WNBL RD 4 GAME 1 RESULTS
A staggering 25 turnovers was the key statistic for our girls which unfortunately resulted in a 109-70 defeat to the Southside Flyers last night. Not only did the turnovers hurt but they had 33 points converted off them, led mainly by a 15-4 steal count by Jenna O’Hea (18 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds and a +/- of 32). Liz Cambage was the dominant force on the floor across the four quarters with 29 points at 73 percent from the field and 6 rebounds along with O’Hea and Bec Cole (16 points). Alex Wilson (13 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists) and Chelsea Brook (12 points at 55 percent and 7 rebounds) on return led the way for our girls with five players making double figures.
THE WRAP Q BY Q
Ally Wilson took it at Cambage first play with the tough finish before Cambage hit back with a pair of jumpers. Steph Talbot looked to be rolling early with the first fast break basket for the team since the Sydney Uni game before a transition triple from Wilson kept the scores tight early. Cambage dropped a triple, Tomlinson then dropped one to space the floor before Wilson missed a triple but got her offensive rebound and finished it on the rim. A pick and pop for Brook before O’Hea dropped a triple and an and1 drive to continue Southside’s shooting spree. Marena Whittle (11 points) drained a triple in front of the bench but Cambage dominated the opening term with 16 points as the Flyers took a 29-22 lead into quarter time. Cambage registered a technical foul after the event getting physical with Ella Batish.
The Lightning started switching up their defence and running in transition with Whittle finding the run of Talbot before Leilani Mitchell (8 points and 7 assists) answered. Turnovers plagued the Lightning and a couple of offensive boards given up by the Lightning resulted in some more second chance points for the Flyers before Wehrung struck a pair from deep to cut it back to single figures. Carlie Smith hit the scoreboard with a nice dribble left and jumper, but the Lightning trailed by 21 points at half time 60-39. The Flyers shot over 50 percent from the field and with 19 assists to half-time.
The Flyers started with a 10-2 run before Wilson splashed a triple. Wehrung then struck one herself, Wilson then hit another as the Lightning forced the timeout from the Flyers Cheryl Chambers. She inserted Rachel Jarry into the game with the Lightning switching things up again on defence trying to force something. They gave up a Mitchell corner triple before Ella Batish dropped one from the other side of the floor. Cambage continued accumulating buckets and Monique Conti (10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists) put a couple of lay-ups on the board off some quick back-t0-back steals as the Flyers took a commanding 31-point lead at the end of the third 90-59.
Ortlepp drained a triple to open the fourth, Talbot (finishing with 11 points and 6 rebounds) had a three-point play but the Lightning could not gather any momentum as the turnover count continued to mount. The night was soured slightly for the Flyers by an injury to Rachel Jarry right at the end of the match.
THE MOMENTS LIGHTNING STRUCK
– It was more about the numbers that were not than were tonight that was one of the first times this season the Lightning were unable to grab momentum.
– 25 turnovers with 33 points converted from the Flyers
– 17 to 31 in assists to the Flyers
– One positive was the second chance points from offensive rebounds which we scored 16-6 for the night: another small area of improvement
THE PLAYERS VIEW
Captain Steph Talbot attributes the lack of momentum to a lack of gameday execution. “We didn’t look after the ball and let them (Southside) do whatever they wanted. There was not enough pressure on their offense and we made silly mistakes with our turnovers; that’s not the type of basketball we want to play,” Talbot summed up the disappointing night.
WHEN THE NEXT STRIKE COMES
The sharp nature of Talbot’s message shows the disappointment for the Lightning and the turnaround against the Caps on Friday night is crucial to reel back the momentum. “We must go in with confidence and be aggressive at the start of the match,” Talbot responded in relation to how she plans to lead the Lightning against Canberra.
A day trip back to Townsville for a double header across the weekend beckons for the Lightning; a set of matches that can set up the final stanza of the season with four matches across the last week of the regular season a huge challenge on the horizon.
At 4-3 with six games to go, the Lightning can set themselves up with an opportunity to shock everyone; and make the semis.
SOUTHSIDE FLYERS 109 (Cambage 29, O’Hea 18, Cole 16, Conti 10, Sara Blicavs 9, Mitchell 8) DEFEATED ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 70 (Wilson 13, Brook 12, Wehrung, Talbot 11, Whittle 10) at CAIRNS POP-UP ARENA