An injury to dynamic midcourter Ashleigh Brazill soured another record-breaking win for West Coast Fever in their ANZ Championship clash yesterday.
Brazill fell heavily on her left ankle while contesting a centre pass just seconds into the last quarter and was taken for scans straight after the 71-51 win over NSW Swifts at Challenge Stadium.
The 23-year-old, who had been her side's best player, remained hopeful she would be available for the Fever's huge game, against Melbourne Vixens at Perth Arena on Saturday.
"I think I was just in shock, to be honest. It is a bit sore but it is my first ankle I have ever done," she said.
"Fingers crossed, I will be back for the Vixens."
But coach Norma Plummer said it was more likely Brazill would miss about three weeks.
"It is disappointing for her. She is just really hitting her straps again, but it will give someone else a chance," she said.
"She's pretty tough. I think once the pain went a bit she tried to make out it wasn't as bad."
The Fever produced a 34-goal turnaround from their round-one loss to the Swifts in Sydney to record their third victory of 2013 - equalling their total wins for 2012 just five rounds into the season.
It was West Coast's third win from 12 outings against the Swifts in the ANZ Championship and their biggest winning margin against the Sydneysiders, surpassing the previous highest of three goals.
It went goal-for-goal in the tense opening minutes before strong Fever pressure started forcing the Swifts to turn the ball over.
West Coast refused to give the ball up, with controlled movement helping them open up a 13-goal quarter-time lead.
Caitlin Bassett was unstoppable at goal shooter, reaching the mile- stone of 2500 goals late in the first quarter.
Bassett, the third player to complete the achievement in championship history, finished with 47 goals from 55 attempts, while Catherine Cox was again solid (23/26).
Plummer praised athletic centre Shae Bolton, who responded to her benching in last week's heavy loss to Adelaide Thunderbirds with a sparkling display.
She outplayed the experienced Kimberlee Green in the first quarter. Green was then moved to wing attack.
"She was out to prove a point and I think she played a marvellous game," Plummer said.
Plummer started Chanel Gomes at goal defence on Susan Pratley, despite the fact she was shaded by the veteran in round one.
Pratley was taken off at quarter time after Gomes worked her way into the game in combination with Eboni Beckford-Chambers.
Brazill said a rare win over an Australian team was a massive step forward for the young group.
"I think if we had gone down this week it would have been hard to pick back up," she said.
"It is going to give us a lot of confidence going into the next game."
·Australian captain Natalie von Bertouch was injured as her Thunderbirds claimed a dramatic 39-38 home win over the Vixens yesterday.
Von Bertouch suffered a corked thigh early in a tight game, that was level at the first and last breaks.
Northern Mystics got their first win of the season with a surprise 69-68 extra-time victory over Central Pulse in Auckland.