The West Coast Waves made the perfect start to their 2013-14 WNBL season with a 69-65 win over Adelaide Lightning at Adelaide Arena last night.
The tight affair wasn’t decided until late in the game when Shani Amos scored the go-ahead basket for the Waves and veteran Deanna Smith sealed the result at the free-throw line.
Toni Edmondson led the way for the Waves with 17 points and five rebounds, with Smith (14 points, 5 boards) and Darcee Garbin (11 points) also prominent.
Zoe Harper hauled in nine rebounds on return from a knee injury which ruined her previous season.
For the Lightning, three-times Olympian Laura Hodges scored 17 points and had a game-high 11 rebounds, while veteran Jess Foley (15 points, 5 rebounds) and Angela Marino (10 points) also contributed.
The result marked a 41-point turnaround from West Coast’s last visit to Adelaide, in round 10 last season, when they were handed a 37-point hiding.
Waves coach Kennedy Kereama set last night’s performance as the benchmark for his team.
“It was certainly a good performance and obviously one deserving of a win, but I definitely believe we can be better,” Kereama said.
“I thought we played great basketball and that’s going to be a big measure for us this season.
“It’s satisfying to go to Adelaide and beat Adelaide in Adelaide because they’re tough to beat at home.
“That was our biggest loss last season and for us to make that turnaround gives us a lot of confidence.”
Kereama praised the even contribution of his players across the board, with some of his younger stars showing tangible signs of development.
“One of the toughest things for teams trying to defend us is that we have versatility all around,” Kereama said.
“The strength of our team really is that we have so many people that can contribute on any given night.
“That’s our sort of basketball and we’ll be a lot tougher to beat if we continue to play that way.”
The Waves’ next assignment is a home opener against Canberra at the WA Basketball Centre on Friday night.The Capitals were handed an 83-68 thrashing by Sydney in their first game of the season and will be eager to turn their fortunes around quickly.