Jordan Hooper stars as Capitals topple Adelaide

Capitals import Jordan Hooper was growing up in Nebraska when Abby Bishop was forging her incredible legacy in Canberra.

She still knew what Bishop was capable of - they've played against each other before - and Hooper stood tall to claim the spoils in their latest shootout.

Hooper (19 points, seven rebounds, three assists) led the Capitals to a thrilling 84-77 win over Bishop's Adelaide Lightning at the National Convention Centre on Sunday.

Bishop (21 points, five rebounds, three assists) won three championships with the Capitals but the next generation spoiled her return to go unbeaten on the opening weekend of their WNBL campaign.

"I don't know much about [Bishop's] legacy that she left here but it's awesome that she paved the way for players like myself and the younger players here at the Caps," Hooper said.

"She's a great player, I just try to do what I can [against her], I don't try to do anything extra or anything.

"I knew that was going to be a really tough battle and I'd have to bring my A-game on defence. I tried my best but a couple of times she definitely got me, she's a great player."

Bishop was once a star in Canberra and while she returned as the enemy, she still got a hero's welcome.

The Capitals were keen to lure Bishop back to Canberra this year but the star forward inked a deal to return to her home state with Adelaide after a stint in Europe.

The WNBL's 2015-16 most valuable player would have been the perfect recruit to fill the hole left by Marianna Tolo, who left Canberra for Europe.

Instead she found herself coming up against the club that kick-started her career and locked in a shootout with Hooper, who she says "shot four three's in my face, which is... whatever".

"It's always nice to come back to Canberra, I'd been here for so long," Bishop said.

"No different playing any other game in terms of playing against Canberra, but I love the centre and Canberra have put together a great team, [it's] always going to be a challenge coming back here to play against the Caps."

The emotion-charged Adelaide have declared they're playing for head coach Chris Lucas, who had successful surgery to remove a cancerous growth from his kidney last month.

But it was assistant Marcus Wong pulling the strings and it soon became clear the Capitals were in for a tough contest with the lead changing hands nine times in the first quarter.

Capitals coach Paul Goriss was buoyed by a sense of relief following a tight finish and says "winning is a habit" he wants his team to get addicted to.

"You create habits at practice, but you create habits through having good people and competitive people. We're never going to say die and I think we'll be in every game this season," Goriss said.

"The winning has become habitual because of the people that we've got - we got people like Rachel [Jarry], Jordan, Mistie [Bass], Nat [Hurst], who are winners, and that's why we got them here."

CANBERRA CAPITALS 84 (Jordan Hooper 19, Rachel Jarry 15, Abigail Wehrung 14) bt ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 77 (Abby Bishop 21, Natalie Novosel 14, Colleen Planeta 10) at the National Convention Centre on Sunday.

This story Jordan Hooper stars as Capitals topple Adelaide first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.