MVP marvelous as Boomers force decider
SATURDAY night’s action in the WNBL saw the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) deliver a performance that lived up to the honour, as the Melbourne Boomers kept their season alive with a 19-point win over the Southside Flyers.
In the second match of the best of three series, the Boomers needed to atone for an opening game loss, which is exactly what they did at Melbourne Sports Centre. Melbourne completely outperformed the Flyers, taking full control of the match’s momentum early on and never giving the opposition a sniff.
The victors shot better from the field, which is usually a fair indicator of how the match panned out. Melbourne controlled the tempo of the game, and suffocated Southside on the defensive end of the court, forcing a game three in the process, which will take place on Wednesday.
Fresh off winning the WNBL’s most prestigious individual honour, Cayla George stood up with her team’s season on the line, producing a standout performance in the most crucial of matches. No one impacted the game more than her, and the Boomers reaped the rewards of her outstanding showing.
Melbourne Boomers (96) def. Southside Flyers (77)
Cayla George – 28 points, six rebounds, four assists
George stood up when it mattered most for Melbourne, coming out firing in a do-or-die clash for the Boomer, and was a constant thorn in the Flyers’ side.
A game-high points total of 28 was a perfect demonstration of the scoring power she can provide. Despite playing 38 minutes, George did not let fatigue affect her performance, particularly on the scoring front.
As expected, the 33-year-old received some tight defensive checking from the Southside defence, but her teammates provided some impressive cover to get her open with screens. With ball in hand, she was damaging as ever, taking her opponent to the cleaners on a number of occasions.
The MVP nailed eight of her 16 attempts to finish the match shooting 50 per cent from the field, an impressive feat given the defensive attention she copped.
Although George had no problems attacking downhill, she was also an efficient contributor from behind the arc. The forward drained half of her attempts from downtown, shooting 4/8 from long range. The defence often attempted to put a hand in her face, but clever uses of screens opened up George for some good looks.
The best players deliver in the biggest of games, and on the back of George’s performance, the Boomers have kept their Grand Final chances alive. Look for the MVP to try and replicate this performance in game three on Wednesday.