Flames’ final hopes flicker after big loss
THE Townsville Flames’ QBL finals hopes have taken a hit after Gladstone Port City Power skipper Tabatha Richardson- Smith inspired her team to a 86- 69 road win last night.
Richardson- Smith was inspirational with a monstrous 40 points, eight rebounds and five assists as the visitors dominated the second half to leapfrog the Flames into fourth spot on the ladder. In- form Flames centre Darcee Gar- bin racked up 27 points and 10 rebounds, but committed eight of her team’s 21 turnovers as Townsville was made to pay for a sloppy offensive display.
The two sides were deadlocked after three quarters but the Power dominated the final term 30- 13 as the Flames’ shooting dried up.
Young centre Garbin, who recently signed a new WNBL deal with Townsville Fire until the end of 2020, scored 18 points in the first half to help the Flames to a 37- 33 lead at the main break.
But the hosts had no answer for Richardson- Smith, while Charmian Mellars ( 15 points, 13 rebounds, seven steals) was also influential for Gladstone.
In the men’s clash, Townsville held off a determined Gladstone to score a hard- fought 96- 88 win.
The home team led by 13 points at halftime, 51- 38, before the visitors fought back to tie the scores 76- all with less than six minutes to go. Townsville were able to regain control and secure the vital win.