BIBBY SHINES AS LYNX FALL TO FIRE
Chloe Bibby continued her standout first WNBL season at the Perth Lynx but it wasn’t quite enough to get over the line on the road with the Townsville Fire recording the 98-85 victory on Saturday night.
Lynx return to the road
After four consecutive home games over the past month, the Lynx returned to the road on Saturday night in Round 6 of the WNBL to face the Fire at Townsville Entertainment Centre.
It was just the second away game of the season for the Lynx as they hunted their third victory of #WNBL23, and things started well enough with a lead on several occasions throughout the first quarter, and only a one-point deficit at quarter-time.
However, the Fire worked their way on top and would lead by as much as 22 points as the night unfolded before ending up winning by 13.
Where the game was won
Despite the loss, Perth did shoot 50 per cent from the field for the game including hitting 9/23 from three-point land and making 16/22 foul shots opposed to Townsville’s 5/9.
However, the Fire pulled down 19 offensive rebounds to nine and would end up taking a whopping 29 extra field goals for the night which was ultimately the major difference between the two teams.
There were positive signs throughout the evening for the Lynx and none more so than the continued terrific form of Chloe Bibby. She finished the evening with 24 points and nine rebounds on 9/14 shooting including 4/6 from the charity stripe.
Lauren Scherf also battled hard for 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds with Alex Sharp contributing 13 points and six boards, and Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard 10 points on 2/3 three-point shooting.
Captain Sami Whitcomb returned for 10 points and seven assists with Robbi Ryan contributing six points, three rebounds and three assists, Jessie Edwards two points, and Tayah Burrows two points.
Steph Reid ended up leading the scoring for Townsville with 27 points to go with nine rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Tianna Hawkins added 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Lauren Nicholson 19 points.
How it all panned out
Lynx captain Sami Whitcomb marked her return to lead her team with a hot start in Townsville starting off with a pair of free-throws, then draining a three ball and then when Chloe Bibby found Lauren Scherf for another triple, Perth was up 8-6.
The Fire scored the next nine points topped off from downtown by Mikaela Ruef, but Alex Sharp did knock one down from deep soon after to keep the Lynx in touch before Whitcomb added her second of the first quarter.
The emerging Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard hit two of her own from long-range just before quarter-time to put the Lynx up by a point before Townsville took a narrow 21-20 lead after one.
Jessie Edwards, Clinch Hoycard and Ryan all scored early in the second quarter to keep the Lynx close, and even though the Fire maintained a narrow lead, it was soon Bibby and Scherf doing well offensively to see Perth remain in touch.
Another bucket just before half-time from Scherf continued her impressive first half and was able to keep the Lynx within striking distance and limit the Townsville advantage to 51-44 at the long break.
The Fire came out and started the second half strongly to push their lead out to double-digits and then even 22 points after a three-pointer to Karlie Samuelson. A Scherf three-pointer just before three quarter-time at least brought the Lynx back to within 19 heading into the fourth.
Bibby’s impressive night continued to start the final period for the Lynx and when she hit a three the margin was back to 15 before Samuelson responded in kind for Townsville.
Townsville’s lead did get out beyond 20 again throughout the fourth quarter but Perth kept fighting the game out a final minute triple from Bibby had the final margin back to 13 points.
What’s next for Lynx
The Lynx remain on the road to take on the UC Capitals and former player, and three-time NBL1 West (then SBL) MVP Ali Schwagmeyer-Belger on Wednesday before returning home for Christmas and preparing to host the Adelaide Lightning on December 30.
CYGNETT WNBL ROUND 6
PERTH LYNX 85 (Bibby 24, Scherf 18, Sharp 13)
TOWNSVILLE FIRE 98 (Reid 27, Hawkins 20, Nicholson 19)