In their first interstate game of the season the Flyers pulled off an epic comeback win over the Sydney Uni Flames, 73-70.
The Flames led the game from four minutes to go in the first, all the way up until the last minute and a half of the game when Sara Blicavs won the lead back with a huge three.
Our Southsiders were again without Aimie Rocci but had their starting five back together once again. Abby Bishop went out towards the end of the first quarter with an injury and did not return to the play, giving the rest of the team a chance to step up.
Sydney were itching for a win having only won one game so far, this season. They are a strong shooting team and unfortunately the Flyers defence lacked intensity.
The first quarter saw a tight contest as the Flames showed their shooting capabilities early nailing four 3’s. All starters got points on the board in the first quarter for the Flyers and Kristy Wallace subbed in to apply great defensive pressure to Flames point guard Shyla Heal.
Heal has also been selected in the Opals Squad along with Flyers point guard Maddy Rocci which provided a great match up between the two.
Going into the second quarter the Flyers were in a three-point deficit, 21-18, which the Flames kept building before half time. Kalani Purcell was a weapon for the Flames inside as she continued to pull down rebounds and ended the game with 14 to her name. After missing the last game, Cole played with some fresher legs and continued to add to the scoreboard but at the half Flames led, 44-33.
The third quarter started strongly as Captain Jenna O’Hea hit back to back deep three-pointers cutting the deficit to only seven. Flames guard Funda Nakkasoglu wasn’t going to let the lead slip away that easily as she also fired back her own back to back three’s and then hit another with 2 minutes to go in the third.
Rachel Jarry and Kate Gaze added bench points to close out the quarter, but Rebecca Pizzey who was quiet most the game added 4 points to extend the Flames margin, 64-49, going into the last stretch.
This is where it gets fun for Southside fans who have been waiting for a win next to the teams’ name. The Flyers experience and depth shone in the last quarter. Cole started the flame ignition for the team scoring the first four points followed by a Blicavs bucket. Once Froling hit tough shots inside the key, coach Chambers called a time-out to let the Flyers girls know it was now or never.
Cole and Blicavs would keep cashing buckets until Captain O’Hea hit a huge three to cut the Flames lead to only four with 2 minutes to go. The game was tense and the Flames started to feel the heat as they continued to miss shots they had been hitting all game. With only 1:11 to go Blicavs hit a crucial go ahead 3 and the energy was high.
Maddy Rocci’s defensive pressure was ramped up in the second half but unfortunately, she got hit hard on a screen with 19 seconds to go, sending her to the bench. O’Hea would finish the Flames off hitting two free throws and ending the game 73-70, Flyers W.
A crucial W for Southside, they hope to make that two when they play the UC Caps next Saturday in Canberra at 5:00PM.
Feels nice to be back on the winner’s list hey Flyers Family! A terrific win to kickstart the second half of the season, let’s keep this train rolling!