The Lightning Report 2020: Part 1

March 7, 2021 | Adelaide Lightning news

We take a closer look at the 2020 Adelaide Lightning key statistical areas and the club leaders after the 2020 WNBL Season. First up is a look at the offensive production… Lightning OFFENSE


Total Points: 918 in 13 matches

Average Points per player: 76.5 in 13 matches

Leading Point Scorers

  • Steph Talbot 237
  • Alex Wilson 135
  • Abbey Wehrung 135
  • Marena Whittle 113
  • Chelsea Brook 112

Leading Field Goal Percentage

  • Steph Talbot 47.9
  • Chelsea Brook 41.5
  • Louella Tomlinson 40.7
  • Ella Batish 40.7
  • Morgan Yaeger 40.7

Leading Quarter by Quarter Scorer

  • Steph Talbot 21
  • Alex Wilson 13
  • Abbey Wehrung 7
  • Marena Whittle 7
  • Chelsea Brook 6


Steph Talbot was clearly the go to player for the 2020 offence and in 2021 the Lightning will be looking for one of Marena Whittle and Chelsea Brook to up their overall tallies to form a solid four scoring options with Talbot, Wilson and Wehrung. Brook with limited shots showed how efficient she is when she’s aggressive offensively. In limited minutes Batish and Yaeger showed some consistency in being able to score with limited opportunities.

The leading scorer for the Lightning per quarter is interesting. While Talbot dominated this stat it shows how the opposition were able to close her down offensively in some games and how much the momentum of offence is heavily depends on her performance.

In the 2021 season a lift in quarter-by-quarter scoring output by Brook and Wehrung is a must, which hopefully will see a much more spread-out quarter by quarter leading scorer throughout the season.

1st Quarter

The Lightning scored 217 points across these quarters across the season and were led by even contributions from Talbot (46), Wilson (44), Wehrung (40) and Brook (30). Within that only Talbot (24/22) and Wilson (22/22) registered 20 or more points in five-minute blocks and were in the elite category for the numbers produced.

There were 15 less points overall from the team in the second half of the quarter than the first, showing the need to keep the scoreboard ticking over after the halfway point of the quarter. Wilson is the strongest contributor in the first compared to other quarters, while Talbot’s first quarter is her lowest compared to other quarters. This was also Louella Tomlinson’s strongest scoring quarter even though most of her points were spread throughout the quarters.

2nd Quarter

The Lightning scored 213 points across these quarters and had two strong standouts in Talbot (61) and Wehrung (36). Five players in total registered more than the average of 17 points per player with Brook (28), Marena Whittle (25) and Wilson (23) joining the two standouts in second quarters. Only Talbot however registered 20 or more points in both five-minute blocks and was in the elite category for the numbers produced.

The first half of the quarter scoring was the lowest for the club across the season (89) which then increased by 35 extra points to 124 in the second block, signalling continual strong responses from the team after a slow start to second quarters.

3rd Quarter

The Lightning scored 260 points across these quarters and was the highest scoring quarter across all 13 games for the club.  This is an indication that half-time addresses by coach Chris Lucas lifted offensive efficiency with Talbot outstanding with 64 points in 13 games across these quarters. Joining her in the elite category was Wehrung (42), while not far behind was Whittle (38), Brook and Wilson (35 each).

Talbot (29/35) was the only player to score 18 points or more across these blocks of time in the quarter. Her pushes after three quarter time crucial to the increased scoring power post half. There was still consistency with those other four Lightning players scoring above average for the team across those five-minute blocks. Wehrung and Whittle’s third quarter was their strongest output on the scoreboard and that reflects in the Lightning’s highest total in their quarter scoring.

4th Quarter

The fourth quarter was Talbot time as 45 points came from her in the first five minutes of 114 scored out of a total 213 points. The results are skewed after that as in games where the Lightning were out of the contest, she would sit on the pine with 11 points across the final five minutes of each game (bringing that to a total of 56 points).

Wilson (20/13) and Whittle (5/27) finished the games particularly strong with Whittle hitting the scoreboard towards the end of a majority of games in most of the Lightning wins. Brooke Basham and Taylor Ortlepp took advantage of their court time in games and contributed a majority of their season points in the fourth and finished equal fifth in scoring in the quarter across the season.


The Lightning offense was set up in the first quarter mainly off the hands of Wilson (18) and Talbot (9). In terms of getting the ball through hands, the second quarter was better production with Talbot (15), Wehrung (11) and Brook (10) producing high numbers of assists to support the 213 points of their team. It shows that much more care of the ball and facilitating of the offense through multiple hands rather than created play kept the scoreboard ticking over in the second quarters.

The third is dominated by Wilson who clearly fed plenty of her team-mates with 17 assists, while an even spread between five players above the average allowed the scoring to flow more freely for its 260 points in the quarter. The fourth ran much the same as quarter one and two with an extra couple of assists per quarter producing a much larger score for the club across the season.


The hot zones for Lightning offensively were the second five-minute block of the second quarter through to the start of the fourth quarter. The points per five minutes across these quarters was approximately 20 points per 10 minutes of the total scoring spree of 20 minutes.

Cold zones were the second five minutes of the first quarter and the first five minutes of the second quarter and the last five minutes of games. The points across that first ten-minute patch mentioned totalled 190 points meaning an average of 14 points were scored in those ten-minute blocks throughout the season; that is 6 points less than the hot zones per 10 minutes, which was clearly the difference between results going the club’s way.

The ladder position finish is probably reflective of not being able to capitalise on starts of games and readjustments occurring after that ten minutes effectively. The Lightning as mentioned in the analysis will need at least one other player to lift their scoring rate and that could come from the increased offensive output of Brook, Whittle or the insertion of recruit Alanna Smith for the next season. Brook looks the most likely from her opportunities shooting the rock at 41.5 percent across the season.