By Dustin Edwards
West Coast Fever head into this week’s competition bye sitting a game clear on top of the ladder after six rounds, following Saturday night’s epic two-goal win over the Giants.
With the Round 5 loss to the Queensland Firebirds the only blip on the Fever’s season so far, the turnaround from last season could not be more impressive.
A full team, full court approach to defence and lightning ball movement through offensive transition has seen Fever transform into the highest scoring team in the competition with the second-best scoring differential.
Jhaniele Fowler has made a huge impact in her first season, setting the shooting circle alight and leading the competition for goals with a whopping 321, while the continued improvement from Fever’s midcourt has been a key behind the Fever’s electric start to the year.
However, it cannot be understated how impressive the defence has been so far, this season.
Constantly battling out of their height and weight division, captain Courtney Bruce and Stacey Francis have been sensational on the last line of defence.
The dynamic duo has combined for 37 intercepts and 53 deflections, highlighting their agility and willingness to fight tooth and nail to get the ball out of defence and create attacking thrusts.
Although the season has started off on the right note, Coach Stacey Marinkovich knows there is still plenty of work ahead for the talented group.
“We acknowledge that we’ve had a good start, but understand it’s been a result of the preparation of our preseason and our weekly training environment” Marinkovich said.
“We know that there is still plenty of work to be done, once we face teams for a second time they will be well educated against each other so this will lift the standard and consistency across the season.”
“We’ve had some really tough matches and come away with some strong wins, but the learnings gained from the first half of the season will certainly be what drives us for the remainder of the season.”
The second-round of fixtures will see the Fever face a number of tough away matches, with the Vixens (6th), Magpies (7th), Swifts (4th) and Giants (2nd) all scheduled for the second half of the year.
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