The Brydens Sydney Uni Flames had a weekend of mixed results winning one game at home before falling on the road in Melbourne.
The Flames first took on the Adelaide Lightning at Brydens Stadium on Friday night coming away victors by twelve points. In what started off as a shaky match for the home side, trailing 11 – nil in the first four minutes of the game, the Flames settled by the second quarter and looked in control the rest of the match.
Some accurate shooting by the Lightning’s forwards in Alex Bunton and Laura Hodges enabled Adelaide to escape to a strong lead; however the Flames were eventually able to break the silence with two free throws made by Katie Ebzery.
The Flames opened the second quarter with five unanswered points, and after a three point shot from Ebzery the game got competitive as the lead was reduced to three. The home side outscored the Lightning 20 – 14 and by the major break trailed by 2 points as Leilani Mitchell closed out the quarter with a two point jump shot.
A three point shot by Mitchell, saw the Flames take the lead for the first time in the match at the eight minute mark of the third quarter. This quarter saw the team tighten up on defence resulting in Adelaide only being able to get 11 points on the board. This play continued into the final quarter with the Lightening struggling to score. Mid-way through the final term the Flames had run away with the game, leading by as many as 16 before a few late free-throws by Adelaide saw the game closed out, the Flames winning, 66 – 54.
After a great home win, the team travelled to Melbourne to take on the Boomers who are currently placed fourth on the ladder. With the addition of Laurie Koehn, a sharp shooting guard who once played for the Logan Thunder, the Melbourne side definitely had more scoring power and eventually came out victors by six points.
It was a competitive first quarter, although the Boomers got off to a convincing start leading 7 -1 within minutes of play commencing. The Flames then went on a scoring flurry and quickly gained the lead after a couple of big three point shots with the first quarter wrapping up 21 – 18 in favour of the home side.
The second quarter was fiercely competitive with both teams trading baskets, resulting in the match being all tied up at 38 a piece at the major break. The Flames then gained momentum moving into the third quarter which saw the term open with a basket from Paris Johnson. She proved unstoppable collecting 6 invaluable points within a matter of minutes, pushing her teams lead to as many as 13 points. The Flames looked in complete control with one term of basketball remaining; however some aggressive offensive play by Rebecca Allen and sharp shooting from the Boomers from beyond the arc saw them close the gap quickly.
At the five minute mark of the final quarter, the Boomers regained the lead by one point. A three pointer from Koehn left the Flames chasing in the dying minutes of the match, the team was forced to commit fouls in the hope of regaining possession however it wasn’t quite enough and Melbourne closed out the game 83 -77.
Despite the upset loss to the Boomers, the Flames still remain in a strong position on the ladder, placed third (only by percentage) behind Townsville and Bendigo.
Statistically, a lot of players contributed again this week demonstrating a solid team game. This is a positive sign moving forward indicating that many players can step up in the absence of Rohanee Cox who broke her nose over the weekend and will now be out for four rounds.