ROUND 3 WNWBL REVIEW

The Perth Wheelcats have extended their lead on top of the ladder after Round 3 with another perfect weekend while the Sydney Uni Flames have improved their hopes of a top-two finish.

Sitting undefeated with an 11-0 record, Perth won by an average margin of 41 points in Round 3 and were only truly bothered by the Sydney Metro Blues who got within seven points on Saturday.

The margin was 12 points early in the fourth quarter but the Blues played out the game well, scoring the last seven points as Georgia Munro-Cook (20 points, 13 rebounds, five assists) and Kylie Gauci (17 points, five assists) did everything they could.

Perth could not be denied though as Amber Merritt dominated over the weekend with an average of 43.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and six assists per game including two 50+ scores against the Queensland Comets and Kilsyth Cobras.

Sarah Vinci was also influential with 13.8 points and four steals per game while Georgia Inglis added 11.8 points and 10.8 assists after tallying 16 dimes against the Cobras.

With an understaffed roster, Kilsyth were gallant in Round 3 but could not come up with a win despite a double-double from Teisha Shadwell (12 points, 23 rebounds) against the Flames, Bree Mellberg’s 17 points against the Blues and eight points from Kim Hampton in their loss to Perth.

Despite those defeats, they remain in the top four on the ladder after Queensland were unable to get on the winners list either.

Alison Herring paced them offensively with 9.3 points per contest, Ella Sabljak collected 4.7 assists while Ashley Gould (5.3 points) came off the bench to hit the scoreboard in each outing.

At the other end of the ladder, Sydney Uni put together a 3-1 weekend after responding to a loss to the Wheelcats on Friday night.

They took care of Queensland and Kilsyth easily but needed to come from behind against the Blues on Sunday.

Trailing by 18 points at half-time after they only scored 11 in the opening two terms, the Flames completely turned things around with an 18-point third quarter.

Liesl Tesch (13 points, 18 rebounds, six steals) had eight points to spark the comeback before Tracey Carruthers (eight points, seven rebounds) put Sydney Uni in front with just over two minutes to go.

Munro-Cook (17 points, 14 rebounds) responded to tie things up but Brodie Palmer (six points, 16 boards, two assists) proved the heroine, hitting the game-winner with five seconds left on the clock.

Jess Cronje (ten points) had one last chance for Sydney Metro but could not get her shot to drop as the Flames prevailed 45-43.

Playing without their leading scorer and rebounder in Annabelle Lindsay, Sydney Uni will be pleased to have claimed three wins as Palmer (16 points per game), Tesch (16 points, 9.7 rebounds) and Dodd (ten points, four assists) covered for her absence.

They now sit equal on wins with the Blues despite having played three less games after Sydney Metro went 2-2 at home over Round 3.

Munro-Cook was the standout with a double-double average of 23.5 points and 10.8 rebounds while Cronje (12.8 points) and Louise Forell (5.3 points, 2.8 assists) contributed to their weekend split.

The WNWBL returns for Round 4 on July 19 with the Wheelcats hosting a Cluster Round while the Blues will enjoy the bye.