Basketball On The Internet.

Sponsored by:

AllStar Photos

Specialising in Action, Team and Portrait Photography.


Advertising opportunities available.
Please contact me.

Action Jackson soars and Flyers feast

SHE is Australian basketball's G.O.A.T. - Greatest Of All Time - and even at 42, you had to know those competitive instincts would kick in for a WNBL semi final Game 3 decider. With 38 points and 11 rebounds, she absolutely dominated proceedings as only she can, Southside beating Melbourne 93-77.

It was clear from tip-off Jackson was not ready yet to hang up her boots, 10 points in the first quarter, 20 by halftime, 30 at the last break and subbed out before she could shoot her age as the Flyers had a gallant but severely undermanned Boomers outfit on the ropes and largely playing on heart.

Having declared she is NOT available for the Australian Opals' Paris Olympic Games campaign, she yet again proved why she is our greatest player of all time - and let's be clear, that's men OR women - with a timeless performance superior to anything anyone else has mustered all season.

And what a time to do it, in a game where a loss would have meant exit from the title race.

Seriously now, Basketball Australia needs to sit down with this incredible basketball legend and icon and ask the question: "What do we have to do to get you to Paris?"

Her young sons have top priority as, indeed, they should. But anyone who doubts the added value she brings to the Opals, even at 42, only needs to sit back and watch Game 3 again. Or the FIBA World Cup Bronze Medal playoff.

Or the first half of last month's Olympics qualifying match against Germany, which she ensured was over by halftime.

BA must find a way, and if that means taking both her boys on tour with the added comfort of a nanny, it's high time it reached deeper into its pockets to make that happen.

Melbourne's Chris Lucas is a rare coaching savant in this country, but even he had no answer and no way to contain Jackson when she is in that frame of mind.

Mercedes Russell also utilised her obvious height advantage as Southside finally realised the point coach Cheryl Chambers clearly missed while the Flyers were being flogged by 21 in Game 2 - Melbourne's tallest active player was 188cm.

The Boomers were in desperation mode when they gambled and threw 190cm Penina Davidson into the fray after being out since January 13 with a severely torn calf muscle.

She did her best but both shot attempts were rejected by 196cm Carley Ernst, Southside finally acknowledging what everyone else could see - big  (in basketball) is beautiful.

It now will take some doing for Perth to adopt the philosophy of "the bigger they are, the harder they fall" in the Grand Final Series which tips off at Melbourne Sports Centres with Game 1 on Sunday.

Maddi Rocci again was exposed by Melbourne's Monique Conti, Jordin Canada and Aimie Rocci but Leilani Mitchell was the Flyers' backcourt saving grace. She only hit two threes for the game but one ended the third quarter and drove a stake through the Boomers' hopes.

Her ability to find Jackson, control the tempo and keep the team measured and focused were unsung but huge factors in consolidating the win.

Bec Cole also hit some timely shots and Jasmine Dickey's 20 minutes were solid for eight points, six rebounds and three assists.

With Naz Hillmon never the offensive threat who so dominated Game 2, and Keely Froling having to work doubly hard at the defensive end - guarding Jackson in beast mode is no picnic - the end of the season was in sight and inevitable.

Considering injuries and other factors meant the Boomers never once suited their first-choice nine - Jordin Canada (concussion), Monique Conti (AFLW), Sara Blicavs (back, tibia), Keely Froling, Naz Hillmon, Kristy Wallace (knee), Tera Reed (concussion), Penina Davidson (calf) and Aimie Rocci (concussion, back) - they produced a quite extraordinary season.

You wonder what they may have achieved with that team healthy and on the floor together.

In case you also were wondering, Jackson played a season-high 32:59, her 38 points on 15-of-22 shooting (68 percent), with 3-of-6 threes, 11 rebounds, two assists and a steal. She remains the G.O.A.T. for good reason.

Now Southside turns its attention to a well-rested Perth, the amended Grand Final fixtures now as follows:

Game 1 – Sunday, March 10 – 3.30pm (AEDT) – Melbourne Sports Centres Parkville
Game 2 – Thursday, March 14 – 6.30pm (AWST) – Bendat Basketball Centre
Game 3 (if required) – Sunday, March 17 – Time TBA – Melbourne Sports Centres Parkville

The Game 3 time is TBA due to the NBL Grand Final also being on same day. The WNBL is working with the NBL to ensure avoiding a time clash, and will advise as soon as confirmed.


Game 3: SOUTHSIDE FLYERS 93 (Jackson 38, Russell 17, Cole 11, Mitchell 10; Jackson 11 rebs; Rocci 6 assts) d MELBOURNE BOOMERS 77 (Canada 18, Hillmon 17, Froling, Conti 12; Hillmon 8 rebs; Canada 7 assts) at Melbourne Sports Centres. Crowd: 1,896

Game 2: MELBOURNE BOOMERS 88 (Hillmon 22, Canada 21, Reed, Froling 12, Rocci 11; Conti, Hillmon 9 rebs; Canada 5 assts) d SOUTHSIDE FLYERS 67 (Jackson 21, Russell 15, Ernst 11; Jackson, Russell 6 rebs; Mitchell, Rocci 6 assts) at Melbourne Sports Centres. Crowd: 2,892

Game 1: 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

Flyers win series 2-1


Mar 7

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