WNBL: Sydney flaming hot in Game 1 of Semi-Finals
If they didn’t already look like nothing was getting in their way of a WNBL premiership, the Sydney Flames have now well and truly stamped their authority with a thumping win over Townsville in Game 1 of the Semi Finals. It looked like it was going to be a similar result for Dandenong who held a strong lead over Perth, but a late comeback forced the Rangers to walk away with just a 7 point win.
Alex Wilson was the standout for the Flames with 27 points, with fellow frontrunners Leilani Mitchell and Asia Taylor totalling 19 points each.
The Flames led from the get go, but Townsville ensured it remained close as Suzy Batkovic made her presence known inside. The veteran centre finished up with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists as she tried her hardest to get the Fire over the line.
But it was the third quarter that was the difference. Taylor and Wilson brought the spark Sydney needed to bring the third quarter total to a huge 38 points, and forcing Townsville to just 14.
Scoring a healthy total of 111, the Flames were as sharp and efficient as they’ve been all season and found answers when they needed to.
Back on their home soil, Townsville will host the Flames for Game 2 on Friday night, and will no doubt be looking to tighten up their defence and reduce Sydney’s scoreboard pressure.
Check out the top 5 plays from the match here:
The Perth Lynx will be looking to do a similar thing in tightening up their defence at their home court on Friday night, and will be deciphering a plan to stop Dandenong’s stalwart Steph Cumming who dominated on Saturday night.
Cumming was instrumental in Dandenong’s Semi Final #1 win over Perth, scoring 25 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in an epic performance. Rangers guard Amelia Todhunter was a handy asset who had the mammoth task of stopping Sami Whitcomb, she also provided 7 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals.
Whilst Todhunter limited her effectiveness, Whitcomb still managed to total big numbers with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 2 assists. Whitcomb gave the Lynx her all, especially in the final quarter and helped inspire the possibility of a comeback. Alongside her was Tessa Lavey, who’s sharp shooting and quick pace put the heat right on the Rangers in the final quarter. Lavey finished on 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals.
Dandenong guard Natalie Novosel made impact in big moments for the Rangers, and helped shift momentum early in the game to get a healthy lead. Novosel finished on 15 points for the match.
The Rangers can’t relax yet, as Perth gave them a sneak peek of what they can really do in that final quarter. Perth’s momentum at home will build on Friday night, but they will need to stop Cumming who continues to torture them on the scoreboard.