Some waits are worth it and this one definitely was for the Brydens Flames when they exacted sweet revenge on Perth Lynx in their much anticipated Round 13 rematch, 83-73, at Brydens Stadium, Sydney University Sports and Aquatic Centre.
Not even the ‘big wet’, which was Sydney this week, could dampen the red-hot Flames who produced one of their best team performances of the season.
The win sees the Flames square the ledger after the Lynx beat Sydney by 11 points way back in their Round 1 Perth clash.
Executing power and grace in the decisive 3rd Quarter was the tale of the tape as the Flames surged, like so often this season, to get a jump on their opposition and hold on with resolute defence. Flames Captain, #10 Katie Ebzery, was unable to convert many scoring chances until the 3rd Quarter, when she lit up the court like only an Opal can do. From a meagre haul of 2 points in the 1st Quarter, testimony to the swarming defence of the Lynx, Ebzery hit the after-burners to pinch 20 points; 7 assists, by final siren to finish as an unlikely game high-scorer.
The Flames were energised for this wrangle against Perth, who have camped atop of the Wattle Valley WNBL ladder all season and 22-22 apiece at Quarter time echoed the intensity on-court and in the stand. Opposing Captains tonight, Ebzery and Lynx # 5 Guard, Tessa Lavey, will unite as Jayco Opals team mates in three days when they jet off to Rio as part of an Olympics international test event. Joining them will be Perth Lynx # 10, Natalie Burton, who with Lavey played strong tonight in a losing side. Neither team will be disadvantaged in their absence as the WNBL has a bye week from January 15-17.
Helping stoke the Flames scoresheet were #31 Joselyn Tinkle, 13 points, 4 rebounds and # 4 Tahlia Tupaea, also with 13 points and 10 rebounds. A standout for Perth Lynx was #32 Sami Whitcomb, who gave her all to snare 18 points, including 6 rebounds.
With both sides flinging bodies about to thwart any scoring threat, even noted scorers finished with a field goal strike-rate below 50 percent. The clash lacked nothing for the thrilled crowd and if anything eclipsed its pre-game hype.
The Flames march south again now to renew acquaintances with the Jayco Dandenong Rangers at Dandenong Stadium, Saturday, January 9 from 6:30pm. This game looms as another payback opportunity for the Flames after being bushwhacked by the Rangers at last meeting.