Round 2 Preview

November 11, 2022 | Melbourne Boomers news

By Hayley Wildes.


For the Deakin Melbourne Boomer faithful, Sunday will mark a time to celebrate a championship season, as well as cheer on the current Boomers squad in a key early season match-up.

One thing is for sure, you won’t want to miss any of the action as the Boomers take on the Adelaide Lightning in their home opener at Parkville on Sunday afternoon.

Before facing off against the Lightning, the Boomers will unveil their 2021/22 WNBL Championship banner, in front of what is sure to be a raucous home crowd. It will be a historic moment in time, one that will give everyone in attendance a chance to reflect on last season’s success – a thrilling three-game Grand Final series win over the Perth Lynx.

Many of those that played a key role in the championship run are once again suiting up in purple to defend the crown, led by Cayla George and Tiffany Mitchell. Tess Madgen may not be on the floor for the first month of the season due to injury, but her presence within the team still looms large from the sidelines.

George and Mitchell have got off to tremendous starts to their respective seasons and will be key factors in the match-up against Adelaide, as the Boomers look to bounce back from Wednesday’s loss to the Southside Flyers.

George has done it all in the two games so far this season, averaging 14.5 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. The energy George gives to her teammates is infectious and in front of a home crowd at Parkville, you can expect that level of energy to be at an all-time high after unfurling last season’s championship banner.

George will have the task of taking on Jacinta Monroe for much of the afternoon and the American veteran – who recorded 8 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists in her first WNBL game last weekend against Southside – will be out to make her presence felt in the paint.

Tiffany Mitchell has wasted no time in season 2022/23, immediately setting the tone in the impressive season opening win against Perth last week when she set the game alight with 32 points, 9 assists and 4 steals. It was the typical Mitchell game Boomers fan have come to love, as she drove to the bucket with force and scored at will.

Against Southside, Mitchell’s toughness was on full display as she landed awkwardly in the second half after a strong drive into the paint but managed to return to the game. It showed exactly what Mitchell is all about and she’ll be ready to give it everything she has once again on Sunday.

While George and Mitchell have continued on from where they left last season, three key new faces will be making their home debuts for the Boomers on Sunday afternoon; Kristy Wallace, Mia Murray and Olivia Nelson-Ododa.

Wallace will no doubt quickly become a fan favourite with her dogged determination and relentless work ethic on both ends of the court.

If there’s a loose ball to be grabbed, Wallace will likely get it. If it’s time for full-court defensive pressure, you can rest assured, Wallace will relish the opportunity to hunt down opposing guards for the length of the court. If the Boomers need to get something going on the offensive end, Wallace will be ready to drive into the paint and make something happen.

Wallace’s first two games as a Boomer have been exactly what coach Chris Lucas – who will be coaching against his former team for the first time on Sunday – would’ve hoped she’d bring to the squad.

Scoring 24 points in her Boomer debut against Perth was a perfect start to life in purple, and then on Wednesday night against Southside, Wallace was just everywhere and doing everything within her power to keep Melbourne in the game. Despite the loss, Wallace was a warrior, playing all bar two and a half minutes of the game and finishing with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists, as well as making a huge impact on countless defensive possessions.

All Mia Murray does is win, as proven by her three WNBL championships in an illustrious career of over 320 WNBL games. In her Boomer debut against Perth, it was Murray who rose to the occasion when her team needed her most.

With the Lynx pushing hard and having trimmed the margin to six points halfway through the last term, Murray stepped to the fore and drained back-to-back triples to give Melbourne a 12-point lead and force Perth into a time-out. The Lynx never recovered from those daggers and it showcased just how crucial Murray will be to the Boomers chances of defending the championship.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa is one for Boomers fans to keep an eye on and as the season progresses, she will only get more comfortable in the WNBL. Nelson-Ododa showed what she can do in a strong debut against Perth (9 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists), and in what will be her first game at Parkville, she’ll once again play a vital role up front alongside Cayla George.

Adelaide have many weapons who Melbourne will need to keep in check, highlighted of course by Opals superstar Steph Talbot. Talbot is the leader of the Lightning and quelling her influence – which is far easier said than done – will be key to the Boomers coming away with a win.

With General Admission tickets sold out, and Gold Reserve selling fast, be sure to grab yours today and revel in what promises to be a memorable and enthralling afternoon of hoops action. Tickets are available at