Flames net mixed night against Wolves

Southern Telegraph - - SPORT - Stu­art Hor­ton

It was a night of con­trast­ing for­tunes for the Rock­ing­ham Flames at Joon­dalup’s HBF Arena last week­end, with the men en­joy­ing a con­fi­dence-boost­ing six-point win over the Wolves, while an ill­ness-rid­dled women’s side was dom­i­nated on ev­ery stat and swept away.

The top-of-the-ta­ble clash be­tween the Flames women and the Lady Wolf­pack was billed as a heavy­weight bout be­tween two sides con­sid­ered among the early sea­son cham­pi­onship con­tenders, but it was an an­ti­cli­mac­tic af­fair, as ill­ness de­prived the Flames of Mad­die Allen, while the in­flu­en­tial Ella Kennedy and Chris Boag suc­cumbed to in­jury and ill­ness dur­ing the con­test.

With­out their main bigs in Allen and Boag, the Flames had no counter to the board dom­i­nance of the Wolves, who pulled down 63 re­bounds to the Flames’ 33, led by Perth Lynx cen­tre Kayla Steindl (18 points, 11 re­bounds).

While the fi­nal score bal­looned out to 54-84, coach Craig Reynolds was philo­soph­i­cal about his first de­feat as an SBL head coach.

“One loss from our open­ing four games . . . I prob­a­bly would have taken that at the start of the sea­son and we’re still in a really good po­si­tion with Darcee Garbin still to ar­rive,” he said. In the men’s con­test, Caleb White, Josh Ritchart and Greg Hire, back at his old stamp­ing ground, were in­stru­men­tal as the Flames recorded a 98-92 win against a Wolves team stacked with tal­ent.

Coach Ryan Petrik said small im­prove­ments week to week were just as im­por­tant as the two points.

“It was a good win, but it’s round 6. We’ll cer­tainly take it but as long as we im­prove by 2 or 3 per cent each week, that’s more im­por­tant,” he said.

The Flames men im­proved to 5-2 on the sea­son and moved into third place, be­hind Ger­ald­ton and Joon­dalup, while the women’s first loss saw them go 3-1 and slip to fourth.

The Flames face Lake­side Light­ning at Lake­side Recreation Cen­tre on Fri­day night, be­fore host­ing Cock­burn Cougars at Mike Bar­nett Sports Com­plex on Satur­day.

The women tip off at 6pm, with the men’s game at 8pm.

Picture: Stu­art Hor­ton

Rock­ing­ham’s Greg Hire finds him­self sand­wiched be­tween Joon­dalup's Earnest Ross and Kevin Davis.

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