Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard leads West Coast Fever to dominant 81-56 win over Sunshine Coast Lightning: Samantha Wallace powers Swifts to victory over Mavericks

By Sports Desk April 21, 2024
Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard leads West Coast Fever to dominant 81-56 win over Sunshine Coast Lightning: Samantha Wallace powers Swifts to victory over Mavericks Suncorp Super Netball

In a spectacular display of dominance, Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard delivered an outstanding performance, scoring 63 goals to lead the West Coast Fever to a resounding 81-56 victory over the Sunshine Coast Lightning in their Suncorp Super Netball League home opener on Saturday night.

The Fever continued their winning streak, extending their record to two wins without dropping a single quarter in their opening games. On the other hand, the Sunshine Coast Lightning, considered premiership favorites, faced a challenging defeat at the hands of the Fever.

Fowler-Nembhard's remarkable accuracy was on full display, with the Jamaican shooter missing just two shots throughout the match. Despite the Lightning's best efforts, including strong defensive play from Courtney Bruce against her former team, Fowler-Nembhard proved unstoppable.

The game started with a flurry of action, as Fowler-Nembhard quickly secured the Fever's first two goals. However, the Lightning fought back to even the scores after trailing early. The Fever's defensive unit applied intense pressure, disrupting the Lightning's attacking combinations, especially after Cara Koenen (21/25) replaced Steph Fretwell in the shooting circle.

As the match progressed into the second quarter, the Fever steadily increased their lead, capitalizing on turnovers and defensive stops. Shanice Beckford's (8/11) pivotal role in the midcourt enabled Fowler-Nembhard to find space and capitalize on scoring opportunities.

The Lightning faced setbacks with Fretwell exiting the court due to an ankle injury, further impacting their offensive flow. Despite efforts to close the gap, the Lightning struggled to contain the Fever's relentless attack.

In the third quarter, the Fever maintained their control, with Beckford and Fowler-Nembhard continuing to dominate in the shooting circle. The Lightning, needing super shots to narrow the deficit, fell short against the Fever's strong defensive presence.

The fourth quarter saw a determined Lightning side trying to stage a comeback, led by Courtney Bruce's defensive efforts. However, the Fever's consistent scoring and strategic play extended their lead further.

With 10 minutes remaining, Lightning coach Belinda Reynolds called for a tactical timeout, urging her team to take risks and reduce the deficit. Despite their efforts, the Fever's relentless performance and precise shooting ultimately secured them a commanding 25-goal victory.

 

Over at the Ken Roswell Arena, Trinidad and Tobago’s Samantha Wallace-Joseph scored was perfect from the field, scoring 37 goals in the New South Wales Swifts 67-56 win over the Melbourne Mavericks.

Meanwhile, defending champions, Adelaide Thunderbirds suffered a narrow 54-53 loss to Melbourne Vixens despite an impressive 28 goals from just 30 attempts from Romelda Aiken-George.

 

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  • Fowler-Nembhard outgunned as West Coast Fever suffer first loss of season to Melbourne Vixens Fowler-Nembhard outgunned as West Coast Fever suffer first loss of season to Melbourne Vixens

    In a highly anticipated top-of-the-table clash, the previously unbeaten West Coast Fever succumbed to their first loss of the season, falling 76-65 to the Melbourne Vixens at RAC Arena on Sunday.

    Despite an impressive performance from Jhanielle Fowler-Nembhard, who scored 41 goals from 43 attempts, the Fever were unable to overcome the combined efforts of the Vixens’ Sophie Garbin and Kiera Austin, who scored 45 and 22 goals respectively. The Fever’s defeat came before their largest ever home crowd of more than 11,000 fans.

    The Melbourne Vixens arrived in Perth determined to bounce back from their tough loss to the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Round Six. Their hunger to dethrone the undefeated Fever was evident from the opening whistle.

    The Vixens executed a flawless game plan, capitalizing on uncharacteristic errors from the Fever. Defensive stars Emily Mannix and Rudi Ellis were instrumental in shutting down Fowler-Nembhard, while Kiera Austin’s exceptional performance in the GA position proved pivotal in securing the victory. Austin’s impressive stats—104.5 Nissan Net Points, 16 goal assists, 17 center pass receives, 22 feeds, and shooting at an impressive 95 per cent, underscored her critical role in the triumph.

    “We worked really hard in training this week. I think we were all a bit disappointed in what we wanted to put out there (last week against the Lightning), and when you do the work, the results come,” said MVP Austin post-match.

    From the start, the Vixens set the tone with clever play and speedy ball movement. Emily Mannix made a statement early with a spectacular intercept and multiple deflections, while Kiera Austin was strong against Sunday Aryang, scoring nine from 10 in the opening quarter. Despite Fran Williams’ electric defense for the Fever, which initially helped them to a 22-19 lead at quarter time, the Vixens’ resilience shone through.

    A terrific second-quarter surge saw the Vixens seize control, with Austin continuing her dominant performance, amassing 44.5 Nissan Net Points for the quarter. Austin and Garbin executed flawless screens and rotations, keeping the Fever defenders on their toes. Emily Mannix and Rudi Ellis were clinical in defense, forcing turnovers and ultimately sending Shanice Beckford to the bench. By half-time, the Vixens held a six-goal lead (42-36).

    In the second half, the Fever showed renewed vigor, lifting their pressure and chipping away at the scoreboard. However, the Vixens remained composed, sticking to their game plan and gradually widening their lead. Garbin’s seamless play and Austin’s consistent feeding under the post left the Fever’s defense in disarray. The Vixens’ defensive pressure disrupted the Fever's attacking flow, and despite intense collisions and physical play, they maintained their lead, heading into the final quarter with an 11-point advantage.

    The Fever made several changes in a bid to orchestrate a comeback in the final quarter, but the Vixens' starting lineup remained steadfast. The Fever managed to narrow the gap with clutch Super Shots from Fowler-Nembhard, but the Vixens’ composure and Garbin’s offensive rebounds extended their lead.

     

     

     

     

  • Wilson's Player-of-the-Match performance on 50th-game milestone propels Thunderbirds over Swifts Wilson's Player-of-the-Match performance on 50th-game milestone propels Thunderbirds over Swifts

    Jamaican defender Latanya Wilson, produced a Player of the Match performance in her 50th national league game to assist Adelaide Thunderbirds to a comfortable 58-33 win over New South Wales Swifts in a lopsided affair at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Saturday.

    The contest, which was a repeat of last year’s grand final, was expected to be just a fierce, but Wilson and her Thunderbirds teammates were in a no-nonsense mood, as they won all but one quarter of the encounter to bounce back from last week's nail-biting one-goal loss to West Coast Fever.

    Wilson, 23, notched up 118.5 Nissan Net Points thanks to four intercepts, seven deflections and nine pick-ups in a performance that matches her milestone.

    “It feels so amazing. What a milestone. It is such a great feeling and I am so happy we got the win. We are evolving and we are hunting something new, whatever that looks like, I am so happy that I am a part of this great team,” a beaming Wilson said in a post-game interview.

    While the wing defence did her part along with compatriot and goalkeeper Shamera Sterling-Humphrey, who had five deflections and three intercepts, another Jamaican Romelda Aiken-George led the Thunderbirds attack with 30 goals from 32 attempts.

    Lucy Austin (12 goals from 12 attempts), Georgie Horjus (nine goals from 10 attempts), and Lauren Frew (seven goals from nine attempts), contributed the others.

    Wilson was on song in the Thunderbirds defence.

    Meanwhile, the Swifts, who were off beat all-around, got most goals from Sophie Fawns (16 goals from 19 attempts). Helen Housby (10 goals from 14 attempts), Trinidad and Tobago’s Samantha Wallace-Joseph (five goals from seven attempts) and Grace Whyte (two goals from four attempts), got the others.

    Aside from the opening quarter in which they came out strong and secured a 13-12 lead over the Thunderbirds, the Swifts struggled to maintain momentum throughout.

    In fact, they made a number of errors in the second quarter that shifted things in favour of the Thunderbirds, who capitalised and won the quarter 11-7 to overtake the lead at 23-20 at the half-time interval.

    Wallace-Joseph finally entered the court for the Swifts to start the third quarter which meant Housby moved back into her preferred position of goal attack, but the move proved futile.

    While both teams made some uncharacteristic errors, the Thunderbirds recovered best and later asserted their authority on the contest in what turned out to be a match-winning third quarter.

    Sterling-Humphrey made her presence felt and picked up a flying intercept, after which, Wilson took the mantle to shut out the Swifts, as they ended the quarter 13 goals up at 41-28.

    Faced with the huge deficit, it was crucial for the Swifts to come out firing in the fourth quarter - and they did for the most part, but another intercept from Sterling-Humphrey prevented them from scoring.

    From there, the Swifts racked up penalties and turnovers, while missing six of their 11 attempts, as Thunderbirds effortlessly took the quarter 17-5 to complete the 25-goal rout.

  • A ray of sunshine: Caribbean players light up Round six of Suncorp Super Netball League A ray of sunshine: Caribbean players light up Round six of Suncorp Super Netball League

    The Suncorp Super Netball league has no shortage of international superstars, but the clash between the West Coast Fever and Adelaide Thunderbirds well and truly showcased the Jamaican excellence the competition hosts.

    With six Jamaican Sunshine Girls split evenly between the two teams, the battle was fierce and full of flair, as it eventually ended 57-56 in favour of the Fever.

    Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard is no easybeat, and with the likes of Shanice Beckford serving her the ball on a silver platter, the Fever had no issue with scoring.

    However, Shamera Sterling-Humphrey and Latanya Wilson would not let it all go the Fever’s way, picking off deflections left, right and centre.

    At the other end, Romelda Aiken-George and Kadie-Ann Dehaney went head-to-head in another enormous battle, which well and truly highlighted the impressive agility and elevation of the Jamaican superstars.

    All close friends off the court, the six players united after the match for a brilliant Jamaican team moment, sharing a dance for the remaining crowd.

    Shimona Jok (left) was one of many high-performing Jamaicans this week.

    Elsewhere, Jamaican Shimona Jok won the player of the match award for her impressive 50-goal game in the Maverick’s 69-62 win against the Firebirds, while another Jamaican Jodi-Ann Ward worked in overdrive in the Sydney derby. However, her GIANTS team went down 52-76 to New South Wales Swift, led by Trinidad and Tobago’s Samantha Wallace-Joseph.

    After another week of intense battles, it comes as no surprise that Fowler-Nembhard remains atop the Nissan Net Points leaderboard with 690.5 points to her name, with Sterling-Humphrey (539.5 points) fourth on that list.

    With 355 goals to her name from 363 attempts, Fowler-Nembhard has scored over 100 goals more than Donnell Wallam (253 goals from 297 attempts), who sits second on both the goals and attempts leaderboard, while Aiken-George (214 goals from 245 attempts) occupies fourth on the attempts chart and fifth on the goals side.

    Trinidad and Tobago's Samantha Wallace-Joseph (right) did some damage for NSW Swifts.

    On the flip side, Aiken-George (30) leads the offensive rebound stats, with Fowler-Nembhard (16) in fifth. Fever’s Fran Williams (13) head the defensive rebound standing.

    Sterling-Humphrey leads the pack for deflections with 43, while Wilson (32 deflections) is in fourth position, but both Jamaicans are locked on 20 apiece in first and second on the intercept leaderboard.

    Beckford (124) sit fourth for centre pass receives, as Liz Watson (155) heads that chart, along with the goal assists chart where she has 154.

    Meanwhile, Helen Housby continues to reign supreme on the Suncorp Super Shot with 39 to her name for the season from 55 attempts, ahead of Sophie Dwyer (31 from 48).

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