Fire lose overtime thriller

November 4, 2018 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire have lost an overtime thriller to Perth.

Having trailed by 18 at quarter-time – and as many as 21 near the main change – the Fire came roaring home as Micaela Cocks (10 points and four rebounds) hit three clutch free throws with 0.5 seconds left on the clock to force extra time.

The Lynx held their nerve in overtime, however, as they registered a 79-71 victory to claim a crucial win.

“It’s not all doom and gloom,” acting Fire coach Mark Wrobel said.

“In the second half we started to defend in the manner that we would expect – we saw some traits of our successful Fire teams from recent years – but we clearly used up a lot of energy coming back from so far behind.

“Perth are a quality line-up so you can’t afford to give them a lead of that magnitude and unfortunately that’s what we did.”

During a disastrous start, the Fire were blown away in the opening quarter as the Lynx quickly opened up a double-digit lead.

A Darcee Garbin jumper (10 points and six rebounds) finally opened the hosts’ account before Mikhaela Donnelly (nine points, six rebounds and four assists) got in on the action.

The Lynx’s American stars were causing headaches – just as they did a fortnight ago – as Brittany McPhee (20 points and 10 rebounds) and Asia Taylor (18 points and seven rebounds) kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Things only marginally improved in the second quarter as the Lynx continued to dominate but a late flurry to end the half kept the Fire in touch.

In the third quarter, six-time Chemist Warehouse WNBL MVP Suzy Batkovic (23 points and 12 rebounds) started to go to work and the Fire finally found their outside shot.

A Casey Samuels triple cut the margin to six with a minute left in the third term but a late bucket to McPhee provided the Lynx with a 58-50 advantage going into the final change.

As the match tightened, Cocks was able to get to the rim to cut the margin to five inside the final three minutes before Mikhaela Donnelly made a telling three.

With the match winding down, Cocks was fouled by McPhee in the shadows of full-time and remained cool as ice as she slotted her free throws.

In the wash-up, however, the Lynx were able to escape with an overtime win with the Fire slumping to a 2-3 record.

Click here to see full box scores between the Fire and the Lynx.