Nail biter end in semi final 1!

March 1, 2024 | Townsville Fire news

It was a semi final for the ages, unfortunately for the Fire Sami Whitcomb’s hail Mary buzzer beater to win it… didn’t drop, with the Lynx landing the first blow in the best of 3 series. With 6 seconds to scramble a shot off, the hosts needed a miracle bucket, but the captain couldn’t captain could deliver another magical moment, having already produced plenty leading up to last play.


Whitcomb’s wonderful offensive rebound run to the perimeter, turn release and slot, in the fourth quarter was the highlight of her inspirational performance. The skipper scored 24 points, pulled down 7 boards, bagged 3 assists, conjured up 3 steals and produced 2 blocks. Still Townsville coach Shannon Seebohm knows the stalwart will feel she didn’t do enough.

“I knew she was going to have a good game. She was just super focused in training and I can just see how bad she wants it. So if she can do that in game 2 and we can get a few others to go along with her, then we give ourselves at least a chance to steal 1 on the road.”


Zitina Aokuso finished with a double double. The centre topped the rebound count with 10 and slotted 13 points, while Import Amanda Zahui B brought amazing energy off the bench that can’t be judged in numbers. Making just her second appearance since returning from what was originally thought to be a season ending leg injury, the Swede stopped major momentum built by the visitors the third quarter, through sheer determination, aggression and a couple of crucial baskets.


Both bigs had to step up after Mikaela Ruef rolled her ankle early on and was ruled out for the remainder of the clash… Hopefully not the rest of the series.

Seebohm has his fingers and toes crossed.

“She tried to play, obviously saw her limping around. The medical staff deemed that she was no good. Look she’s tough as nails, so we’ll see what that looks like for the next game.”


Ultimately it was the reigning champions sluggish start to the second half that proved costly. A 7 point advantage evaporated almost immediately. Perth powered to an 11 point lead in a profitable period for the Western Australians. Seebohm conceded that was the turning point but a poor defensive display disappointed him the most.

“87 points is probably enough to win in finals but giving up 88 to 90 plus is not going to get it done. We didn’t play very well, Pert did and we were in a 1 point game.

We didn’t stick to scout, we allowed their best players to get the shots they wanted, if we defend better, I’m going in there like we’re going to win game 2.”


Which would mean a decider back at the Fire Pit, in front an orange army of fans who left nothing in the tank trying to will their team to victory. An effort which didn’t go unnoticed by the coach, despite the result.

“The crowd was loud the atmosphere was incredible.”

Lynx guard Amy Atwell also credited the crowd for adding to an epic encounter, albeit to determent of her team.

“It’s tough playing here because the crowd gets so involved with everything, like it was It was ear piercing. I think there was like 6 free throws back to back that we missed. So yeah the crowd definitely plays a part and you start overthinking things on that free throw line when you’re standing there and everyone’s screaming at the top of their lungs.”


Game 2 is in the West on Sunday. Tip off is at 2.30pm Queensland time.

You can catch the action on ESPN and the 9NOW App.