Flyers edge Boomers in WNBL thriller

Adrian Warren

Southside Flyers have taken a firm grip on the WNBL minor premiership race with a thrilling 75-73 overtime win over local rivals and closest challengers, the Melbourne Boomers on Sunday.

Melbourne (12-5), who have lost all three of their games against their crosstown rivals, led by as many as nine points, but Flyers captain Jenna O'Hea kept her side in the game with a trio of first quarter three-pointers, though she appeared to injure her left wrist.

Southside guard Leilani Mitchell hit two free throws with nine seconds remaining to force the game into overtime.

Cayla George scored the first three points of overtime to put Melbourne ahead, but a couple of Mercedes Russell layups and a pair of free throws from Mitchell gave Southside victory and moved them to 14-3, with both teams having four matches to play.

Southside didn't get a single point from their bench with Mitchell 21, O'Hea 19, Russell 18 and Bec Cole 15 doing all of their scoring.

Mitchell missed all eight of her three-point attempts, with Southside making just four of 24 from long range.

Opals forward Ezi Magbegor was enormous for Melbourne, tallying 24 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

On Friday, Melbourne had a 74-69 away win over fourth-placed Adelaide (10-7), who got 23 points and 11 rebounds out of Brianna Turner.

Third-placed Canberra (10-6) were smashed 102-69 at Townsville, who were led by a 26-point haul by Tess Madgen.

It was a surprisingly productive weekend for the struggling Fire (5-12), who on Friday announced they had mutually agreed with Opals stalwart Abby Bishop to immediately release her from her contract.

Townsville won 83-76 at Sydney (6-11) on Sunday, overcoming a 30-point bombardment from the Flames' Alice Kunek.

Perth (6-10) scored a 100-81 home win on Sunday over Bendigo (4-13), for who Shyla Heal tallied a match-high 30.