Lightning Power Home Over Wolves
Lakeside Lightning, SBL

Lightning Power Home Over Wolves

It was purple party time at the Lakeside Recreation Centre as the Lakeside Lightning women went 1-0 up in their quarter finals match up against the Joondalup Wolves with a 76-58 win on Friday night.

The game started in even fashion with both sides settling into the rhythm of the game and a 12-10 score after the first five minutes reflected as such. The Wolves were in hot perimeter form early as they hit several jump shots off their offense. In contrast, Lakeside’s early offensive output came from points in the paint with Schwagmeyer getting to the ring with relentless vigour.

The remainder of the first half followed the same tune as the Wolves pushed out to an early eight point lead while the Lightning’s offense stagnated. The home team were forced into several tough shots to end the first quarter as the Wolves defense cranked up the pressure.

The second quarter continued to be a struggle for the home team while it was the opposite for the visitors who extended their lead to double digits midway through quarter. Wolves’ Shani Amos particularly impressive with 11 points as her team looked to skip away from their opponents. However, the Lightning responded with a run of their own to reduce a ten point deficit back to a 30-29 contest coinciding with Wolves starters Amos, Ironmonger and Belcher all on the bench. The Lightning’s scoring difficulties looked to be a thing of the past as the home team rattled off 13 of their 15 second quarter points in the last 5 minutes of the second stanza. With the momentum of the game swaying the home team’s way, Lakeside’s defensive intensity clicked into gear and along with it came transition baskets.

The end of an entertaining first half ended with Joondalup holding a slender 33-30 lead.

It was again the Wolves quickest off the block at the resumption of play and the margin extended to seven before a Lightning onslaught had them hit the front 45-43 as a previously quiet Sydney Phipps started to trouble the Wolves defense. Lakeside’s defense continued to stifle and frustrate the visitors’ attack and after the ten minutes of the third, Lakeside turned for home holding a 50-45 advantage.

The last quarter momentum kept with the home team as their swarming defense again kept forcing the Wolves into tough contested shots. In turn, Lakeside kept pushing the ball in transition resulting in fast break points which helped home team open up a thirteen point lead on the back of an 8-0 run before the Wolves scored with six minutes remaining in the match.

With three minutes remaining and the Lightning still holding a double digit lead, the Wolves went looking for one final push for victory. Unfortunately for the visitors, all the running came from those in purple and the Wolves simply ran out of answers. Lakeside Lightning eventually running out 76-58 winners.

The homeside had key contributions from all their starters with Schwagmeyer (18pts/13rebs/5asts), Phipps (17pts/5rebs) and Roscoe (14pts/5rebs/5stls) the pick of the bunch. Joondalup’s trio of Martin (12pts/6rebs/3asts), Wischer (10pts/8rebs) and Amos (13pts/5rebs/4asts) all looked lively early but were well contained in the second half.

While the final margin was not a true reflection of the overall contest as a whole, the Wolves will need to make sure they make some key adjustments to ensure the series goes to a Game 3 decider. Lakeside on the other hand, will buoyed by the fact that they were able to power home strongly to register a good first up win in the midst of the Wolves early pressure. They will no doubt expect a much improved and determined opponent next weekend.

Article by Vlad Alava

Photo by Mick Cronin

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