December 13, 2023 | Perth Lynx news

Not only did the Perth Lynx put on a spectacular shooting display, but a terrific lockdown defensive performance to make it consecutive WNBL wins beating the Sydney Flames 98-58 on Wednesday night.

It’s the start of a three-game home stand at Bendat Basketball Centre for the Lynx either side of Christmas and they were able to build on the momentum after Sunday’s stirring overtime victory on the road to the Adelaide Lightning.

Sydney did arrive on a two-game winning streak as well, but the Lynx dominated the second and third quarters especially to open up a lead as big as 42 points on the way to the eventual 40-point win to improve to a 6-3 record on the season.

Where the game was won

The Lynx began to set the tone in the first quarter with vice-captain Amy Atwell on fire hitting 4/5 of her three-point attempts for 15 points to help her team to the 23-19 lead by the end of one.

Perth then stretched the lead with 29 points to 14 in the second quarter and Anneli Maley already had 11 points and nine rebounds with the Lynx on fire going 9/17 from downtown and 19/34 from the field.

The Lynx defence locked in further in the third quarter holding Sydney to just eight points and adding another 26 including a 14-0 run at one point. The lead would eventually balloon to 42 in the fourth quarter with a complete 40-minute performance from the Lynx.

They went 36/69 from the floor at 52.2 per cent and 16/32 at 50 per cent from deep while also forcing the Flames into 20 turnovers and scoring 21 points from those. Sydney also just shot 24.3 per cent from the field for the night.

Who the standout performers were

All 12 Lynx players hit the floor with 10 of them scoring and even those that didn’t, Amy Jacobs still pulled down two rebounds and had an assist, and Grace Foster recorded her first WNBL stats with a rebound and assist.

Amy Atwell ended up top-scoring on the back of her 15 first quarter points for 21 in the game with six three-pointers with Miela Goodchild also producing 18 points and five steals.

Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard hit double-figures for the first time this season with 15 points with 3/5 three-point shooting while captain Anneli Maley delivered 11 points, 15 rebounds and three assists.

Alex Ciabattoni came up huge as well for 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals with Emily Potter contributing six points and six boards, Aari McDonald six points and five assists, Chloe Forster a career-best six points and two assists, Ash Hannan three points, a block and a steal, and Steph Gorman two points and three assists.

Ahlise Hurst and Cayla George both scored 13 points for Sydney with George also pulling down 13 rebounds with Didi Richards having a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.

How the game panned out

Amy Atwell opened the scoring for the Lynx with her first of four three-pointers in the opening quarter before Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard added a three-point play.

Then after Sydney led 9-6, Perth took charge scoring seven straight points including another three from Atwell. When she hit her third the Lynx lead was out to five, but a couple of triples to Sydney from Cayla George and Emma Clarke made it a one-point game.

The Lynx had the last say of the first frame with a three-pointer from Alex Ciabattoni and kept the momentum rolling with a hot start to the second starting with a Miela Goodchild triple.

Ciabattoni and Anneli Maley then scored as well and it was a 10-0 run either side of quarter-time with Perth going from up by one to 11 in less than three minutes of playing time.

That advantage for the home team was out to 13 shortly after when the trap defence worked and Goodchild got hold of the steal in the backcourt and jacked up her second three of the period.

Maley hit a long jumper before Hoycard also connected from behind the arc with the lead growing to 17. It continued to grow leading to half-time with an and-one from Maley, Ciabattoni scoring in transition after the steal and Aari McDonald closing things out with her first score of the game.

It just happened to be a three over George with Perth leading 52-33 on the back of going 9/17 from behind the three-point line, 56 per cent overall and holding Sydney to 9/35 shooting at 26 per cent.

The Lynx weren’t about to take their foot off the gas either and opened the second half on a stunning 17-3 run. That included another three from McDonald and two from Atwell, but they also went inside for Emily Potter to score a couple of times and suddenly it was a 33-point ball game.

There was no let up either after a Sydney timeout with Steph Gorman stretching the lead to 25 before was 30 after another long-range bomb from Ciabattoni and a layup to Goodchild.

Chloe Forster cruised to the rack to close the third quarter too with Perth leading 78-41 and it was more of the same in the fourth stanza including Ash Hannan starting things off by hitting the team’s 14th three of the night.

A couple of threes from Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard closed things out with the Perth lead growing to 42 points at one point and settling at 40 on the final buzzer.

What’s next for the Lynx

The Lynx remain at home for the next two games either side of Christmas but there’s a bit of a break before hosting the Southside Flyers back at Bendat Basketball Centre on Saturday December 23.

Next up is hosting the UC Capitals on December 27 before hitting the road for two games in Townsville against the defending champion Fire.


PERTH LYNX 98 (Atwell 21, Goodchild 18, Clinch Hoycard 15)

SYDNEY FLAMES 58 (George 13, Hurst 13, Richards 10)