WNBL 2019/2020 Weekend preview: Round 2 – Undefeated sides to tip-off tonight
ROUND 2 of the Women’s National Basketball (WNBL) is set to commence tonight with Perth Lynx, Townsville Fire, Southside Flyers and Bendigo Spirit all playing two games this round as teams jostle to take an early advantage on the ladder.
SOUTHSIDE FLYERS v. PERTH LYNX
Thursday, October 17
The first game of the round will provide plenty of excitement with the third placed Flyers set to face off against the first placed Lynx in a thriller. Both teams are coming off wins and will be riding high making for a hot contest given the stakes. They match up relatively evenly with the Flyers only just nudging ahead with steals credit to their defensive pressure while the Lynx have proved to be damaging off the boards with more rebounds. The Flyers announced themselves as contenders in their inaugural season with a narrow and hard fought win last week and will be looking to keep that ball rolling in Round 2. After a dominant performance, last week Leilani Mitchell and Jenna O’Hea will be looking to replicate their form at the rim and cause havoc with their offensive play. Sara Blicavs can also pose a threat for the Flyers with her ability to score and run the court. But Perth are not without star power of their own with Alison Schwagmeyer a real threat to the scoreboard with her nous and read of the play to burst away from the pack and take the shot. Nadeen Payne is also handy across the court meaning the Flyers will have to put some work in to stop her influence.
TOWNSVILLE FIRE v. ADELAIDE LIGHTNING
Friday, October 18
Expect a tight tussle between Townsville Fire and Adelaide Lightning given their ladder positioning. They have differing styles with the Lightning renowned for their ability to post high totals and blow teams out of their water but can fade out of games which the Fire must capitalise on. Fire currently sit sixth on the ladder but could leapfrog Lightning with a win given Adelaide played two games last round and only won the one. Adelaide have had an up and down start to the season and will be seeking to gain some consistency but have proven they have the arsenal to score freely. Lauren Nicholson starred last week with a whopping 39 points while the likes of Nicole Seekamp (28 points), Stephanie Talbot (25 points) and Chelsea Brook (23 points) also flexed their muscles making them a handful for the Fire to maintain. Although Townsville are yet to register a win after falling short last week they will be looking to the likes of recruit Bridget Carleton to lead the way after notching up 20 points in Round 1. Tess Madgen also put her best foot forward last round and will be wanting to repeat her efforts against another tough opponent.
SYDNEY UNI FLAMES v. SOUTHSIDE FLYERS
Saturday, October 19
In their second game of the round, the Flyers must be on their game if they are to keep their spot in the top four. Despite Sydney being unable to muster up a win in their two games last week expect them to throw everything at their opponents to progress up the ladder. Both sides have a plethora of key players that can tear games apart with a big rebound or timely block making for an intriguing contest. Sydney Flames trio Colleen Planeta, Alice Kunek and Lauren Scherf are all instrumental around the basket with Planeta notching up a staggering 41 points last round credit to her accuracy and ability to back herself from wherever. The Flyers will have to be careful around goal given the Flames ability to gobble up rebounds with 88 compared to 34 while Sydney are also not afraid to share the ball around with more assists than Southside meaning they must shut down their opponents transition down the court. For the Flyers expect O’Hea and Mitchell to stand up while the likes of Louella Tomlinson will be looking to have an influence across the court.
MELBOURNE BOOMERS v. BENDIGO SPIRIT
Saturday, October 19
In their second encounter in as many weeks the Boomers will be wanting to extend their winning streak while the Spirit will be hoping to make amends for Round 1. The 15-point win earnt the Boomers second spot on the ladder while it pushed Bendigo to the bottom- something they’ll be wanting to change. The scoring was relatively evenly spread last week with five players from the Boomers all registering double points. Lindsay Allen did the most damage with 19 points and was closely followed Madeleine Garrick with 15 points, meanwhile Ezi Magbegor notched up 13 points and seven rebounds. Despite not getting a wealth of court time Monique Conti also played her part putting up a couple of shots and doing the little things well while Cayla George amassed 12 points and nine rebounds. Spirit trio Shyla Heal, Marte Grays and Demi Skinner all registered 14 points apiece but will be looking to the fringe players to lift their load if they are to get over the top of the Boomers.
UC CAPITALS v. TOWNSVILLE FIRE
Sunday, October 20
With a win already under their belts, expect reigning premiers UC Capitals to bring the heat against the Fire and notch up another victory. The Capitals have a wealth of options going forward with Kia Nurse and Kelsey Griffin both dominant and able to score with ease. Nurse made no mistake last round amassing 28 points while Keely Froling is also a viable option for the Capitals. UC currently sit fourth on the ladder and will want to work their way up the ladder with a convincing win over the winless Townsville. Both sides are pretty equal despite the blocks with Capitals racing ahead with six compared to zero highlighting their defensive pressure which could pose an issue for the likes Carleton, Madgen and Darcee Garbin.
BENDIGO SPIRIT v. PERTH LYNX
Sunday, October 20
The final game of the round will pit the bottom side against the top. Both sides will have played two games for the round and will be searching for consistency to build their season on. Bendigo may struggle to stop Schwagmeyer who proved pivotal to the scoreboard but will be hoping that Heal, Grays and Skinner can impact the play. Perth have shown they can be damaging on the burst and can convert off turnovers making them a real threat heading into the match-up against the Spirit.