March 1, 2019 | WNBL news

2018/19 SEASON REPORT CARD: PERTH LYNX

Perth Lynx

Wins – 13

Losses – 8

Standing – Fourth (Lost in Semi-Finals)

2017/18 result – 15 wins, 6 losses, Lost in Semi-Final

Grade – B

THE GOOD

Perth started the season as the hottest team in the league, racing out to a 9-3 record to sit atop the standings after Round 9.

They built a winning record overall on the back of eight wins at home, smashing the likes of Bendigo by 20 points and handing the Caps two losses while they also claimed a 113-67 demolition of Sydney Uni on the road.

Alison Schwagmeyer showed why the Lynx were so hot on her over the past few seasons, contributing 13.9 points, two assists and 1.1 steals per game. She was able to demonstrate her ability to catch fire on more than a few occasions while her spin move proved close to unstoppable.

Brittany McPhee also had a solid first season with the team, averaging 13.2 points and 6.2 rebounds while she played a lone hand in Game 1 of the Semi-Final series, scoring 25 points on 11-16 shooting.

Australian Opal Katie Ebzery paced Perth for assists and also finished tenth in the competition for total steals.

THE BAD

After their fast start, the Lynx tapered off in the second half of the season to take a 4-8 record over their last 12 games heading into the playoffs.

Despite owning a 2-1 record against the Caps during the regular season, they were unable to get near them in the Semi-Final series and were swept by an average margin of 18 points including a 16-point loss at home in Game 2.

The Lynx found themselves at a crossroads in Round 15 in a regular season finale against Adelaide. Playing off for third position, Perth led by 20 points in the third quarter but the Lightning mounted a comeback to claim a win in overtime. The loss forced Perth to face the Caps in the Semi-Finals and the rest is history.

Of the final four teams, Perth owned the worst defence and third least effective offence, surrendering 76 points per game and scoring 78.8.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

In her first season with the red and white, Asia Taylor was an offensive tour de force for Perth, leading the league in scoring with 19.3 points per game.

She also finished eighth for rebounds with 8.3 per game, fourth for steals with 1.9 and fourth for free-throws made.

Deservedly taking out the Lynx MVP award following five Team of the Week nominations and a Player of the Week award in Round 3, Taylor also became the second import to make three consecutive All-Star Five’s in 2018/19 after Sami Whitcomb as she has became a dominant feature of the Chemist Warehouse WNBL.

Next Year

TEAM NEEDS

The Lynx’s current roster is relatively strong with potentially team chemistry getting in their way down the stretch. A healthy Lauren Mansfield will help back-up Ebzery but the offensive punch of Schwagmeyer and McPhee could be something to build on while the movements of Taylor will be very interesting.

Coach Andy Stewart may be looking for another big to complement Taylor under the rim as Kayla Steindl played beyond the perimeter for most of the season and Maddi Allen’s minutes were restricted off the bench.

LIKELY IMPROVEMENT

Since rebranding as the Perth Lynx, the club has not missed the playoffs but they still have been unable to break through to claim the Championship.

Mansfield was hampered by a troublesome foot that saw her miss the 2018 World Cup and be unable to contribute as she would have liked through the year.

However, if she is healthy and back on the Lynx roster, her inclusion will make a real difference next season while fans and administration alike are sure to not have forgotten Sami Whitcomb who continues to light it up in the WNBA and Europe.