Flames shine on road trip
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.