WNBL: Lightning and Fire in solid form

Round 4 kicked off on Wednesday night as the Capitals ventured to Adelaide to take on the Lightning. Canberra were without Rachel Jarry who missed this round due to a concussion injury sustained at training during the week.

The Capitals were brave until the end, however Adelaide hung on to claim an 80-77 point win. The Lightning got away in the second term and went into the main break with an 8 point lead, however Canberra fought back and it was kept close until the final siren. Abby Bishop was the standout player of the match, scoring 21 points and 12 rebounds, alongside Natalie Novosel who was dynamic with 17 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assist and 6 steals.

Canberra had a solid spread of performers, with Jordan Hooper (13 points, 7 rebounds), Nat Hurst (13 points, 6 assists) and Abbey Wehrung (14 points) all racking up solid numbers.

Adelaide then played host to Bendigo two days later and despite an early scare, hung on to go 2-0 for Round 4. Adelaide finished 79 to Bendigo’s 66.

Bendigo burst out in the opening term to lead by 10 points however thanks to a strong spread of pressure, intensity and execution, Adelaide fought back to find the win. Ruth Hamblin dominated while Bishop was kept quiet, finishing on 15 points and 17 rebounds. Courtney Planeta was also striking with 15 points, followed closely by Nicole Seekamp and Natalie Novosel who both had 13 points a piece.

Adelaide’s height was a major factor in the game as they dominated the rebound count 50-31. Nadeen Payne tried hard for the Spirit with 16 points, and both Kelsey Griffin (10 points, 7 rebounds) and Rachel Banham (11 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists) had solid impact.

Suzy Batkovic has continued her excellent form this season with a huge effort against the Canberra Capitals, scoring 27 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals to bring home an 83-68 point win. Laurin Mincy was also good for Townsville with 14 points for the match.

The Capitals played a good game, but they let themselves down in the second half where they couldn’t find any rhythm in their game. Canberra were only able to find 5 points in the final term, and Townsville found an opening and scored 17 points.

Townsville displayed some solid pressure, committing 12 steals and forcing Canberra into 18 turnovers. Mistie Bass had some good numbers for the Capitals with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists while Kate Gaze, Abbey Wehrung and Keely Froling all had 10 points a piece.

Sydney hosted the Melbourne Boomers and despite having one of their best go down (Katie-Rae Ebzery injured her ankle), found a way to hang on to their early lead and finish with a 65-56 point win.

It was a phenomenal individual performance from Asia Taylor, who totalled 27 points and 15 rebounds with her incredible athleticism. Alex Wilson has also been reliable for Sydney this season so far, and continued her good form with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Belinda Snell continues to wind back the clock and leads this Sydney team exceptionally well – she finished on 10 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists.

For Melbourne, the work was left up to Liz Cambage who was the only one to hit double figured with 19 points as well as being fouled on 10 times.

Dandenong made the trip out west to take on Perth Lynx who set the pace from the get go in this match. Sami Whitcomb and Alice Kunek set Perth’s night alight, and a huge 31 point third term from the Lynx gave them enough room to finish on an 88-78 point win. Whitcomb finished on 22 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals while Kunek had 21 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.

The Lynx had Alison Schwagmeyer line up for them for the first time, and her pressure and intensity gave her side huge momentum swings as she finished up on 10 points.

The Blicavs sister-in-laws were working hard to fight back for the Rangers, as Steph Blicavs finished on 24 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists while Sara finished with 18 points and 7 rebounds.

It was another epic performance from Suzy Batkovic, who this time led the Fire to a 64-57 point win against the Melbourne Boomers. It started as a low scoring affair, but the Fire slowly grinded it out to eventually come out on top. Townsville outmuscled their opponents on the inside and were able to limit the impact of Melbourne’s weapon in Cambage.

Batkovic led the scoring with 26 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals and Kelly Wilson also put the work in with 15 points to her name.

Cambage was kept quiet by both Cayla George and Batkovic, as she pulled in 12 points and 6 rebounds. Brittany Smart was solid for Melbourne with 16 points.

It was an exciting game to close out Round 4, and it was the Dandenong Rangers who found the way to win in the final moments against Sydney Flames. Despite having the lead in their hands, Sydney were beaten by the Rangers in the final quarter and Dandenong claimed a 70-68 point win.

Asia Taylor was the standout performer for the Flames, scoring 24 pints, 6 rebounds and 3 assists but unfortunately fell short with two free-throws in the dying moments to put Sydney back in front.

It was a strong team performance from the Rangers, with several players playing a big part in their late comeback win. Kayla Pederson saved the day with some desperate acts late in the game for Dandenong, finishing on 12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals. Steph Blicavs was damaging again with 14 points, and both Sara Blicavs and Tessa Lavey were reliable with 11 points each.

Belinda Snell was also exceptional throughout the match for Sydney scoring 11 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.