WNBL: On her knees, Batkovic finds a way to win

Image Credit: Townsville Fire
Image Credit: Townsville Fire

Image Credit: Townsville Fire

The Perth Lynx have shown they are unstoppable on their home court, with a 15-0 run to open their game against the Melbourne Boomers en-route to a massive 31 point win. The Lynx now sit equal top of the ladder alongside Bendigo Spirit, one game clear of the rest of the competition.

Sami Whitcomb was exceptional yet again, proving too quick and sharp for the Boomers who were unable to provide any answers. With 21 points, three assists and four steals, the October Player of the Month dominated on the court from start to finish. Carley Mijovic was shooting like she was on a mission, knocking down seven three-pointers to make 20 points, alongside six rebounds and two assists.

Brittany Smart and Maddie Garrick were both solid for the Boomers, however they were exposed by a far better outfit on the day.

Canberra went down to Bendigo by 12 thanks to the brilliance of Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe and Kelsey Griffin. Raincock-Ekunwe dominated yet again with 22 points and eight rebounds, while the Spirit’s leader, Griffin, had 14 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.

Spirit coach Simon Pritchard has his side in blinding form, and was deservedly awarded October’s Coach of the Month.

Bendigo’s defensive work was the difference of the match, working hard to limit the effectiveness of Canberra’s best. It wasn’t enough to stop Mansfield however, as the Round 5 Player of the Week performed well with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Bouncing back from the disappointing loss to Bendigo, Canberra turned it around against Dandenong the next day, beating them by 13 points. Mansfield ran absolute rings around the Rangers will 29 points, six rebounds and five assists in what was an epic display.

Marianna Tolo proved too strong and capable inside for the Rangers’ bigs with 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Veteran Carly Wilson has to be given some credit; she continues to play big minutes for the Capitals bringing her A-game. Wilson added 12 points and four rebounds, including some clutch three’s that proved beneficial in the moments when the game was won.

The match of the round however was the Townsville Fire who took on the Sydney Uni Flames. With 10 seconds to go, Mia Murray tied the game. Her bucket seemed to be a game-winner, yet it was quickly matched by the Flames’ Asia Taylor who put them back in front with just 5 seconds to go. It was then veteran superstar, Suzy Batkovic, who sent it into overtime with a reverse layup, incredibly, and quite literally, while she was on her knees.

The Fire were able to grind out the thrilling two-point win in extra time, as payback for the Flames one-point victory over them earlier this season.

If sending the match into overtime on your knees isn’t enough, Batkovic delivered 16 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while teammate Murray was huge with 20 points, four rebounds and five assists. Kayla Standish and Kelly Wilson were also instrumental, especially in overtime, to bring home this memorable win.

Playing 44 minutes and 38 seconds at the guard spot sure must be hard, but Leilani Mitchell made it look easy with her silky smooth class a highlight for the Flames’ night as she scored 16 points, five rebounds and five assists. Asia Taylor dominated, giving her all in the dying moments to try and get her side the win. She finished on 12 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in a courageous performance.


Round 6 Preview

Sydney Uni Flames vs Melbourne Boomers

Sydney could be a dark horse this season even though they are sitting 2-3, their losses have been by the narrowest of margins to tough competition. Can’t see them dropping this game at home.

Key Match-Ups:

Leilani Mitchell vs Brittany Smart

Adelaide Lightning vs Perth Lynx

These two teams met in Round 4 and it wasn’t pretty for the Lightning who went down by 32 points. Perth are in brilliant form and can’t predict they’ll be losing this game.

Key Match-Ups:

Samantha Logic vs Sami Whitcomb

Dandenong Rangers vs UC Capitals

Dandenong will be raring to face the Capitals after they beat them over the weekend, and no doubt the name Lauren Mansfield will be at the top of their minds to limit her impact. Dandenong will also need to find a way to limit Tolo’s effectiveness inside to combat the Capitals.

Key Match-Ups:

Amy Clydesdale vs Lauren Mansfield

Bendigo Spirit vs Townsville Fire

Bendigo are currently the team to beat, and it would be ignorant to tip them losing at home. However Townsville showed last week they can take it right down to the wire, and have the talent in their team to be able to complete this huge task.

Key Match-Ups:

Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe vs Mia Murray

Melbourne Boomers vs Townsville Fire

The Boomers could be a chance for this one if they’re facing a run down Townsville who will be in a tough match the night before. If they can provide a target inside, there’s no reason the Boomers can’t beat the Fire.

Key Match-Ups:

Maddie Garrick vs Micaela Cocks

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