With the Rangersí first loss of the season just a week ago to the Logan Thunder still fresh in their minds, they had a point to make today, which they did, defeating the Thunder at the Rangersí home court 99-63, and moving back into second place on the WNBL ladder.
The opening quarter saw Logan intent on picking up where they left off last week, applying strong offensive pressure early on with 11 points from Renae Camino and six from Cayla Francis. The Rangers werenít going to let it be all Loganís way today, as they engaged in a shoot-out, matching the Thunder basket for basket with Kathleen Macleod and Abby Bishop taking the lead for the Rangers.
The Rangers got themselves into foul trouble early in the first with five fouls to Loganís nil, but while that could have rattled the Rangers, they settled and lifted their offensive intensity when Chantella Perera and Stephanie Cumming took the court for a succession of quick points to take the Rangers to 32-26 at the first break.
The traffic was all Dandenongís way in the second period as the Rangers lifted their game at both ends of the court. Pereraís strong drives to the basket pushed the lead to 11, and in spite of the efforts of Kristen Veal and Camino the Thunder were held to just 11 points, going into the main break at 59-37.
Coach Mark Wright had said he wanted more desperation from his side, and today he got it. With an even spread of scorers, the Rangers maintained the pressure in the second half, playing a tighter, more controlled game to which the Thunder could not find an answer. Defence was the key, with the Thunder being allowed only 37 points after quarter time.
Dandenong Ranger 99 (Abby Bishop 26, Stephanie Cumming 19, Kathleen McLeod 19) defeated Logan Thunder 63 (Renae Camino 19, Holly Smith 13, Cayla Francis 10)
By Alison Power
Image by Stewart Chambers