Flames just fall short in a close season opener

December 5, 2021 | Sydney Flames news

The Brydens Sydney Uni Flames have narrowly fallen short 55-58 in their first game against the UC Capitals in the home-opener of the WNBL 2021-2022 season.

The game started as the Capitals held the Flames down with three blocks and one steal in the first quarter.

But then came Flames’ import Stephanie Watts,  she scored 10 points and two three-pointers in the first, which broke open the Flames’ offensive game going into the second.

Soon followed Shyla Heal and Chelsea Dungee and they added some much-needed scoring. While co-captain Lauren Mansfield knocked down multiple timely three-pointers during the game, including the last minute.

It was a neck and neck game until the last seconds.

Caps import Brittany Sykes broke the game open with two fast break layups, pushing the margin to five points. The Flames crawled back but the momentum was secured by the Capitals early in the fourth with multiple “and-ones” and a rim rattling three-pointer by Jade Melbourne.

The game came down to a battle of free-throws, leading up to Watts attempting the game-saving three to take the Flames to overtime, but no luck. The Flames finished their first game of the season of an admirable loss to a perennial championship team.


Each week we will speak with the coaching staff to analysis the game. This week is head coach Shane Heal.

What impressed you about Stephanie Watts’ 16 points today?

“She was good in the first half on offence,” Heal said.

“But like all of the young girls there’s still so much to learn as far as detail goes.”

What do you take into next week’s rematch against the Capitals in Canberra?

“We have to make some big adjustments to the pressure they put on us on the defensive end. And find some solutions on the offensive end but our D [defence] was great.”

Next week the Flames will try get revenge against the Capitals on December 12, Sunday at 5 pm in Canberra.