Basketball On The Internet.

Sponsored by:

AllStar Photos

Specialising in Action, Team and Portrait Photography.


Advertising opportunities available.
Please contact me.

Southside on the fly as stars sparkle

SOUTHSIDE veteran and Australian basketball's G.O.A.T. Lauren Jackson turned back the clock to lead her team to a 1-0 best-of-three WNBL semi final series lead over Melbourne, but unsung import Jasmine Dickey was the X-factor the Boomers did not calculate, scoring 16 points.

Jackson led the Flyers with 20 points at 53 percent and fellow starter - and WNBL Sixth Woman of the Year - Leilani Mitchell was another renowned champion who stepped up, compiling 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting, plus five assists.

Nonetheless, it was Melbourne which started better, inserting Aimie Rocci into its starting group providing an extra defensive foil for Southside's three-guard opening lineup.

Keely Froling battled Jackson in the low blocks and while there was little she - or anyone else for that matter - could do against her patented turnaround jumper, it was still a great contest.

Froling scored a game-high 23 points at 64 percent, and swished 3-of-5 big triples, all of them huge at the times she let them fly.

A basket up at the first break, it was 47-44 Melbourne's way at halftime, Jordin Canada (15 points, 11 assists) a factor but Monique Conti (16 points at 54 percent, 4 threes) and Rocci (11 points, 3-of-3 threes) relishing their roles.

Tera Reed off the bench had 11 points at halftime and Melbourne's gameplan was paying dividends.

Their lead out to five early in the third, the Boomers lost their way when Kristy Wallace made a number of undisciplined plays, their 61-59 lead evaporating.

Suddenly ignited, Southside had Maddi Rocci hitting shots, unsighted Mercedes Russell scoring consecutive baskets, Dickey active and the Flyers were flying.

Ahead 70-61 at the last break, that 11-0 run did not carry into the fourth when Conti opened it with a 3-pointer for Melbourne.

Russell found her way again and Dickey became a factor as Southside pulled 10 clear at 74-64.

Threes by Froling and Conti turned it back into a contest and a later triple by Conti had Melbourne a basket away at 75-77.

Jackson's impeccable turnaround J created breathing space, Froling's three slicing it to a 79-78 Southside lead.

Mitchell from the stripe - she coolly aced 6-of-6 FTs down the straight - and Dickey again kept the Flyers just a fraction outside a desperate Melbourne's reach, sufficient to claim a thriller ahead of Saturday's Game 2. 

SOUTHSIDE FLYERS 90 (Jackson 20, Mitchell 18, Dickey 16, Rocci 15; Ernst, Russell, Rocci 8 rebs; Mitchell, Russell 5 assts) d MELBOURNE BOOMERS 86 (Froling 23, Conti 16, Canada 15, Reed, Rocci 11; Froling, Hillmon 7 rebs; Canada 11 assts) at Melbourne Sports Centres. Crowd: 890

IN Townsville tonight, last-gasp Final Four berth snatcher Perth will have its work cut out but Aari McDonald's return has made such a difference that a Lynx upset cannot be ruled out.

The regular season and defending champion Fire at home must start favourite, but this has the potential to be as big a cracker as last night's rival semi final.

Feb 29

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.