Sport

Canberra Capitals clinging to WNBL reputation after losing to Perth Lynx

The Canberra Capitals are clinging to what's left of their once mighty WNBL reputation after being bullied and out-classed by the Perth Lynx on Saturday night.

The season from hell keeps getting worse for a former competition powerhouse, with the possibility of going through an entire season without a win now more likely than not.

Canberra's Renee Montgomery can't escape Perth's tight defence in a 89-63 loss.
Canberra's Renee Montgomery can't escape Perth's tight defence in a 89-63 loss. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Not even a change in venue could conjure a miracle as title contenders Perth rubbed salt into Canberra's open wounds in an 89-63 defeat at Belconnen Basketball Stadium.

The Capitals will make a decision in the coming week about their home for the remainder of the WNBL season, which now sits at 17 consecutive losses and no wins.

It's likely the Capitals will shift two games to the AIS Arena and play their remaining two home games at Belconnen.

The clash against Perth was the first WNBL match at Belconnen since January 2003, when the Canberra bushfires forced the Capitals out of their Tuggeranong base.

But the intimate atmosphere couldn't save Canberra from another emotionally draining loss in what has been a heartbreaking campaign.

"We can't hide from the fact we haven't won a game yet," said captain Carly Wilson.

"You play to win and you play for your teammates. We can definitely lift in that area, we're getting out-worked at both ends of the floor at points of the game when a team like Perth can break it open.

"We need to show ourselves and everyone else that we're a better team than this. It's emotionally and physically draining, but we have a responsibility to ourselves, the club, [coach Carrie Graf], the supporters and sponsors to keep showing up and get the result we want.

"We can't just turn up and think this season is a write-off and there's nothing left to play for, because there is."

US import Denesha Stallworth played a lone hand for the Capitals, working her way to 24 points while Abby Bishop battled her way to 18 points.

But Perth had far too much firepower in almost every position, constantly keeping the Capitals at arm's length to cruise to a 26-point win.

Betnijah Laney led the way with 27 points while Sami Whitcomb drove daggers into Canberra hearts with 25 points.

Perhaps the most telling statistic was Canberra's 27 turnovers in 40 minutes of basketball. The Capitals' inability to pass to each other or keep control of the ball gave the visitors 33 points.

"For us to have 27 turnovers is abysmal. We're in a losing season, we want to come out and get a win but tonight we didn't play basketball," said coach Carrie Graf.

"In these situations ... we want to allow our younger players to develop. But it's about what people do at practice and on the floor. At times like this, when things are tough, you want to see who stands up."

PERTH LYNX 89 (B Laney 27, S Whitcomb 25, C Mijovic 11) bt CANBERRA CAPITALS 63 (D Stallworth 24, A Bishop 18, C Wilson 5, R Montgomery 5) at Belconnen Basketball Stadium.