WNBL RD 4 GAME 2 RESULTS
A competitive last quarter was the takeaway on a night controlled by the best defensive team in the competition, the Canberra Capitals. Read more what was said at three quarter time in the huddle and how the Lightning responded in the last quarter leader Chelsea Brook.
A 27-13 last quarter was the spark that might reignite the Lightning 2020 season and the bright spot in an otherwise tough night at the office against the defensive unit of the Capitals 65-85. It was lit initially by Steph Talbot who was the most consistent player through the four quarters with 21 points at 50 percent and 8 rebounds. Chelsea Brook also had 10 last quarter points to finish with 14 points at 55 percent and 3 rebounds. The Caps attack through the three quarters was led by the identified danger woman in Maddi Rocci 18 points at 62 percent with 3 rebounds and a narrow miss of a double double for Kelsey Griffin 15 points, 9 rebounds (4 offensive) and a +/- of 21.
THE WRAP Q BY Q
Another change to the starting five for the Lightning with Ella Batish starting in the five with Abbey Wehrung getting the Lightning going with an elbow jumper but the Caps jumped out to a 12-2 run with Chris Lucas calling timeout to steady the ship. It didn’t get much better as Griffin and Marianna Tolo (12 points and 4 blocks) dominated the front court as they led the Caps to a strong lead in the rebounds and the lead 25-8 at quarter time.
Talbot to Brook got it going in the second after the Louella Tomlinson block highlighted by some more succinct ball movement. The Caps pushed it out to beyond twenty again through Rocci who was starting to do some serious damage. Batish got a good open look for multiple triples in consecutive games, however the Caps pushed the margin out again before Whittle finished a nice step through floater. The light blue continued to extend their lead through Brittany Smart’s outside shooting (10 points) and took a more than handy 46-25 at the half.
The third started as a defensive scrap with both teams trading baskets but Griffin was having a good one as she stretched her tally to double figures. Talbot made it to double figures from the charity stripe before Keely Froling dropped a triple with then Alex Wilson adding her first points of the night nearly two thirds into the third quarter. The Caps however continued to push out their lead and struggled on the rebounds trailing by 34 points at three quarter time 72-38.
The Lightning came out with a bit of pep in the last quarter led by their Captain Talbot with a quick five points sparking a 9-0 run; one of the most positive patches of the night. Brooke Basham hit a triple to continue the competitive last quarter, Brook got one from deep, then Talbot and the margin was suddenly back to low twenties and a glimpse of perhaps what we might see on Sunday against the Lynx. Brook continued to rekindle the offensive glass numbers which opened up Morgan Yaeger for another driving to the rack deuce. There was much to take from the last quarter despite the result heading the way of the Caps 85-65.
THE MOMENTS LIGHTNING STRUCK
- The numbers in the first and third quarters were not in favour of the Lightning beaten in offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding and chalking up most of their game turnovers in these quarters.
- At Half-Time the Lightning were shooting 15 percent from the three-point line and 31 percent from the field; the lowest first half percentages for the season. Meanwhile the Caps had a dream run at the free throw line 14/14. The Lightning did turnaround the rebounding winning the quarter 13-10.
- It took till the last quarter for the Lightning to strike in this one 27-13 led mainly by Chelsea Brook with a 10-point last quarter
- The Lightning at stages of the game were able to effectively punish the Caps with 17 of their points coming from the Caps 15 turnovers
- The Caps kept finishing well at the rim and getting to the charity stripe with 22/25 at 88 percent conversion
THE PLAYERS VIEW
Chelsea Brook knows that the three-quarter time message got through and it was simple and clear.
“Chris and Nat said we need to get back to the way we play and that came with changes at the defensive end. We had the opportunity to show some character and that was led by Steph in the last quarter,” Brook told us about what the message was at the three quarter time break.
The difficulty in execution and giving up too many offensive rebounds was disappointing as the Caps took the Lightning out of their offense Brook also mentioned about the issues across the first three quarters. She did find some shots for herself as the defence lifted in the last quarter allowing the Lightning to play their game.
“I was able to find those open spot-up shots off the back of our team defence and that allowed our offence to flow better.”
WHEN THE NEXT STRIKE COMES
It won’t be long before the Lightning can capitalise on their last quarter spark, but another team last night also bared their claws in the Perth Lynx as they upset the Townsville Fire.
“We saw how Perth played last night and with us coming off some losses we should have not have, we need to take momentum and focus on locking down with defence stops early in the game so we don’t end up where we have the last couple of matches,” Brook summed up about transferring the defensive pressure principles from the last quarter to the remainder of the season.
That has all of a sudden opened the door to fourth at least and if the Lightning come with the same pep in the last quarter, a win over the Lynx might all of a sudden put us right back in having our own destiny in our hands.
UC CAPITALS 85 (Rocci 18, Griffin 15, Tolo 12, Smart 10, Ruef 9, Melbourne 7) DEFEATED ADELAIDE LIGHTNING (Talbot 21, Brook 14, Whittle, Wehrung 7) at Townsville Stadium