Boomers reach decider after win over Lynx

Seven seasons after their first title, four years since their last finals game and two years since they were almost lost to the league, Melbourne Boomers have made the WNBL grand final.

The Boomers started the finals in fourth place facing the number one ranked Perth Lynx but they claimed the best of three series 2-0 following a 78-69 win in Perth on Friday night.

With a roaring home crowd at their backs the Lynx took a nine-point lead early in the third term and looked poised to force a deciding game three on Sunday.

Instead the Boomers bounced back via the leadership of captain Jenna O'Hea and their guards, although they still trailed by five points at the final change.

During a large chunk of the third term Boomers star Liz Cambage was rested by coach Guy Molloy who then unleashed her in the last term, in which she knocked down 11 of her game-high 25 points and grabbed six of her game-high 15 rebounds.

The Boomers took the lead early in the last term and withstood a desperate Lynx extending the lead despite the home side's pressure defence.

Bec Cole's steal and breakaway layup put the Boomers out to a seven-point lead with two minutes to play and then free throws and layups, plus some timely rebounds, made sure of the win and vibrant celebrations.

O'Hea's 12 points, six rebounds and five assists didn't fully display her leadership and poise as she played the point guard, small forward and power forward roles at different points of the contest, while Maddie Garrick's 18 points were invaluable early before Cole's 10 points proved telling at the end.

"Some of those stops in the fourth quarter, just the grit and heart of this team, you can't teach that, it comes from within," O'Hea said.

"We just stuck to our defence, we had rules in place and we knew they would hit some tough shots but we had to stay the course and we did. To beat them on their home court like that leaves me speechless."

The Lynx were the leading lights of the league for much of the season and could well have taken this game but for some untimely misses under the hoop, and the quality of the Melbourne's final term which saw them outscore Perth 30-16.

Lynx import Courtney Williams led her side with 20 points and forward Kayla Standish was excellent with 17 points.

Cambage was overjoyed to see her club return to the grand final after playing in their first title in 2010-2011.

"It's so special getting here, especially with a group of girls like this - it's one of the "teamiest" teams I've ever been on," Cambage said.

"I'm so happy to have another opportunity to have another grand final and I've never been in a grand final series in the WNBL.

"It's will be interesting to see how it goes between Townsville and Sydney and we can't wait to play either of them - I'm just buzzing right now."

Townsville Fire and Sydney University Flames play game two of their series in Sydney on Saturday at 3pm with the Fire leading 1-0 and needing a win to meet Melbourne in the grand final.

This story Boomers reach decider after win over Lynx first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.