The Flames dug deep to repel a determined Adelaide Lightning 84-79 in a bruising encounter at Brydens Stadium, Friday November 13.
This hard-fought, never- say- die win makes it three in a row for the Flames and maintains their position at the top of the ladder with SEQ Stars.
With scores locked at 40 a piece at the major break, the Flames applied the heat and stood tall to conjure a third- quarter 7 point surge that proved the difference in the end despite Adelaide giving the game a real shake in the final period.
Celebrating Association Round, with local players invited to wear their club colours, it was fitting that top scorer for the night was #4 Tahlia Tupaea with 24 points followed by dynamic Flames captain, #10 Katie-Rae Ebzery, on 19 points. Tupaea, a local Sydney junior born in Penrith, first played for the Glenmore Park Basketball team.
Nothing seems to bring out the best in a player more than squaring off against their old team and ex-Flames duo now with the Lightning, Australian Guard, #5 Leilani Mitchell and #3 Mikaela Ruef didn’t disappoint top scoring for Adelaide with 17 and 18 points respectively. In a gripping spectacle a highlight was watching Tupaea, only 18 years old, match it with Mitchell as they challenged each other all over the court on every play.
Coach Shannon Seebohm prepared the girls well for the fight stating, “Mikaela and Leilani have a lot of pride and you always want to beat your old team. We knew they’d come out and give us a tough game. It wouldn’t be easy.”
Flames imports #30 Carolyn Swords and #31 Joslyn Tinkle continue to impress and frustrate opposition with intense pressure applied in defence and their stats in defensive rebounds and total rebounds against Adelaide played a big part in constructing the win.
New to the team, #7 Alex Wilson impressed, bringing both energy and points when they were needed.
“I’ve felt really welcomed and winning at the moment makes it even better. The team are gelling really well,” Wilson said.
There is no rest for Adelaide who back up against UC Capitols in Canberra on the second-leg of their road trip, Saturday November 14, while the Brydens Flames set their sights on hosting SEQ Stars next weekend and avenging their extra-time loss a couple of weeks ago in Queensland.
“The Stars have a lot of talent and we’re going to have to make sure our defence is on point. They’ve got a lot of firepower and it will be a high-scoring game I’m sure,” said Seebohm.
This mouth-watering top of the table clash is not to be missed and also doubles as the annual Aussie Hoops Round where all kids wearing their Aussie Hoops gear enter for free.