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WNBL Round 9 Review
Credit Geoff Tripp for photography.
Logan destroyed any hope of a close game for the Waves, after defeating West Coast 84-44, going 69-28 after the first quarter to end the game. Tegan Cunningham had another insane game, finishing with a double-double which included 19 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals, while Hannah Zavecz also made her mark on the Logan Metro arena with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Melissa Marsh was the best of the Waves with 10 points and 2 assists, while the rest of her side struggled from the field, finishing dismally at a 27% shooting clip.
The young West Coast side really took it to a stronger Thunder team in the first quarter. Melissa Marsh and Zoe Harper both earning crucial buckets which proved to the Thunder that this game was no easy feat. After finding themselves with a disappointing 1-point lead at the break, Emma Langford, as well as Zavecz and Cunningham dismantled West Coast who always looked to be one-step late, the Thunder earned a casual 21-point lead at the half. Laurie Koehn hit an easy 3 shots from 3-point territory in the second, and with that a Logan 23-4 ensued with Logan up by 40 at the final break. Natalie Burton hit her strides in the final half but it was too little, too late. The Thunder cruised to their third win on the year by a tune of 40 points.
Bendigo enjoyed a 13-point win over the Adelaide Lightning and also celebrated Kelly Wilson's 250th WNBL game in the process. Wilson had 12 points in her milestone match while Kristi Harrower top-scored with 24 points, setting up easy opportunities for teammates and notched together 7 assists. Adelaide only scored a woeful 21 points in the second half while Angela Marino top-scored for the Lightning with 13 and Laura Hodges netted 12 to go along with 5 rebounds.
Even after trailing behind with 8-2 run by the Lightning, the Spirit rallied back to force their way back to come out on top with a 17-12 lead close to the end of the first break. Hodges and Nadeen Payne put themselves at the forefront of the game, signalling their dominance on both sides of the floor in the second. Matching their efforts was Harrower's magnificent game for the Spirit. After being up by 3 at the half, the third quarter proved to be a different story for the Lightning team which was down 65-48 at the third break - they only scored 4 points in that quarter. Bendigo would then have an easy run to the finish with a 13-point lead at the final whistle.
Sydney beat the Canberra Capitals playing in unfamiliar territory with the game taking place at a crowded Lauren Jackson Sports Centre in Albury. Alicia Poto top-scored for the Flames with 19 points and was picking pockets with ease, knocking up 3 steals. Katie-Rae Ebzery was another huge contributor with 13 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds, while Lauren King had 17 points. Nat Hurst made 15 points, had 7 assists and 6 rebounds and also played the whole game except for 54 seconds, while Jess Bibby hit 13 off the bench.
Canberra started sloppy with 6 turnovers in the first-quarter. Furthermore, Sydney put back 9 unanswered points from these careless mistakes, helping them obtain a 4-point lead at the break. Canberra continued to turn over the ball in the second quarter with another 6 turnovers helping the Flames to steal another 10 points. Ebzery and Poto both had 8 points at the half. Canberra finally played a proper game of basketball in the third, scoring 20 in the quarter. However, Sydney finished strong and allowed them to widen the gap to 15 points at the end of the 3rd. Jess Bibby scored 10 in the final quarter but it was too little too late. Sydney won this game convincingly by a tune of 13 points.
Townsville capitalised on West Coast's miserable form, giving West Coast their second loss in their back-to-back encounter with the Fire. Micaela Cocks scored 22 for Townsville, while 4 other Fire players scored in double-digits - Cumming (13), Batkovic (11), Standish (17), Newley (10). Antonia Edmonson filled the stat-sheet, scoring 15 while putting up 5 assists and bringing down 6 rebounds. Melissa Marsh also scored 12 for the Waves. With this win, the Fire cemented themselves at the 4th spot on the ladder.
As expected, the Fire started strongly and quickly with a 10-2 lead before pushing it to 21-11 at quarter-time where the Waves had more turnovers then rebounds (8 to 6). The lead narrowed to 6 due to points from Darcee Garbin, but a Micaela Cocks' masterclass gave the Fire a 19-point lead at the long break. Townsville went on to control the rest of the game by keeping the game simple and sharing the ball amongst its arsenal of able-scorers.
Dandenong claimed the highly-coveted Michelle Timms trophy for the second-time this year after forcing Melbourne into some costly early turnovers. WNBA import Lellani Mitchell was crucial for the Rangers, finishing just 4 rebounds off a triple-double, with 16 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds to her name. Meanwhile, Jenna O'Hea (19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) and Kayla Pederson (10 points, 11 rebounds) also contributed to the Rangers win. Future superstar of the WNBL, Rebecca Allen, was lethal with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks, going head to head against Jenna O'Hea. Tess Madgen also chipped in with a productive performance, scoring 15 points alongside 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
Dandenong came out with full force on defense, pressuring Melbourne to commit 12 turnovers in the game's first 20 minutes. Tess Madgen and Bec Allen kept the Boomers alive in the first quarter, with the Boomers notching a 2-point lead. The Boomers extended their margin to 6 at half time, thanks to spectacular rebounding efforts from Allen and Madgen on a night where Chelsea Poppens failed to make an impact. Lellani Mitchell had 3 assists all in the third quarter which were directed to Kayla Pederson, and nailed a 3 herself to put her Rangers up by 10 before the Boomers closed the lead to 4 with 10 minutes to play. Former Boomers Jenna O'Hea and Alice Kunek pushed the margin past 10 and out of reach for a defiant Melbourne team.
Melbourne avenged their loss to Dandenong the night before with a strong showing against the Adelaide Lightning. Tess Madgen scored 25 and had 5 assists, Chelsea Poppens came back after her poor performance the night before with 21 points and 6 rebounds, while Rebecca Allen had 13 and Amelia Todhunter had 11. Laura Hodges continued her strong play this season with 19 points and 8 rebounds, while new Lightning import Chay Shegog scored 12 and Jess Foley had 10 points.
Chay Shegog made an immediate impact for the Lightning where her influence saw Adelaide close a 6-point lead to 1 by the end of the first quarter. Tess Madgen started strong in the second, leading the way for the Boomers and after pushing Adelaide into making bad decisions on offense, Melbourne were on top 45-37 at the main break. The Boomers had a 17-point lead at one stage in the third via a Rebecca Allen three, but was quickly nulled by both Hodges and Lauren Mansfield who helped Adelaide close the gap to 14 points at the end of the third-quarter. Even after coming at the Boomers with everything they had in the final quarter, the Boomers still held on for a much needed victory which sees them 8-3 at this stage in the season.
Round 9 Results
Logan Thunder 84 (Cunningham 19, Koehn 15, Zavecz 15) defeated West Coast Waves 44 (Marsh 10)
Bendigo Spirit 78 (Harrower 24, Richards 12, Wilson 12) defeated Adelaide Lightning 65 (Marino 13, Hodges 12)
Townsville Fire 95 (Cocks 22, Standish 17, Cumming 13) defeated West Coast Waves 67 (Edmondson 15, Marsh 12)
Dandenong Rangers 72 (O'Hea 19, Mitchell 16, Kunek 12, Novosel 12) defeated Melbourne Boomers 57 (Allen 24, Madgen 15)
Melbourne Boomers 85 (Madgen 25, Poppens 21, Allen 13) defeated Adelaide Lightning 71 (Hodges 19, Shegog 12, Foley 10)