The JCU Townsville Fire have secured back-to-back minor premierships after defeating Adelaide tonight.
The reigning Wattle Valley WNBL champions are now just one win away from a fourth consecutive Grand Final appearance – hailing themselves as one of the competition’s great dynasties – after defeating the Lighting 64-57 after trailing for the majority of the night.
Cayla George posted her 16th double-double of the season en route to the First Things First MVP with 16 points and 12 rebounds, but it was Darcee Garbin who turned the momentum in the second half.
The Western Australian product finished with 13 points and three rebounds in 15 minutes, with assistant coach Claudia Brassard hailing her performance as heroic.
“She was the difference in the second half,” Brassard said.
“Her performance at both ends of the floor won us the game.
“Cayla was very good throughout the night and our energy – particularly on the defensive end in the second half – was the difference between losing and winning.
“It is such a long road trip, and to get that result after travelling the kilometres that we have, is a testament to the entire team.
“We’re very happy.”
The Fire began slowly for a successive night and faced a nine-point deficit at the main change.
Garbin’s increased minutes in the second half, however, and George’s impressive game ensued the Fire finished a game clear on tip of the ladder.
The Fire will now face Perth at Townsville RSL Stadium from 3pm on Sunday, February 28 in the major semi-final with the winner securing home court advantage in the best-of-three grand final series.
Click here to see full box scores from tonight’s victory over Bendigo.