WNWBL Round 1 Recap

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WNWBL Round 1 Recap

After a brilliant regular season in 2018, the Perth Wheelcats have again set the pace in 2019 with four straight wins to sit on top of the ladder after Round 1.

On Friday night, they trailed the Sydney Metro Blues by eight near three-quarter time but ten combined points from Sarah Vinci (17 points) and Georgia Inglis (nine points, eight assists) saw the Wheelcats come from behind to claim a 50-48 victory.

Double-doubles from Courtney Ryan (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Georgia Munro-Cook (15 points, 11 rebounds, five steals) almost got Sydney Metro over the line but they were unable to convert on their final few possessions.

Perth then easily took care of the Queensland Comets in a re-match of last year’s gold medal game before fighting out another close clash with Kilsyth Cobras, prevailing 53-49.

With the game tied at 49-49, the Wheelcats had another strong final two minutes as Natalie Alexander (nine points) and Inglis (18 points, nine assists) knocked down the last two baskets of the game to win by four.

Making it a sweep of Round 1 on Sunday, Perth got the better of the Red Dust Heelers as Amber Merritt collected 27 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to finish the weekend with an average of 24.8 points, 14 boards, 7.3 assists, 2.5 steals and a block.

The reigning Champions, Queensland finished their weekend with a 2-2 record as they balanced significant losses to Perth and Sydney Metro with wins over Red Dust and Kilsyth.

Alison Herring paced them with a double-double average of 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds while the likes of Ella Sabljak, Georgia Bishop-Cash and Ashley Gould all impressed over the weekend.

Playing only three games in Round 1 hampered the Blues’ chances of sitting in the top two but they will be buoyed by two big wins over Red Dust and Queensland.

Restricting those two teams to a combined total of 35 points, Ryan and Munro-Cook’s defence was stellar and at the other end of the floor, Jess Cronje and Kylie Gauci contributed on the scoreboard.

The Kilsyth Cobras got on the winners list against Red Dust, utilising a 14-0 second term to get over the line behind 13 points from Leanne Del Toso and a big game from Teisha Shadwell (ten points, 15 rebounds).

Having the bye in Round 1, the Sydney Uni Flames will make their 2019 debut in Round 2 when teams return to the floor on June 7.

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