It was another tough night on the road for the Southside Flyers on Saturday as they took on the UC Capitals at the National Convention Centre in Canberra.
Our Southsiders were without three Flyer Opals in this contest with Maddy Rocci, Sara Blicavs and Kristy Wallace all off on national duties and we also missed the presence of star forward Abby Bishop who was a late out due to injury.
Missing pieces gave huge opportunity for other Flyers to step up and that they did, fighting hard throughout the night to keep up with Canberra. Unfortunately that fightback wasn’t quite enough against the Capitals as they got their fourth straight win, 69-94, over our Southsiders.
All Caps players that stepped on court added to the scoreboard last night and this started with a Kelsey Griffin two that would add to her top score tally of 19 points. The Flyers struggled to spark early and let the lead be pushed to a 13-point deficit before we gritted our teeth and started to push back on the road.
Belinda Snell stepped up as head coach last night in replacement of Cheryl Chambers who was also away with the Opals. At quarter time she gave the team some strong words and the Flyers responded well in the second. We started to find our flow on offense and began to match the Caps bucket-for-bucket, showing good fightback including some important minutes by Emilee Whittle-Harmon, who finished the game with 20 minutes and demonstrated why she has been an elite player in across many international leagues.
Consistent offense wasn’t enough for the Flyers to pull the lead back however with Canberra simply scoring too easily inside the paint, dominating our Flyers 32-8 inside the in the first half to be up by 20 at the major break.
In the second half Aimie Rocci showed her experience in the league by shrugging off a slow first half to start the second shooting with confidence, hitting a big three to kick off a strong third quarter for our Flyers. Whitte-Harmon and Bec Cole also added to the board, followed by Chelsea D’Angelo making her very first WNBL basket to everyone’s delight. She made it count as she scored a corner three that assisted the Flyers in taking out the third quarter 20-11 and within shouting distance of the home team.
The momentum would soon shift back to the Capitals though as Griffin and import Brittany Sykes added to Canberra’s impressive shooting night. The Caps would end up shooting at 47% from the field including a destructive 48 points inside the paint
With the lead quickly ballooning in the fourth the Flyers were forced to concede this defeat, the only positive being that the remaining Flyers bench were able to see some court time and get a feel for playing on the road at WNBL level. The Caps finished strong over our Southsiders in the final period, putting on a show for their home fans and finishing the game 94-69 victors.
It has not been an easy start to the year for this Southside squad with disruptions hitting the team in unforeseen ways, but there’s still plenty to play for in season 2021-22 and enough time to get back in the finals hunt.
Be sure to show your support for our Southsiders on all of our social channels Flyers Family, with your support we can start our rally back to the WNBL top four!
NEXT SOUTHSIDE FLYERS GAME
Southside Flyers @ UC Capitals
National Conventre Centre
Thursday February 17th – Tip Off 6:00PM