In Round 2, the Perth Wheelcats have extended their lead on the ladder with another unbeaten weekend while the Sydney Uni Flames tipped off their season in style with three wins.
Perth have moved to 7-0 in 2019, claiming three victories by an average margin of 18 points over the weekend to move three games clear on top of the ladder.
They met the Flames on Friday night in their tightest contest of Round 2, eventually prevailing 57-53 after leading for the entire first half.
Sydney Uni responded with a 15-10 third term, thanks to Annabelle Lindsay (15 points, 21 rebounds) to gain their first advantage of the game and Tracey Carruthers (eight points, five rebounds) then put them up by four with under four minutes remaining.
The Wheelcats answered the challenge though, scoring the next ten points courtesy of Amber Merritt (25 points, 11 boards, eight assists), Georgia Inglis (ten points, 13 rebounds, seven assists) and Mary Friday.
Saturday saw Perth earn two more victories in style over the Sydney Metro Blues and Red Dust Lady Heelers as Merritt finished with an average of 28 points, 13.3 boards and 7.3 assists for Round 2 while Inglis had a triple-double (14 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists) against Red Dust.
Sarah Vinci also impressed, collecting ten points and 1.7 steals per game while Lauren Hardbottle knocked down 15 points on 7-13 shooting coming off the bench in Perth’s win against the Lady Heelers.
Following their loss to Perth on Friday night, Sydney Uni bounced back instantly to string together three wins.
Giving up just 44 points per contest, the Flames put together the second best defence in the league and that will give them confidence that they are on track for another podium finish in 2019.
Coming off an MVP award at the Under-25 World Championships, Lindsay carried that form into the WNWBL with 29.8 points, 15.3 rebounds and three assists per game while Hannah Dodd notched double-figures in scoring through three of their four contests.
Liesl Tesch also lit up the scorecard with a mammoth 20 assists against Kilsyth to place her first in the league for that category on the season.
In their home state, the Blues stayed second on the ladder via a 2-2 record for the weekend.
They began with two comprehensive performances against Red Dust and Kilsyth but could not get past the ladder leaders or their cross-city rivals in the Flames after Courtney Ryan missed the last two clashes.
Georgia Munro-Cook (31 points, 11 rebounds, 1.3 steals and one block) finished with a double-double average that included a 43-point effort against Kilsyth while Jess Cronje (eight points per game) and Maryanne Latu (3.8 points, four assists) also shone.
Just as they did in Round 1, Kilsyth proved themselves against Red Dust to take a 1-2 record for the weekend.
Teisha Shadwell (11.3 points, 13.7 rebounds) put together another double-double average, Leanne Del Toso recorded 16 points and 7.7 assists while Kim Hampton added 10.3 points per game.
With a short roster, Red Dust battled hard all weekend, led by Kathleen O’Kelly Kennedy who had a triple-double (14 points, 17 rebounds, ten assists) against Perth before scoring 30 points in a loss to Kilsyth.
The 2019 season resumes in a fortnight for Round 3 with action returning to New South Wales while the Queensland Comets are back and Red Dust enjoy the bye.