Boomers force game three with thrilling win
HOW good was last night’s Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) one-point game two thriller? The Melbourne Boomers heading west to take on the Perth Lynx at Bendat Basketball Centre. Perth claimed a pretty dominant victory in game one of the series a few days ago, and given it had the home court advantage, headed into the second game as the favoured side. Melbourne simply did not look up to scratch to start their shot at the title, so not many people gave the visitors a chance here. However, the Boomers managed to sneak past the Lynx at the very death, with Marina Mabrey‘s game tying free throw falling just short, giving Melbourne a one-point win.
Perth Lynx (75) def. by Melbourne Boomers (76)
The Melbourne Boomers have forced game three in the WNBL grand final series with a one-point triumph over the Perth Lynx on the road. After a disappointing game one performance, the Boomers have bounced back in a big way, sneaking past one of the most dynamic offences the league has to offer, setting up a blockbuster deciding game with a bit of added spice.
Both sides put on a ripping display of offence to start the contest, each making jump shots from all across the court. Every time the Lynx looked to break away on the scoreboard, the Boomers could conjure up an answer almost immediately. A couple of late baskets to Cayla George saw Melbourne trail by just three points at the first break, after Perth rallied in the final minutes. Scoring slowed up a bit in the second, but the term belonged to the Boomers, particualrly the last five minutes of the quarter. After both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net for a few minutes, the Boomers managed to make their way to the free throw line quite a bit to end the term, thanks to some agressive play. They had suddenly turned their three point defecit into a three point lead heading into the second half.
Both teams showed no signs of slowing down coming out of half time, with some ripping ball movement from both teams resulting in some easy looks. Melbourne grabbed an early seven-point lead, but it was quickly erased as Mabrey lit up Bendat Basketball Centre with some fantastic shooting. The Boomers extended their lead once again, as they led by nine with just minutes remaining in the term. However, Darcee Garbin ensured it did not get out of hand, bringing the margin back to three heading into the last. It did not take Perth long to grab the lead in the final term, with Sami Whitcomb producing some strong work around the paint. The final minutes of the game were as dramatic as ever, culminating in a Mabrey heading to the free throw line to tie things up with just 0.2 seconds on the clock. She made the first two, but unfortunately didn’t give the third enough legs, as it hit the front of the iron and missed, giving the Boomers the win. Adding a bit of heat to the series, Mabrey collided with Tess Madgen after the siren, and the two exchanged words, setting up a fiesty game three on Saturday.
For the Boomers, Lindsay Allen led the way with 29 points, a total that was boosted by making four of her five attempts from behind the arc. She had some good help from George, who recorded a nice double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds. For the Lynx, Mabrey did basically all she could with a game-high 30 points, single-handedly bringing her side back into the contest with her blistering offence.