The Sydney Uni Sparks came out firing but were rounded up by the Nunawading Spectres in an 76-72 loss in an overtime thriller at Brydens Stadium. In the first home game in the club’s history, Maddie O’Hehir’s shooting was near enough to automatic in the early stages and helped keep the Sparks ahead in the first quarter. The Sparks held a narrow three point lead at halftime, but with a perplexing 30 turnovers for the game, the young Sydney Uni side simply allowed Nunawading too many chances. Eventually the Spectres were able to overhaul the Sparks in overtime, winning the extra period 11-7 after the teams finished regulation tied at 65-65. Susannah Walmsley was outstanding as a makeshift point guard, shooting 60% from the field on her way to 16 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds. O’Hehir finished with 13 points, as did captain Shanae Greaves, whilst Kimberley Hodge tallied 12 points. Marena Whittle did the damage for Nunawading with 27 points and 11 rebounds leading four double-figure scorers. Jacqueline Trotto also finished with a double-double for the visitors, notching 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Down on the border, Albury-Wodonga bounced back from last week’s disappointing loss to the Sparks. The Lady Bandits put Sandringham to the sword, running out 89-59 victors on the back of a well-rounded scoring performance. Jumping out to a 22-11 lead, the home side put Sandringham to the sword in a 29-17 second quarter to own a 51-28 lead at halftime. Import Toccara Ross finishing with 18 points and 14 rebounds, whilst four other players tallied double figures as Albury-Wodonga added to their lead in the second half for a 30 point win. Montana Farrah-Seaton shot 5-9 from the field on her way to 16 points, whilst Steph Gorman dropped 15 points. Olivia Barber and Emma Mahady scored 14 points apiece, with Barber’s points coming in just 19 minutes of playing time and at an efficient 7-9 from the field.
Next week sees the Sparks play host to the local rival Canberra Capitals Academy as the Flames-Capitals rivalry extends to the SEABL level. Albury-Wodonga, on the other hand, have the luxury of putting their feet up for an extended period as they have a bye next week before the league-wide Easter break. The Lady Bandits will next take to the court on April 21, when they play host to Sara Blicavs and the Geelong Supercats.