The reigning Wattle Valley WNBL champions are preparing to brace themselves for a lightning strike at Townsville RSL Stadium on Saturday night.
Having suffered a disappointing loss to Bendigo in round one, the JCU Townsville Fire responded in emphatic fashion last week as they recorded a 44-point win over the University of Canberra.
In a show of strength to the remainder of the competition, the Fire led by as many as 57 midway through the third term before taking their foot off the gas during the final term.
Skipper Suzy Batkovic led the way with 30 points on 71% shooting – as well as six rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block in just 25 minutes – en route to being named the WNBL Player of the Week.
Bat Girl’s support cast was just as impressive as reigning Rachael Sporn Medallist Mia Murray poured in 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while WNBA guard Nat Novosel provided 17 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals off the bench during a stunning cameo.
The Lightning, however, suffered their second close loss in as many games and with new coach Tracy York still looking for their first win in 2015/16, there will be no bigger scalp than defeating the Fire on their home floor.
“Like Chris (Lucas) said after the game, last week’s game is gone and it’s in the bank but now we need to focus on Adelaide,” Fire forward Darcee Garbin said.
“We’ve got one more game before we go on our first road trip, so we need to focus on Adelaide and while it’s nice to win, we have to focus on the next game.
“They’re going to be a tough team and they’re going to be hungry for a win, so we need to be wary of them.”
Having debuted for the Fire in round one, Garbin continues to find her feet in the front court alongside Australian stars Cayla George and Batkovic.
Canadian Olympian Tamara Tatham has also been impressive through two games, while Townsville teenager Ainsley Walsh got her first taste of WNBL experience with a cameo against the Capitals.
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