Townsville Fire stays top of WNBL with win over Bendigo Spirit

Stephanie Reid stepped up for Townsville in its WNBL win over Bendigo.

Stephanie Reid stepped up for Townsville in its WNBL win over Bendigo. Photo: AAP

Townsville Fire and Melbourne Boomers have posted important wins during round 10 of the WNBL season, but Sydney Flames lost twice to slip out of the top four.

The ladder-leading Fire (11-3) posted an 86-72 road win over the Bendigo Spirit on Sunday, just four days after defeating Perth Lynx 104-91.

Townsville star Sami Whitcomb was restricted to seven points in Sunday’s clash, and went 1-of-7 from long range in a rare off shooting night for the guard.

Whitcomb’s quiet night only served to showcase Townsville’s enviable depth, with Stephanie Reid (23 points), Cassandra Brown (17 points), Zitina Aokuso (15 points, nine rebounds), Courtney Woods (13 points, eight rebounds) and Mikaela Ruef (11 points, 12 rebounds) all contributing strongly.

Whitcomb turned provider with a game-high nine assists, with the win keeping Townsville on top of the ladder.

Alex Wilson top scored for the sixth-placed Spirit with 19 points, while Alicia Froling (13 points) and Mehryn Kraker (11 points) were the only other Bendigo players to hit double digits.

Melbourne Boomers (9-5) stayed within striking distance of top spot with a 62-55 win over Sydney Flames on Sunday.

Naz Hillmon led the way for the Boomers with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Jordin Canada (12 points, seven assists) and Keely Froling (10 points, six rebounds) also chipped in.

For the Flames, Lauren Nicholson scored a game-high 19 points, while Didi Richards was huge on the boards with 15 rebounds to go along with her seven points.

It marked Melbourne’s second win of the round, after it posted a 67-61 triumph over Southside Flyers on Wednesday.

Perth Lynx (9-5) bounced back to winning ways on Sunday when it defeated Adelaide Lightning 84-68.

Emily Potter led the way for Lynx with 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Amy Atwell (14 points) and Anneli Maley (13 points, eight rebounds) played important cameos.

Isobel Borlase played a lone hand for Adelaide with a monster 31-point game, but her only other teammate to make it into double figures was Isabelle Bourne (14 points).

It was a disappointing result for Lightning, which posted its fourth win of the season on Friday night when it defeated Sydney 74-67.

Liz Tonks scored 15 points for Adelaide and nailed all three of her three-point attempts in that game, but she was scoreless in 14 minutes of action against Lynx on Sunday.

Sydney’s two defeats during the round pushed them down to fifth spot with a 7-7 record.

The last-placed UC Capitals produced a huge upset on Saturday when they defeated the Flyers 75-65.

Jade Melbourne (17 points, 11 rebounds) and captain Alex Sharp (17 points, eight rebounds) were huge as the last-placed Capitals posted their third win from their past four matches.


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