Despite scare, Boomers take title hopes to next level

WITH the top four sides currently competing in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) finals series, the Melbourne Boomers have seriously cemented themselves as the side to beat over the coming weeks. There are two series’ taking place at the moment, with the Boomers taking on the Adelaide Lightning and the Perth Lynx locking horns with the UC Capitals. The stakes could not be higher with a spot in the grand final series on the line, as fans enjoy some of the best basketball Australia has to offer.

Melbourne Boomers (95) def. Adelaide Lightning (64)

From a Melbourne standpoint, you could not have asked for a better start to the 2021/22 postseason. The Boomers fired on all cylinders in game one of the three game series, and it was reflected in the 31-point final margin at Melbourne Sports Centre on Wednesday night. Adelaide had no answers for the powerful play of its opponents, and will need to seriously improve in the next outing if the result is to change.

Despite the result, you would be excused if you thought things would go the other way at half-time. The Lightning came out with a bang in the first term, and actually led the Boomers by 13 heading into the second period (thanks to some strong play from Chelsea Brook). It was the ideal start for Adelaide, and the lead was even extended throughout the second quarter, as the visitors outworked and outplayed their opponents.

It must have been some half-time speech from Boomers coach Guy Molloy, because his side came out a changed team from the main break. After a terrific performance in the first half, the Lightning found themselves on the back foot from the very first possession of the third term. Melbourne was clinical in erasing the 14-point half-time defecit, and it took just nine minutes for them to take the lead with momentum going one way. The Boomers could not be stopped in the final term, producing one of the most dominant periods we have seen all year and storming away to a massive victory.

For the victors, it was the duo of Lindsay Allen and Tess Madgen that proved most damaging, with the duo each producing terrific outings. Allen finished with a statline of 24 points, seven rebounds and five dimes while Madgen had 20 points, seven boards and five assists herself. The Boomers were also boosted by the fact that five players scored 13 points or more, demonstrating how dangerous they can be on the offensive end. For the Lightning, Stephanie Talbot fought hard and was massive in the first half to finish with a double-double of 15 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a great all around outing.

The other series kicked off with the Lynx proving too much for the Capitals, taking home a 14-point win at Bendat Basketball Centre on Thursday night. Perth was excellent in shooting from the field, and this was ultimately the biggest difference between the two sides as they took a 1-0 lead.

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