‘LJ’ magic keeps Flyers in top-two hunt

LOOKING to continue to keep in touch with the top four and finish the season strongly, the Southside Flyers kicked off 2024 in style, defeating the Sydney Flames by six points at the State Basketball Centre.

The win came from big plays at different stages of the game from Lauren Jackson, Mercedes Russell and Leilani Mitchell, with Jasmine Dickey coming off the bench. The Flyers came up with some huge moments offensively, helping the side to a 79-73 victory.

With the Flyers coming out of the blocks with a great start in the opening term, taking a five-point lead, the Flames moved their focus to the defensive end, ending the first half, 12-6 from points from turnovers. The Flames won the second quarter 21 points to 12, taking a four-point advantage at the main break.

The Flyers were able to lift their work rate from the field, shooting at 22/41 at 53 per cent, limiting the Flames to five from 20/25 per cent from the three point range, winning the third quarter, 25-20.

The Flyers won the last quarter, 20-15, finishing ahead of the steal count, 7-5. The Flyers forced the Flames to take rushed shots in late shot clock situations and win crucial ball back defensively. The Flames had score contributions from Lauren Nicholson, Didi Richards and Cayla George, but it was the steals that was the difference down the stretch.

The Flyers finished the game shooting at 27/53 at 50 per cent from the field, compared to the Flames, 30/66 at 45 per cent. The Flyers shot 5/13 at 38 per cent from three point range, compared to the Flames, 7/27 at 25 per cent.

The Flames won the rebound count, 36-29, and second chance points 11-7.

Jackson was the Flyers’ top scorer, finishing with 28 points, four rebounds, two assists. Mitchell had 13 points, six assists, three steals, whilst Russell finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one assist. Dickey was influential off the bench, producing eight points, eight rebounds, four assists and one block.

For the Flames, Nicholson finished with 17 points, eight assists and three rebounds, Richards conjured 16 points, four assists and one steal and George ended with 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

The Flyers have a double header in Round 12, playing the Bendigo Spirit at home on January 17 and the Melbourne Boomers away on January 21.

In Round 12, the Flames play at home against the Adelaide Lightning on January 17 and the Capitals on January 19. 

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments