Southside Flyers have experienced defeat just once so far this Chemist Warehouse WNBL season but it’s a feeling which has stuck with the ladder-leader.
Southside fell to the defending champions UC Capitals back in Round 5 and heading into Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash were determined to respond and keep their hopes of a split intact according to coach Cheryl Chambers.
“Given Canberra already had a win over us on our home floor we wanted to keep the series alive,’’ she said.
“We think they’re a great team so it was really, really important to get that win. We would have dug a bit of a hole if we had have lost twice in a row.”
It was an exhilarating contest from start to finish at the National Convention Centre as 1,642 spectators saw the Flyers move to 12-1 while snapping the Caps home-record of 16 consecutive wins.
And while the win was packed with positives, Chambers believes her side can improve further.
“It was great to have everyone contribute, it makes it fun,’’ she said.
“We know there’s lots of things we can be better at. Defensively, we’ve been working on that. We didn’t win the boards but I thought we were right there with them whereas in the past that hasn’t been a strength of ours. We are getting better and everyone’s starting to know their roles.”
Southside Flyers 81 d Townsville Fire 62
These teams began the round at contrasting ends of the ladder but this Friday night clash sure didn’t play out that way.
Full of confidence after a win the previous round, Townsville was breathing fire but the Flyers withstood the heat, and after leading by 9 points at half time, built on their advantage.
Jenna O’Hea again led her side in every sense with a team-high 17 points and 5 assists, Sara Blicavs (13 points, 8 rebounds), Mercedes Russell (12 points, 8 rebounds) and Bec Cole (12 points) all made an impact while Anneli Maley impressed with a double-double.
Following a career-best performance in Round 8, Darcee Garbin went one better with 28 points in her 200th WNBL game. She was the only Townsville player to score in double figures. Julie Vanloo dished out 8 assists.
Adelaide Lightning 91 d Bendigo Spirit 75
After a shock defeat to Sydney in Sydney last round the Lightning were keen to atone at home and it was a team performance which inspired their return to the #WNBL20 winners list.
As has become the common theme in Adelaide’s victories this season, Brianna Turner topped the stat sheet with 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Steph Talbot (17 points, 10 rebounds), Chelsea Brook (16 points), skipper Nicole Seekamp (13 points, 5 assists) and Lauren Nicholson (10 points) ensured the load was evenly spread.
The loss was Bendigo’s 7th on the trot. Carley Ernst (21 points, 9 rebounds) was a shining light with young guns Demi Skinner (17 points, 8 rebounds) and Shyla Heal (16 points) showing their wares.
Townsville Fire 61 d Sydney Uni Flames 57
Two wins from three games in the space of a week has put a smile on Townsville’s dial.
In the battle of the Fire and the Flames it was the home side who got hot and had contributions all over the floor.
Garbin (15 points, 12 rebounds) capped a big weekend, Tess Madgen (15 points, 9 rebounds), Bridget Carleton (13 points, 13 rebounds) and Abby Bishop (11 points, 8 rebounds) all impressed coach Shannon Seebohm.
For Sydney, Ally Wilson was the stand out with 20 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds.
Perth Lynx 68 d Melbourne Boomers 66
The Lynx felt they let a crucial win slip at the State Basketball Centre last round and were hell bent on redemption a week on and that’s just what they got.
In a see-sawing contest, Perth held its nerve down the stretch thanks to the calm heads of Katie-Rae Ebzery (16 points), Lauren Mansfield (15 points) and Alison Schwagmeyer-Belger (15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists).
Import Sophie Cunningham (16 points) continued her purple patch of form and Ezi Magbegor (15 points, 7 rebounds) and Co-Captain Cayla George (14 points, 10 rebounds) were big for the visitors.
Tellingly, Perth had 21 bench points to the Boomers’ 9.
Southside Flyers 70 d UC Capitals 65
This top-of-the-table tussle lived up to, and exceeded, expectations as the Flyers and Caps produced one of the games of the season.
Exciting plays, tough defence and salivating individual match-ups all over the floor, it was only fitting the game of the round featured momentum swings, lead changes and a grandstand finish.
Russell (11 first-quarter points) started on fire and Cole (12 final-term points) ended on it as the visitors had 9 players hit the score sheet.
For the Capitals, Marianna Tolo had 16 points and 6 rebounds amongst a star-studded duel with Russell, Kia Nurse (13 points) was 5/22 from the field and Olivia Epoupa (11 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) produced another solid all-round game.