Sunshine Coast Lightning have produced a strong final-quarter performance with replacement shooter Peace Proscovia playing a major role in knocking the Giants off the top of the Super Netball ladder.
Ugandan Proscovia made all 16 of her shots in the Lightning’s 58-52 win after coming on at the start of the fourth period on Saturday at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.
Lightning started the round in third but level on points with the Giants, and outscored them 18-12 in the final quarter of an extremely tight game.
Until the last 2 minutes, neither side led by more than 3 goals, with the scores level at half and three-quarter time.
Sunshine Coast coach Kylee Byrne brought on Proscovia for the final quarter at goal shooter, moving Cara Koenen to goal attack and Steph Wood from that position to wing attack in place of Binnian Hunt.
“I had my heart in my mouth when I did, but I thought ‘I’ve just got to back them in’,” Byrne said.
“We’ve been looking for that kind of performance from Peace for a while and we knew she matched up well with the Giants’ defence.”
The Giants, who have slumped to a third straight loss, struggled with their long range shooting making just 6 of 16 super shots and shooting just under 71 per cent for the game.
Conversely, the visitors took just 1 super shot for the match and profited from the accuracy of Proscovia and Koenen (36/40) and their midcourters, who skilfully worked the ball into high percentage scoring areas.
“I don’t think we had it (balance between 1 and 2-point shots) right today,” Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald said.
“I think throughout the year we’ve probably done it well, but we didn’t do it well today and we should have kept the scoreboard ticking over.
“I’m really disappointed, I think we lost it at the early stages of the game. We won enough ball back to win it and we just did not convert.”
Both teams were coming off a derby loss last weekend and were each guilty of making too many turnovers in the first quarter.
Byrne said she gave her players a rare spray at halftime over their lack of ball control, and they responded.
“I’m happy – kind of – with the form we’ve put out, (over the first half of the season),” Byrne added.
“I think what’s exciting for me is I know we still have a lot more to go. I still think our errors are too big, and that’s one area for the back half of the season we will be looking to fix up.”
Asked what then Giants needed to do to emerge from their form slump, Fitzgerald said “passing the ball to someone in orange.”