Tag: Marena Whittle

Hat-trick Hawks as Blues lose

THE Ringwood Hawks have done what no one else could this season, knocking off the undefeated Frankston Blues in one of three victories for the club in Round 11.

Having already defeated the Melbourne Tigers 71-56 on Wednesday night, and claiming an 18-point victory on Friday night against the Kilsyth Cobras, the Hawks were back in action again on Saturday claiming a massive scalp on the road at the Frankston Basketball Stadium.

After an entertaining first half it was the home team who led at the main break on the back of a brilliant first two quarters from Darcee Garbin who scored 19 points, half of her team’s total, as they led 38-37 with an intriguing second half to come.

The Hawks were brilliant as they managed to overrun the Blues in the second half to claim an 11-point victory. It was a great team performance as Funda Nakkasoglu (11 points), Danni Bone (11 points), Toni Farnworth(10 points), and Marena Whittle (21 points) all scored in double figures for the match. The defence of the Hawks was also a key factor as Ringwood held Frankston to just 24 second half points.

For the Hawks, Whittle completed her 21-point game with 12 rebounds and Bone had four offensive rebounds (five rebounds total) to go along with her 11 points. Meanwhile, Garbin (23 points, 14 rebounds) and Taylah Giliam (21 points, 4/7 three pointers made) were the stars for the Blues.

The defeat of the 10-0 Blues, and the two other wins against the Tigers and the Cobras keeps the Hawks’ hopes of making NBL 1 finals alive.

Meanwhile, Knox had two wins over the weekend including a victory over fellow finals contender Eltham. Knox defeated the Wildcats 75-53, the day after an eight-point victory over the Falcons.

Klara Wischer had a great game scoring 15 points, 13 rebounds, and four steals. Teammates Rebecca Ott (16 points, 4/6 three pointers made), Lucy Dawson (13 points, nine rebounds), Leah Santomaggio (12 points, four three pointers made) also performed, while Rebecca Pizzey (12 points, 10 rebounds, 5/8 field goals made) was again a solid contributor for Eltham.

Elsewhere, Launceston and Bendigo took advantage of the Blues’ defeat, narrowing the gap at the top of the ladder.

The Tornadoes had a close win against the Supercats, with Kelsey Griffin (26 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, four steals) falling just shy of a big triple double in the 73-70 victory.

The Braves had a crushing 31-point win against the Bandits. Abigail Wehrung (27 points, seven rebounds, five assists) and Kate Oliver (24 points, six rebounds, four assists) were huge for the Braves, and Kelly Wilson (nine points, nine rebounds, nine assists) also came close to completing a triple double.

Rachel Antoniadou (22 points, five assists) and Izzy Wright (21 points, six rebounds, five assists) were both important in Nunawading’s 92-66 win against Mt Gambier.

While Sara Bilcavs had 34 points and eight rebounds in Geelong’s first game of the round, a 29-point win over the Hobart Chargers.

Full Round 11 results:

Ringwood Hawks 71 def Melbourne Tigers 56
Hobart Chargers 69 def by Geelong Supercats 98
Bendigo Braves 105 def Albury-Wodonga Bandits 74
Ringwood Hawks 72 def Kilsyth Cobras 54
Knox Basketball 73 def Waverley Falcons 65
Frankston Blues 62 def by Ringwood Hawks 73
Ballarat Rush 72 def by Nunawading Spectres 95
Kilsyth Cobras 90 def Mt Gambier Pioneers 60
Dandenong Rangers 67 def by Albury-Wodonga Bandits 75
Launceston Tornadoes 73 def Geelong Supercats 70
Eltham Wildcats 53 def by Knox Basketball 75
Waverley Falcons 70 def by Frankston Blues 78
Diamond Valley Eagles 85 def Ballarat Rush 78
Nunawading Spectres 92 def Mt Gambier Pioneers 66
Sandringham Sabres 49 def by Melbourne Tigers 100

Photo credit: Ian Knight Photography

NBL1 South Women’s wrap: Round 6

FRANKSTON Blues stand as the only undefeated side in the competition after Knox Raiders suffered a narrow defeat, and the Blues fought back to win their clash with Geelong Supercats in a blockbuster National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s Round 6 of action.

Geelong Supercats (75) def. by Frankston Blues (80)

The rampaging Frankston Blues started off their Round 6 of action in style with a hard-fought five-point win over Geelong Supercats. The confidence-boosting win showed the Blues could get their hands dirty, fighting back from an 11-point deficit at quarter time, to almost completely erase that by the half, and then finish the stronger of the teams to win, 80-75. Darcee Garbin shot 24 points and racked up 14 rebounds in a massive double-double effort, while Tessa Lavey (19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists), Taylah Giliam (18 points, three assists and two rebounds) and Ella Batish (11 points, three rebounds and two assists) all went to work for the winners. The Supercats had a quartet of talents running around on court, with Sarah Elsworthy (19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals) leading the way, Antoinette Emma-Nnopu (18 points, 10 rebounds) picking up a double-double, and both Stephanie Blicavs (14 points, seven rebounds and six assists) and Alex Duck (10 points, seven rebounds and four assists) getting busy.

Nunawading Spectres (81) def. Knox Raiders (78)

A frantic finish where free-throws decided the contest, Nunawading Spectres held on against a brave Knox Raiders outfit to win by three points at home. Leading by five points at half-time, the Spectres were challenged in the second half as the Raiders cut the deficit to just one at the final break before Nunawading held firm in the last to win the term and secure the 81-78 victory against the previously undefeated side. Penina Davidson (20 points, 12 rebounds and four assists) and Rachel Brewster (20 points, seven rebounds and two assists) both top-scored for the Spectres, while Izzy Wright (18 points, six assists, four steals and three rebounds) and Louise Brown (10 points, seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks) also impressed. The Raiders had a two-player shooting spree between Klara Wischer (25 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Leah Santomaggio (25 points, three rebounds and two steals) in defeat.

Diamond Valley Eagles (52) def. by Kilsyth Cobras (104)

There was no mercy shown to the home team as a visiting Kilsyth Cobras doubled Diamond Valley Eagles’ score in their clash. The Cobras won by 52 points, and won each quarter by at least 12, including a 35-17 second term, and defensive shutdown of 17-4 in the last quarter on their way to a 104-52 win. Lauren Nicholson returned to NBL1 action as one would expect with the experienced WNBL player putting up 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists against the winless Eagles. Lauren Scherf (18 points, 13 rebounds and three assists), Carly Turner (12 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Abigail Curtin (10 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals) also produced big numbers for the winners. Olivia Bontempelli was again the standalone source of scoring for the Eagles, recording 17 points, four rebounds and two assists, while Ivana Vasiljevic was the next best with 10 points.

Dandenong Rangers (93) def. Hobart Chargers (72)

Delivering Hobart Chargers yet another loss, Dandenong Rangers fought back from a half-time deficit of 11 points to completely shut out the Chargers’ offence on their way to a 21-point triumph. The Rangers restricted the Chargers to just 15 points in the second half, 10 less than their second term and 17 less than their first quarter, whilst piled on 47 points themselves to run away with the 93-72 win. Emilee Harmon (26 points, seven rebounds) and Dallas Loughridge (25 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals) combined for 51 points, while Sherry Glennie (15 points, four steals and three rebounds) was also lively in the win. For the Chargers, Ellie Collins dropped 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the clear best in a losing side, supported well by Kylie McCauley (17 points, six rebounds and two assists) and Sharna Thompson (16 points, seven rebounds and two assists).

Eltham Wildcats (88) def. by Launceston Tornadoes (92)

Stunning an unbeaten team on the road, Launceston Tornadoes showed they mean business in the NBL1 season, winning 92-88 against Eltham Wildcats to hand the Wildcats their second loss of the season. The Tornadoes did not have it all their own way, but after being level at the final break, managed to secure the win with the 23-19 final term. Kelsey Griffin showed all of her experience for the Tornadoes with 28 points, 15 rebounds and two steals, while Mariah Payne (22 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals), Teyla Evans (18 points, five rebounds) and Micah Simpson (10 points, six assists and two rebounds) also stood up. Anneli Maley dropped an enormous 36 points and 25 rebounds – 17 defensive – on the Tornadoes in a bid to get her team over the line, also picking up four assists in the process. Rebecca Pizzey (11 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Erin Riley (10 points, four rebounds and two assists) were other prominent Wildcats in the loss.

Ringwood Hawks (88) def. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (68)

Ringwood Hawks handed Albury-Wodonga Bandits another loss, winning all four quarters on their way to a comfortable 20-point win. The Hawks won each quarter by five, four, five and six points to always have that breathing space between themselves and their opponents in order to post the 88-68 win. Funda Nakkasoglu (22 points, nine rebounds and four assists) lead the way for the Hawks, while Marena Whittle (19 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks) picked up a double-double and Hope Terdich (12 points, eight rebounds) also stood up in the win. Emma Mahady (21 points, seven rebounds and two steals) was the dominant scorer for the Bandits, while Geralynn Leaupepe (15 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Geraldynn Leaupepe (13 points, seven rebounds and two steals) teamed up to be double-trouble for the Hawks despite the loss.

Mt Gambier Pioneers (60) def. Ballarat Rush (48)

In a battle between two teams playing their only match of the round, Mt Gambier Pioneers picked up the victory at home over Ballarat Rush by 12 points. In a low-scoring encounter, the half-time lead of 17 points was all it took for the Pioneers, as the Rush could not claw their way back despite a strong final term of 17-13, losing 48-60. Jasmin Howe (28 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists) was the dominant player for the winners, knocking down six of 10 from long-range. Sherrie Calleia (14 points, eight rebounds and six assists) also looked impressive, whilst Hannah Young was next best with only the five points, but eight rebounds and three assists. For the Rush, Kristy Rinaldi was the only double-digit scorer with 11 points, recording six rebounds and three assists, while both Alicia Froling (eight points, 20 rebounds and two blocks) and Kasey Burton (six points, 14 rebounds, two assists and two steals) might have had forgettable shooting nights, but were enormous off the boards.

Kilsyth Cobras (60) def. by Launceston Tornadoes (87)

Backing up their massive win on the road against Eltham Wildcats, the Launceston Tornadoes made it two from two in Round 6, toppling Kilsyth Cobras by 27 points in a convincing four-quarter win. The Tornadoes won every quarter, with the first term 25-12 making the difference during the 87-60 triumph. Griffin added another double-double to her name with 24 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals, but this time she shared the load with Keely Froling who returned to produce a casual 25 points and 16 rebounds, as well as two assists and two steals. Payne (17 points, six rebounds and four assists) and Evans (10 points, six rebounds and two assists) also produced good numbers. Nicholson tried hard for the Cobras across all 40 minutes, recording 18 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals, while Scherf had a double-double of 13 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals, and Turner finished with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in the loss.

Waverley Falcons (63) def. by Bendigo Braves (84)

Grabbing a big win on the road, Bendigo Braves showed just how impressive they could be, downing the Waverley Falcons by 21 points in the team’s only games of the weekend. The Braves took control in the second term with a 29-13 quarter after an even first term, and that set the visitors up for the 84-63 win. Kate Oliver (27 points, eight rebounds and three assists) and Tess Madgen (22 points, 11 rebounds and six assists) both lit up the court with their shooting, while Abigail Wehrung (eight points, seven rebounds and five assists) was busy for the Braves. In defeat, Renae Mokrzycki had 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists, while Kelly Bowen (seven points, eight rebounds and two steals) and Nyakoang Lok (eight points, six rebounds and two assists) were both prominent off the boards.

Melbourne Tigers (89) def. Nunawading Spectres (66)

Melbourne Tigers grabbed an impressive 23-point win over Nunawading Spectres on Sunday to close out a mixed weekend for the Spectres. After grabbing the tight win against Knox Raiders, the Spectres were not able to stay with the Tigers in the final quarter, tiring out and the fresh team dominated to win the term by 19 points, and the match, 89-66. Monique Conti feasted with an almost triple-double of 28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in every minute on court. Also not taking a trip to the bench was fellow WNBL talent Zitina Aokuso (18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks), while Geraldine McCorkell (15 points, six rebounds) and Isabella Brancatisano (five points, 11 rebounds and seven assists) impacted in different ways for the winners. Wright top-scored for the Spectres with 19 points, seven rebounds, three assist and three steals, while Rachel Antoniadou (15 points, three rebounds and three assists) and Davidson (14 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists) were also prominent scorers on the day.

Frankston Blues (90) def. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (67)

Frankston’s dominant unbeaten season rolled out with a 23-point triumph over Albury-Wodonga Bandits. A strong start had the home team 10 points up at the first break, and the 13-point differential in the third term (20-7) really drilled home the point during the 90-67 victory. Garbin shot another 19 points including five of nine from long-range, also recording 10 rebounds and two assists in the process. Giliam (17 points, four rebounds and two assists), Saraid Taylor (15 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Lavey (10 points, six assists and five rebounds) were also prominent in the win. It was no surprise to see Mahady (22 points, five assists, two rebounds and two steals) again the best for the Bandits, while both Jade McCowan (14 points, six rebounds) and Charlotte Beavan (10 points, four rebounds) shared around the points in the loss.

Sandringham Sabres (81) def. Hobart Chargers (49)

Hobart Chargers were no match for Sandringham Sabres as the visitors lost their second game of the weekend on Sunday, going down to the Sabres by 32 points at the southern Basketball Stadium. Whilst the final term was even, the damage was done in the first 30 minutes, as the home side piled on a 32-point lead, keeping the Chargers to 12 points or less in each of those terms during the 81-49 victory. Jenna O’Hea (21 points, six rebounds and three assists) was the top-scorer in the win, while Amy O’Neill (17 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and three steals) and Cassandra Hill (15 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals) were also lively. For the Chargers, Thompson (12 points, five rebounds), McCauley (12 points, six rebounds and two assists) and Collins (11 points, eight rebounds and two steals) were again the double-digit scorers.

Picture credit: NBL1

NBL1 South women’s wrap: Round 5

BENDIGO Braves managed to end the winning streak of one side in the Eltham Wildcats over the weekend, but fell short of inflicting the same fate on another one in Frankston Blues, in what was a huge National Basketball League (NBL)1 weekend of action.

Hobart Chargers (84) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (68)

Opening the round up on the Apple Isle, Hobart Chargers claimed a 16-point victory over Diamond Valley Eagles in a battle of two winless sides. The Eagles actually led at half-time by four points, but a dominant second half in favour of the Chargers – which saw them storm home 48-28 – resulted in the home team winning 84-68. Ellie Collins lead the way with 34 points – five of 11 from long-range – 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks. Madeleine Garrick (23 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists) also stood out, while Tayla Roberts (11 points, three rebounds and three assists) hit double-figure points. Hayley Sparks (19 points, five rebounds and two steals), Imogen Rock (12 points, seven rebounds) and Olivia Bontempelli (10 points, five assists and three rebounds) were among the top-scoring Eagles on the night.

Geelong Supercats (90) def. Melbourne Tigers (82)

The Geelong Supercats managed to breakaway from the Melbourne Tigers in the third term to secure a 90-82 win. The teams were even at half-time, but a 24-11 third quarter in favour of the Supercats put the momentum firmly in favour of Geelong, and whilst the Tigers cut the deficit back by five points, they fell by eight points. Sarah Elsworthy (25 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals) scored the most points in the match, while Alex Duck (18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals), Rebekah O’Donnell (15 points, five rebounds and three assists), Stephanie Blicavs (15 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals) and Antoinette Emma-Nnopu (12 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks) all combined for some big numbers. Zitina Aokuso almost recorded a triple-double of 20 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and two steals, with Monique Conti (22 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Isabella Brancatisano (14 points, two steals) also busy for the visitors.

Bendigo Braves (70) def. Eltham Wildcats (63)

A one-sided first term has aided Bendigo Braves in holding off a fierce Eltham Wildcats outfit and handing the Wildcats their first loss of the NBL1 South season. The Braves piled on 28-8 in the opening term to bolt out to a 20-point lead, but then the Wildcats picked up the slack over the next two quarters, including a 24-9 third term to come within one point at the final break. A 17-11 last quarter saw the Braves secure the 70-63 victory. Tess Madgen (23 points, nine rebounds and five assists) did not spend a minute on the bench in a tireless effort the Braves, while Piper Dunlop (14 points, 13 rebounds and two steals) and Kate Oliver (12 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks) both picked up double-doubles. Tess Heal (22 points, eight rebounds and two steals) top-scored, whilst Anneli Maley dominated off the boards for the Wildcats with 27 rebounds, though was inaccurate from the field, shooting two of 12.

Dandenong Rangers (63) def. by Frankston Blues (78)

Frankston Blues became the first side to win six consecutive games, downing Dandenong Rangers by 15 points on the road. Trailing by three points at quarter time, the Blues found their groove in the second term scoring 23-13 to lead by seven at the main break. Frankston also won the last two quarter by four points each to win by 15, 78-63. Darcee Garbin (27 points, nine rebounds and three steals) and Tessa Lavey (22 points, 13 assists, five rebounds and three steals) were the dominant duo once again for the winners, while Ella Batish had seven points, seven rebounds and two assists. Alison Downie (16 points, six rebounds and two assists), Tenaya Sooalo (13 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Emilee Harmon (12 points, eight rebounds) were the three key Rangers.

Kilsyth Cobras (70) def. by Nunawading Spectres (90)

The Nunawading Spectres leapfrogged Kilsyth Cobras on the NBL1 South ladder with an impressive 20-point victory on the road. The Spectres dominated the first quarter to race out to a 10-point lead, and doubled down in the third term with a 23-8 quarter. Nunawading managed to reduce the final damage by winning the last stanza, but it was still a sizeable 90-70 defeat. Rachel Antoniadou (28 points, 10 rebounds and five assists) was the dominant scorer for the winners, whilst Louise Brown (10 points, 14 rebounds) picked up a double-double, and Izzy Wright (13 points, six rebounds and three assists) was also strong. Carly Turner (15 points, four steals, two rebounds and two assists) lead the points tally for the Cobras, while Lauren Scherf (10 points, 11 rebounds), and Tia Hay (12 points, seven rebounds and five assists) were equally as busy across the court.

Albury-Wodonga Bandits (64) def. by Waverley Falcons (81)

Waverley Falcons produced an impressive 17-point victory over Albury-Wodonga Bandits, coming from a nine-point quarter time deficit to win in emphatic style. After the 24-15 term in favour of the Bandits, the Falcons won the next three quarters by nine, five and 12 points to win 81-64. Kelly Bowen scored a match-high 21 points, as well as 12 rebounds, whilst Renae Mokrzycki also had a double-double of 12 points and 18 rebounds, and Aneta Bandilovska (17 points, four rebounds and two assists) also contributed to the score ticking over. Emma Mahady’s monstrous season rolled on with a huge double-double of 20 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Bandits, while Brodie-Paige Theodore (20 points, four rebounds and two steals) and Jade McCowan (10 points, six rebounds) also notched up double-figure points.

Ringwood Hawks (67) def. Ballarat Rush (50)

Ringwood Hawks won the battle of the two-win sides, defeating Ballarat Rush at home by 17 points, The Hawks got off to a terrific start to lead by 11 points at quarter time, and whilst the second and fourth terms were fairly even, the Hawks beat the Rush by seven points in the third term for an overall 67-50 win. Funda Nakkasoglu (20 points, three assists) lead the way, dropping four of nine from long-range, whilst Marena Whittle (eight points, 12 rebounds, four steals ad two assists) and Demi Skinner (nine points, five rebounds) were also busy. Kasey Burton was the only double-digit scorer for the Rush with 13, as well as 10 rebounds and two steals, whilst Alicia Froling came close to a double-double of nine points, 12 rebounds and four assists in the loss.

Mt Gambier Pioneers (40) def. by Knox Raiders (69)

Two teams at opposite ends of the ladder produced a match of a predictable outcome, with the undefeated Knox Raiders winning their fifth game, and handing the Mt Gambier Pioneers their sixth straight loss. Klara Wischer stood out with 15 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three assists, as Kara Tessari (16 points, three rebounds) and Kiera Rowe (13 points, two rebounds and two steals) also impressed with double-digit points. Jasmine Howe (nine points, five steals and three rebounds) and Sherrie Calleia (nine points, four assists and two steals) both top-scored for their side, whilst Hannah Young racked up 13 rebounds and two steals to go with six points in the loss.

Launceston Tornadoes (103) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (74)

Launceston Tornadoes put together a dominant four-quarter performance to blow away Diamond Valley Eagles by 29 points in the Eagles’ second loss of the round down in Tasmania. Led by an outrageous effort from Keely Froling, the Tornadoes took control from the get-go and powered to a 20-point half-time lead. Whilst the Eagles did managed to break even in the final term, the Tornadoes had already done the damage in the first three quarters. Froling finished with a competition season-high 52 points – 17 of 30 from the field – as well as 26 rebounds – 17 defensive – five assists and four steals. Mariah Payne (26 points, 12 assists and five rebounds) picked up a double-double, while D’Asia Chambers (15 points, four assists, four steals and three assists) also hit double-figure points. Bontempelli topped the points for the Eagles with 20, as well as four assists and two steals, while Sophie Burrows (16 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Ashleigh McBean (12 points, six rebounds) were among the other top performers for the losers.

Eltham Wildcats (83) def. Sandringham Sabres (80)

Bouncing back from the loss the day before, Eltham Wildcats won in a thriller over Sandringham Sabres yesterday. The Wildcats trailed by three points at quarter time, then piled on the pressure to lead by five at the main break. After breaking even in the third quarter, the Sabres won the last quarter 25-23 to come close, but fall short, 83-80. Maley was unstoppable again, picking up 17 points and 24 rebounds – 20 defensive – three assists and two blocks, while Heal (18 points, three assists) and Rebecca Pizzey (18 points, nine rebounds and four assists) both troubled the scorers plenty in the win. Jenna O’Hea played her best game o the season thus far, picking up 30 points – four of eight from long-range – 10 rebounds, five steals, two assists and two blocks. Amy O’Neill (16 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals) and Rachel Jarry (16 points, five rebounds and two assists) also notched up double-figure points in the narrow loss.

Melbourne Tigers (77) def. Dandenong Rangers (70)

In a battle of two Saturday losers, Melbourne Tigers got up by seven points on Sunday in what was a tight contest. The Tigers skipped out to an eight-point lead at half-time, and whilst the Rangers cut that back to seven by the final break, fell 77-70. Both Aokuso (13 points, 15 rebounds and five assists) and Brancatisano (11 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals) picked up double-doubles in the win, as Conti (18 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds) top scored once again for the Tigers. Dallas Loughridge had the 20 points, six rebounds and three assists to lead the way for the Rangers, ahead of Sherry Glennie (12 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Makaela Zeldenryk (10 points, three assists) who also hit double-figure points.

Frankston Blues (74) def. Bendigo Braves (64)

Frankston Blues won another game to make it seventh heaven, defeating Bendigo Braves who were coming off a spirited win over Eltham Wildcats. The Blues won every quarter in what was a tight contest, to take home the 10-point win, 74-64. Lavey finished with 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Garbin had 13 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two locks. Saraid Taylor (12 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Taylah Gilliam (15 points, four rebounds and two assists) were the other two key points scorers. The Braves were led by Oliver (19 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks), Cassidy McLean (12 points, six assists and three rebounds) and Abigail Wehrung (16 points, four assists and two steals).

Picture credit: NBL1

2021 NBL1 South Women’s wrap: Round 4

ELTHAM Wildcats have moved to the top of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s competition ladder following back-to-back wins on the Apple Isle. Nunawading Spectres also won a couple of games to move up the table, while Frankston Blues and Knox Raiders continued their unbeaten runs to the end of Round 4.

Hobart Chargers (75) def. by Eltham Wildcats (88)

Hobart Chargers’ winless start to the season continued when Eltham Wildcats claimed the first of two victories to stand on top of the NBL1 South women’s table. The Wildcats took control early to lead by seven points at the first change, though the Chargers hit back in the second with a dominant 20-11 quarter to grab a two-point advantage into half-time. Just as it looked like the underdogs had the momentum, Eltham found its groove again, piling on 52 points to 37 in the second half to run away with the contest, 88-75. Anneli Maley had another ridiculous effort of the boards with 29 rebounds – only one less than the entire Hobart side – as well as 10 points and three assists. Lily Scanlon (25 points, four assists) and Rebecca Pizzey (21 points, three rebounds) combined for plenty of points in the match while Tess Heal (15 points, three rebounds) also contributed strongly. For the Chargers, Tayla Roberts led the way with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists, shooting at an elite 85.7 per cent from the field – all from inside the arc – while Madeleine Garrick (18 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals) did it all, and Ellie Collins (15 points, four rebounds) also stood up in defeat.

Sandringham Sabres (79) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (57)

Sandringham Sabres sentenced Diamond Valley Eagles to another loss with a comfortable 22-point win at home. The Sabres dominated the opening half to win each quarter by eight points, then won the third term by seven to race out to a 23-point three quarter time lead. The Eagles ground out a 15-14 final term, but it was not enough to go down, 57-79. Rachel Jarry (22 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Amy O’Neill (14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals) did a bit of everything, while Jenna O’Hea led the scoring with 24 points, four steals, three assists and two rebounds, and Katie Jewell was a thief all night (seven steals, seven points four rebounds and three assists). Olivia Bontempelli (14 points, six rebounds), Ivana Vasiljevic (13 points, three rebounds) and Jade Dunne (13 points) led the way for the Eagles, as Sophie Burrows (six points, seven rebounds, three steals and two – of her side’s four – assists) tried hard.

Geelong Supercats (78) def. by Nunawading Spectres (81)

Nunawading Spectres started off a good weekend on the road with a narrow win over Geelong Supercats, getting up by three points down the highway. The Spectres trailed at both quarter time and half-time, but dominated the third term 26-14, to take a six-point advantage into the final break. The Supercats won a third quarter of the four in the final term, but it was the previous quarter that proved the difference with the Spectres getting up 81-78. Izzy Wright (23 points, 12 rebounds and two assists) picked up a double-double, while Louise Brown (21 points, seven rebounds and two steals) and Rachel Brewster (16 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks) were really busy, and Penina Davidson (eight points, 11 rebounds) came close to a double-double in the win. Stephanie Blicavs led the way for the losers, picking up 22 points, eight rebounds and two steals, while Aimie Clydesdale (19 points, three assists), Sarah Elsworthy (15 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals) and Sarah O’Neill (15 points, two rebounds) also held their own in the loss.

Ballarat Rush (50) def. by Frankston Blues (61)

Another team winning on the road was Frankston Blues who extended their unbeaten streak in season 2021 to five following a low-scoring 11-point triumph against Ballarat Rush. No side scored more than 16 points in any one term, but it was Frankston that won the first three quarters, then were level in the final term to win 61-50. Tessa Lavey (18 points, six rebounds and six assists) was sensational once again, with Taylah Giliam (14 points, seven rebounds) and Darcee Garbin (11 points, four rebounds, three steals and three blocks) also busy. Claire Constable (14 points, three rebounds) was the only double-figure points scorer for the Rush, while Alicia Froling (six points, 19 rebounds) and Millie Cracknell (eight points, 11 rebounds and three assists) kept their side in the contest with their work off the boards.

Bendigo Braves (83) def. Melbourne Tigers (68)

In a battle of two genuine contenders, Bendigo Braves got the job done at home to secure their fourth win of the season and move to within touching distance of the top four which includes the Melbourne Tigers. The Braves took control in the opening half, piling on 49 points to 33, before the Tigers hit back in the third term to cut the deficit to just five points heading into the last quarter. A strong defensive effort in the fourth term resulted in the Braves scoring 21-10 and winning by 15 points, 83-68. Four players hit double-figure points for the winners, with Tess Madgen (20 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals), Abigail Wehrung (18 points, five rebounds and six assists), Kate Oliver (16 points, 11 rebounds, three rebounds and three steals) and Piper Dunlop (13 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) contributing three double-doubles between them. Isabella Brancatisano (16 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Monique Conti (16 points, eight rebounds and five assists) top-scored for the Tigers, while Zitina Aokuso impacted off the boards with a match-high 14 rebounds to go with her seven points.

Dandenong Rangers (88) def. Mt Gambier Pioneers (84)

Dandenong Rangers came from behind at quarter time and then held firm in tense moments to win by four points over Mt Gambier Pioneers in a thrilling overtime contest. The Pioneers burst out of the blocks to lead by nine points at quarter time, but then the Rangers stole back the momentum to level the scores by the final break. A 19-apiece final term saw neither team able to win it after four quarters, and then a tight overtime period – which the Rangers won 10-6 – saw the home team get up 88-84 much to the delight of the crowd. Emilee Harmon was the dominant scorer for the Rangers putting up 26 points and collecting nine rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Dallas Loughbridge (19 points, seven assists and three rebounds), Tenaya Sooalo (12 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Alison Downie (nine points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals) were also strong in the victory. For the Pioneers, Jasmin Howe was a dead-eye shooter with five of nine from long-range for a total field efficiency of 61.9 per cent on her way to 35 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Sherrie Calleia (20 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Hannah Young (14 points, seven rebounds) were among the other key players for the pioneers.

Launceston Tornadoes (73) def. by Eltham Wildcats (86)

Eltham Wildcats made it two from two travelling across the Tasman to defeat Launceston Tornadoes by 13 points, 86-73. The teams were evenly matched in the first term, and much like their other Apple Isle adventure early in the round, the Wildcats found themselves trailing early, down by eight points at the half. They halved that deficit by the final break, and then put the foot down in a dominant final term of 23-6 to run out winners for the fifth straight time this season. Pizzey top-scored with 23 points, six rebounds and three blocks, as Maley’s rebounding exploits continued thanks to 19 points, 18 rebounds and five assists, while Heal (17 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Erin Riley (14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals) all stood up in the win. Launceston Tornadoes were led by Keely Froling who capitalised with 23 points and 18 rebounds, well supported by the likes of Mariah Payne (18 points, eight assists) and Teyla Evans (13 points, eight rebounds) in the match.

Albury-Wodonga Bandits (78) def. by Kilsyth Cobras (100)

Kilsyth Cobras managed to secured their third win of the season, toppling the winless Albury-Wodonga Bandits by 22 points on the road. The Cobras trailed by five points at quarter time, but blitz the Bandits after that, piling on 34-17 in the second term, and 23-15 in the third quarter to take the game away from their opposition on their way to a big 100-78 victory. Lauren Scherf (30 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) led the way, knocking down five of 10 from long-range. Similarly, Nikita Young (18 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals) hit four of six from three-point range, and Carly Turner (17 points, eight rebounds) nailed three of seven. For the Bandits, it was a two-player show with Emma Mahady doing everything in her power to drag her team across the line, piling on a ridiculous 41 points – including eight of 17 from long-range – as well as three rebounds. Brodie-Paige Theodore was the other key scorer for the losing side, recording 28 points, three rebounds and two assists in the loss.

Ringwood Hawks (69) def. by Knox Raiders (83)

Knox Raiders blitzed Ringwood Hawks in the opening term to set up a memorable 14-point win and claim their fourth victory of the season. The Raiders piled on 32 points to 17 in the first quarter, and then lead by 17 points at the main break. The Hawks hit back to cut the deficit to 10 by the final break, but the Raiders got back on top to win the last quarter 20-16 and salute, 83-69. Marianna Tolo (21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks) was sensational, teaming up with Leah Santomaggio (22 points, three rebounds and three blocks) for the scoring, while Klara Wischer (14 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals) almost collected a triple-double, and Chelsea Burns (10 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks) was also impactful. Marena Whittle was a one-player scoring machine, dropping a ridiculous 38 points – five of six from long-range – as well as 15 rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Her Hawks teammates Jacqueline Trotto (13 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Toni Farnworth (10 points) were the next best in terms of scoring for the losers.

Waverley Falcons (64) def. Geelong Supercats (61)

Piling on more pain to the Geelong Supercats, Waverley Falcons grabbed a narrow three-point win, the same result inflicted on the Supercats the day before. The visiting team lead by three points at the first break and half-time, but a strong second half from the Falcons to just grind out two quarters and win both by six points saw them reverse the deficit into a winning margin, 64-61. Aneta Bandilovska had 26 points, five rebounds and two steals in the win, while Kelly Bowen helped herself to 12 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Renae Mokrzycki was the other key player for the Falcons, picking up eight points and nine rebounds. Rebekah O’Donnell had a team-high 15 points and 12 rebounds, as well as three assists and two blocks for the Supercats, while Blicavs (11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals) and Elsworthy (six points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals) also tried hard.

Melbourne Tigers (106) def. Mt Gambier Pioneers (64)

After both teams suffered losses the day before, it was Melbourne Tigers that came away with the massive 42-point win at home over the Mt Gambier Pioneers. Following a tight first erm, the Tigers put the foot down in the final three quarters to score at least 28 points in each quarter, and restrict the Pioneers to 17 or less on the Tigers’ way to a huge 106-64 triumph. Geraldine McCorkell led the scoring for the winners with 23 points, as well as five rebounds and five assists while Conti came agonisingly close to a triple-double of 22 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and six steals. Isabella Brancatisano had another strong game with 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals, while Aokuso finished with nine points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals. Howe had a team-high 20 points, also picking up five rebounds, five assists and three assists, while Young (10 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two steals) collected a double-double and Shakera Reilly managed 11 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Nunawading Spectres (106) def. Dandenong Rangers (82)

In a battle of two teams who had already picked up a win in Round 4, the Nunawading Spectres went back-to-back thanks to a 24-point triumph over Dandenong Rangers. The Spectres took control from the opening tip-off to lead by 27 points at half-time. Whilst the Rangers managed to win the third term and nullify the contest in the second half, the damage was done, going down 82-106. Wright had 24 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals, with Brewster (22 points, 13 rebounds and five assists) picking up a double-double and Davidson (21 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Brown (20 points, seven rebounds) also prolific in the match. Loughbridge was the top scorer for the Rangers, knocking down 27 points – four from eight from long-range – and having three assists, while Harmon (23 points, six rebounds and two steals) and Sooalo (14 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals) were the other two key scorers.

Picture credit: Rachel Louise Photography

2021 NBL1 South Women’s wrap: Round 3

THREE teams remain undefeated after Round 3 of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s competition, as Frankston Blues (4-0), Knox Raiders (3-0) and Eltham Wildcats (3-0) stand tall amongst the rest of the competition.

Geelong Supercats (92) def. Waverley Falcons (49)

Geelong Supercats have dominated Waverley Falcons by 43 points in a one-sided affair to open the round. The home team raced out to a 10-point lead at quarter time, and then closed down the opposition’s scoring, capped off with a 29-8 third quarter. A 20-14 final term saw the Supercats finish full of steam as well, winning 92-49. Steph Blicavs dominated with 26 points – four of five from long-range – four assists, three rebounds and two steals, while Aimie Clydesdale hit five of 10 from three-point range to finish with 21 points, as well as four rebounds and four assists, while Sarah Elsworthy (17 points, five assists and three rebounds) and Rebekah O’Donnell (11 points, seven rebounds) also stood tall. Renae Mokrzycki (13 points, three rebounds and two assists), Meg Crupi (12 points) and Nyakoang Lok (11 points, five rebounds and two steals) were the double-figure points scorers for the Falcons in the heavy loss.

Frankston Blues (90) def. Launceston Tornadoes (84)

The battle of the undefeated sides lived up to expectations with Frankston Blues triumphing over Launceston Tornadoes by just six points in a thrilling contest. It was a tale of two halves as the home team raced away to pile on 52 points to 38 in the opening half and lead by 14. Launceston hit back in the second half, but could only claw back eight of those 14 points, to go down 90-84. Despite Tessa Lavey having an uncharacteristically poor day shooting (two of 15 from the field and none of nine from long-range for seven points), the dual sport star had 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals to still contribute to the team’s success. Darcee Garbin (23 points, 11 rebounds and three assists) and Ella Batish (20 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists) picked up the slack, while Taylah Giliam (16 points, three rebounds) and Samara Hill (12 points, two assists) also stood tall. For the Tornadoes, it was the triple threat that did all the damage to try and keep the side in it, as Keely Froling (30 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) and Kelsey Griffin (14 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) picked up double-doubles, and Mariah Payne finished with 28 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals.

Knox Raiders (111) def. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (38)

The bloodbath of the round well and truly went to Knox Raiders, who showed no mercy in a dominating 73-point shellacking of Albury-Wodonga Bandits. The Raiders never looked like losing with a 67-21 opening half, and then kept the Bandits to as low as seven points in the final term, running out 111-38 victors. Marianna Tolo had a night out with 25 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, while Klara Wischer also picked up a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Kara Tessari (18 points, four assists and three rebounds), Kiera Rowe (17 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Leah Santomaggio (13 points, four rebounds and three assists) were others who hit double-figure points for the Raiders. Emma Mahady knocked down 20 points, seven rebounds and two steals in a lone-hand for the Bandits, scoring more than half of the team’s points.

Ballarat Rush (67) def. by Bendigo Braves (74)

Bendigo Braves have come away with an important win on the road against Ballarat Rush, facing a 13-point half-time deficit but turning it around with a dominant second half. The Braves trailed 46-33 at the main break, but then kept the Rush to just 21 points after that, whilst they piled on 41 to secure the narrow seven-point win, 74-67. Tess Madgen led the way, picking up an almost triple-double of 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Kate Oliver (18 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals), Cassidy McLean (12 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Piper Dunlop (eight points, seven rebounds and two assists) all shone in the win. For the Rush, Alicia Froling was unstoppable off the boards with 16 rebounds – seven offensive – to go with 14 points, two assists and two blocks, while Kasey Burton (15 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Kristy Rinaldi (15 points, five rebounds and three steals) also contributed strongly.

Diamond Valley Eagles (48) def. by Melbourne Tigers (93)

Diamond Valley Eagles’ winless start to the season continued, going down to Melbourne Tigers by 45 points, while the Tigers strung together back-to-back wins. Melbourne won every quarter, getting out to a 25-point lead at half-time to all but seal the deal, then won the second half by 20 points as well to run out 93-48 winners. Isabella Brancatisano (23 points, 12 rebounds and six assists) and Zitina Aokuso (10 points, 13 rebounds and two assists) both racked up double-doubles, as Monique Conti came close to a remarkable quadruple-double of 23 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and seven steals as a clear best on court. Gemma Simon helped out with 19 points in the Tigers’ win. For the Eagles, Sophie Burrows scored a team-high 12 points to go with six rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Olivia Bontempelli (10 points five rebounds, four steals and three assists) and Ivana Vasiljevic (10 points, three rebounds) also reached double-figure points.

Eltham Wildcats (87) def. Nunawading Spectres (74)

Eltham Wildcats remained undefeated from three games with a solid 13-point victory over Nunawading Spectres at home. The Wildcats raced out to a 14-point lead at half-time, and built it up to as much as 20 points by the final break, before the Spectres fought it out in the final term to cut the deficit back, but fell short of victory as the home team triumphed, 87-74. Lily Scanlon (24 points, six rebounds and two assists) scored the most points, but Anneli Maley‘s unbelievable season off the boards continued with 19 rebounds – 13 defensive – to go with 15 points. Tess Heal (14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals), Rebecca Pizzey (13 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks) and Shelby Britten (10 points, seven assists, two rebounds and two steals) also hit double-figure points in the win. Penina Davidson was a standout for the Spectres in defeat, picking up 20 points, eight rebounds, five steals and two assists, while Rachel Antoniadou (17 points, nine assists and two rebounds) and Rachel Brewster (16 points, five assists, three rebounds and two blocks).

Kilsyth Cobras (75) def. Hobart Chargers (73)

Hobart Chargers fell short of their first victory against Kilsyth Cobras, following a spirited four-quarter effort. The Cobras led by four points at the first break, with the teams tied by half-time. Another strong term from Kilsyth saw them extend the lead out to four again, before the Chargers hit back in the fourth, to even hit the front with 2:24 on the clock, but the Cobras managed to steady and take home the win, 75-73. Lauren Scherf (12 points, 15 rebounds and four assists) and Abigail Curtin (14 points, seven rebounds) were influential, as Briahna Whatman (nine points, 11 rebounds and six assists) came close to a double-double, and Nikita Young (13 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals) was also handy. Madeleine Garrick was the star for the Chargers, not far off a triple-double of 26 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals, while Tayla Roberts (13 points, nine rebounds) and Kylie McCauley (13 points, nine rebounds and five assists), Sharna Roberts (11 points, five rebounds) and Ellie Collins (10 points, eight rebounds) did all the scoring in a losing team.

Mt Gambier Pioneers (45) def. by Ringwood Hawks (89)

A four-quarter performance capped off by a rampant final term put an exclamation mark on the Ringwood Hawks’ victory against Mt Gambier Pioneers. In the Pioneers first game in South Australia this year, they were up against some stiff opposition and the Hawks came to play, leading by 17 points at the final break. No one would have seen the last quarter coming, as Ringwood piled on 35 points to eight in a one-way domination to blow out the final margin to 44 points, 89-45. Funda Nakkasoglu hit a match-high 26 points, as well as five rebounds and three assists, while Marena Whittle (20 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, four steals and four blocks) and Demi Skinner (18 points, nine rebounds) were also impressive. For the Pioneers, Hannah Young was the standout thanks to 11 points and nine rebounds, while Shakera Reilly (10 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Jasmin Howe (nine points, five rebounds and two assists) were others who stood out for the losers.

Bendigo Braves (84) def. Dandenong Rangers (56)

After a win on the road against Ballarat Rush, Bendigo Braves made it back-to-back victories in Round 3 thanks to a 28-point triumph over Dandenong Rangers. The Braves won all four quarters, scoring at least 17 points in every quarter, and keeping the Rangers to 15 or less in three of the four terms to win, 84-56. Madgen feasted on the Rangers with an almost triple-double effort of 43 points – including seven of 13 from long-range – nine rebounds and eight assists, while Oliver (18 points, 14 rebounds) picked up a double-double, and Abigail Wehrung (15 points, six rebounds and five assists) was also impressive across the night. For the Rangers, Dallas Loughbridge scored 17 points, five steals and three assists, stepping up with Emilee Harmon (15 points, seven rebounds) and Tenaya Sooalo (14 points, three steals and two rebounds) also having a helping hand despite the loss.

Waverley Falcons (93) def. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (64)

Another team that made it back-to-back wins for Round 3, whilst also sentencing a league battler to yet another loss were Waverley Falcons, who took care of Albury-Wodonga Bandits by 29 points. The Falcons dominated the first half to race out to a 24-point lead at the main break, though credit to the Bandits who hit back in the third term to cut it to 15 points at the last change and give themselves a sniff. The Falcons quickly got back on top with a 24-10 final quarter and ran out 93-64 winners. Anna Bandilovska (29 points, two rebounds) was the highest points scorer, though Mokrzycki racked up 28 points, 17 rebounds and Kelly Bowen had 17 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in double-double efforts. Mahady was again the key scorer with 20 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists, though she had some support in this match thanks to Charlotte Beavan‘s 16 points and three rebounds – with five of nine triples – and Brodie-Paige Theodore‘s 12 points – nine from the free-throw line – four rebounds and two assists.

Melbourne Tigers (109) def. Hobart Chargers (87)

Melbourne Tigers made it three consecutive wins, and handed Hobart Chargers an 0-4 start to the season with a 22-point victory at home. The Tigers were surprisingly sluggish to start the match and conceded 34 points in the first term to trail by 12 at quarter time, but then stepped up to completely dominate the game and score 87-53 and run out 109-87 winners. Conti had another massive performance of 40 points – eight of 12 from long-range – seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals, while Brancatisano (23 points – five of 11 from long-range – four rebounds and four assists) and Aokuso (19 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, three steals and two blocks in a triple-double effort) all dominated. Collins stepped up with 25 points, six rebounds and three assists in the loss, while Garrick (19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals), Tayla Roberts (15 points, six rebounds) and Thompson (13 points, three rebounds) were also lively.

Sandringham Sabres (67) def. by Launceston Tornadoes (100)

Closing out the weekend was Launceston Tornadoes bouncing back from their first loss of the season against Frankston Blues, to easily win 100-67 against Sandringham Sabres. The Tornadoes won every quarter by at least eight points in a dominant effort to secure the 33-point victory. Froling had an unbelievable performance of 37 points, 13 rebounds and four steals, one of three players to reach double-doubles, as Griffin (20 points, 12 rebounds three assists and two steals) and Payne (20 points, 12 rebounds and four assists) achieved the feat, while Teyla Evans managed the 13 points and four rebounds. Playing their first game of the round, the Sabres’ Amy O’Neill finished with a team-high 20 points, as well as eight assists, five rebounds and three steals. She was complemented by Jenna O’Hea (10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Cassandra Hill (11 points, two rebounds and two assists) in the loss.

Picture credit: Ian Knight Photography

NBL1 South Womens: Round 2 wrap – Blues standalone with 3-0 record

FRANKSTON Blues stand alone as the only side to record three wins so far in the 2021 National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s competition, as the results played out over the weekend. We recap how each of the games went down and who the top performers were with some one-sided results.

Bendigo Braves (70) def. by Frankston Blues (76)

The first of two wins for the weekend for the Blues saw them claim a narrow six-point victory over Bendigo Braves in a come-from-behind triumph. The Braves raced out to a 21-9 lead at quarter time after a dominant first term, with the Blues clawing their way back to within six points at the final break, before slamming on 24-12 in the last quarter to win, 76-70. Darcee Garbin was again a prolific scorer for the Blues, adding 23 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in a standout performance. She teamed up well with Tessa Lavey (14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and two steals) and Taylah Gilliam (14 points, four rebounds). For the Braves, Abigail Wehrung nailed 24 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks, though it was Tess Madgen who came agonisingly close to a triple-double of 16 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and three steals. Piper Dunlop (11 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Kate Oliver (10 points, seven rebounds and four assists) were both impressive for the losers.

Hobart Chargers (61) def. by Ballarat Rush (62)

A two-pointer from Ballarat Rush’s Kasey Burton in the final 30 seconds – and a missed three-point attempt from Hobart Chargers’ Madeleine Garrick helped the Rush grab a one-point thrilling victory at Kingborough Sports Centre. The visitors trailed by five at quarter time, led by one and then four at the next two breaks, then were caught by the Chargers, only to win at the death. Burton had an equal team-high 13 points, as well as six rebounds, but it was the amazing effort of Alicia Froling (10 points, 20 rebounds and five assists) that stood out, while Kristy Rinaldi (seven points, 13 rebounds) also dominated off the boards. Annie Collins had the 13 points and two rebounds to equal Burton on the scoring front. For the Chargers, Garrick finished with a double-double of 19 points – including five of 11 from long-range – and 10 rebounds, while Ellie Collins had 16 points and 15 rebounds in an equally amazing effort. Tayla Roberts came close to a double-double herself picking up 16 points and nine rebounds.

Frankston Blues (78) def. Dandenong Rangers (75)

It was billed as the match of the round, and it certainly lived up to expectations with Frankston Blues moving to 3-0 for the NBL1 South season, defeating Dandenong Rangers by three points. The teams traded blows throughout the match, though the Blues led by 11 points at the final break, before Dandenong hit back with a 23-15 final quarter to get within three points, but fall short, 78-75. Garbin had another outstanding game with 30 points – four of 10 from long-range – and eight assists, while Lavey picked up 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the win. Gililam (13 points, three rebounds and four assists) and Saraid Taylor (seven points, 10 rebounds and three assists) were others who stood out. For the Ranges, Gemma Potter was on fire with six triples leading to her 28 points, as well as five rebounds and two assists. Emilee Harmon (23 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Tenaya Sooalo (16 points, three rebounds, three assists and two blocks) were also busy.

Knox Raiders (82) def. Kilsyth Cobras (70)

Knox Raiders proved too strong for Kilsyth Cobras in their clash at the State Basketball Centre, winning three of the four quarters to post a 12-point win at home. The teams were fairly even at half-time after counter-contrasting first and second terms, with Kilsyth leading by one point. Knox piled on 24-14 after half-time to set up the win, then held on in the final term for the 82-70 victory. Klara Wischer was the star for the Raiders, picking up a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, as well as three steals and two assists. Marianna Tolo (14 points, seven rebounds) and Kiera Rowe (12 points, five rebounds and four assists) were also busy in the match among a host of other contributors. Lauren Scherf stood tall for the Cobras with 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, notching up a double-double while Briahna Whatman (145 points, five assists and three rebounds) and Carly Turner (five points, 10 rebounds and three assists) were also productive.

Sandringham Sabres (72) def. Mt Gambier Pioneers (70)

Sandringham Sabres survived a thriller with a two-point win over the cross-border Mt Gambier Pioneers on Saturday evening. The Sabres held a narrow lead early, and extended it out to as much as 13 points by the final break, before the Pioneers hit back with a massive fourth quarter. The 29-18 term in favour of the visitors would not be enough however, as the Sabres triumphed 72-70. Jenna O’Hea had 27 points, six rebounds and five assists in the win for the Sabres, leading the way from Rachel Jarry (14 points, six rebounds and two steals), Cassandra Hill (10 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Amy O’Neill (eight points, six rebounds and two assists). For the Pioneers, Hannah Young racked up an important double-double of 17 points, 10 rebounds and two steals, while Jasmine Howe (15 points, six rebounds) and Shakera Reilly (11 points, eight rebounds) also stood up on both the scoring and rebounding fronts.

Eltham Wildcats (84) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (52)

Eltham Wildcats made it two from two this season in the NBL1 South competition, dominating the Diamond Valley Eagles to win by 32 points. The Wildcats won by nine, seven, nine and seven points in each of the respective four quarters during the 84-52 victory. Anneli Maley had a ridiculous 29 rebounds – 20 defensive – to be unbeatable off the boards, as well as pick up 21 points, two assists two steals. Rebecca Pizzey (11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks), Shelby Britten (16 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals) were also impressive as Chloe Hilderbrand (10 points, five rebounds and four assists) and Tess Heal (10 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals) also hit double-figure points. In a disappointing loss for the Eagles, Teah Reichert picked up a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Imogen Rock (12 points, five steals) and Sophie Burrows (seven points, six rebounds) tried hard.

Albury-Wodonga Bandits (68) def. by Melbourne Tigers (116)

Melbourne Tigers were on from the first tip-off as they completely dismantled Albury-Wodonga Bandits in a dominant 48-point win. Storming to a 31-13 lead at quarter time, the Tigers lost the second term by three, but then piled on the points in the second half with 62 points to 29 to run out 116-68 victors. Monique Conti impressed with 28 points, six assists and three steals, teaming up brilliantly with fellow WNBL talent Zitina Aokuso (18 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks) doing it all. Isabella Brancatisano (25 points, six rebounds, eight assists and seven steals) was arguably the best on the court, while Melissa Prior (17 points, six rebounds) was also outstanding in the win. The Bandits were led by Emma Mahady (24 points, five rebounds), while Jade McCowan (15 points, three rebounds) and Brodie-Paige Theodore (12 points) reached double-figure points in the loss.

Melbourne Tigers’ Monique Conti puts up a shot. Picture credit: NBL1

Ringwood Hawks (84) def. Geelong Supercats (55)

Bouncing back from a Round 1 loss, Ringwood Hawks proved too much for Geelong Supercats, running out 29-point victors at The Rings on Saturday evening. The Hawks won the first two quarters to stamp their authority on the match and lead by 20 points at the half, before Geelong edged back one point, only for Ringwood to go again and score 22-12 in the final term a for a 84-55 victory. Marena Whittle had a night out with 20 points and 13 rebounds, as well as six assists and two blocks. Funda Nakkasoglu (16 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals), Hope Terdich (13 points, six rebounds) and Demi Skinner (12 points, four rebounds) also stepped up in the win. For the Supercats, Stephanie Blicavs knocked down 17 points, along with three rebounds and two assists, while Aimee Clydesdale was the other prominent scorer with 11 points and five rebounds in the loss.

Launceston Tornadoes (92) def. Ballarat Rush (61)

Launceston Tornadoes have stormed to a dominant 31-point win over Ballarat Rush to go 2-0 this season, with Keely Froling picking up another huge double-double against her sister. The Tornadoes never looked like losing, winning the first half by 23 points, then the second half by another eight to secure the 92-61 victory. Froling finished with 28 points, 19 rebounds – 17 defensive – five assists and four steals, while Mariah Payne (22 points, five rebounds and six assists) and Teyla Evans (15 points, six rebounds and five assists) were other double-digit scorers. For the Rush, Alicia Froling hit up 27 points, seven rebounds and four blocks to be the best of the losers, while Kasey Burton (13 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Kristy Rinaldi (10 points, four rebounds and three assists) were both strong.

Nunawading Spectres (83) defeated Sandringham Sabres (70)

Nunawading Spectres bounced back from a Round 1 loss to hand the Sandringham Sabres their first loss in three games. The Sabres took control to lead by six points at half-time, but having already played a game this round, the Sabres tired in the second half as the Spectres ran over the top of them, courtesy of a dominant 44-25 half to win, 83-70. Izzy Wright (21 points, nine rebounds) and Louise Brown (20 points, five rebounds and four assists) did the damage on the scoreboard, with Rachel Antoniadou (18 points, four rebounds and five assists) not far behind. Rachel Brewster (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Penina Davidson (10 points, 10 rebounds) also picked up double-doubles to share the load across the court. O’Hea was again the standout for the Sabres, picking up 27 points and eight rebounds not leaving the court for a second, while Jarry (16 points, 12 rebounds and two assists) and Amy O’Neill (six points, 11 rebounds) were prominent off the boards.

Waverley Falcons (74) defeated Diamond Valley Eagles (66)

After their heartbreaking one-point loss last week the Waverley Falcons bounced back to win by eight points against Diamond Valley Eagles, handing their opponents a third consecutive loss in the process. The Falcons were led by Aneta Bandilovska (20 points, two rebounds and two assists) on the scoring front, with Renae Mokrzycki (11 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and four steals) recording a double-double. Nyakoang Lok (15 points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Kelly Bowen (13 points, five rebounds) were the other double-digit scorers. For the Eagles, Burrows scored a double-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals, while Jade Dunne (17 points, four assists, four steals and two rebounds) and Olivia Bontempelli (12 points, five rebounds and two locks) were also steadfast in the loss.

Picture credit: Ian Knight Photography

WNBL20 Season Review – Adelaide Lightning

SUFFICE to say, it was not the Adelaide Lightning’s season after finishing sixth at the conclusion of WNBL20, serving as the only team from earlier this year to not make the postseason this time around, finishing with a record of five wins and eight defeats.

Preceding the first contest of their fixture, the Lightning were dealt a huge blow to their core unit with the announcement that Phoenix Mercury member, Alanna Smith would be absent for the six-week season due to injury.

But that did not stop Chris Lucas’ squad from ruining the Canberra Capitals’ start to their three-peat bid, toppling the two-time defending champions 85-73 in Mackay to kick off the competition. Following their upset win against the Capitals, the Lightning kept the momentum going to begin their season with a hard-earned win against fellow mid-table inhabitants the Perth Lynx, putting together a perfect start to the season after Round One.

Just when Adelaide started to look like a serious contender for the season, fortunes became reversed when the Queensland government put in place a mandatory quarantine for recently arrived individuals from South Australia, therefore affecting the Lightning’s schedule in Round Two.

After nine days of inaction, Adelaide made its return to the court but similar results would prove a lot harder to come by. Going down to the Melbourne Boomers by 40 points, Adelaide’s success took a dramatic turn for the worse. While they attained their third and fourth wins of the season against the Bendigo Spirit and the Sydney Uni Flames, it was noticeable that the Lightning struggled against top-tier teams.

Back-to-back games against the Southside Flyers in rounds three and four really showcased the difference between Adelaide’s style of play and that of the eventual minor premiers. Going down by 31 and 39 points in each clash, it set the tone for a rather uneventful run home despite still having a realistic chance at making the postseason at that stage.

However, after a 20-point defeat to the Capitals in their second battle of the season and a minuscule defeat against the Lynx, Adelaide’s season was hanging by a thread with an unfavourable sequence of opponents waiting in the distance for Round Five.

With the only positive result in the final round being knocking over the Spirit once again, Adelaide would fall to the Boomers for a second time, the Townsville Fire, and the Flames in their closing game of the season, solidifying themselves in the middle echelon of the standings.

Adelaide captain Steph Talbot, who was consistently leading her side in numerous categories each and every night, took home the Suzy Batkovic Medal, the league’s highest individual honour. Talbot averaged a whopping 18.2 points (third highest in WNBL), nine rebounds (third highest in WNBL), three assists, 1.9 steals (third highest in the WNBL) and 30.6 minutes per game (ninth highest in the WNBL) in what would one of the most dominant seasons for an individual across all categories in recent WNBL history.

Backing up Talbot was shooting guard Ally Wilson, who ranked first or second in areas like scoring, assists and minutes; averaging 11.3 points, 4.3 assists and 31.7 minutes in said categories. While on the whole, Adelaide as a unit was a class below the WNBL’s top four, individuals like Abigail Wehrung (average 11.3 points and 2.5 assists), Chelsea Brook (9.3 points and 4.4 rebounds) and Marena Whittle (8.7 points and 5.3 rebounds) provided substantial aid to their two leaders on multiple occasions throughout the team’s regular season fixture.

While Adelaide missed out on finals this season, a few upgrades to the secondary unit would be a much-needed benefit to next year’s side and their MVP in Talbot. Should Smith make a successful return to the side, anything is possible for the Lightning in WNBL21.

Boomers make light work of Spirit

IN an all-Victorian affair it was the Melbourne Boomers that came out on top against Bendigo spirit claiming a 21-point victory (91-70). The Boomers had control from the opening minute of the game and are building some strong form heading into the back end of the season and heading into finals. The Spirit once again had moments of magic but were unable to keep that intensity at the same level for their full four quarters as they suffered their thirteenth straight loss to round out their 2020 campaign.

A 28 to 17 opening term pretty much told the story as Melbourne seemed to have the ball on a string and Bendigo struggle to find any answers. Scoring somewhat evened up in the second term as Bendigo managed to nail 17 points to the Boomers 21 however that was still enough for Melbourne to continue to build on their already growing lead. That tail continued into the second half with Melbourne outscoring Bendigo 26 to 20 in the third term before it was level pegging’s in the last term but it was a little too late as the damage has already been done.

Shooting percentage was relatively even for both sides, however Melbourne had a higher clip sitting at 48 per cent after converting 38 of their 78 attempts. Bendigo on the other hand had less opportunities to the basket but still managed a 43 per cent conversion rate nailing 28 of their 64 attempts. Two point range seemed to be the sweet spot for the Boomers with 26 of their 46 attempts falling to sit at 56 per cent as opposed to Bendigo who only managed 47 per cent. Melbourne was slightly more accurate from downtown sitting at 37 per cent while Bendigo slotted eight of their 22 attempts at 36 per cent. Melbourne outclassed Bendigo just about on every front recording 45 rebounds to 33, 25 assists to 15, six steals to five and also registered less turnovers for the night with 10 to compared to 14. With the starting five doing majority of the work for Boomers it was the bench depth from Bendigo that seemed to have an impact nailing 36 points compared to 32 however it was still not enough to get them over the line.

The victors had a number of scoring options with five players hitting the double digit mark when it came to point scoring. Stella Beck led the way with 17 points, two rebounds and four assists highlighting her ability to have an impact when on court. Ezi Magbegor was the next best with the youngster impressing in her 20 minutes on court to convert 16 points at an impressive 70 per cent from the field while also amassing eight rebounds and two assists in a strong showing. In her 250th game, Maddie Garrick was also another prominent option on court knocking back 16 points eight assists and five rebounds four of which were defensive while Izzy Wright also chimed in with a handy 12 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Penina Davidson was the only other Melbourne Boomers player to register double digits recording 10 points and four rebounds for the night in an all round solid team effort.

Scoring proved to be hard to come by for Bendigo however the ever reliable Tessa Lavey was up to the challenge leading her side with 16 points and just falling short of a double-double with nine assists and eight rebounds with all of the rebounds defensive. Carley Ernst failed to make a splash while on court only managing two points in an unusual showing for her however the likes of Mary Goulding stepped up to the plate and secured 12 points and three rebounds. Amelia Todhunter was another that managed to ply her trade notching up 10 points in what was a difficult performance.

The Boomers now look to Townsville on Sunday while the Spirit bid farewell to their season.

Townsville end Lightning’s finals hopes

Shyla Heal in action for Townsville. Picture credit: Albert Perez/Getty Images

Townsville came out with a point to prove, downing Adelaide in convincing fashion by 29 points as they gear up for a finals berth. It is been an up and down season for the Lightning while Townsville have enjoyed a rapid rise up the ladder and once again showcase their ability to score and score quickly in a dominant performance. Although the chances were slim, the loss automatically seals the deal on Adelaide’s fate of playing finals with the Lightning now ruled out in Townsville securing their position in the top four.

The Fire came out with some real heat in the opening minutes of play highlighting their ability both in offence and defence to score and pile on the pressure as shown with the 28 to 11 point opening term. The second quarter was not much better for the Lightning who seemed to be caught on the backfoot only managing 11 points again as their half time total mounted to 22, while the Fire had a whopping 47 creating a handy 25 point buffer. The Lightning well and truly upped the ante in the third term going toe-to-toe with Townsville before once again falling off the boil in the final term.

Townsville oozed an element of composure and most importantly accuracy with ball in hand sitting at an impressive 57 per cent from the field, nailing 40 of their 70 attempts while Adelaide did not have the same luck averaging a mere 39 per cent from the field. The Fire also starred within the arc shooting at a 63 per cent clip while the Lightning were somewhat wayward at 47 per cent. The main difference came from around the perimeter with the victors slotting nine of their 21 attempts at 42 per cent as opposed to Adelaide who struggled to find their radar at 28 per cent. Townsville had the upper hand when it came to rebounds (37-34) and also claimed the ascendancy when it came to assists (19-13).

There were plenty of key contributors for Townsville across the night, none bigger than guard Lauren Nicholson who absolutely starred with her 21 points at 71 per cent accuracy along with her four rebounds, four assists and one block. Megan McKay also found her groove knocking back 19 points, seven rebounds and two assists in a strong showing while Stephanie Reid proved to be an impact player off the bench managing 17 points, two rebounds and three assists. Although down on her lofty standards, youngster Shyla Heal still bobbed up for her moments of magic with 10 points, seven rebounds and two assists to her name while the only player to reach double figures was Courtney Woods who slotted 12 points for the night.

Scoring was hard to come by for Adelaide, with captain Steph Talbot struggling to find her mojo and only walking away with nine points, five rebounds and an uncharacteristic four turnovers. Abigail Wehrung was the leading points scorer for the Lightning sinking 15 at 60 per cent while Marena Whittle also threw her weight around to collect 14 points and five rebounds. Despite only managing two points for the game Louella Tomlinson proved to be a handy option off the boards with five rebounds while Charlie Smith also had an impact with her five boards and four steals.

Townsville are set to lock horns with Melbourne on Sunday while Adelaide have the final game of the home and away season against Sydney Uni Flames.

Lightning strike to keep slim finals hopes alive

WITH finals just within their reach Adelaide Lightning had one job to do – win – and that is exactly what they did downing Bendigo Spirit by 10 points in an enthralling battle. Sitting two games outside of the top four and with two games still left to play Adelaide left nothing to chance to put themselves in good shape to make a potential finals tilt if things go their way.

A fast starting Bendigo side shocked the Lightning as they piled on 23 points to 12 in a dominant opening term. Despite Adelaide getting the first points on the board, the Spirit had other plans in the first few minutes of play extending out to as much as a 12 point lead at the six minute mark (14-2) thanks to their accuracy and silky movement. Staring down the barrel of an 11 point deficit the Lightning quickly picked up the pieces in the second quarter finding their rhythm to get back onto level pegging’s and even up the playing field to head into the main break down by a mere point. That hot momentum continued into the third as they doubled their opponents 13 points to knock back 26 points in the term and create a handy buffer heading into the final change of a must win game. the scoring well and truly dried up in the final quarter of action with both sides combining for 22 points and the Spirit actually outscoring the Lightning, the damage had already been done allowing the Lightning to keep their finals hopes alive if all goes to plan from here on out.

Both sides shot at a relatively low clip from the field although Adelaide had a slightly higher  accuracy sitting at 38 per cent compared to Bendigo’s 34 per cent. In terms of two point range that is where the Lightning did their most damage nailing 17 of 31 attempts at 54 per cent while the shots just were not sinking for Bendigo only managing 36 per cent. However their long range shooting was a fraction better than their opponents registering a conversion rate of 29 per cent while the victors sat at 20 per cent. Bendigo were strong on the rebounds reeling in whatever fell short to collect 11 more than Adelaide (48-37). On the assists front Adelaide led the way (17-13) while also taking the cake for steals (9-2) showcasing their defensive intent. Turnovers was another key area as the Lightning only recorded eight for the game while Bendigo had 14.

The scoring was somewhat shared between a number of players but it is no surprise that Steph Talbot led the way with a team-high 15 points at 42 per cent accuracy from the field. She also managed six rebounds, five of which were defensive along with an impressive three steals highlighting her cleanliness and defensive class. Alex Wilson was not far behind on the scoring front knocking back 14 points while three seemed to be the magic number for the guard recording three rebounds, three assists and three steals. Abigail Wehrung played a strong role in her 29 minutes on court amassing 12 points, two rebounds and three assists while Chelsea Brook could have had a bigger day out had she been more accurate converting at a lowly 28 per cent from the field but still managed 11 points along with five rebounds and two assists. Marena Whittle was the only other Lightning player to reach double figures with 10 points to her name. Whittle also reeled in five rebounds and three steals while Louella Tomlinson proved to be a handy option off the bench with her five points, four rebounds and three assists.

It was a one woman show for Bendigo with the ever-reliable Carley Ernst steering the ship from start to finish with her game-high haul of 32 points. Ernst was a menace across the court nailing four triples and boasting a 44 per cent accuracy from the field highlighting her overall dominance. Not only did she do damage on the scoreboard and keep her side in the hunt for a win but starred off the boards with a whopping 15 rebounds, 11 defensive to round out a solid performance from the forward. The next best was Tessa Lavey who played the entire game and managed to walk away with 17 points, five rebounds and six assists to her name however was costly with ball in hand racking up four turnovers. The scoring well and truly dropped off after Lavey and Ernst with Alicia Froling the closest with a mere four points which accompanied her five rebounds and three assists. Although Chevannah Paalvast did not manage to hit the scoreboard in her 30 minutes on court she proved to be handy on the rebound finishing with seven.

It was a seesawing affair but once the Lightning had control they did not let go but will want to have a fast start in their next clash on Saturday against Townsville who currently hold fourth spot if they are to both topple them and keep their finals hopes alive. For Bendigo they now prepare for the Boomers on Saturday.

Flyers produce another dominant win to take care of Lightning

THERE has been no shortage of dominant Southside Flyers wins this season, but the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) heavyweights completely dismantled Adelaide Lightning in a dominant 111-72 victory last night. The Flyers were just unbelievably good hitting more than half of their field goals, including 57 per cent from two-point range and 38 per cent from long-range, and never looked like losing, winning every quarter by at least seven points.

From the first tip-off Southside got off to a flyer piling on 29 points to 22 in a high-scoring opening term, then blew away the Lightning with a massive 31-17 second quarter. Up by 21 already at the half, the Flyers did not take the foot off the pedal, pouring on another 30 points to 20, and the game was done and dusted as the Flyers were out to a 31-point advantage. Needing to stem the bleeding in the final quarter, the Lightning managed to make it closer, but they still lost the term by eight, going down in a one-sided contest with the Flyers flexing their muscles on their way to a whopping 39-point win.

The Flyers won all the key statistics, with their accuracy being a huge feature of the game, particularly worrying the defence when getting to the basket, nailing 19 of 23 for an 82 per cent clip, whilst the Lightning only had four free throws for the entire game. The rebounds were fairly even with 42-39 in favour of the winners, but they were clearly the better team in assists (31-17) and steals (15-4), and crucified the Lightning on their turnovers.

Adelaide had 25 turnovers to 10, with the Flyers taking full advantage, scoring 33 points to five off the turnover, as well as 20 fast break points to 11. They still had plenty of contribution off their bench thanks to 31 points compared to 22, and also only produced 10 personal fouls to 18. It was as dominant performance as there had been all season.

Liz Cambage just dominated again and was a class above, hitting 12 of her 16 field goals, getting to the line more often than the entire opposition side, and finishing with 29 points and six rebounds. She was far from alone though, as Jenna O’Hea hit 18 points, four rebounds, six assists and four steals, and Rebecca Cole had 16 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Impressively, neither had a turnover on the night, nor did playmaker Leilani Mitchell who racked up eight points and seven assists.

Every player on the Flyers’ side scored, as Monique Conti made the most of more court time in the match, putting up 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal in 13 minutes, while the Blicavs – Sara and Steph – combined for 16 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks.

For the Lightning, Alex Wilson hit a team-high 13 points, nine rebounds, four assists and one block, as one of five players who reached double-figure points. The Lightning shared the points around, as Chelsea Brook came off the bench for 12 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Steph Talbot (11 points, six rebounds and two assists), Abigail Wehrung (11 points, two rebounds and two assists) and Marena Whittle (10 points, three rebounds) all had an impact.

The Flyers moved to the top of the table with the victory and now can rest up before facing a Melbourne Boomers lineup that will be up for its fourth game this week, while the Lightning will need to shake off the loss for a huge clash against back-to-back premiers University of Canberra Capitals on Friday night.

Picture: Albert Perez/Getty Images