The JCU Townsville Fire have breathed new life into their title defence after securing back-to-back wins.
Fresh off downing the Lightning in Adelaide, the Fire returned to their home fortress and registered a 93-66 victory on the back of Suzy Batkovic’s brilliance.
The Fire captain posted a season-high 34 points and 14 rebounds to be named the First Things First MVP, and in doing so, guided her team back to 7-7 after a sluggish start to the season.
Batkovic was well supported by Kayla Standish (18 points and seven rebounds) and Mia Murray (13 points and four rebounds), while Natasha Cloud was also lively with five points, eight rebounds and four assists.
During a marathon opening term, the Fire and the Boomers traded blows as 15 fouls were whistled, including 10 on the visitors.
Batkovic, in particular, made them pay from the line, while Standish also looked lively.
The Fire tried desperately to break open the game, but the Boomers would not be denied, and went into the main change trailing 40-47.
“We needed that one,” Batkovic said.
“It’s been a tough start to the season, but we’ve found a little bit of form and hopefully we can keep that momentum going.
Little separated either team in the third term, despite the Boomers loosing key personnel to foul trouble.
An Amy Kame (11 points) dagger on the stroke of three-quarter-time provided the Fire with a 15-point cushion – their biggest lead of the game to that point – and they never looked back.
Head coach Claudia Brassard used the opportunity to blood some of her younger stars in the final term, with 16-year-old Haylee Andrews scoring just her second WNBL point.
Click here to see full box scores from tonight’s game between the Fire and the Boomers.