Masterclass from Boomers
Melbourne hands out a thrashing, but Capitals still a threat
THE Melbourne Boomers kickstarted their double-header weekend in perfect fashion last night with a 90-63 victory over Bendigo Spirit at The Arena.
Melbourne started the game superbly, racing out to a 23-8 quarter-time lead and only got better in front of a vociferous crowd, establishing a 46-26 half-time advantage through some brilliant offensive work in the second quarter.
That was extended (74-38) further in the third term as Australian Opals star Liz Cambage continued to put on a clinic at either end of the court, and with Rebecca Cole and Maddie Garrick also finding the net, Bendigo had no answers to the Boomers scoring power.
Geelong Lady Supercats forward Ebony Rolph tried hard all night for the Spirit, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds, and Nadeen Payne (16 points) and Betnijah Laney (eight points) provided some headaches in defence.
But the night belonged to the Boomers and Cambage, who despite sitting out the final term ended the match with 25 points, 14 rebounds and a host of new fans who turned out to watch her in action.
The win gives the Boomers a 2-1 record heading into their clash with the University of Canberra tomorrow but head coach Guy Molloy said his team would have to improve to compete with the Capitals.
“We’re playing a team (on Sunday) with their tails up at their home so I anticipate some great match-ups,” Molloy said.
“We turned the ball over way too many times tonight, we had 19 turnovers, so we will have to look after the ball better on the road but play with the same defence as well.
“Bendigo was down two pretty key players which hurt them, so without Kelsey Griffin and Gabe Richards it took a lot of their strength off the boards and interior defence.
“But I was really happy with the process we went through to find Liz, there was nothing that was forced, we just ran our plays and got her the ball at the right times,” Molloy said.
The Capitals fell 65-76 last night to Townsville Fire, meaning the winner of tomorrow’s clash will take a firm stranglehold inside the top four on the WNBL ladder.
DOMINANT: Melbourne’s Monique Conti plots her next move and, right, Bendigo’s Ebony Rolph in the thick of it.
TOWER OF POWER: Liz Cambage scores at The Arena last night.