WNBL team wrap: Melbourne Boomers

THE WNBL has wrapped up for another year, and there was plenty of excitement across the course of the 2023 season.

It was a different looking landscape as the campaign rolled on, with contenders rising and falling in a tense finish to the home and away fixture. Ultimately, the strongest side in the Townsville Fire claimed the grand prize, but other teams showed plenty of promise and delivered highlights of their own.

As we did with the NBL over the past few weeks, Rookie Me Central will be taking a look at how each side fared in the 2022/23 season, with mixed results across the eight teams.

The Melbourne Boomers were coming into the fixture as the reigning champions, and going back to back is one of the toughest tasks in any sport. Going from the hunting to the hunted takes some time to adjust, but for much of the season, the Boomers seemed to have no issue with this.

Melbourne was one of the best sides to start the season, and if not for a late season form boost from the Fire and the Flyers, would have secured a top-two finish. However, the Boomers instead faced Southside in the semi-final in a cross-town matchup.

Although they could not advance to the grand final series, the Boomers came within one point of advancing to the final stage, showcasing how close they were to getting a shot at back-to-back championships.

Despite the loss of Tess Madgen, the superstar trio of Cayla George, Tiffany Mitchell and Kristy Wallace managed to boost the team to a winning record. However, a lack of depth ended up costing the team on the big stage.

Melbourne Boomers

2022/23 record – 15 wins, six losses

The Boomers looked a strong chance of claiming consecutive titles, but showed signs of long-term success with an impressive follow-up campaign.

MVP – Cayla George

The easiest decision of the series, George delivered a simply magnificent season for the Boomers in 2022/23. She was named league MVP for her efforts and was the standout performer of the season. Her numbers of 18.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game in a career-best campaign from an individual perspective. George’s ability to impact games was unmatched, as she delivered wins to the Boomers from her own hand at stages of the season.

Next season

Re-signing Mitchell will be at the top of the priority list heading into the off-season, with the talented import making Melbourne a contender whenever she hits the court. It would be impressive if the Boomers could bring her back for a third season, but she clearly enjoys her time with the team so it is a real possibility. Melbourne will also be looking to improve its depth, so expect plenty of signings over the coming months.

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