After a twinkle of hope was raised mid-week leading into the Perth Lynx’s second semi-final clash against the resurgent Canberra Capitals, the western team’s 2018/19 season has come to an end with a 91-75 defeat on Thursday evening.
The 16-point defeat leaves Perth scratching its head as the 2-0 series loss leaves them without silverware for the most recent season, and with question marks surrounding their current roster.
Although core Opals stars Katie Ebzery and Lauren Mansfield, as well as impact import Brittany McPhee, are contracted with Perth for the coming season, two straight years of roster turmoil has left the organisation’s front office scrambling to avoid a third messy transition period in a row.
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The hopes that the squad can retain the body of their team into the new season is an ambition Novocastrian star Ebzery hopes the rest of the roster holds as well, as she calls for stability in the ranks if they want to challenge for a place in the big dance come 2020.
“We have a lot to build on from this year, we [just] need to put four quarters together,” she told The West Australian after being shunted from the playoffs. “It’s exciting to have a good chunk of us coming back next year.”
“We had a lot of games where we got ahead in the first half and then dropped off in the third.”
The Lynx were swept in the most recent finals for the second year in a row, and have now recorded just two wins in ten playoff outings over the past four seasons.
It is likely Alison Schwagmeye and Maddie Allen will remain in Perth beyond this season, but captaincy commanders Toni Farnworth and Kayla Steindl may depart western shores before next season. There are also reports new import Asia Taylor will be scooped up by an eastern-based team before the 2019/20 season.
The Capitals now move on to play Adelaide Lightning in the best of three grand final match up to close out the season.