Super boost for Lightning, with maximum points from clash
NETBALL: The Sunshine Coast gave their Super Netball campaign a much-needed jolt at Sippy Downs on Sunday, when they claimed maximum points against Adelaide.
The Lightning beat the Thunderbirds 60-51 at USC Stadium, in captain Geva Mentor's 150th national league game.
They led at each break, snaring valuable bonus points, to move from seventh to fifth on the eight-team ladder after five of 14 rounds.
"Going through this competition, not only do you want to get those wins, you want to make sure you win each quarter ... so the full eight points for us," Mentor said.
"It's a first for us this season and, hopefully, we'll build from there."
It was a relieving result for the reigning champions, who have claimed back-to-back victories in the past two weeks after starting the season with three losses.
It was a gritty display by the hosts but there is plenty of room for improvement, according to Mentor.
"We were able to grind out each quarter and come away with bonus points but definitely (there is) lots we can work on," she said.
"I think, particularly defensively, I don't think we got enough ball, which meant the scoreline was fairly tight throughout."
The Sunshine Coast slipped behind midway through the second quarter and only led by three goals at half-time.
Lightning goal shooter Caitlin Bassett struck 43 goals from 47 attempts while goal attack Stephanie Wood snared 17 goals from 20 attempts.
For the winless visitors, Shimona Nelson shot 30 from 34, while Abigail Latu-Meafou bagged 9 from 12.
The Lightning went into the match eager to do coach Noeline Taurua proud as she grieves the loss of her father Kingi Taurua, who died on Thursday from cancer.
Midcourter Jacqui Russell made her first appearance for the Sunshine Coast in the national league, replacing Laura Scherian in the second quarter.
Cara Koenen had her first outing for the season, coming on for Kelsey Browne in the final quarter. Madeline McAuliffe went off late after rolling her ankle.
Adelaide's Charlee Hodges left the court in the third quarter after a collision with McAuliffe.
Mentor, the 2017 Super Netball player of the year, relished winning a milestone match.
"It was quite apt, playing against the Adelaide Thunderbirds, because that's where it all started for me," she said.
"It's been a decade in this game and I've loved every minute and it's great to be able to celebrate with the Lightning and a very special occasion for me."