A look back at the Bendigo Spirit through 250 WNBL games

HISTORIC NIGHT: The Bendigo Spirit prepare for their first WNBL game against Dandneong on October 6, 2007. The Spirit won 87-66.
HISTORIC NIGHT: The Bendigo Spirit prepare for their first WNBL game against Dandneong on October 6, 2007. The Spirit won 87-66.

JUST over 10 years after making its WNBL debut, the Bendigo Spirit reached the 250-game milestone on Saturday night.

However, it wasn’t a night to celebrate as the Spirit copped a 94-59 hiding from Townsville.

The Spirit’s WNBL journey started on a Saturday night in October, 2007, at the Bendigo Stadium against the Dandenong Rangers.

In front of a crowd of more than 1000, the Spirit celebrated their WNBL debut with an 87-66 win over the Rangers.

Among the Stars in the Spirit’s historic first game was Gabe Richards, who wrote her name into the history books by scoring the club’s first points on the way to a game-high 23 to go with 10 rebounds.

A decade on Richards was among the starters in game No.250 for the club as the only player still on the roster from the debut season.

Throughout 250 games the highlights are clear – the back-to-back championships the club celebrated in 2012-13 and 2013-14 during a two-season stretch where the Spirit won 47 of their 52 games.

Both championships were won against Townsville, before the Fire got their grand final revenge on the Spirit in 2014-15, denying Bendigo a championship three-peat.

CHAMPIONS: The Bendigo Spirit team that won the club's first WNBL championship in 2012-13 after beating Townsville 71-57 at the Bendigo Stadium.

CHAMPIONS: The Bendigo Spirit team that won the club's first WNBL championship in 2012-13 after beating Townsville 71-57 at the Bendigo Stadium.

Over their 250 games the Spirit have built a 155-95 win-loss record, reached the playoffs in six of 10 completed seasons and of their seven rivals in the competition this season, have an overall winning record against all but Canberra (14-15) and Townsville (15-17).

• A look at the Bendigo Spirit through 250 games:

MOST GAMES PLAYED:

Gabe Richards – 222

Kelly Wilson – 186

Jane Chalmers – 177

Kristi Harrower – 147

Chelsea Aubry – 145

Heather Oliver – 137

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MOST POINTS:

Gabe Richards – 2802

Kristi Harrower – 2194

Kelsey Griffin – 1915

Kelly Wilson – 1716

Chelsea Aubry – 1124

Belinda Snell – 724

Tess Madgen – 715

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MOST REBOUNDS:

Gabe Richards – 1741

Kelsey Griffin – 1071

Kristi Harrower – 718

Kelly Wilson – 667

Chelsea Aubry – 574

Jasmine Finnigan – 372

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POST-MATCH TRADITION: Kelly Wilson cuts the net after the Spirit's 2013-14 grand final win - again at the expense of the Townsville Fire in Bendigo.

POST-MATCH TRADITION: Kelly Wilson cuts the net after the Spirit's 2013-14 grand final win - again at the expense of the Townsville Fire in Bendigo.

MOST ASSISTS:

Kristi Harrower – 832

Kelly Wilson – 607

Gabe Richards – 303

Kelsey Griffin – 229

Belinda Snell – 155

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MOST BLOCKS:

Gabe Richards – 144

Kelsey Griffin – 117

Lauren King – 49

Chelsea Aubry – 33

Jasmine Finnigan – 33

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MOST STEALS:

Kelsey Griffin – 180

Kelly Wilson – 147

Kristi Harrower – 131

Gabe Richards – 111

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PLAYERS

There have been 58 players take to the court for the Bendigo Spirit through their 250 games.

Of those 58, 16 (listed in bold) are championship players with the club, while only Gabe Richards (222) has played more than 200 games for the Spirit.

In alphabetical order, games in brackets – Ahlise Hurst (3), Andrea Walsh (22), Andrea Wilson (63), Anna Teague (10), Antonia Edmondson (24), Ashleigh Karaitiana (31), Ashleigh Spencer (50), Ashleigh Stonehouse (3).

Belinda Snell (49), Betnijah Laney (8), Blake Dietrick (24).

Chantella Perera (45)Chelsea Aubry (145), Chloe Little (6), Cortney Williamson (3).

Deanna Smith (21), Deanne Butler (23).

Ebony Antonio (4), Ebony Rolph (13), Elanor Haring (48), Elyse Penaluna (21). 

Gabe Richards (222).

Hanna Zavecz (17), Hayley Munro (25), Heather Oliver (137).

Jaclyn Smith (31), Jane Chalmers (177), Jasmine Finnigan (114), Jenna O'Hea (20), Joy Burke (24).

Kara Tessari (12), Karen Ashby (24), Kathleen MacLeod (24), Kellie Savaidis (3), Kelly Wilson (186), Kelsey Griffin (121), Kerryn Harrington (55), Kristi Harrower (147).

Lauren King (46), Lisa Pardon (24), Lisa Walbutton (22), Louise Brown (49).

Maddi Garrick (79), Maddi Wild (4), Marita Payne (21), Molly Matthews (5).

Nadeen Payne (33), Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe (24).

Rachel Banham (9), Rachel Herrick (24), Rebecca Campigli (7), Renae Camino (20).

Sara Blicavs (51), Sarah McAppion (5), Sarah Strange (2).

Tayla Roberts (14), Tess Madgen (46), Tessa Lavey (41).

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COACHES

• Bernie Harrower

2007-08-2014-15

Record: 128-65

• Simon Pritchard

2015-16 – 

Record: 27-30

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Head-to-Head records:

v Adelaide

Played: 33; 18-15

v Canberra

Played: 29; 14-15

v Dandenong

Played: 32; 24-8

v Melbourne/Bulleen

Played: 33; 18-15

v Perth/West Coast

Played: 32; 25-7

v Sydney Uni

Played: 28; 16-12

v Townsville

Played: 32; 15-17

v South East QLD

Played: 3; 2-1

v Logan

Played: 15; 13-2

v AIS

Played: 10; 9-1

v Christchurch

Played: 3; 1-2

TOTAL

Played: 250; 155-95

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GAME RECORDS:

• Highest score for:

107 – v Perth, 2008-09

• Lowest score for:

43 – v Canberra, 2010-11

• Highest score against:

108 – v Perth, 2016-17

• Lowest score against:

30 – v AIS, 2011-12

• Biggest win: 

49 points – 94 d AIS 45, 2009-10

• Biggest loss:

41 points – 67 lt Perth 108, 2016-17