The preview for Round 10 stated that there was room for the middle of the table to climb the ladder, and although we have only seen some minor changes, there were still three upsets that could ave big ramifications.
One of those stood out despite the winner being unable to advance, while the other two showed that the ever so strong top four is still at risk of being infiltrated.
CAPS STUN SPIRIT TO CLAIM FIRST WIN
It may have taken 10 rounds, but Kristen Veal and the UC Capitals have broken the drought and recorded their first win of the season and Veal's first win as a head coach in the WNBL. This game was no easy feat, as the Caps had a very tough Bendigo Spirit side to take on -- a task that was made even more difficult due to low number for the Caps. If they hadn't already suffered enough losses, they were missing Alex Bunton, Alison Schwagmeyer-Belger and Britt Smart prior to the game with minor injuries, leaving them with a thin line-up. But there was nothing small about how they played; there was plenty of heart, comradery, and good basketball on show from the Caps as they took out an established top four team. It was the definition of a team effort, with Jade Melbourne, Nicole Munger, Rae Burrell, and Shanice Swain stepping up, however, it was Rebecca Pizzey who particularly stood out. Although it may not have shown on the stat sheet, she used her length and had good hands on the defensive end which made a huge difference.
PERTH FORCE SOUTHSIDE TO STAY GROUNDED
The Southside Flyers have been the new front runner after taking down the Bendigo Spirit twice, as well as the Melbourne Boomers, but this round their winning streak came to an end. The Perth Lynx kept their finals hopes alive after taking out the Flyers in a tight game, only winning by eight points. This was on the back of Sami Whitcomb, who had a veteran's performance recording 33 points. She was unstoppable both from the three-point line and inside -- she took it upon herself to show the young players who's boss -- despite the efforts of Monique Conti and Nyadiew Puoch, they could not find a way to contain her. Whitcomb was backed up well by Amy Atwell, who had a standout game with 25 points, shooting 5-7 threes. But it wasn't just their scoring that got the Lynx over the line, their defence inside and their ability to crash the boards was key to their success, Lauren Scherf made it hard work for Lauren Jackson to dominate inside, she also had a couple of big blocks that stopped players getting to the rack. It was Alex Sharp whose presence was vital, using her athleticism up the floor, on defence and in her tough rebounding, her output was significant ton her team's win. Maddi Rocci was valiant in defeat, posting 20 points as she continues to shine offensively, Abby Bishop also stepped up as LJ saw herself in foul trouble, but ultimately it was not enough to get their Flyers team over the line.
FLAMES MAKE THE MOST OF NO TALBOT
It's crunch time as we head towards the end of the season, this game important for both the Adelaide Lightning and the Sydney Flames. Every game counts, as teams in the lower end of the ladder keep their hopes of making finals alive. After a strong win last week, the Lightning looked to keep the momentum going and beat the Flames who were sitting just below them on the ladder. Little did they know Steph Talbot would only play five minutes before sitting out the rest of the game. Her team continued to battle without her, but in the end, it wasn't enough, and they lost by just four points. Marena Whittle and Issy Borlase led the Lightning with 19 points each, but it was a more of an even spread for the Flames, with five players in double figures. Surprisingly, Shyla Heal wasn't one of them, only shooting at 10%. However, she still played an important role for her team by dishing out eight assists and in her place, Emma Clarke stepped up from beyond the arc -- nailing 4-5 threes.
UC Caps 92 def. Bendigo Spirit 85
Sydney Flames 81 def. Adelaide Lightning 77
Perth Lynx 94 def. Southside Flyers 86
Melbourne Boomers 78 def. UC Capitals 57
Bendigo Spirit 86 def. Adelaide Lightning 68
Townsville Fire 92 def. Sydney Flames 77