West Adelaide Bearcats 59 | Southern Tigers 69
In an effort that could only be described as “hard-working”, Southern staved off a credible West Adelaide threat to take the spoils on a frosty Saturday Night.
The visitors’ strengths were obvious, as two veterans in Mollie McKendrick (14 points) and Tara Dodman (11 points) highlighted their side’s power in the paint in a 10-point victory.
The Bearcats, who have recently struggled to find scoring avenues, were able to stay in touch early, thanks to a three-pointer and a smart lay-up-and-one from Jasmin Fejo.
Despite this, turnovers were a far-too-common occurrence for the hosts and the Tigers made them pay, building a 13-point quarter time lead.
The visitors continued their solid start early in the second term, with McKendrick dominating underneath the basket.
West Adelaide’s struggles have been well documented this season, so a crowd-rousing fight back was not particularly expected.
But much like this season has brought the unexpected, this match threatened to turn on its head.
Down 15-30, the Bearcats stormed back to find themselves down by just four at the half, with Vordermaier (13 points) and Nagy (12 points) both contributing.
Tara Dodman stepped up early in the third with an important basket from the arc, and slow offence from the hosts allowed the Tigers to consolidate their lead.
Alexandra Green, who had herself a day out with 11 points, eight assists and five steals, scored a wonderful layup and-one whilst falling to hand her side a commanding 53-41 lead at the final change.
This margin grew to 17 points midway through the final term but the pendulum, which must have been fairly fatigued at this stage, swung yet again.
Three minutes of madness saw the home side score 12-straight points to close the gap to just five, and have fans dreaming of an upset in the final two minutes.
It was not to be, as Dodman scored a pair of clutch baskets to drag her side past the persistent Bearcats.
The victory puts Southern on top of the ladder with just four rounds remaining, albeit on percentage, whilst West Adelaide’s mathematical finals hopes are no longer after the defeat.