What a night at the Fire Pit

March 10, 2023 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire will book its spot in the grand final series with a win in the west, after making a strong start to the playoffs at home.

The hosts secured their thirteenth successive victory and a fourth from four attempts against Perth this season, in front of record crowd for a WNBL game at the Fire Pit. Just shy of 3000 fans found extra decibels at the back end of the first half, when the Fire  went on an 11 and 0 run to end it. Five seconds remaining on the clock was long enough for Karlie Samuelson to knock down free throws and buzzer beating three pointer, to give Shannon Seebohm’s side a double digit lead out of nowhere.

“It was a grind all the way through probably to 2 minutes to go in that second quarter it was a neck and neck.”

The coach was wrapped Townsville’s smothering defence didn’t allow the Lynx to respond with a similar scoring sequence.

“Overall I was really happy with how we defended, they’ve been averaging 99 points their last 5 games, and they usually put up around 30 threes per game, and they’re  a great 3 point shooting team, but we held them to 1 from 15. You know as a result probably gave up a few too many easy baskets but all in all I think a great first game, get the nerves out of the way and hopefully we can sharpen up and be better in game 2.”

Steph Reid starred in the 81-68 triumph. The point guard produced a game high 24 points, plenty of which came from her darting to the basket.

“I think I just take what’s in front of me. I have incredible bigs that set really good screens and get me in a great position to score the ball.”

Shyla Heal adopted the same aggressive intent and was rewarded with 14 points off the bench. A need for speed, enjoyed by Reid.

“I think when we play with pace we’re really good and I think we did a great job of doing that pretty much throughout the whole game. I think we pushed the pace really well and controlled the tempo.”

The JCU Townsville Fire want to end their best of three semi final series the fastest way possible, and they won’t be holding back in Sunday’s showdown, despite having the guarantee of a home decider.