February 4, 2023 | Perth Lynx news

It was every bit a playoff like contest with precious little separating the two teams all night at Bendat Basketball Centre, but in the end the Townsville Fire scored the game’s last five points to beat the Perth Lynx for the second time this week, 95-91.

On the back of Townsville snapping Perth’s seven-game winning run also at Bendat Basketball Centre on Wednesday night, the two teams met again on Saturday with the Lynx desperate to bounce back to avoid losing touch with the WNBL’s top four.

It was a tight and quality affair all the way, but in the end Tianna Hawkins hit the biggest shot of the game to give the Fire the four-point win.

The Fire now sit on top of the table as a result at 12-4 while the Lynx are still fifth at 9-7, behind the Bendigo Spirit (11-5), Southside Flyers (12-5) and Melbourne Boomers (11-4).

How the game was won

With so much on the line for both teams, no more than six points separated them the entire night and it was always destined to go down to the wire.

Both teams came up huge in the fourth quarter as well combining for 59 points and ultimately it was Tianna Hawkins who proved match-winner for Townsville.

She scored 12 points in the last quarter and that included the go-ahead three-pointer with 17 seconds remaining that sealed the critical win for the Fire.

It was a high quality game of basketball with Townsville ending up shooting 54 per cent from the floor to Perth’s 51. The Lynx hit 10/26 from downtown and the Fire 7/19 with Perth hitting 11/15 at the charity stripe to Townsville’s 16/17.

The Lynx won the rebound count 34 to 30 including 10 at the offensive end to seven and it was just a game with precious little separating both teams across the board.

Who the standout performers were

Lauren Scherf continued her brilliant season for the Lynx by delivering another 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists while shooting 5/10 from three-point territory.

Robbi Ryan added another 16 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists, Amy Atwell 16 points and three boards, and Chloe Bibby 12 points.

Sami Whitcomb also had nine points, eight assists and six rebounds, Alex Sharp seven points and two rebounds, Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard three points and a rebound, and Jessie Edwards one point, one rebound and one assist.

Tianna Hawkins scored 12 of her 26 points for the night in the last quarter for Townsville to go with seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks.

Courtney Woods added 22 points and three assists for the Fire with Karlie Samuelson and Steph Reid scoring 14 points each, and Mikaela Ruef 13 to go with 10 rebounds.

How the action panned out

The Lynx started strongly with a bucket to Robbi Ryan and three-pointers to Amy Atwell and Lauren Scherf. When Sami Whitcomb scored too, the home team was up 10-4.

However, the Fire responded to go on a 16-5 run to grab the lead before Ryan scored for the Lynx to at least bring the quarter-time deficit back to three.

Alex Sharp and Chloe Bibby combined for the first five points of the second quarter to regain the lead for the Lynx before Townsville again answered with the next six points.

It was Perth’s turn to take charge and the home team would go on a 15-6 run which included a triple from Scherf and an and-one completion from Sharp. An Atwell three-point bomb before half-time then helped the Lynx lead 42-38 at the main break.

The game was set up for a terrific second half contest with what was at stake and it certainly delivered.

Whitcomb did help the Lynx to a six-point lead early in the third quarter, but that would be as big of a margin as there would be between the teams the rest of the way.

By three quarter-time, the Lynx clung to a 64-63 advantage and then both teams exploded at the offensive end in the fourth quarter.

There were huge plays right throughout the quarter from both teams and just when the Fire had the momentum with three-pointers from Courtney Woods and Tianna Hawkins, and another bucket to Hawkins, the Lynx responded.

Atwell converted a three-point play and the Lynx stayed close with a couple of baskets from Bibby, and then another from Scherf. Atwell’s third triple of the game tied scores up and then Scherf’s fifth from long-range for the night soon after had the Lynx up 91-90 with 23 seconds to play.

However, Perth wouldn’t score again and the biggest shot of the game proved to be a triple from Hawkins up the other end. Townsville then sealed the win with two free-throws from Woods.

What’s next for the Lynx

The Lynx now don’t play again until Thursday February 16 away to the Adelaide Lightning before also an away clash with the Southside Flyers three days later.

The last home game of the season will take place on Saturday February 25 against the Bendigo Spirit before road clashes to close things out with the Lightning and UC Capitals.


PERTH LYNX 91 (Scherf 27, Ryan 16, Atwell 16)

TOWNSVILLE FIRE 95 (Hawkins 26, Woods 22, Samuelson 14, Reid 14)