As the Chemist Warehouse WNBL heads into its final 3 weeks, all eyes are on the #WNBL20 ladder, with teams vying for a spot in finals.
During Round 13, the Fire proved to the naysayers that they have the ability to defeat the top teams. They went back-to-back defeating not only the sixth-placed Sydney Uni Flames, but third-placed and reigning champs, the UC Capitals.
It was the first time all season that Townsville were able to get one up on the Caps and the first time since 2017 to hit 100 points. It was a day filled with milestones.
The Fire and Caps first faced each other this season in Round 2 at the National Convention Centre in Canberra, and the home side walked away 2-point victors (67-65).
In Round 7, the two sides met for a second time in Canberra and once again it was the Caps who proved to be too good for the Queensland side defeating them by 9 points (87-78).
Round 13 ended quite differently to these two previous rounds. In front of a home crowd, the Fire put on a show and defeated the Caps by 33 points, their biggest win all season and the second biggest winning margin of the #WNBL20 season, behind the Melbourne Boomers 35-point win over the Caps in Round 3.
After this huge defeat, the question on many supporters’ minds was, what was the difference in Round 13?
The easy answer would be that it was a home-court advantage, but it was more than that. A total of 6 Townsville players reached double-digits on the board, the first time that has been achieved by Townsville all season. Julie Vanloo (16 points, 10 assists) and Bridget Carleton (13 points, 11 rebounds) also both registered double-doubles.
So, it seems the 33-point defeat of the Caps was the combination of a home crowd, impressive individual performances and most importantly, the cohesion and teamwork of the Townsville side.
As the most successful team of the decade, Townsville Fire have proved that they are one side that should not be underestimated.
The Fire have a double-header in Round 14 starting with Adelaide Lightning on Friday January 17 and finishing with Perth Lynx on Sunday January 19. Catch all the action via Livestream here.