Long-range shooting key to Magpies victory

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Premiership fancies Magpies stretched their winning streak to six games in the Albany Basketball Association women’s A-grade after surviving a scare from the much-improved Sparks in round 13 on Tuesday night.

The Magpies have not lost since their round 7 defeat at the hands of Flames, and their long-range shooting again proved key in the 42-38 victory.

Tamania Jones was deadly from outside the arc, nailing four triples in her game-high 16 points, while younger sister Jasmyne Jones (12 points) also hit two three-pointers in the Magpies’ 11th win of the season.

Suiting up with the bare five players, Magpies dropped seven long-range baskets, including three to start the match as they opened up an early advantage.

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The Jones sisters combined for 19 points in the first half as Magpies led convincingly, 23-13, at the break but Sparks rallied in the second 25 minutes to provide the ladder leaders with some nervous moments.

Talented forward Nardia Humphries continued her strong output since joining Sparks in round 11, finishing with 13 points, including six from the field, while point guard Taylah Orzel was prolific in three-point territory, hitting four attempts to chip in with 12 points.

Tamania Jones stretched Magpies’ lead to eight points in the dying stages, but a basket to Ashleigh Smith and two consecutive field goals from Humphries made for an interesting finish.

The loss all but ends Sparks’ finals hopes, given they sit four points and percentage behind the fourth-placed Raiders under-18 development squad with two games to play. Magpies, courtesy of their sixth win in succession, secured a top-two spot and a finals double chance.

Raiders almost caused an upset against Flames earlier in the round, falling four points short despite the best efforts of Bridgette Latham (11).

Zandalee Arthur scored 17 points and centre Chelsea Grove collected 10 points for Flames in the 42-38 win.

Grammar Griffins kept their top-two prospects alive with a thrilling one-point victory against Panthers. Panthers scored the last three points of the game but fell short, 39-40, despite Kayla Thomas and Ella Scamozzi combining for 23 points.

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