November 2, 2022 | Perth Lynx news

Australian Opals bronze medal pair Sami Whitcomb and Kristy Wallace put on quite the show to open the WNBL season at Bendat Basketball Centre on Wednesday night with the Melbourne Boomers prevailing 104-88 over the Perth Lynx.

It was a grand final rematch to open the 2022/23 WNBL season and the stars came out to play with Whitcomb delivering 13 first quarter points to spark the Lynx early with the home team going up eight during the second quarter.

However, with Wallace leading the charge for the Boomers with support from Cayla George and Tiffany Mitchell, the defending champs opened up a five-point lead by half-time and pushed that out to 14 in the third.

The Lynx weren’t done and made a charge with nine of the first 11 points of the fourth quarter. However, the class and experience of Melbourne again prevailed and they went on to score the 16-point victory.

The standout performers

Fresh off another WNBA season and being the Opals point guard at the Women’s World Cup, Whitcomb delivered 30 points and seven rebounds for the Lynx in the season-opener while draining 6/11 from three-point territory.

Star centre Lauren Scherf finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists with WNBA draftee Amy Atwell putting up 14 points to go with four rebounds and three assists.

Alex Sharp added 10 points, five rebounds and three assists, Chloe Bibby 10 points, four boards and four assists, Emma Gandini three points, Tayah Burrows two points, and Robbi Ryan two points and five rebounds.

Boomers import guard Tiffany Mitchell put up 32 points to go with nine assists and four steals in the win for the Boomers while Kristy Wallace had 24 points, and Cayla George 21 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals.

How it played out

Sami Whitcomb wasted no time opening up the WNBL season with a bang with an early triple for the Lynx before Alex Sharp hit the floor and immediately drained one of her own to put the home team back on top.

Whitcomb then closed out the opening quarter on fire with another two three balls to have 13 points to quarter-time and on the back of that, the Lynx were on top 22-19 having hit four triples with the Boomers stone cold from beyond the arc.

Scherf then knocked one down from deep to open the second period and Perth’s lead was out to a game-high six points when Emma Gandini landed from beyond the arc in her first game as a fully contracted player.

Sharp stretched that lead to eight before the Boomers worked their way on top sparked by Kristy Wallace. She had 14 points on her own to half-time and with Melbourne closing the half with a 17-7 run, it was the reigning champs up 51-46 at the main break.

Early second half triples to Whitcomb and Scherf kept the Lynx in touch, but the Boomers soon powered away with another 7-0 run before Mia Murray hit a triple following an offensive rebound to push the lead out to 15.

Just when it was looking to get out of hand, Whitcomb stepped back up for the Lynx with seven straight points to bring the margin back to just seven with the Boomers up nine by three quarter-time.

The Lynx then came out firing with the first six points of the fourth quarter, and then a triple from Amy Atwell made it a two-point ball game and the home team had all the momentum.

It couldn’t quite last, though, with the Boomers hitting the next 10 points starting with two buckets from Cayla George, and two dagger three balls from Mia Murray to put the game to bed and Melbourne went on to claim the 16-point victory away from home.

What’s to come

The Lynx play again in Round 1 on Sunday away to the Bendigo Spirit before being back home on Saturday November 12 against the UC Capitals.


PERTH LYNX 88 (Whitcomb 30, Scherf 17, Atwell 14)

MELBOURNE BOOMERS 104 (Mitchell 32, Wallace 24, George 21)