SEASON REVIEW: SYDNEY UNI FLAMES
SYDNEY UNI FLAMES
Wins - 12
Losses – 3
Standing – 2nd
2016 result – 5 wins, 11 losses
The best defensive team in the competition, Sydney Uni were deserved silver medalists in 2017 as they held oppositions to less than 43 points per game. Sarah Stewart was a strong leader both on and off the court, earning the 3.0 MVP award for the fourth time in the past five years while averaging close to a triple-double for the season with 12.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and eight assists (second in the league). Hannah Dodd (10.7 points per game, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists) joined her in the All-Star Five with the 2.0 MVP after having her most productive season while Paralympic veteran Liesl Tesch (11.3 points, 7.5 boards, 4.7 assists) was an outstanding addition this year.
The Flames were impressive most of the season but their defence did not quite hold up in the finals, allowing 12 points more per game than during the regular season. They could not get past the Blues after Round 2, following two wins with three straight losses including defeats in the Semi and Grand Final and they also dropped two games to the Stars through the regular season (although they responded with a win over them in the Preliminary Final).
Annabelle Lindsay’s incredible journey continued this season as she became one of the dominant players in the competition. Turning to wheelchair basketball after a stint in SEABL, Lindsay was one of six players who averaged a double-double with 15.7 points and 13.2 rebounds per game. She started the season with four double-doubles and came within three assists of a triple-double on three different occasions. She then completed a stunning year with three double-doubles in the playoffs. Her best performance came in Round 2 when she tallied 22 points, 22 boards, seven assists and a block against the eventual Champions.
The Flames look to be on the rise and if they can retain their roster as they did in 2017, they should once again compete for the Championship next year. That consistency in their line-up was critical to their early season form and should also play a role in 2018 as they look to find an extra couple of points to match it with the best offensive teams in the league.