Shyla Heal keeps Flames close in an Adelaide loss
The Brydens Sydney Uni Flames have gone down to the Adelaide Lightning, 56-73, in a hard-fought game at the Hills Basketball Stadium.
The star of the match for the Flames was Shyla Heal.The Opals point guard scored 24 points, had six assists and grabbed five rebounds. Heal controlled the game from the get-go and led the Flames in scoring and assists.
In multiple stretches of the game Heal went on scoring sprees, making two three-pointers and leading by example with her ferocious defence.
The game was tightly contested in the first half, the Lightning only had a three-point lead going into the second half and the largest lead by any team was five.
Kalani Purcell and Keely Froling again proved their worth, playing hard and taking everything Adelaide through at them.
The Lightning forced their way to the ring, finishing the game with 26 points in the paint (shooting 52 percent) and got to the line 11 times to the Flames four.
Steph Talbot and Kylee Shook were dominant for Adelaide. Talbot had a near triple-double while Shook was an unstoppable force inside.
Adelaide’s interior defence was also a puzzle for the Flames to solve, the length of Alanna Smith and Shook in particular made it very difficult to score inside.
The Flames started slowly in the third quarter. It took a few minutes for the Flames to score but they held Adelaide to five points before they made their first basket of the second half.
Adelaide made a statement in the third quarter, they held the Flames to only nine points and got to the paint at will. Kalani Purcell hustled her heart out while the Flames were trying to get through the length of the Lightning.
Shyla Heal was a maestro with the ball, passing across the court multiple times with pin-point precision.
After a close first half, the Lightning broke open the game in the third quarter. With their biggest lead of 17 points, the Flames had a mountain to climb in the fourth quarter.
Shyla Heal took on Adelaide with purpose. She scored seven points in the quarter, with some stellar rebounding support from Kalani Purcell.
But Adelaide made the distance in the third, it was a strong showing against the talented Lightning.
Post-game Shyla Heal and Assistant coach Shelley Gorman spoke with Flames media.
Heal finished the game with five rebounds and often pushes the pace after a quick rebound. She spoke about what that does for the team.
“That’s my role in this team,” she said.
“We don’t have any imports right now so I have to do a lot of the creating, scoring and get in there with rebounding so it’s tough this year but I’m proud of the group this year.”
Coach Gorman spoke about the struggles of the third quarter.
“Our third quarter has been really hurting us,” she said.
“Our first halves have been great, I thought our whole first half was great. We were playing some really good d and got through our offence but that third quarter, we couldn’t get through our sets and Adelaide came in tough.”
The Flames will take on the Perth Lynx in Western Australia on Saturday at 10pm AEDT.