Fire Falls Short Against Adelaide & Melbourne

January 31, 2022 | Townsville Fire news

The fire failed to win either of its home games in round nine of the WNBL despite the best efforts from two terrific crowds, creating an electric atmosphere at the Entertainment Centre. Spectators were treated to extra action on Friday night with Adelaide and Townsville tied after four quarters. The visitors lifted in overtime to triumph 73-65. The Fire fell to Melbourne 59-66, having hit the front for the first time in the game, midway through the last period.

Townsville’s tenacity ensured both encounters, ended up close contests. The hosts had to overcome double digit deficits, to lead their respective games. Coach Shannon Seebohm lauded our women’s determination and dogged defence.

“We’re definitely playing hard and that’s allowing us to hang around. I think we’re the best defensive team in the league, statistically speaking, and that’s allowed us to hang in, even when our offence hasn’t been there at times.”

His praise turned to criticism addressing why the offence underwhelmed. He blamed the Fire shooting at less than 33% shooting, across the double header, as the reason for back to back defeats.

“Our finishing right now is not where it needs to be. We’re missing some easy lay ups and open looks. We need to fix that. If I’m being brutally honest, we’ve got a handful of girls that are professional in their approach, and we’ve got others that don’t do the work. We need everybody to be coming in multiple times a week and working on the shots that need to be able to make, in the games.”

Seebohm certainly didn’t hold back on his players post game. Co-captain Mia Murray believes she needs to shoulder some responsibility, for standards slipping.

“That was a pretty loud and clear message about that. As a leader I feel like I should take a hit because I haven’t really been keeping my teammates accountable.”

Her game wining attempt against Adelaide was a far from easy shot but that didn’t make missing it any easier to swallow, after Townsville stumbled in overtime.  The veteran knows it’s not a time to panic, with last year’s grand finalists sitting on four wins and four losses.

“We’re nearly there. We just need to keep working harder and believing in our system. It works, it will work.”

Monique Billings battled hard in her return from a knee injury. The import dropped a game high 27 points on Friday night. She secured a double double on Sunday, slotting 14 points and 12 rebounds. The power forward will look to deliver another emphatic display against the Flames, for the second time this season, when Townsville travels to Sydney next, after dominating when the two teams faced off in round three.