Flames play hard in a loss to the Melbourne Boomers

February 20, 2022 | Sydney Flames news

The Brydens Sydney Uni Flames wore their hearts on their sleeves today. In a close loss to the Melbourne Boomers, the Flames fell short 76-85 on the road.

It was a herculean effort from Kalani Purcell. She played phenomenal defence all game, she scored when the Flames needed it, grabbed 16 rebounds, threw out six assists and had three steals. Not much more you could ask for from the Tall Fern.

But it was the Flames’ ball movement that got us started. Kicking around the top of the key the ball found Funda Nakkasoglu, who was too open to miss. Shyla Heal off the fast-break found Keely Froling filling the lane and that forced a timeout from Boomers coach Guy Molloy.

Froling and Nakkasoglu created a wave of momentum, with Heal as the head of the snake, the entire Flames starting unit were making the Boomers work hard in the first.

The Boomers had a plan before the game: take the ball out of Heal’s hand. The Flames countered this by having an all-around team effort, with ball movement, three-point shooting and great defence.

The second quarter was an elite defensive showcase by both teams, the Boomers were held to 38 percent from the field and 4/14 from the three-point line. The Flames scored 18 points in the quarter off the back of Froling’s 15 points in the first half.

The Boomers came out of the half-time break with a different mentality. They forced points inside and held the Flames to their first second-half points until four minutes into the third, with a made free-throw from Nakkasoglu.

The Flames were overwhelmed by the Boomers defence, they forced turnover after turnover and the Flames had no answers for the fast-break opportunities the Boomers created.

The Flames did well to bounce back, Heal got into double-digit scoring and the defence crept back with it. But the Boomers had a huge third-quarter, scoring 25 points and flipping the momentum on its head.

Heal came out of the quarter-time huddle and put the Flames on her back in the fourth quarter, the tone of the offensive changed with Heal taking control late in the game.

With three’s off the dribble plus an and-one, Heal put her Opals experience to the test.

The Flames got it within single digits in the late stages of the fourth. But despite Heal’s best efforts, the Boomers created the distance they needed in the third quarter. Making it a mountain for the Flames to climb to get the win.

The Boomers did very little wrong in the second half, they had four players in double-digit scoring and forced 10 turnovers. They only shot 10/28 from three, but the defence is what got them the win.

Froling continued her dominant form from last week, scoring 24 points and grabbing five rebounds. While with her first game back from Serbia, Heal scored 21 points and dished out four assists.

The Flames’ next game will be at Brydens Stadium on Saturday, February 26 at 7.30pm. our first game back at Brydens since December! If you haven’t got your tickets click here.