#WNBL20 Round 13 Preview

January 9, 2020 | WNBL news

Melbourne Boomers will get an early taste of post-season action when they take on two fellow #WNBL20 finalists this round.

The second-on-the-ladder Boomers are in Adelaide to take on the fourth-placed Lightning in a salivating contest on Friday night before returning home to host top-of-the-table Southside Flyers in the Melbourne derby on Sunday evening.

Melbourne has won 4 of its past 5 games with the Boomers continuing to show they can win high-scoring affairs, dour arm wrestles or come-from-behind thrillers.

The dynamo known as LA, Lindsay Allen is the barometer of Guy Molloy’s team which is getting plenty from bigs Cayla George and Ezi Magbegor plus valuable contributions courtesy of Kalani Purcell, Monique Conti and Stella Beck.

The Lightning are riding a wave of momentum with 4 straight wins and are being superbly led by skipper Nicole Seekamp, fresh from a 20-assist league record last round. Brianna Turner was the standout against Melbourne last month, Steph Talbot is enjoying the best figures of her WNBL career with everyone from Kathryn Westbeld to Nat Hurst and Chelsea Brook doing their bit.

Southside is coming off just its third loss of the season, to Adelaide, and experienced heads Jenna O’Hea and Leilani Mitchell have their focus firmly on a return to the winners list. In doing so, the Flyers would take the series 3-0 against their local rival.

Mercedes Russell returned from an ankle injury last week and recorded double-doubles against the Lynx and Lightning. She’s been big in the big games and is primed for a night out at the SBC.


Adelaide Lightning v Melbourne Boomers

Friday January 10

Titanium Security Arena, 7pm*

Watch via Livestream on the WNBL website


Melbourne Boomers v Southside Flyers

Sunday January 12

State Basketball Centre, 5pm*

Watch live on FOX Sports



Townsville Fire v UC Capitals

Townsville Stadium, 7pm*

Caps coach Paul Gorris cracked the whip on his team at training this week following last round’s shock defeat to the Bendigo Spirit.

We only need to look back at Round 4 to see how the UC Caps rebound from humiliation. In Round 3, the Caps were thrashed by Melbourne then humbled by Sydney, the next week they defeated the Flames by 25. Led by Marianna Tolo and Kia Nurse, expect a similar response here.

Townsville fell to Adelaide last week and in addition to finishing their campaign with some wins need greater consistency as a team and from individual players. Abby Bishop, Tess Madgen and Darcee Garbin have all produced solid form but the Fire, and imports Julie Vanloo and Bridget Carleton, have struggled to fire on all cylinders.

Watch via Livestream on the WNBL website


Perth Lynx v Bendigo Spirit

Bendat Basketball Centre, 1pm*

A fortnight is a long time in basketball.

At Christmas, Bendigo was on an unwanted nine-game losing run. The Spirit showed just that and broke their duck against Townsville then upset Canberra’s apple cart last week.

Now, Tracy York is smiling and sizing up a third straight win. The likes of Shyla Heal, fresh off a WNBL career-best outing, Abbey Wehrung, Carley Ernst, Tessa Lavey and Kelly Wilson can keep the good times rolling this round in Perth.

The Lynx were disappointing against Canberra in their first game of 2020 and it was the same old story with Katie-Rae Ebzery the shining light. Perth’s season can be summed up by “coulda, woulda, shoulda.” Three straight overtime losses early landed a huge blow, but the Lynx have underachieved with a very talented squad.

Coach Andy Stewart and his leaders keen to end #WNBL20 on a winning note starting Sunday.

Watch via Livestream on the WNBL website

Sydney Uni Flames v Townsville Fire

Brydens Stadium, 1pm*

Just when the Flames were making their charge towards fourth spot injuries have hit hard and Adelaide has returned to great form.

Sydney is adjusting to life without Colleen Planeta (ACL) and are now without unlucky guard Tahlia Tupea (knee) who finds herself again on the sidelines. In positive news, veteran Britt Smart has been welcomed back into the system with open arms.

Katrina Hibbert’s side was flat against Melbourne last Sunday and a fast start is crucial against Townsville and will build early confidence.

Alice Kunek’s 13 points was below the lofty standard she’s set for herself this campaign so expect her to light up with Ally Wilson and Jess Kuster following her lead. Lauren Scherf (20 points, 9 rebounds in Round 12) must back up against Bishop and Garbin.

Watch via Livestream on the WNBL website


*All times listed are local