2023/24 WNBL Team Wrap – Townsville Fire

IT was a season to remember in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) for the 2023/24 fixture, with an extremely tight season capped off with a marvellous finals series.

For a large portion of the season, most of the teams in the competition were in the hunt for a top-four spot. In fact it came down to the final round to determine which sides would advance to the postseason in a thrilling finish.

In the end, the Southside Flyers emerged champions after defeating the valiant Perth Lynx 2-1 in the Grand Final series.

With the season now wrapped, Rookie Me Central will be dissecting the performance of each club in the 2023/24 fixture, putting all 10 teams under the microscope now that the dust has settled.

Today we will be taking a look at the Townsville Fire, who were in the box seat for back to back championships before falling out of the postseason at the first hurdle.

Townsville Fire

2023/24 record – 14 wins, seven losses
Ladder Position – 1st
Postseason Result – Eliminated in two games (semi-finals)


The Fire dominated the start of the season, continuing the strong level of form that saw them take out the title on a huge winning streak during the previous finals campaign. Adding some star power over the off-season, it looked as if Townsville was going to cruise home to another championship. However, the Fire’s form fluctuated in the back half of the season, and it culminated in a semi-final collapse against the Perth Lynx in a result that not many predicted.

MVP Sami Whitcomb

One of the biggest recruits Townsville secured in the off-season was Whitcomb, and the former Lynx gun delivered an excellent debut campaign with the Fire. She led all-comers on the scoring front, averaging 15.4 points per game and led the team to several victories on the back of her elite shotmaking ability. Whitcomb was also a handy passer, posting 4.5 assists per game and getting her star teammates involved consistently, and had an outstanding first season with the Fire, making the All-WNBL Second Team in the process.

THE COACH Shannon Seebohm

Seebohm announced himself as one of the best coaches in the WNBL when the Fire won it all last season, and had his team well-placed for much of the season. He utilised his stars and consistently broke the opposition with well considered tactics. However, he was outcoached in the semi-finals and will be eager to ensure that does not happen next season, as he is still arguably the best in the competition.


The Fire had all the pieces to get the job done last season, but fell short at the penultimate hurdle and could not finish the job. Townsville does not have far to go and will be right in the championship conversation once again, but most of the off-season will be focussed on how it could drop two games to the Lynx in the semi-finals. The Fire used to be a dominant team at home, but coughed up game one to Perth, which set the tone for the remainder of the series. Finding out where they went wrong in the postseason is the key for the Fire if they are to bounce back next year.

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