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WNBL Rd.13 Wrap: Drought over!Tweet
MAC Adelaide Lightning did the (near) impossible this weekend in the WNBL, not just breaking a 15-game losing skid but doing it twice!
Chris Lucas' young team, additionally down captain and four-time Olympian Laura Hodges (hamstring), first rose to the occasion at Geelong Arena, taking the lead from Melbourne late in the first quarter and never surrendering it, winning 71-67!
It was the season's biggest shock result but there was more in store as the Lightning travelled to Dandenong today to tackle the first-placed Rangers.
That last time Adelaide produced a highly-competitive performance - a six-point loss to defending champion Townsville - the girls suffered a major letdown and were clobbered in Perth by 50.
Having broken through against Melbourne, with Tayla Roberts magnificent and Colleen Planeta also a boards monster, the stage was set for a letdown/meltdown against Dandenong.
But, yet again, the young Lightning would not be denied, taking the lead late in the first quarter, then weathering everything the Rangers threw at them to win 80-73.
Roberts again was big and rookie Anneli Maley also stepped up in no uncertain manner.
But Adelaide had winners right across the board in both matches, ending what is actually a 16-game losing stretch, going back into last season.
CELEBRATION TIME: Come on! Michelle Couling was there to capture Lightning's jubilation.
Elsewhere, Townsville took out Canberra for its fifth consecutive win, Suzy Batkovic with a 19-point, 12-rebound double and Darcee Garbin running back into form.
Kelly Wilson also got 12 minutes of action under her belt in her injury return, the Fire ahead by 40 at one stage.
The Capitals bounced back though, catching Sydney off guard for a 76-73 win.
Kate Gaze had 18 points in 20 minutes for Canberra as it kept alive its waning top-four hopes and rocked the Flames in the process.
STAMPED MAIL: Annelia Maley stamps her name on the game with another rebound in Geelong.
Perth reasserted itself in the title picture with a thoroughly emphatic demolition of Bendigo, ahead from go-to-whoa and by as many as 48 points!
It was a performance the Lynx really needed after dropping off the pace of late, Ruth Hamblin with a career-high 21 points on 9-10 shooting.
She also had with eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and five blocks to stake her Player of the Week claims. So too did Sami Whitcomb, whose 34 points were on 11-17 shooting.
TOWNSVILLE FIRE 93 (Batkovic 19, Kame 16, Cocks 14, Garbin 13, Standish 12; Batkovic 12 rebs; Cloud 8 assts) d CANBERRA CAPITALS 60 (Mansfield 16, Ruef 13; Ruef 12 rebs; Tolo, Mansfield 2 assts) at The Fire Station, Townsville Stadium.
MAC ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 71 (Roberts 22, Planeta 15, Logic 12, Elsworthy 10; Roberts 13 rebs; Logic 6 assts) d MELBOURNE BOOMERS 67 (Garrick, Kunek 14, Cole, Thompson 12; Thompson, Garrick 7 rebs; Keane 4 assts) at Geelong Arena.
PERTH LYNX 108 (Whitcomb 34, Hamblin 21, Mijovic 11, Lee, Lavey 10; Hamblin 8 rebs; Whitcomb 6 assts) d BENDIGO SPIRIT 67 (Raincock-Ekunwe 17, Dietrick 16, Karaitiana 10; 3 with 6 rebs; Dietrick, Griffin 4 assts) at The Zoo, Bendat Basketball Centre.
MAC ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 80 (Roberts 21, Maley 16, Logic 13, Planeta 11; Maley 9 rebs; Hunter, Logic 4 assts) d DANDENONG RANGERS 73 (Blicavs 19, Malott 18, Cumming 12; Malott 8 rebs; Novosel 6 assts) at The Ranger Station, Dandenong Stadium.
CANBERRA CAPITALS 76 (Gaze 18, Tolo, Wehrung 12; Tolo 8 rebs; Gwathmey 5 assts) d SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 73 (Wilson 16, Boag 15, Taylor 12, Mitchell 11; Boag 8 rebs; Mitchell 8 assts) at The Learning Centre, Brydens Stadium.