The Southside Flyers presented a depleted line-up against the Boomers in their third match up this season, with captain Jenna O’Hea, Sara Blicavs, Emilee Whittle-Harmon and Chelsea D’Angelo all missing due to COVID protocols.
That didn’t stop our Southsiders putting a great performance together with the team they did have on the floor as the bench stepped up once again to keep the game tight throughout the night.
It was the Boomers who came out on top in the end 75-72 howver, taking over in the last minutes of the game. Tiffany Mitchell top scored with 17 points and 8 assists while Ezi Magbegor also contributed 16 of her own points.
For the Flyers, Bec Cole continued her run of solid performances tying top score with 17 points and 4 rebounds. Meeting her at the top scoring spot was Abby Bishop who recorded her third triple double of the season. Bishop had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists and to her credit played a full game with no substitution.
Still recovering from COVID herself, Bec Cole came out firing in her first quarter scoring ten of the Flyers points. Maddison Rocci kept the team flowing on offense providing assist after assist. It was Rachel Jarry who moved into the starting line-up and provided strength inside against the Boomers Cayla George.
Much like their previous game the Flyers kept close to their opponents in the first, ending the break down by two points, 17-19.
The Boomers struggled to make shots early in the second quarter which allowed the Flyers to have their first buffer lead of the night going up by eight points. Tiffany Mitchell ended the drought scoring a three point to open their bank.
Neither team looked like they had switched into second gear to close out the half but Cole’s 17 points and Bishop’s 9 provided some important baskets along with Kristy Wallace’s defensive intensity to give the Flyers a lead at the half, 39-32.
Fatigue showed early in the second half of the game for Southside as the Boomers Ezi Magbegor added to points in the paint that would tally to 36 by the end of the game for Melbourne. The Flyers struggled with their scoring this quarter and only managed to put ten points on their tally.
Tiffany Mitchell was fouled on a three-point shot and made all three to give the Boomers a six-point advantage going into the last fight, up 49-55, the Flyers had to shift the momentum back.
Shift the momentum back they did with Aimie Rocci going bang from the three-point line followed quickly by a Wallace steal and drive for two. Bishop then got to the free throw line sinking two. This added to the Flyers impressive free-throw efficiency percentage of 87%, going 14/16 at the stripe.
This is where the lead changes became frequent as Magbegor showed up in the paint once again but Maddison Rocci also came to play, shooting two important threes back-to-back but not without a Boomers answer in Izzy Wright.
The game shifted back and forth with a Kate Gaze three ball for the Flyers, but at the 2:36 mark Wallace was substituted out with her final foul. Unable to score since the Gaze three the Boomers looked like they had the intensity until a huge three from Aimie Rocci put Southside down by one with just over a minute to go.
It would be Magbegor once again scoring to finish off the game and giving the Boomers the 75-72 victory.
A tough result for our Southsiders but you had to be impressed by their fight on Saturday, battling hard without a number of key players against an experienced Melbourne Boomers lineup. You know our girls will be ready to SOAR next weekend in WNBL Round 8, hitting the road for a clash with Canberra on Friday followed by a Sunday afternoon battle with Adelaide!