Thunderbirds (66) defeat Fever (50)
In a physical game at ETSA Park, the Thunderbirds showed their defensive versatility and teamwork, and finished strongly in their second home game of the season. The two teams last met in round two in Perth, where the Thunderbirds were victorious, defeating the Fever 54-41.
Coming off a bye, the Thunderbirds took an early lead in the match, the shooting accuracy playing a large part. Simple turnovers in the midcourt allowed the Fever back into the game, taking a lead into the first break 17-15. Standing at 1.92m, Caitlin Bassett shot at 100 per cent (12/12) for the Fever, her height unmatched by the Thunderbirds defence.
Without the inclusion of Mandy Edwards due to illness, Emily Beaton stepped up in the first quarter and played a part in some crucial centre passes.
The physicality of the game was evident in the second quarter, with both teams aiming to outmuscle each other in their goal circle. Increased defensive pressure on Bassett, quick passes and excellent teamwork saw the Thunderbirds take a one goal advantage into the major break.
The third quarter saw Mo’onia Gerrard move to wing defence, with Bianca Reddy coming on in goal defence. The teamwork between goalers Kristen Hughes and Natalie Medhurst showed their experience, and contributed to the Thunderbirds extending their lead to six goals, 38-32, halfway through the third quarter.
The Fever was dealt a blow when goal attack Nikala Smith was substituted due to injury, and was replaced by Bianca Franklin. This allowed the Thunderbirds defence to again increase their pressure on Bassett, holding the Fever to just nine goals at 64 per cent in the third quarter. The Thunderbirds held a lead of 49-39 at three quarter time.
The Thunderbirds carried their momentum into the final quarter, quickly extending their lead. The inclusion of Kate Beveridge in goal shooter provided some height and showed that the Thunderbirds were versatile in all areas of the court.
Match Shooting Statistics:
Adelaide Thunderbirds Shooting Statistics:
- Kristen Hughes - 24/28 (85%)
- Natalie Medhurst - 34/36 (94%)
- Kate Beveridge - 8/11 (72%)
West Coast Fever Shooting Statistics:
- Caitlin Bassett - 36/42 (85%)
- Nikala Smith - 6/11 (54%)
- Bianca Franklin - 8/9 (88%)