Fire poised for Boomers showdown

November 22, 2017 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire will face the Melbourne Boomers without their star recruit during tomorrow night’s top-of-the-table clash.

With the Fire assuming top spot on the ladder, the Boomers will be trying to avoid a series sweep and will have to do so without Liz Cambage, who has accepted a one-match suspension after kneeing UC Capitals centre Mistie Bass.

Leading the league in scoring, Cambage has been forced to be reckoned with since returning to the WNBL, however, her impact has been nullified against the Fire due to the work of Cayla George and Suzy Batkovic.

George was outstanding in the opening game of the series as Batkovic battled foul trouble as she restricted Cambage to just 15 points and four rebounds.

In round four, Batkovic demonstrated why she was the five-time WNBL MVP as she held Cambage to 12 points and six rebounds.

With the Opals centre averaging 22.6 points and 9.7 rebounds, the Boomers will turn to their sharp-shooting guards including captain Jenna O’Hea to get the job done in her absence.

“She’s a great player — Opals, WNBA — and she’s super efficient so we need to make sure we get the scout right on her,” Fire coach Claudia Brassard said.

“I think she changes that team. She’s a really smart player. She’ll shoot the shots when she needs to and she shoots at a really high percentage.

“She’s really smart defensively. She gets in the right position and gets a couple of cheeky deflections and that type of stuff. We need to be aware of her.

“I do think we’ve got the size to match up to them compared to some other teams so if our guards can win the battle over their guards then we’re probably in good form.”

The Fire host the Boomers at Townsville Stadium from 7pm on Thursday night before traveling to Melbourne for the WNBL Cluster Round to face off against the Perth Lynx.

Click here to pre-purchase tickets to the Fire and the Lynx.