Teenage debutant fuels stunning Blaze comeback

LEADING THE WAY: Wagga forward Maddi Clyne top scored for the Blaze with 16 points against St George at Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre on the weekend. Picture: Les Smith
LEADING THE WAY: Wagga forward Maddi Clyne top scored for the Blaze with 16 points against St George at Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre on the weekend. Picture: Les Smith

Wagga Blaze has strengthened its hold on third spot after pulling out all the stops to turn a large deficit into a comprehensive victory over St George on Saturday.

Travelling with just seven players, the Blaze fought back from 11 down at half-time to prevail over the Saints 59-47 at Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre.

Four third quarter steals in quick succession swung the game in Wagga’s favour, as the Blaze’s extended zone - spearheaded by debutant Jessica Sommerfield and forward Maddi Clyne - produced a series of game-changing transition baskets.

Clyne top-scored with 16 points, while the teenaged Sommerfeld was exceptional in her first game at the top level, dropping 15 points and playing well beyond her years on both ends.

Blaze coach Peter O’Leary said he was thrilled to add the young Narrandera product to the primary lineup.

“It was a really good effort from Jess, she did really well,” O’Leary said.

“It also really helps that she’s a point guard and we haven’t had a genuine point guard in our lineup.”

Wagga now turns its attention to Sunday's home clash with Bathurst at Bolton Park Stadium.

A win would draw the Blaze level with the second-placed Goldminers, who’re also coming off a comfortable win over St George earlier in the month.