It doesn’t pay to give your opponent a 19 points start in any game of basketball but when you are winless, bottom of the ladder and playing the second on the table it becomes more problematic.
That’s exactly what Bendigo Spirit did on Friday night against the high flying Melbourne Boomers in the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL).
To their credit Bendigo’s spirit wasn’t dented and with Mary Goulding to the fore they made a couple of good runs at the Boomers before going down 91-70.
It was the second clash of the season between the two teams that total seven New Zealand Tall Ferns on their rosters. In the first encounter earlier in the month, also won by the Boomers, all but Toni Farnworth contributed to the scoring column but in this one Farnworth joined the other six with a scoring contribution.
Stella Beck had a fine night steering the Boomers offence, the point guard scoring a season high 17 points (7/11FG) to accompany 4 assists.
Penina Davidson was also in double figures with 10 points to go with four rebounds. The Boomers came up with six steals in the contest, four of those going the way of Kalani Purcell who added 4 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in a typically robust performance. Farnworth finished with three points and Ash Karaitiana two.
For the Spirit Goulding, the only WNBL rookie out of the seven Kiwis, scored 12 points (4/7FG) off the bench with Chev Paalvast knocking down her only shot of the game for three points.
The Spirit are done and dusted, a disappointing season seeing them finish with an 0-13 record.
The Boomers (9-3) travel to Townsville for their final regular season game on Sunday against the Fire (tip-off 3.05pm NZ time). A win could see them move up to second on the WNBL league table – a more favourable position than third ahead of next week’s play-offs.
You can view the Townsville game and the play-offs on FIBA YouTube.