SAMI-LESS LYNX FIGHT VALIANTLY V JACKSON’S FLYERS
The Perth Lynx battled hard all evening minus captain Sami Whitcomb and continued to make runs but ultimately led by Lauren Jackson the Southside Flyers claimed the 83-74 victory at Bendat Basketball Centre.
The Lynx fought valiantly all evening but it was Australian basketball legend Jackson who proved a major factor in the Flyers’ victory with the home team minus their own Opal, Whitcomb.
Jackson had 18 points and nine rebounds in the first half on her way to 25 and 12 for the game, but still Perth gave themselves a chance.
Lauren Scherf was huge in making it a four-point game again early in the fourth quarter before she hit another three and Amy Atwell brought the margin to three.
Ultimately the Flyers had the answers to win by nine and that was largely on the back of the 16 offensive rebounds to three for the night which helped them to 13 second chance points, and more significantly to take 15 extra field goals.
Winning that possession game was the biggest difference because there was precious little between the teams in most other aspects.
The fact the Lynx still had a chance to win despite giving up those 15 extra shots and three more free-throws should be a sign of encouragement.
The battle of the night was the centre match up and while Lauren Jackson was huge for Southside, Lauren Scherf was terrific for the Lynx too finishing with 20 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots while draining 3/4 from deep.
Robbi Ryan produced another encouraging performance particularly when aggressive driving the basketball to finish with 14 points and five assists.
Chloe Bibby fought hard against the Southside bigs for 13 points and three rebounds with Amy Atwell contributing 13 points and six boards, Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard six points and a steal, Alex Sharp five points and seven rebounds, and Tayah Burrows two points, three boards and two assists.
On top of Jackson’s 25 points and 12 rebounds, Maddi Rocci had 14 points and eight assists for the Flyers, Abby Bishop 13 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, and Sara Blicavs 12 points and five boards.
How it all played out
It was slow going early on from both teams but the Flyers did open up an 8-4 advantage on the back of Lauren Jackson’s first score.
Abby Bishop then pushed it out to 10-4 but the Lynx shot them back into the contest with Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard coming on and drilling a three. She soon made a second and when Chloe Bibby hit from beyond the arc too, scores were all square just before quarter-time.
However, Jackson scored again to give her 10 points for the quarter with Southside up 22-20 after one.
The Lynx opened up the second quarter on fire including back-to-back buckets to Ryan including an impressive left-handed finish and another where she got around Jackson to get to the rack.
That pushed Perth out to a four-point lead but once more the Flyers responded with the next eight points including three balls to Maddi Rocci and Jackson.
Jackson was just warming up and soon completed a three-point play which took her to 18 points and nine rebounds for the half in a dominant display only she can provide.
However, the Lynx did well to limit the damage from the rest of the Flyers and a triple from Alex Sharp and then a nice score on Jackson from Lauren Scherf limited Southside’s lead to 40-35 at the half.
It was a rough start to the second half for the Lynx with Kayla Thornton dropping a three for the Flyers to begin a 9-0 run. It included a massive Jackson block on Amy Atwell leading to Bec Cole scoring before buckets also to Rocci and Thornton leading to a Ryan Petrik timeout.
The Lynx did well to respond coming out of that timeout by scoring the next nine points including three-pointers from Scherf and Bibby to make it a three-point ball game once more.
The runs continued, though, and the Flyers hit the last nine points of the quarter to go into three quarter-time leading 60-48.
It was all Scherf to open the fourth quarter as she scored the opening eight points to bring the Lynx back to four points to set up a big finish.
It continued to be a game of runs with the Flyers pushing back out to an eight-point lead thanks to Sara Blicavs, but the Lynx kept on coming. Bibby and Scherf hit three-pointers to bring it back to six before Atwell converted a three-point play.
That made it a three-point margin with 3:30 to play before Rocci made two of the biggest plays of the night firstly with a big three and then taking a charge up the other end.
From there the Flyers were able to maintain the advantage to end up winning by nine but it was a fighting performance the Lynx could be proud of.
What’s next for Lynx
The Lynx now have the next two games on the road leading into Christmas firstly against the Townsville Fire next Saturday before taking on the UC Capitals on Wednesday December 21.
The next home game is Friday December 30 against the Adelaide Lightning.
CYGNETT WNBL ROUND 5
PERTH LYNX 74 (Scherf 20, Ryan 14, Atwell 13, Bibby 13)
SOUTHSIDE FLYERS 83 (Jackson 25, Rocci 14, Bishop 13)