Flyers put out Flames in thriller

THE Southside Flyers have remained in the hunt for a top two spot and are storming towards the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) finals, after defeating the Sydney Flames by three points at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday.

Looking to continue their winning momentum prior to the FIBA break following a win against the Perth Lynx, the Flyers were eager to stay a mathematical chance of finishing inside the top two. However, the Flames had claimed the chocolates when the two teams clashed most recently on January 25.

Southside Flyers (81) def Sydney Flames (78)

Both teams started the match at a high tempo that was fast paced, with the Flames going on a 8-2 scoring run halfway through the first quarter, but the Flyers shot the ball at a high volume once they got going, shooting at 53 per cent.

The Flyers had scoring momentum and the tempo on their terms in the second quarter, going on a 10-2 scoring run, before Lauren Nicholson hit back-to-back triples, helping give the Flames some scoring punch of their own.

Although the Flyers trailed by three at half time, Lauren Jackson, Mercedes Russell and Leilani Mitchell all combined for 29 points, whilst the Flames’ Nicholson, Paige Bradley and Cayla George combined for 33 points.

With the Flames winning the second quarter 24-19, and an even third term, scores were level at the final break.

Whilst both teams went basket for basket in transition in the early stages of the last, the Flyers found big contributions with Maddison Rocci hitting a three, Russell and Mitchell executing the pick and roll with 15 seconds left, resulting in a 81-78 victory.

Russell finished as the top scorer for the Flyers, posting 18 points, seven rebounds and one assist.

In a game recognising her time in the WNBL, Jackson finished with 15 points, six rebounds and one assist. Mitchell had 15 points, five assists and three rebounds, whilst Rocci was also solid in her role with 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

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