Graham Croker

Bulleen Boomers came, saw and conquered at Sydney University Sports and Aquatic Centre on Friday night to stay at the top of the Women’s National Basketball League after four matches.
Although down by three points at the main break, Bulleen finished too strong for the Flames to run out 80-71 winners.
As was expected with the home court advantage, the Flames came out firing with Deanne Butler and Deanna Smith hitting three-pointers to give them an early buffer. The Flames led 21-17 at the first break and 38-35 at the main break.
But the Boomers lifted their intensity in the third term and gained a two-point advantage going into the last quarter.
They soon extended their lead to nine points and held the margin until the final minute when the Flames reduced the margin to four after Elizabeth Cambage had been awarded a technical foul.
But a pair of three-pointers from point-guard Sharon Milner wrapped up the match for the visitors.
Jenna O’Hea led Bulleen’s scoring with 15 points, to go with nine rebounds and eight assists, while Elyse Penaluna led Bulleen’s inside game with 12 points and eight rebounds. Milner played a vital role with 12 points – including her three-point effort in the final minute – three rebounds and two steals.
Suzy Batkovic-Brown led the Flames’ scoring with a game-high 22 points to go with 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Her tussle with Cambage was a game within a game as she closed down her taller opponent in the first half.
Batkovic-Brown and Eva Afeaki hit the boards hard and entertained the home crowd with some dramatic blocked shots in the first half when the Flames were 100 per cent from the three-point arc, while Milner led the Bulleen scoring.
The Boomers’ inside game began to intensify in the third quarter, courtesy of Jenna O’Hea and Elyse Penaluna and their tall talent helped the visitors take the lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Flames will be hoping to get their season back on track when they take on Canberra Capitals at the Acuvue Arena at 7pm on Friday night, while Bulleen will meet Dandenong in Melbourne on Saturday.

BULLEEN BOOMERS 80 (Jenna O’Hea 15, Elyse Penaluna 12, Sharon Milner 12) d SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 71 (Suzy Batkovic-Brown 22, Mikaela Dombkins 14, Deanne Butler 10) at Acuvue Arena, Sydney University Aquatic Centre.