The West Coast Waves turned the tables on the Dandenong Jayco Rangers when they travelled to the Rangers’ home court on Saturday night, defeating Dandenong 77-72.
Sam Norwood was outstanding for the Waves with 24 points and seven boards, while Tracey Gahan with 17 points and 13 rebounds performed at both ends of the court for Dandenong who were still without their gun point-guard, Kathleen MacLeod.
In a physical match with no quarter given by either side, the Waves took an early 14-2 lead on the back of strong work from Norwood inside they key and Kate Malpass and Tully Bevilaqua from outside. Steph Cumming led Dandenong’s response with eight points of an 11-nil run to bring the Rangers back within one point, before levelling at 18-18. West Coast answered to lead 25-20 at quarter time.
With Bevilaqua blanketed by Cumming Dandenong controlled the second quarter, keeping the Waves to just 10 points and turning the first quarter’s five-point deficit into a six-point lead at the half.
In a tense struggle early in the third period the Waves levelled the score at 41-41 with six unanswered points. From there, the two sides swapped baskets but the Waves were not to be denied as Bevilaqua sunk a long three to take a 53-52 lead into three-quarter time.
The final quarter saw players from both sides literally putting their bodies on the line in a desperate struggle to gain the upper hand. With 60 seconds left the scores were tied 72-72 and the Waves were looking at their second possible overtime game for the road-trip.
Sam Norwood sunk the final five points of the game to give the Waves the hard-fought win.
West Coast Waves 77 (Samantha Norwood 24, Tully Bevilaqua 11, Melissa Marsh 9) defeated Dandenong Rangers 72 (Tracy Gahan 17, Stephanie Cumming 11, Abby Bishiop 10)
By Alison Power