Wilson Expecting Fast Fever
Vicki Wilson credits West Coast Fever with setting the bar in Season 2021 and knows Sunshine Coast Lightning have a fast tempo, physical game ahead of them.
Fever need one more win to negate the 12 point penalty handed down to them for salary cap breaches in previous seasons.
Last year’s Grand Finalists have already defeated eventual Premiers Melbourne Vixens and fellow finalists NSW Swifts in the first two rounds, so Wilson knows they will pose a threat come Saturday night.
“Fever certainly are playing with fire in their belly and they are highly motivated by the penalty they received at the start of the season,” Wilson said.
“They have set the benchmark as far as speed of the game and we are acutely aware of that.
“We are building each week but we know we have to step it up for this game.”
Fever Shooter Jhaniele Fowler is always an intimidating presence in the circle and even when Lightning cause an intercept or gain the opposition midcourt will not allow for an easy transition.
“You can stop her (Fowler) but it is very tough – you have to be very smart the way you go about it but also it is about limiting that ball supply,” she said.
“There are going to be opportunities and it’s about what you do with the ball after you obtain it.
“Defensively they are very good when you try to transition the ball out.
“We’ve been working on that at training and we’re feeling confident going into the game.”
Lightning were beaten by a considerable margin in two Fever games last year, before going on to bow out to the Perth side in the Preliminary Final.
However Lightning have bolstered their circle defence with the addition of Kate Shimmin in the offseason and Mahalia Cassidy has formed a dangerous combination through the midcourt with Laura Scherian and Maddy McAuliffe.
Wilson said the depth of the side is a strength, not only on the bench but the positional flexibility available across the court.
“What we are so pleased with in the group of ten – we are very adaptable,” she said.
“We have players who are utilities who can run multiple positions.”
Lightning will take on Fever in their first home game at USC Stadium for 2021 on Saturday 15 May from 7pm.
“It’s great to have a home game and I can’t wait to see the supporters come out and really get behind Sunshine Coast Lightning,” she said.