Three-in-row becomes Spirit’s goal

December 8, 2023 BY

Road trip: The Bendigo Spirit head to Melbourne this weekend to take on the Southside Flyers, which includes Australian basketball legend Lauren Jackson. Photo: JAMES ROSS/ AAP IMAGE

BENDIGO Spirit will target a hat-trick of victories when it plays Southside Flyers in this Saturday night’s Cygnett Women’s National Basketball League match.

After a 0-4 start, Bendigo is now 2-4 in a regular season of 21 matches.

The squad’s fighting quality was to the fore in the latest hit-out with Adelaide Lightning.

Spirit led by 12 points going into the final term on Adelaide’s court.

Lightning won the last, 22-10, but Bendigo ruled overtime, 10-5, to seal a 70-65 victory.

Strong defensive efforts again played a crucial part in Spirit’s victory.

“I was really proud of the team’s defensive work,” said Bendigo coach Kennedy Kereama.

“The past two matches a big focus was on defence and limiting the amount of times we put teams on the free-throw line.

“Everyone in the squad has been really disciplined in defence,” he said of the hard-fought wins against Sydney and then Adelaide.

“We will need to up the defensive play against Southside.”

A talented Flyers squad won its latest match against UC Capitals by 17 points.

Southside’s stars were Mercedes Russell, 21 points and 11 rebounds; Bec Cole, 17 points; and Jasmine Dickey, 10 points.

The Flyers squad also includes the legendary centre Lauren Jackson, a four-time Olympian, four-time WNBL most valuable player, five-time WNBL championship winner, and Hall of Famer.

Southside also has brilliant guard Leilani Mitchell.

“They are a quality line-up,” Kereama said.

“It’s not a matter of focus on one or two players. They have plenty who can hurt you at either end of the court.”

The same applies for a Spirit team which had an even spread across scoring and rebounding against Adelaide.

Despite a knock to the face against Lightning, Spirit captain Kelsey Griffin will be right to take on the Flyers from 7pm at the State Basketball Centre.