Flames shine on road trip

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TRENT SLAT­TER trent. slat­ter@ news. com. au

THE Townsville Flames made it through their South­east Queens­land triple- header un­de­feated, but it wasn’t enough to se­cure home- court ad­van­tage for the first round of QBL play- offs.

The Flames will have to travel to Gladstone to face their bo­gey side the Port City Power this week­end af­ter they both fin­ished level on 12 wins, with Gladstone tak­ing the split 2- 0.

Win­ning on the road is never easy, but Townsville rose to the chal­lenge on the week­end with three stylish wins in three days against the USC Rip City ( 89- 75), Sun­shine Coast Phoenix ( 85- 57), and Bris­bane Cap­i­tals ( 76- 52).

Darcee Garbin av­er­aged a dou­ble- dou­ble across the three games in a great in­di­vid­ual per­for­mance and coach Mike StMau­rice said the Flames were strong across the floor un­der the tough con­di­tions.

Townsville’s depth was tested when veteran Rachael McCully was forced to sit out Sat­ur­day’s game with a calf com­plaint, but the coach said ev­ery player was pre­pared to get the job done.

“I thought we did a re­ally good job be­ing able to use our depth to get us through the three games,” St- Mau­rice said.

“It’s re­ally ex­haust­ing when you’re trav­el­ling a lot and play­ing on short turn­arounds so you don’t have time for a proper scout, but all the women did very well to get the job done on the floor.

“Darcee has been our most con­sis­tent player all year. We started off great on Fri­day night and we were up 15 to noth­ing but then they came back.

“Things weren’t go­ing our way, but Darcee was there to get of­fen­sive re­bounds or de­flec­tions and she stopped them get­ting on the front foot.”

The Flames are yet to beat Gladstone in two matches this sea­son, fad­ing out in the last quar­ter when they faced off in Townsville last month, but StMau­rice was con­fi­dent they can lift in the play- offs.

“We haven’t fig­ured out the for­mula for how to beat them yet,” he said. “This will be our third crack, but we’ve done re­ally well re­cently.”

Mean­while, the Townsville Heat saw their shot at the men’s mi­nor pre­mier­ship slip away with back- to- back losses to the Sun­shine Coast Phoenix and Bris­bane Cap­i­tals.

The Heat started well to beat USC Rip City 83- 78, but they lost that mo­men­tum on Sat­ur­day night as the Phoenix rose up to claim a shock 91- 69 vic­tory.

Justin Baker was im­mense against the Cap­i­tals yes­ter­day with 37 points and 14 re­bounds, but it wasn’t enough as Townsville went down 109- 102.

The Heat have still fin­ished the reg­u­lar sea­son in third and se­cured a home fi­nal.

Flames coach Mike St- Mau­rice.

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