November 12, 2023 | Southside Flyers news

Flyers enjoy a one-point victory in Townsville after trailing by ten early in the final period 

The Flyers made another statement on Saturday night with a thrilling one-point victory over Townsville Fire, ending the Fire’s 17-game winning streak. The win follows the big victory over Canberra just three-days earlier, to give the Flyers a winning road trip in their first two away games of the season.

The most important time to be in front is when the final buzzer sounds and that is exactly what the Flyers were able to do on Saturday night. The only other time the Flyers were leading was in the opening minute of the game when Mercedes Russell scored the first 2-points and then a minute later Maddy Rocci scored to give the Flyers a 4-2 lead. At the first break the home team held a five point lead, 29-24.

After trailing the rest of the game, and by ten-points with seven minutes to play in the game, the Flyers showed their true spirit and posted a very enjoyable road victory. It was all about the final few minutes of the game and that is when the Flyers stood up.

Mercedes Russell with 22-points led the scoring for both teams, with Maddy Rocci (captain for the game) 13-points, Carley Ernst 12, Nyadiew Puoch and Jasmine Dickey both with 10-points, making it five Flyers scoring double figures in a real team performance.

After trailing by five points at the first break, the Flyers found themselves down by nine, early in the second period (37-28). The home team was getting the breaks, but this game was always going to be tight with both teams working to get the ascendancy. At the half-time break the Flyers had reduced the margin to just two points with a 4-0 run in the final 30-seconds (48-46).

It took nearly two minutes before any score in the third period, when Mercedes Russell tied the scores at 48. It was a tight battle with scoring drying up as both teams fought to defend and after another three minutes the Fire had added six points to lead by six before the Flyers finally scored through Carley Ernst with four minutes remaining in the period. The Fire stood firm in the final minutes to go into the final term with an eight point lead (63-55).

After 30-seconds of the final period, the Flyers were down by ten points and maybe the game on Wednesday night was starting to weary the players, particularly with no Bec Cole for this game. Again both teams were struggling to score and with just under seven minutes to play, the Flyers still faced a ten point deficit. The Flyers dug deep on both ends with some strong defensive redounding and great ball movement, it was a one-point ball game with two minutes to play.

Nyadiew Puoch grabbed a defensive rebound with scores level and just 33-seconds to play. Mercedes had a shot blocked but strong work under the offensive basket led to a Flyers possession (held ball) and a time-out. Puoch was fouled and went to the free-throw line with 10-seconds remaining. She made the first to put the Flyers in the lead for the first time since the opening minute of the game. The second shot missed, and the Fire had one last shot but the defensive pressure from the Flyers was too good, and the missed shot was rebounded by none other than Mercedes Russell, a fitting end to another outstanding performance by Mercedes.

Final Score – Flyers 75 d Fire 74  Box Scores

A fantastic fight back and memorable victory for the Flyers in Townsville to be 2-1 after the first three games of the season.

The downside of the road trip to Canberra and Townsville was the injury to Captain Bec Cole early in the game against Canberra, leaving her out of the remainder of that game and the thrilling win against the Fire. With seven days before the Flyers next game, in Adelaide against the Lightening, Bec will be given every chance to return to action.

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