Young guns show early signs

September 24, 2017 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire’s next generation have shown promising signs ahead of the season proper after enjoying their first real hit-out at the weekend.

Under-19 Australian representative Zitina Aokuso was undoubtedly the star of the weekend, registering 15 points and seven rebounds in the Fire’s opening game win before backing up with a further 12 points and six rebounds the next night.

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Battling against import centre Amanda Dowe and Rio Olympian Natalie Burton, Aokuso looked right at home in the WNBL, proving a handful in the low block and disruptive on the defensive end.

Development player Miela Goodchild looked just as polished in her two games, finishing with seven points, two rebounds and two assists in game one and six points, two rebounds and one assist in game two.

Fellow development player Haylee Andrews also showed promising signs controlling the team at the point, while Queensland Country Health Fund Academy representative, Majella Carey, got her first taste of WNBL action and did not disappoint with four points and a rebound in the second game.

“We certainly wanted to give the development players a bit of a go,” Fire coach Claudia Brassard said after claiming a 2-0 series sweep at the Wilmar Sugar Burdekin Blitz.

“They performed really well. It was pleasing to see Zitina come on and almost get double-doubles both nights.

“Physically she is dominating and when she gets a rebound she is snatching it close to the rim. It’s good to watch.”

The Fire have less than a fortnight before the open their season on the road against the Melbourne Boomers on October 7 before hosting the UC Capitals at Townsville Stadium on October 13.

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