double-double of 18-points and 13-rebounds.

After some big defensive efforts by Brianna Turner, the Lightning converted Turners stops into quick transition points. Attacking the basket hard, almost all of the Lightnings starting five finished with double digit scores to their name. Using kickout opportunities and great ball movement, the score difference came back to a 1-point ball game. Coming off the bench, Liz Tonks had a career high 15-points, hitting some crucial threes and creating paint touches. Tonks’s efforts lifted the Lightnings intensity as a whole, creating much needed stops in defence. After one of the biggest last quarter efforts seen in the WNBL season, the Lightning came away with a 7-point win over the Flames.



Talking to Sydney Flames coach Shane Heal after the game, questions were asked about his game plan and what his thoughts were around his team’s performance.

“A little bit better than what we produced” Shane states. Even with the hot weather conditions and humidity in the stadium, he feels as though his team fell asleep after creating an eight-point lead by the end of the third quarter and wants to work on this in games to come.


Moving onto Adelaide Lightnings coach Nat Hurst and star player Liz Tonks, lots of the conversation was based on their feelings after a win. Considering some unfortunate loses, Nat explains that before today’s game, the Lightning squad had a meeting.

“We used this meeting to remind ourselves of our goals, what we want to stand for as Adelaide Lightning, and how we want to come across to other teams”. Nat explains that this was a great way for both players and coaches to check in with themselves and made a difference when stepping onto the court.