Jamaican Jhaniele Fowler produced another stupendous and near-perfect shooting display as West Coast Fever cemented their top spot on the Super Netball ladder with a 74-65 away win against bottom-of-the-table Sunshine Coast Lightning.
Fever’s third straight win left the Lightning in grave danger of missing the Finals for the first time.
The competition’s leading scorer, Fowler had 66 conventional shots on Saturday and her only miss of the night was with her last attempt, which was two points.
A 22-11 second quarter swung the game in favor of the visiting Fever after trailing by two at the start of the season.
West Coast led up to 12 points in the third period and controlled possession better and forced the Lightning into errors.
They had three more interceptions, five more wins and seven fewer general game turnovers.
While Fowler proved unstoppable offensively and the Lightning couldn’t restrict his supply, Courtney Bruce was influential at the other end by racking up five interceptions, nine wins and ten deflections.
“Kudos to the crowd, they pushed them a lot but we opened the door and let Lightning in,” Fowler told Fox Sports.
“But it’s something we’re working on to make sure we put our foot down when we have a massive lead.”
Lightning trailed by five early on, but captain and forward Steph Wood brought her team back into the competition with three super shots as the home team led 19-18 in the quarter.
Fowler scored eight goals against the Lightning early in the second as the visitors regained control and never gave up the lead.
Lightning coach Kylee Byrne revamped his offense for the third quarter, switching Wood from a goal attack to a wing attack and bringing in Reilley Batcheldor at the goal shooter, with Cara Koenen moved from that goal attacking position.
The moves galvanized the home side who found themselves within two at the end of the third quarter, with the previously subdued home crowd finding their voice.
As the fever seemed to shake off, the unfazed Fowler fired five in a row to give his team a seven-point buffer three-quarters from time.
Lightning couldn’t cut the deficit below six in the final quarter, with Koenen making 27 of 29 shots with one of those two-point misses.