Fire clinical in four quarter performance over Lightning

LEADING from start to finish, the Townsville Fire showed why they are a tough team to beat, defeating the Adelaide Lightning by 23 points at the Adelaide 36ers Arena on Thursday night.

It was a match that was played on a defensive tempo pace, with the Fire applying the pressure from the tipoff, before Townsville built from the first quarter to claim a 74-51 victory.

The Fire set the tone in the first term, doing the work on both ends of the floor, forcing the Lightning to take tough shots offensively and applying the pressure from full court and force turnovers.

Much was the same in the second quarter, with the Fire increasing their work rate and looking after the ball.

Alice Kunek was on song in the first half, continuing her strong campaign to date this season. Sami Whitcomb was instrumental on the defensive end for the Fire, opening up scoring opportunities offensively and doing the work on the defensive end, winning the ball back consistently.

Coming off the bench, Cassandra Brown lit it up from the perimeter, producing some solid drives offensively and being a threat from long range as well.

For the Lightning, Brianna Turner crashed the boards and had a big say in the rebounding battle, whilst Joceyln Willoughby and Isobel Borlase continued to attack the basket and find the open drives.

While the rebound category was even for both teams in the first half, the Fire limited their turnovers, 11-6. Both teams were even in the points in the paint, but it was the Fire’s field goal percentage, 41 per cent to 32 per cent that proved the difference.

While the Lightning found scoring runs of their own in the early stages of the third quarter, the Fire finished the period well in their own right, finally getting some consistent makes on the offensive end.

The Fire played another consistent quarter in the last term, applying the pressure to seal the victory.

Kunek finished the game as the top scorer for the Fire, finishing with 19 points, four rebounds and one steal.

Mikaela Ruef finished with a double double, 10 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in a stat-stuffing performance.

For the Lightning, Willoughby finished with 20 points and four rebounds, whilst Borlase finished the game with 10 points and one rebound. 

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