08 May Sparks Split Tough Road Double
The Southern Design Sydney Uni Sparks came away from a tough weekend on the road with a, 64-57, victory over the Frankston Blues and an, 83-75, loss to the Kilsyth Cobras. The Sparks now sit in sixth spot on the ladder, just ahead of Melbourne and Geelong.
In a physical encounter, Sydney Uni got out to a great start against Frankston. The Sparks were relentless on the boards, pulling in eight offensive boards, to lead both the rebound count (13-7) and the scoreboard (22-16) after the first quarter.
Despite shooting at a lower clip, rebounding proved to be the difference in the game. The Sparks pulled in 18 offence boards, to Frankston’s two, giving the visiting side ample second chance opportunities to score. Although the game was fought till the end, the Sparks were able to gain a much needed 7 point win.
Emily Simons put in a gutsy performance and had a breakout game for the Sparks, scoring 20 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Susannah Walmsley drained five from long range, in the second half, to score 18 points and added seven rebounds and three steals. Lara McSpadden also put together a strong performance, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
With little time to celebrate the win, the Sparks were back on the court at midday on Sunday against a strong, experienced Kilsyth outfit. Boasting Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, Steph Blicavs, last year’s MVP, Angela Beadle and a host of other talent, Sydney Uni had their work cut out for them.
Kilsyth were efficient in the first quarter piling on 21 points and taking a five point lead into the quarter time. The Sparks did just enough to stay with the home side and put together a massive 28 point third quarter to take the lead going into the final quarter.
The scores were level with a minute and a half remaining, however Kilsyth were able to capitalise on a couple of Sparks turnovers and fouls within the remaining time to claim an 8 point victory.
Despite the loss, the team were able to take a lot of confidence away from the game. Captain, Shanae Greaves was pleased with her team’s ability to match it with such an experienced side and noted championship contender for 38 minutes.
“One and one is a good result for us from a very physical weekend. Although it was disappointing to lose such a tight game to Kilsyth, I am proud of our young bunch for sticking with such a veteran team who are Championship favourites,” Greaves said.
It was a team effort for the Sparks, with five players featuring in double figures. Maddie O’Hehir knocked down some big shots on her way to 16 points and Shanae Greaves held her own inside, also adding 16 points at 61%. Tahlia Tupaea, Susannah Walmsley and Emily Simons scored 12 points each.
This weekend doesn’t get any easier, with the Sparks up against the equal -second placed, Nunawading Spectres. However, they will look to make the most of their home court advantage, as the game will be played at Brydens Stadium on Saturday 12th at 6pm.