December 7, 2020 | Adelaide Lightning news

Darcee Garbin’s sixth triple of the night proved to be the force that pushed the Lightning out of the 2020 finals race as they lost a thriller 78-80. Garbin finished a double double with 31 points at 42 percent and 11 rebounds (5 offensive) but alarmingly, she finished 6 of 7 beyond the arc. Katie Ebzery and Kayla Steindl both had double doubles of 12 points and 10 assists and 11 points and 11 rebounds respectively to further rub salt into the Lightnings wounds. Steph Talbot was outstanding all night with a near triple double of her own with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists while Chelsea Brook was a great support act with 16 points including 4 of 7 at 57 percent behind the arc, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.


Abbey Wehrung opened the night with a deuce before Garbin hit back from beyond the arc. Wilson explored the paint with the dribble early, finding Wehrung for another three pointer before also Brook whacked one from outside. Ciabattoni got going for her first of the night but her score was quickly negated by a quick Marena Whittle and-1. Both teams traded baskets with confidence before a 4-0 run from Carlie Smith threw the game open. Ortlepp subbed on and splashed a triple and had the Lightning leading at quarter time 28-19.

Whittle opened the second quarter with her second triple of the night, but the Lynx responded and went on a 7-3 run. Steindl. A 1-2-2 zone into man forced the Lynx into some turnovers with Brook and Smith (6 points in the first half) taking advantage at the scoring end. Steindl and Garbin (16 first half points) answered again twice from range. Talbot missed a couple of go ahead buckets but on the back of the Garbin’s efforts the Lynx lead by 41-45 at the half.

The Talbot/Garbin show continued as the two stars went basket for basket in an enthralling duel with Talbot (12 points in the quarter) draining back to back triples pulling the Lightning back into the contest. Ortlepp drained her second of the night from deep before an Ally Wilson steal and score capped off an 11-2 run on. The aggressive Brook (10 points in the quarter) knocked down her fourth triple of the night then had a little two-point floater to grab the lead back for the Lightning. Marena Whittle beat the shot clock buzzer (11 points for the night) and the Lightning seized the lead back by 2 points 71-69.

Alex Ciabattoni (15 points for the match) opened the fourth quarter with a triple from the corner. It was Garbin however with her 31st point and sixth triple beyond the arc that edged the Lynx out of reach right before the final buzzer. The Lightning had one last look with 2.5 seconds to go but Talbot’s layup was half a second late and the Lynx took the win.


–          The match was a shooting fest with 15 triples in the first half from 34 attempts with both teams hitting at 44 percent and 11 in the second half from 25 attempts at 43 percent.

–          The bench was productive with 23 points coming from the pine

–          The Lightning scored 15 points in transition


Captain Talbot reckons the Lightning found some more of their groove, but the loss hurts a bit more due to the ramifications of the result. “I think we finally found the way we want to play a little bit more over the last couple of games, so to lose hurts a little bit more,” Talbot said.

Talbot noted that the improvements were there but that it’s been hard to gain momentum, “We did make some strides forward and made some improvements as a team. We just want to now keep getting better every game and fix what we need to improve, and a lot of the girls are on two-year deals so we want to start building a better bond on and off the court,” Talbot summed up about the potential plans for the coming week of matches.


Although not impossible, the Lightning have made it very difficult for themselves to make the WNBL finals. While it’s still mathematically possible they can make it, the Lightning are going to have to leave it all out on the floor this final week in four games across six days and hope a few upsets occur throughout the rest of the league’s games.

ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 78 (Talbot 23, Brook 16, Whittle 11, Wehrung, Wilson 8) DEFEATED BY PERTH LYNX 80 (Garbin 31, Ciabattoni 15, Ebzery 12, Steindl 11) at Townsville Stadium