The Melbourne Vixens have climbed to third place on the 2016 ANZ Championship ladder after defeating West Coast Fever 54-53 in a nail-biting round of the season on Saturday evening at Perth Arena.
In a battle for third spot on the 2016 ladder, it was a fast and physical first quarter clash which had both teams under pressure early on. The Vixens’ defending duo of Geva Mentor and Jo Weston struggled to shutdown Fever’s experienced goalers Caitlin Bassett and Natalie Medhurst, who established a Fever lead of 15-12 at quarter time.
Despite starting to work together as a team, and with captain Madi Robinson leading by example to open up play and feed the ball to the attacking circle, it wasn’t enough to steal the lead from the hosts who were out in front 28-24 at halftime.
After half time the Vixens managed to edge their way back into the game, through more movement, better timing and teamwork from the mid-court, with Karyn Bailey locking up the scores at 40-all on the siren with a quick penalty shot.
In a tense fourth quarter, Bailey and Alice Teague-Neeld proved to be a powerful combination in the Vixens’ attacking circle, converting 14 out of their 16 attacking opportunities.
Controlling the play, the Vixens continued to dominate throughout the mid-court in the dying seconds of the match. Robinson, Kate Moloney and Liz Watson were on fire, helping the Vixens to overtake the Fever and secure their fourth victory of the season and third place on the Australian Conference ladder.