February 18, 2024 | Southside Flyers news

Flyers 81 – Flames 78

The Flyers resumed where they left off in the last game before the Olympic Qualifying break with a hard fought 81-78 victory over the Sydney Flames in front of over 6,800 fans at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Promoted as a thank you to Lauren Jackson for her ongoing contribution to basketball in NSW, Lauren didn’t let the fans down with an 8-point opening quarter to help the Flyers to a 2-point lead, 23-21 at the end of the first period.

Trailing by 6-points with 3-minutes remaining in the opening period, the Flyers soon leveled the scores, through Rocci, Dickey, Jackson and Russell and then had a five point lead before a Flames 3-pointer on the buzzer.

The Flyers opened the second period with a 10 to 2 run on the back of a Jackson 3-pointer (for her 13th point of the game), to lead by 10-ponts with six and half remaining. When Mercedes Russell was successful with both free-throws with two and half minutes remaining in the half, the Flyers held an 8-point lead (42-34).

Don’t miss the Flyers final regular season home game on Saturday February 24 – Click Here for tickets

However, the Flames, who were on a four-game winning streak, hit back with an 11-0 run to go into the half-time break with a three point lead 45-42.

Third hosting second on the Cygnett WNBL ladder was always expected to be a tough battle and so it was. While the Flames opened up their game high lead of 6-points early in the third period, the Flyers fought back to hit the lead midway through the period.

The defensive work of both teams slowed the scoring down as both teams traded baskets to end the third period tied at 62.

Trading baskets continued at the start of the final period until the Flames opened up a 4-point lead with just under six minutes remaining in the game. A Nyadiew Puoch got the Flyers within one and then Bec Cole put the Flyers ahead 73-72 with four and a half remaining. The Flames regained the lead momentarily (74-73) before Puoch put the Flyers back in front, followed by a 3-point jumper from Maddy Rocci gave the Flyers a four point lead with three minutes to play.

A Mercedes Russell basket with 15-seconds remaining game the Flyers a four point lead and while the Flames managed to get to within two points with seven seconds remaining, Leilani Mitchell hit one of two free-throws for a 3-point lead with just 5-seconds remaining. The Flames unable to add to their score in the last few seconds to ensure a tough road victory for the Flyers – 81-78.

Mercedes Russell led the Flyers scoring with 18 point and seven rebounds, Lauren Jackson had 15 points and six boards, Leilani Mitchell also had 15 and five assists, Maddy Rocci 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Nyadiew Puoch and Jasmine Dickey both had eight points and Bec Cole added six together with four assists.

The Flyers will head to Townsville for a top of the table clash with the Fire on Wednesday night before returning to Melbourne for the final game of the regular season. A home game against Adelaide Lightning at Melbourne Sports Centre Parkville on Saturday February 24, tip off at 5:00pm.

The game is being played at Parkville as the State Basketball Centre show court is unavailable due to renovation work.

Flyers vs Lightning
Saturday February 24
Melbourne Sports Centre – Parkville
Click to Purchase Tickets