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Lessons to be Learnt for the Lynx but it felt good to have them back. Photos by Eric Paul Goldie

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

When sitting down to write my first official article on the Perth Lynx V Melbourne Boomers Womens National Basketball League match I thought long and hard about the direction this would go.

Option one: A technical match report full of stats, percentages, game changing match ups and moments like Mia Murrays two big 3 pointers.

Option Two: A Fun, Fan Engaging Blog .

We will go with a mix.

The most anticipated rematch for the basketball community in the WNBL was about to start with the questions on everyones lips set to be answered.

Questions like:

1. Can Sami Whitcomb bring the new young NNBL1 stars from the West with her after losing the talented WNBA house hold names like Marina Mabrey, Jackie Young and fellow opal Darcee Garbin?

2. Are the Deakin Melbourne Boomers contenders for a repeat?

Walking through the sliding doors of the Bendat Basketball Centre the excitement was palpable. The stage was set . Fans were greeted by life size cardboard cutouts of the new players alongside the bright red Perth Lynx Merchandise stall manned by the super friendly staff. Next was the face painting and hair braiding station with the longest queues. Layla, The Lynx Mascot ,was taking selfies and dancing for tik-toks. The excitement on the faces of young girls and boys said it all. They were at the best indoor Womens sporting event Perth has to offer.

It was evident as the crowd filled the stadium, that after two years of Covid disruptions, the West Australian Basketball community is back and ready to support their Womens team on this 22/23 Home and Away WNBL Season.

From the start the fans knew they were set for a thriller with Cayla George and Kristy Wallace opening the scoring for the Boomers followed by a trademark 3 pointer from Sami Whitcomb for the Perth Lynx. Amy Atwell, who played her Junior basketball with Willetton Tigers, then went through the USA College system with the University of Hawaii and was the 27th WNBA draft pick for the Los Angeles Sparks, was testing her range. Lauren Scherf was commanding in presence but passes for the Lynx looked a bit forced and led to early turnovers.

It was evident, that the variety in the play from the Melbourne Boomers, WNBA Indiana Fever recent recruit, Tiffany Mitchell, was going to be a thorn in Perths side. Not to mention that Cayla George trademark fadeaway jump shot. There was some nice inside passes to Lauren Scherf. A three pointer from Alex Sharp and Perth led at the first quarter buzzer 22- 19.

The battle of the two centres of Lauren Scherf and Olivia Nelson-Ododa played out. Scherf would finish on top with 17 pts but there seemed to be a lack of rebounds for the Perth team. Mitchell kept the probing scores coming for Melbourne and Kristy Wallace was penetrating in attack while relentless in defence. The lead changed hands 13 times in the first half and Amy Atwell stood up for a 2 pointer followed by a massive 3 pointer. Opal player, Kristy Wallace silenced the excited Perth crowd just before the half time break and Melbourne had the lead at 51-46.

As the Perth Lynx staff put on the half time activations plucking Robbi Ryans loud cheer squad from the crowd. I wrote on my note pad. 'Whats going to happen next???' Deep down I felt the fire power of the big three for the Boomers just looked so dangerous. But I also wondered who on the Lynx outside of our captains were ready to step up or are the Lynx ready yet?

Sami Whitcomb opened the scoring after the break with a 3 pointer that began the charge for the Perth Lynx. Followed by Chloe Bibby and another big triple from Lauren Scherf but once again there was once step forward two steps back scenario. Alex Sharp helped with a couple of triples and as crowd were just getting back into the match again the game ending moments came when Melbournes Mia Murphy nailed a couple of massive 3 pointers after a Cayla George triple.

As the The Boomers continued to pull away, Coach Ryan emptied his bench with two minutes left to the delight of the friends and families in the crowd of the new players coming through. Taylah Burrows went end to end with a layup however the final score was an emphatic 88 - 104 win for Melbourne.

The two questions were answered.

Yes, Melbourne look impressive but might be early days for repeat talk.

Yes, Coach Ryan and captain Sami Whitcomb are about to embark on a test of leadership with the young Perth Lynx charges.

But the big winner here is Womens Sport and the West Australian Basketball Community. The young girls and boys in the crowd all left with smiles on their faces and selfies on their phones after watching some of the great Aussie Opal players and the smoking MVP Tiffany Mitchell.

While talking to Amy Atwell after she finished with 14 points she said :

"It felt so awesome to get out there and play in front of the fans and to have family and friends in the crowd meant even more"

Thanks to the awesome Perth Creative Eric Paul Goldie for time he gives to using his talents to promote Womens Sport and the West Australian Basketball Communnity 😊📸

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