Perth Lynx qualify for WNBL Grand Final
The Perth Lynx have crushed the Townsville Fire 91-72 in their major semi-final at the Townsville RSL Stadium.
The result means the Perth Lynx qualify for their first WNBL Grand Final since 1999 – and will face either Townsville or South East Queensland when the best-of-three game series begins on March 12.
Betnijah Laney had an outstanding afternoon with 23 points, six rebounds and four assists – but she certainly wasn’t alone.
Same Whitcomb scored 21 and grabbed eight boards while Carley Mijovic was terrific with 17 and nine rebounds.
Captain Tessa Lavey controlled the floor, adding 15 points plus four assists.
As the first quarter began, the Perth Lynx made a bright start to their first final since the year 2000.
Mijovic was finding the target from deep to put the visitors in the lead at the first break.
Strong rebounding from the Lynx proved a big factor in the second as they skipped out to a 15-point halftime advantage, thanks to outstanding halves from Mijovic, Whitcomb and Betnijah Laney.
The hosts found themselves in foul trouble early in the third, which helped Perth extend their lead to a convincing 21 points come the final break.
Only a disaster would take a history-making Grand Final appearance away from the visitors by the fourth, but they held firm and closed out the game to claim a 19-point victory.
“They’re the returning champions, sitting on top of the ladder, and we got the win. We’re elated about the win, and we’re elated to get the win over such a quality group,” said head coach Andy Stewart.
“We work to get those open shots, and we made some timely drives to keep everybody honest. When we were overplayed, the girls put it on the deck and got to the hoop which was really good.”
Captain Tessa Lavey said flying to Townsville a day early helped with the team’s preparation.
“It made a massive impact on us coming out in that first quarter and really hitting some shots,” she said.
“We were always on our toes, and I think that’s how the margin kept growing. We knew that could make a run.”
Keep a close eye on perthlynx.com for Grand Final ticketing information
Perth Lynx 91 – Betnijah Laney 23, Sami Whitcomb 21, Carley Mijovic 17
Townsville Fire 72 – Natalie Novosel 15, Cayla George 12
News Source: Perth Lynx