The Fire were able to secure Game 1 of the WNBL Grand Final in front of their packed home crowd against the Melbourne Boomers 69-64. The game was a close contest which saw 11 lead changes keeping fans on the edge of their seat. Townsville reigned supreme but it was Liz Cambage who dominated individually.
The first half couldn’t get much closer, with the Fire heading into the main break by just 1 point. The Boomers were doing a solid job at defending champion Suzy Batkovic, but the other weapon for the Fire in Cayla George was performing well. Liz Cambage was dominating on both ends o the court with some huge 3 point plays and defensive blocks. Brittany Smart and Jenna O’Hea were working well to create some exciting plays for the Boomers. As to be expected for a first half, there were some nerves causing a few sloppy plays including shooting woes and turnovers.
The second half got off too a similar story, however Batkovic found her rhythm and made some big plays for her team from inside and outside the paint. Townsville picked up their efforts on the defensive end forcing Melbourne to just 10 points for the third term, leaving most of the work up to Jenna O’Hea and Cambage. Sydney Wiese sunk some huge shots in the second half which gave Townsville the sparks and momentum they needed.
In the end, Cambage top scored for the match in an outstanding individual performance with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks. O’Hea scored 9 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in another brilliant effort for the Boomers.
Batkovic finished on 16 points and 15 rebounds, George had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Wiese scored a healthy 14 points. Townsville also just won the rebound count 51 – 48.
Both teams will now head to Melbourne to compete in Game 2 of the Grand Final on Thursday night. Townsville will reign as Champions if they can get one more win, but Melbourne will need the series to go down to 3 to win.