Liz up­staged by on-fire Ge­orge

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - JES­SICA WHITBY

THE Mel­bourne Boomers will try to turn their luck around in Gee­long this week af­ter a tough loss in their home opener yes­ter­day.

De­spite get­ting off to a strong start, the Boomers were un­able to main­tain mo­men­tum against a fe­ro­cious Townsville Fire and went down 54-63 at the State Bas­ket­ball Cen­tre.

Boomers star Liz Cam­bage scored 15 points and grabbed four re­bounds, but was up­staged by her Opals team­mate Cayla Ge­orge. Re­turn­ing af­ter a stint in Hun­gary, Rio Olympian Ge­orge had a game-high 17 points, plus 21 re­bounds, three steals and two as­sists.

“That’s why we brought her back,” Fire coach Clau­dia Bras­sard said.

“She did a great job in the first half keep­ing the score­board tick­ing over when we were strug­gling with our of­fen­sive ex­e­cu­tion and she was ex­cep­tional on the glass.”

Pos­i­tives for Mel­bourne in­cluded some qual­ity min­utes from new Boomer Court­ney Deu­ver, cap­tain Jenna O’Hea and re­cently re-signed Monique Conti.

Cam­bage and O’Hea were key in keep­ing the Boomers within strik­ing range of the Fire through­out.

O’Hea said that, de­spite the loss, it was amaz­ing to have such a vo­cal crowd be­hind the Boomers.

“Def­i­nitely dis­ap­point­ing to get the loss — es­pe­cially at home, those wins are re­ally im­por­tant,” she said.

“But, wow, this crowd was amaz­ing to­day. We heard them right through the four quar­ters, and you see every­one lin­ing up still, and it’s a long time af­ter the game, so we’re very grate­ful and thank­ful to have such good fans here.”

The Boomers will face Bendigo Spirit at Gee­long Arena on Fri­day.

Pic­tures: LAWRENCE PINDER

Liz Cam­bage in ac­tion for the Mel­bourne Boomers against Townsville yes­ter­day.

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