January 11, 2024 | Townsville Fire news


The reigning WNBL champions are one step closer to defending their title. Townsville is the first team to secure a spot in the finals, doing so with 6 games of the regular season remaining. The Ladder leaders punched their playoff ticket after beating the Boomers in Melbourne. It’s a goal Captain Sami Whitcomb was determined to achieve in her first campaign with the club.

Super proud, obviously you’re playing for finals every season and this season has been really really tough. Top to bottom I think there’s a lot of parody, so that’s really crucial for us.”

She missed the Fire’s home loss to Melbourne, but made up for her absence by playing every minute of the second showdown. The visitors turned the tables on the glass from that defeat just before Christmas, which saw them out rebounded 29-48, this time they triumphed 49-42. Mikaela Ruef racked up a whopping 16 boards, ensuring another key contribution despite ailing to score. The forward who will surely never miss 13 attempts in a row again wasn’t alone in having an off shooting night. Both sides struggled to sink shots, Townsville’s field goal percentage of just 33% was only marginally better than Melbourne’s. Whitcomb was pleased her team toughed out a scrappy win, which was comfortable enough, after the Fire went to half time ahead 44-30.

“Offensive obviously it’s a lower scoring game but I thought we got good shots and just missed. It was definitely grind it was tough from start to finish but I’m really proud of how we fought.”

Zitina Aokuso bucked the scrappy shooting trend. The centre shot at 77% to finish as the game’s highest scorer with 17 points. Steph Ried stuffed the staff sheets. The point guard posted 11 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and a block. With the season series squared, there’s plenty to play for at the Boom Box again on Saturday night. And that’s more than enough motivation for the Fire to finish a gruelling triple header on the road with yet another away victory.