RECAP OF LYNX’S UNBEATEN RIVER CITY REBOUND
Three games, three wins and plenty of exciting signs for the WNBL season ahead from the Perth Lynx in Brisbane over the past four days during the River City Rebound.
After a month of pre-season training and with the full group together over the past week following the arrival of WNBA point guard Aari McDonald, the Lynx ramped up their preparations for the 2023/24 WNBL season by heading to Brisbane for three games across four days.
The Lynx were joined by the Adelaide Lightning, Townsville Fire and Sydney Flames in Brisbane for the pre-season round robin tournament and in the end there was plenty to like from a decidedly new look Perth team for the season ahead.
It got underway on Thursday night with a thrilling 94-93 victory against the Flames before an 86-80 victory against the reigning champion Fire and Sami Whitcomb on Saturday, and then finally the 98-90 win against the Lightning on Sunday.
Thursday v Sydney Flames
The River City Rebound got underway for the Lynx against the Flames on Thursday night and it turned out to be quite the exciting contest to open the pre-season action.
After a tight first quarter, the Lynx blew the game open in the second frame with 28 points to 14 to go into half-time leading Sydney 49-37.
The Flames were able to turn the tide coming out of half-time with 32 points to 17 in the third period before Aari McDonald and Anneli Maley took charge to open the fourth quarter to put the Lynx back in front.
The lead then continued to exchange hands with Perth staying in touch thanks to three balls from Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard and Amy Atwell, before another triple from Atwell put the Lynx on top 87-86 with three minutes to play.
Atwell then hit another triple with just over 30 seconds to go to bring it back to a one-point ball game before she forced the turnover on Paige Bradley from the Flames, went on to score and ultimately secure the 94-93 win for the Lynx.
New import point guard Aari McDonald top-scored for the Lynx with 22 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals on 9/12 shooting from the field and 4/5 at the foul line.
Amy Atwell added 17 points and five rebounds, Miela Goodchild 14 points, nine boards and three assists, Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard 13 points and seven rebounds, and Anneli Maley eight points, 10 boards, three assists and two steals.
Chloe Forster added eight points and three assists ahead of her first season on the full roster with new centre Emily Potter contributing seven points, two rebounds and two assists, Steph Gorman three points and two steals, and development player Teige Morrell two points and three rebounds.
Former Lynx forward Emma Clarke finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds for Sydney.
Saturday v Townsville Fire
The challenge on Saturday for the Lynx was to take on the reigning WNBL champion Townsville Fire and coming up against their former captain, Sami Whitcomb, for the first time.
The Fire were on top for a lot of the first half leading 22-18 by quarter-time and then 46-37 going into half-time with Whitcomb wasting no time sending a reminder to everyone at the Lynx what she’s capable of.
However, the Lynx were able to steady at half-time and then work back into the contest impressively in the third quarter by outscoring Townsville 25 points to 15.
By the time Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard knocked down a three-pointer to start the fourth quarter, Perth was leading by four but a couple of minutes later and a three-point play from Whitcomb had Townsville back square.
It was Canadian centre Emily Potter’s turn to top score for the Lynx ending up with 20 points and six rebounds on 7/12 shooting from the field and 6/8 at the free-throw line.
Point guard Aari McDonald contributed another 19 points, six assists and three rebounds with Anneli Maley adding 18 points, 17 rebounds and two assists, and Miela Goodchild 17 points, three assists and two boards.
Amy Atwell also had five points, two rebounds and two assists, Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard three points, four assists and three boards, Steph Gorman two points, two rebounds and two assists, and Teige Morrell two points and two boards.
In the end, a massive triple from Miela Goodchild with 3:30 to play put the Lynx back up by five and from there they were able to go on to secure the 86-80 victory.
Sami Whitcomb was sure impressive for Townsville as well with 35 points with 4/9 shooting from downtown and 9/10 at the charity stripe.
Sunday v Adelaide Lightning
Last up at the River City Rebound for the Lynx was a match up with an Adelaide Lightning team on Sunday who were hunting their first win of the mini tournament.
It was a hot start to the Sunday match up from Adelaide who piled on 35 points in the first quarter with Issie Bourne scoring 15 of those to be on fire to help the Lightning to the 35-27 lead at quarter-time.
The Lynx were able to turn the tide and push the pace and keep the scoring flowing in the second quarter with 32 points to 23 on the way to leading 59-58 at half-time after an exciting opening half.
Perth kept the pace going in the third quarter with another 25 points and while the pace dropped from both teams in the fourth stanza, the Lynx ended up leading by as much as 14 points on the way to the eventual 98-90 victory.
Miela Goodchild produced another impressive performance in the win for the Lynx with 21 points, two rebounds and two assists while hitting 3/6 from behind the three-point line and 8/8 at the foul line.
Anneli Maley also had 14 points, 15 rebounds, two assists and two steals, Aari McDonald 12 points, five assists, three boards and two steals, and Emily Potter 12 points, nine rebounds and two assists.
Amy Atwell contributed 10 points, three rebounds and two assists, Steph Gorman nine points, four boards, three assists and three steals, Alex Ciabattoni nine points, two rebounds and two assists, Chloe Forster six points, and Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard five points and two assists.
Issie Bourne finished with 35 points and 11 rebounds for Adelaide with Izzy Borlase adding 18 points and seven boards.