Launceston captain Lauren Mansfield shoots back to form

MOVING IN: Tornadoes guard Emma Haywood drives towards the basket unhindered in Friday night's SEABL strong victory against Frankston. Pictures: Phillip Biggs

MOVING IN: Tornadoes guard Emma Haywood drives towards the basket unhindered in Friday night's SEABL strong victory against Frankston. Pictures: Phillip Biggs

Launceston has sounded out an ominous Tornadoes warning, blasting Frankston off the court early to record an authoritative 98-86 win.

That warning also came in the shape of a blue-chip display from Australian Opal guard Lauren Mansfield.

Three games back since a rusty return from Poland when the 28-year-old first scored just five points, Mansfield raised the bar up to an entire new level for 31 points.

The captain shot seven three-pointers at 58 per cent on Friday night that thrilled boastful Tornadoes coach Derrick Washington.

ON THE DRIVE: Torns skipper Lauren Mansfield spins away from the defence.

ON THE DRIVE: Torns skipper Lauren Mansfield spins away from the defence.

“Mansfield started to find her place like I told you in the first game,” Washington said.

“I knew she was going to have to adjust, but now she’s got the tipple going.”

The Tornadoes looked just as much at their impressive best in the first quarter alone.

Washington finally fueled a high-intensity, fast-paced game that caught the Blues off guard in a 29-9 opening.

That included picking up defensive pressure, especially off half-court presses, opening up more turnovers and quicker transition.

“Everybody’s starting to get on the same page,” he said. “We’ve got our full team here, we’re able to get our practices going and now they are understanding where they can get the tricky points.

KAMIKAZE WAY: Launceston veteran Ali Partridge demonstrates an aggressive defence towards Blues shooter Stacey Barr at Elphin Sports Centre.

KAMIKAZE WAY: Launceston veteran Ali Partridge demonstrates an aggressive defence towards Blues shooter Stacey Barr at Elphin Sports Centre.

“They are starting to understand that vision.”

The match proved to be a contradiction in terms of swings and roundabouts.

The Tornadoes kept the Blues to just nine in the first term, but strangely conceded 77 in the next three.

It was the first time Frankston scored more than 70 points in eight straight losses. 

CLOSELY GUARDED: Lauren Nicholson receives some attention from the Blues defence.

CLOSELY GUARDED: Lauren Nicholson receives some attention from the Blues defence.

Just the same, Launceston slammed 50 by the half and nearly matched that offensive muscle, just falling short of the magical triple figures.

The visitors had got within eight points early in the second half, but that drifted out to 19 later in the third term.

“What I did tell our team is that nothing is given – everything’s got to be earned. That’s got to be the mentality we have to have,” he said.

Lauren Nicholson (21 points) and Ally Wilson (19 with 13 rebounds) started the rot to set up the Torns’ season-high score.

THINKING TIME: Launceston favourite Ally Wilson looks inside for options.

THINKING TIME: Launceston favourite Ally Wilson looks inside for options.