The Brydens Flames ventured to Victoria to square off against their bogey team of this season, the Dandenong Jayco Rangers, and went ever so close, falling 64-61 in a rugged, defensive scrap.
The performance though, was a vast improvement on their last trip to Dandenong in late November when they were comprehensively outplayed, 85-65.
Having won against ladder leaders Perth just two nights earlier the Flames called on their bench to provide energy with #7 Alex Wilson rising to the call as Flames top-scorer with 13 points and 5 rebounds. Wilson only knows one speed and that is full blast from the moment she hits the floor every week. Exuding class, #30 Carolyn Swords, gave her all to rack up 12 points including a game–high 12 rebounds. Swords robust play and craftiness kept the Flames in the early contest. Starting five teammates, #10 Katie Ebzery and #4 Tahlia Tupaea, also chimed in with 12 points each but struggled to convert more chances as the Rangers never gave an inch.
For the Dandenong Rangers, #15 Sara Blicavs, was match top-scorer with 16 points and was menacing in both attack and defence. The Rangers had two other players break double figures similar to the Flames.
The Flames have one last chance against Dandenong and that is thankfully and coincidentally their next home game on Saturday, February 6 at 7.30pm. After an exhausting few days the Flames, like all teams, now enjoy a bye round next weekend to coincide with the Jayco Opals playing an international round-robin Olympic test event in Rio.
The Flames, still well placed near the top of the table, will need to muster all their experience and grit as they head into a tough section of the draw with three consecutive away games. They next play on January 22, against Bendigo Spirit at Bendigo Stadium.