Lightning ticks off major pre-season goal
NETBALL: Sunshine Coast coach Noeline Taurua says she's elated a major pre-season goal has been ticked off after Lightning earned crucial points in a dominant victory over West Coast Fever.
Although Lightning had a slow start, trailing by four goals at one stage, they fought back quickly to take control of the match at USC Stadium on Saturday for a 65-57 win.
Lightning earned three bonus points from the Round 9 battle after leading the goal-scoring tally in all bar the final quarter of the game.
The win and points haul cemented the Sippy Downs-based squad's placing as one of Super Netball's top two sides heading into the four-week mid-season break for the Netball World Cup.
"I'm really happy that we're at number two on the table, that's fantastic and it was a target that we wanted to set and that we've met so I'm elated,” Taurua said.
"The reason (for the goal) is post worlds I'm not too sure how we're going to come back in so this gives us a bit of a buffer for the second part of the season.
"I can leave here now feeling really comfortable and confident about ourselves and ready to take the next step (when competition resumes).”
Stephanie Wood was particularly powerful from a distance during Lightning's victory over Fever, shooting at 84 percent (21/25), while Peace Proscovia was electric as usual with 44 goals at 98 percent.
Speedy midcourter Laura Scherian was named MVP of the game, proving crucial in Lightning's attacking plays.
She had 43 feeds to either Wood or Proscovia plus 26 goal assists.
"Her feeds into Peace are beautiful and she opens up the space with the delivery of the ball into the circle,” Taurua said.
"Like always she's a hard worker and grafter and she's one of those players that's the glue in our attacking end so I'm rapt that she was acknowledged.”
Scherian was humble in being named MVP and believed Proscovia's talent had enhanced the effectiveness of her attack.
"To be honest Peace is one of the easiest players to feed once you find that connection, understand her and where she wants the ball and she's great at communicating that with me at training and we're building that connection each week,” Scherian said.
Lightning's defence was also on point, with the outfit snaring 11 intercepts during the game.
Laura Langman topped the list with four to her name while Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni got five together when defending Fever's shooting weapon Jhaniele Fowler.
Madeline McAuliffe also claimed two of her own intercepts as well.