Panousis powers Comets in opening round

THE NBL1 East Women’s competition returned over the weekend, and the Sydney Comets were able to kick things off with a win thanks to an eye-catching performance from star player Vanessa Panousis.

The Comets faced off against the Penrith Panthers at Comets Stadium on Saturday night, and delivered a commanding 25-point triumph in front of their home crowd. Sydney outscored the Panthers 27-14 in the first quarter, before stretching the lead out to 26 at the main break.

Although the Panthers fought back in the second half to not let the deficit expand any further, the damage was done in the opening two quarters, eventually falling 86-61 in a disappointing manner.

On the other hand, the signs look promising for the Comets, who have started the season in soaring fashion and will be eager to continue that form.

The standout factor of the match proved to be a fantastic individual performance from Panousis, who completely took over the contest. She popped up everywhere to contribute in a number of facets, cementing her status as one of the best players in the league.

Sydney Comets (86) def. Penrith Panthers (61)

Vanessa Panousis – 35 points, five rebounds, six assists, two steals

The numbers above tell a pretty accurate story, with Panousis posting the best stats of any player on the court, and by quite a significant margin.

The guard’s 35 points were obviously the highest total of any player on the court, completely torching the Penrith defence and helping her side out to a commanding lead in the first half.

From the field, Panousis shot accurately given the amount of attempts she produce over the course of the match. Half of her shots found the bottom of the net, shooting 13/26 from the field and spreading out her attempts across all three levels.

Although the 28-year-old was slightly less accurate from three-point territory (4/11 3PT), her ability to hurt the opposition from downtown made her a much tougher prospect to defend, given the fact that Panousis could nail a shot from just about anywhere.

Five rebounds and six assists were a perfect demonstration of the fact that the Darlinghurst native is more than just a scorer. She was willing to get her hands dirty and get her teammates involved with boards and dimes.

One of the most exceptional factors of her performance was the fact that the talented guard did it all in just 30 minutes of play, stuffing the stat sheet in a big way and producing the best performance of the round.

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