Flames in red-hot form

Rockingham Flames coach Ryan Petrik and captain Kaye Tucker. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d425318
Rockingham Flames coach Ryan Petrik and captain Kaye Tucker. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d425318

The Flames are hot favourites going into tonight’s decider against Lakeside Lightning at the State Basketball Centre, having finished on top of the ladder with a 20-2 win/loss record and winning their best of three quarter and semi-finals in two games.

But the grand final will also be Tucker’s 350th and final game in the SBL, with the versatile long-time Flames player to retire after 16 seasons in the league.

‘We’re very confident going into the game, especially as we’ve lost only two games all season,’ she said.

‘It’s a huge occasion and if we win it’ll be my first grand final win; I’ve played in five losing grand finals and it would be great to retire with a win.’

Standing in the Flames’ way is Lakeside Lightning, the best defensive team in the league and one of the two teams to have been successful against them this season.

‘We’re the best offensive team and they’re one of the best defensive teams, but our coach Ryan (Petrik) has worked really hard on our defence this year and that has made our game more complete,’ Tucker said.

‘That’s been the biggest difference between this season and falling at the semi-finals last season.

‘The season all comes down to one game though, and whoever turns up and is better on the night will be remembered and I hope and am confident it will be us.’

– The Flames take on Lakeside Lightning at 7.30pm tonight at the State Basketball Centre in Mt Claremont.