Title favourites, Jayco Southside Flyers have bounced back from a shock loss to overcome Brydens Sydney Uni Flames, 99-72, in the 2020 Chemist Warehouse WNBL at Townsville Stadium on Sunday.
The Flyers appeared vulnerable with Chemist Warehouse Opals superstar Liz Cambage in early foul trouble against a feisty Flames while still smarting from Saturday’s surprise 17-point defeat to Deakin Melbourne Boomers.
But instead of folding, the star-studded Flyers boasting five members of the current Opals squad showed why they have been backed as the team to beat this season by overpowering the Flames.
With Cambage largely looking on, Opals trio Bec Cole (27 points), captain Jenna O’Hea (19 points, eight assists) and Sara Blicavs (14 points, nine rebounds) stood tall as the Flyers got back on track with a 2-1 season record.
Cambage was expected to have less court time backing up from her dominant 24-point, 19-rebound effort against the Boomers on Saturday, but she spent more time off court than expected against the Flames after racking up four fouls by early in the third term.
“We will have a look at it, figure out what we need to change or don’t need to change (and) how we approach it,” Flyers coach Cheryl Chambers said of Cambage’s foul trouble.
Cole was proud of how the Flyers lifted without Cambage on court.
“We have such great teammates, everyone was finding each other today,” she said. We made improvements from yesterday, but we still have a long way to go.”
The Flyers had their hands full early against a Flames outfit (1-2 record) that were still buzzing from Saturday’s 37-point win over Villawood Properties Bendigo Spirit.
For the Flames, Natalie Burton had 12 points while livewire forward Anneli Maley nabbed 12 rebounds.
“They (Flyers) had a big loss (on Saturday) so we knew they were going to come out hard,” Flames coach Katrina Hibbert said.
“We have played two of the top teams (Boomers, Flyers)… that is only going to help us in our process of getting better.”
In a see-sawing first term, the Flyers grabbed a 29-25 buffer at the opening break.
The lead changed seven times in a physical contest before the Flyers took control in the second quarter, kicking ahead 49-38 by halftime.
The Flames cut the deficit to five points in the third term but couldn’t deny a deep Flyers roster who led 72-59 at the final break.
The Flyers next face Adelaide while Flames take on Townsville, both on Tuesday.
Laine Clark is a freelance contributor to WNBL.com.au
Jayco Southside Flyers 99 (Cole 27, O’Hea 19, Sara Blicavs 14)
Brydens Sydney Uni Flames 72 (Burton 12, Schwagmeyer-Belger 9, Mansfield 9, Nakkasoglu 9)