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Chris Pike

Lynx confident of exorcising demons in Melbourne

Perth Lynx head coach Ryan Petrik must overcome memories of a heartbreak finish two years ago. (Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS)

The Perth Lynx have to defy history and a heartbreaking finish at home in game two of the WNBL grand final series but coach Ryan Petrik remains upbeat heading into the decider against the Southside Flyers.

The similarities to the 2022 WNBL grand final series are impossible to ignore and something Petrik, along with assistant coaches Brad Robbins and Nat Burton, will not be able to shake, the Flyers emerging on top on Thursday to set up Sunday's showdown.

However, Petrik is quick to point out that the only remaining players from that 2022 team are Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard and Alex Ciabattoni.

The similarities began with the respective game one match-ups in Melbourne. Two years ago, the Lynx beat the Boomers by 27 points with the chance to win a first championship since 1992.

Two years ago in game two at Bendat Basketball Centre, the Boomers won by a point when Perth import guard Marina Mabrey missed a free-throw to send it to overtime. 

This time, Lynx captain Anneli Maley missed two potential go-ahead free-throws, another layup in transition and the Flyers prevailed 97-95 with a Mercedes Russell shot on the buzzer.

Petrik doesn't expect it to affect his playing group who will be more focused in playing the way they did to win game one with 22 made three-pointers.

"We've got to find a way to flush this from the system pretty quickly because if we go to Melbourne with our tail between our legs, it will be bad," Petrik said.

"But if we go to Melbourne free and loose, then hopefully we can put up a display like we did last weekend.

"It's a totally different roster to two years ago so the battle scars from that are more on the coaching staff than the players.

"Most of them would never have seen it but I don't know the players care that much, they care more about this game they just lost."

Amy Atwell of the Lynx under pressure from Maddison Rocci and Lauren Jackson of the Flyers (Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS)

The Flyers could not run with the Lynx in game one but the second game was on their terms and more of a half court, physical grind suiting them to a tee.

They never trailed with five players scoring in double-figures led by import Jaz Dickey with 19 points with Bec Cole and Russell adding 18, and Maddy Rocci and Carley Ernst 14.

Lauren Jackson had a fascinating battle with Maley all evening and while her numbers did not stand out with five points, nine rebounds and four assists, she played a key role alongside Russell and Ernst.

While exhausted, the championship being one win away keeps her going coming back from a ruptured Achilles and doing what she is as a mother aged 42.

"I honestly can't even think about that right now. I am just physically so tired but I'm so excited as well and I just want to win on Sunday," Jackson said.

"For all of us, we know that this team can beat us by 30 on any given night and we also know that we can beat them.

"I feel really confident that we will go out and not rest on our laurels and give it everything that we've got."

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