By Amber Wilkinson
Coastal Sharks Coach Belinda Reynolds says her side has a real will to compete after their first game of the season against Wheatbelt Flames on Friday night.
The Sharks speed and pressure in the first quarter saw them open up an early lead, however the Flames fired back with some strong interceptions in the opening stanza.
Despite their defensive pressure, Sharks shooter Ellie Smart and new recruit Morgan Millar made the most of their opportunities, to give their side a 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Sharks didn’t show any sign of slowing, while the Flames weren’t giving up without a fight in the second term, with the Wheatbelt side wrestling the momentum back as the term progressed.
As the speed of the game increased it the shooting accuracy slipped slightly with each team making simple mistakes and fumbles, which caused plenty of back and forth down the court in a fight for crucial goals.
With five minutes until the break, the Flames made some positional changes, however they didn’t have an effect on the scoreboard as the Sharks took a five goal lead into half time.
The third quarter saw the Sharks assert their dominance over the Flames, making the most of their opportunities converting at 82% in the term, while the Flames were left ruing missed chances as they shot at a low 60%.
The Wheatbelt defence was doing their best to slow the onslaught of goals, however the Sharks took a 39-30 lead into the final break.
The Flames continued to push in the fourth term, however the margin was too big as the Sharks ran out 52-38 victors.
Wheatbelt Flames Coach Deb Ruka said her changes were part of the game.
“I put on players who play a fast long game and wanted to mix it up,” she said.
“We’ve practiced and we have a plan in place, because we had injuries we already talked about it before the game.”
“The girls were comfortable.”
Coastal Sharks Coach Belinda Reynolds described the game as full of adrenaline and excitement which can hopefully be brought to the court next week.