Boomers claim first season win against reigning champions
THE Melbourne Boomers were dominant from start to finish, winning their first match for the season, defeating defending Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) champions Southside Flyers 91-72 in their first home match for the year on Saturday night.
The Flyers scored the opening points on the board with Rebecca Cole scoring two free throws in the opening minutes of the match. In a tight first quarter with basket to basket points with both teams making a run, Tiffany Mitchell came out with high energy, with the Flyers searching for answers on how to stop her. With the Flyers turning over the ball and struggling to score, the Boomers put the pressure on, and were on song offensively, nailing their shots and putting the pressure on defensively.
Maddison Rocci nailed two free throws to tie the game up at 15-apiece, before Mitchell nailed a three at the other end the give the Boomers the lead. A three from Mitchell kick-started the Boomers to go on a 13-point run, with the home side heading into the quarter time with a 10-point lead, 27-17.
The Boomers started the second quarter strongly, with Ezi Magbegor and Lindsay Allen extending the margin to 14. The Flyers looked to trim the margin into single digits, which came in the form of an Abby Bishop hook shot reducing the margin to 10. With the Boomers continuing to apply the defensive pressure, pulling down rebounds and forcing the Flyers to turn the ball over, the Flyers could not find an answer for Mitchell, who continued to shine in the second quarter.
After a dominant 25-16 second term, the Boomers went into half-time with a 19-point lead, 52-33. For the Boomers, Mitchell did not miss a beat scoring 18 points (5/8) at 62 per cent, while Allen finished with 10 points (5/7) at 71 per cent. In her 250th game, Abby Bishop was dominant for the Flyers with 11 points, as Rocci had 10 at the half. With the Boomers shooting at a high percentage from the field, the Flyers were desperate to get back into the match.
The Boomers came out of the half-time break with plenty of energy but to the Flyers credit, they had a better third term, winning the quarter 23-19. Kate Gaze and Kristy Wallace came off the bench providing a spark whilst for the Boomers, as they continued to run the floor putting the pressure on, and as a team moved the ball well offensively. With one quarter left to play in the game, the Boomers went into the three quarter time break with a 15-point lead, 71-56.
Penina Davidson, who made the most of her minutes on the court, nailed a three-pointer to start the last quarter as the Boomers went on to win the last quarter. After a tough night offensively, the Flyers were desperate to finish the game strongly. The Boomers, after a tough loss on Wednesday against Bendigo, were victorious winning their first match for the season, defeating the Flyers 91-72.
Melbourne Boomers shot the ball well from the field, finishing with 35/63 at 55 per cent efficiency, whilst for the Flyers, it was a tough night shooting 24/63 at 38 per cent. The Boomers shot well from the three-point line, shooting at 43 per cent, whilst for the Flyers, they will be looking to fix up before next game shooting at 25 per cent. The Flyers did edge the Boomers in the rebound count 34-33, while the turnover count was fairly even (14-12 Flyers way).
The Boomers had multiple stars, with Mitchell having a great game, producing 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Tess Madgen was also on song with 20 points, Allen with 22 and Magbegor with 12.
For the Flyers, Bishop had a double double of 15 points, 11 rebounds and one steal. Rocci was also a shining light with 21 points and five assists, while Cole finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
Both teams will meet again next week on Saturday to start Round 3 at Dandenong Stadium.