Perth’s perfect run continues with opening win over Flyers

THE Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) Grand Final series has started with a bang, with the Perth Lynx taking game one over the Southside Flyers in dominant fashion, emerging 22-point victors at Melbourne Sports Centres in Parkville on Sunday afternoon.

Despite coming into the finals as the lowest ranked side, the Lynx swept the ladder-leading Townsville Fire in the semi-finals, and have now taken a 1-0 lead in the big dance. The Flyers came into the match as favourites, especially considering they had home court advantage, but were outclassed by a Lynx side that is playing on an extreme level of belief at the moment.

The result means the series will now head out West with Perth holding a one-game lead and the chance to wrap up proceedings on Thursday night.

Southside Flyers (79) def. by Perth Lynx (101)

Perth’s determination was evident from the opening quarter, using the pace and tempo that has carried it this far to bring Southside undone. The Flyers gave up too many points in transition and allowed the Lynx to silence the crowd in Parkville.

The rapid-fire style of play from Perth has proven a winning formula to date, getting the better of even the minor champions in the semi-finals and it worked once again in game one of the grand final. The quick ball movement allowed Lynx players to get open much more frequently than when Southside had the ball.

Perth’s lead stood at a whopping 23 points at the main break of play, essentially sealing the result before the second half had even begun. Southside showed fight, but simply could not match the pace of the visitors and was unable to keep up on the scoreboard, with plenty to do ahead of game two at Bendat Basketball Centre.

For the Lynx, Amy Atwell was outstanding, knocking down nine three-pointers on 14 attempts to finish with a game-high 30 points to go with four rebounds in a good old fashioned scoring explosion. Although she did not reach the lofty scoring heights of her previous outings, star import Aari McDonald was again instrumental in her ability to lead Perth’s offence, stuffing the stat sheet with 15 points, five rebounds and 10 assists.

Despite the loss, veteran superstar Lauren Jackson fought valiantly all day with 21 points to try and keep her side’s score ticking over.

Game two will take place at Bendat Basketball Centre on Thursday night at 9:30pm AEDT.

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