Wilcher on fire as Heat start to lift

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JON TUXWORTH jonathon. tuxworth@ news. com. au

Pic­ture: SCOTT RADFORD- CHISHOLM THEY’RE the QBL’s form team, but Townsville Heat coach Rod An­der­son has warned his team is yet to fire on all cylin­ders af­ter a 96- 81 home de­feat of league lead­ers Mackay on Satur­day.

Miss­ing star Bris­bane Bul­lets guard Shaun Bruce, the league- lead­ing Me­te­ors were pow­er­less to stop an of­fen­sive mas­ter­class from the Heat’s key play­maker Josh Wilcher.

Wilcher racked up 36 points and seven as­sists to mas­ter­mind Townsville’s ninth win in 10 games.

He nailed eight three point­ers from 12 at­tempts and scored 15 points in the first quar­ter alone to set the tone.

“Ev­ery time I subbed him out he was dirty be­cause he had his eye in from the three point line,” An­der­son said.

“If Justin Baker ( 16 points, seven re­bounds) had a mis­match he found him.

“I think he ( Wilcher) felt like he had a point to prove, the last cou­ple of times we’ve played Mackay he hasn’t played re­ally well.

“We still haven’t found our top form yet and get­ting bet­ter ev­ery week and find­ing dif­fer­ent ways to beat teams. I still feel our best stuff is in front of us.”

The Heat com­mit­ted 22 turnovers in a last start win over Bris­bane Spar­tans but coughed the ball up just eight times against Mackay.

“I had vi­sion of all our turnovers and we showed them to the play­ers on Sat- ur­day morn­ing shootaround,” said.

“It was def­i­nitely at the fore­front of our minds to look af­ter the ball and it was a big way to con­trol the tempo of the game.”

An­der­son said a tight home loss to Gold Coast three weeks ago has helped his side re­fo­cus.

“It might have been the shake- up we needed,” An­der­son said.

“To lose to a team like that is no dis­grace but ev­ery time we step on the floor we feel like we have a great chance of win­ning, es­pe­cially at home.

“We re­ally haven’t looked back since then and have gone on to beat some re­ally good teams.”

The Heat now have the sea­son split over the Mackay and the Townsville Flames achieved like­wise af­ter rout­ing the third- placed Me­te­o­rettes 97- 67.

Cen­tre Darcee Garbin dom­i­nated with 24 points, 14 re­bounds and four as­sists, while Mia Mur­ray ( 18), Rachael Mc­Cully ( 17) and Haylee An­drews ( 15) were also strong of­fen­sively.

The Me­te­o­rettes could only man­age 35 per cent from the field as the fourth­placed Flames con­tin­ued their win­ning streak. QBL RE­SULTS Men: TOWNSVILLE HEAT 96 ( J Wilcher 36, J An­der­son 22, J Baker 16) bt MACKAY ME­TE­ORS 81 ( C Cedar 29, L Bli­cavs 17, T Diop 11).

Women: TOWNSVILLE FLAMES 97 ( D Garbin 24, M Mur­ray 18, R Mc­Cully 17) bt MACKAY ME­TE­ORS 67 ( T Wil­ley 29, N Payne 18, S Store­shaw 13) be­fore our An­der­son

STRONG: Flames star Darcee Garbin in ac­tion against Mackay.

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