Bendigo Spirit faces big test against Lightning attack 

AN Adelaide Lightning team boasting five Olympians will test the in-form Bendigo Bank Spirit in tonight’s Women’s National Basketball League match at Bendigo Stadium.

The Spirit has an 8-1 record and is top of the ladder, while Lightning is 6-3 after consecutive defeats.

Bendigo coach Bernie Harrower yesterday warned Lightning had the attack to trouble Spirit all match.

“We are up against a quality team, which will be really desperate to get back on the winner’s list,” Harrower said.

Spirit hit back from its first loss of the season by winning last weekend’s contests on the Sydney Flames court and then against Canberra Capitals in Albury.

“It was a disappointing effort against Canberra. We were outpointed defensively and offensively.

“The great thing is how we hit back in last week’s matches, and we really want that momentum to keep going.

“To win two games on the road in one weekend was a superb effort.

“Winning every game at home was a goal at the start of the season.

“We had a slip-up against Canberra, but showed we learnt a lot from that defeat.”

While Harrower is wary about what Adelaide stars Suzy Batkovic, Angela Marino, Jo Hill, Laura Hodges and Jennifer Screen can do, Spirit also has many players in hot form.

“Suzy Batkovic is still the No.1 gun for Adelaide and capable of 20-25 points a game. The key is limiting the impact of those around her.”

The season tipped off with Bendigo scoring a 73-71 win on Lightning’s court in Adelaide.

Harrower believes Bendigo’s greater number of scoring options will be a key to tonight’s success.

“We have a lot more attacking threats this season. Kelsey Griffin and Renae Camino have added a lot of attacking power, but we also have Gabe Richards, Kristi (Harrower) and Kelly Wilson scoring a lot of points.

“Our attack is being a lot more consistent.”

Spirit also has the likes of Madeleine Garrick, Jane Chalmers and Chantella Perera who add attacking flair and defensive steel.

Tonight’s match tips off at 7.30pm at Bendigo Stadium in Marong Road.

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