Woods wonderful as Fire feast on Flames

BIG wins were the theme of the round in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) over the weekend and the Townsville Fire produced a big win over the Sydney Flames to the tune of 22 points.

Over the past few weeks, the Fire had emerged as the team to beat with some ripping form, and came into the game with just one loss from seven games next to their name. Townsville had also claimed a massive 28-point win over a fellow contender in the Southside Flyers earlier in the round, so it was in championship form. Although the Flames had delivered some solid performances throughout the 2023/24 fixture, they entered the game as underdogs and would need to produce their best outing of the season if they were to cause a major upset.

The game took place at Quaycentre on Saturday night, and proceedings began as expected with Townsville storming out to a 9-2 lead. The Fire simply did not allow the Flames to conjure any good looks from the field and jump out to a 15-9 lead at the first change. That margin was ballooned out further to start the second term as Townsville produced a 15-2 run, but admirably, the home side rallied to cut the deficit to 13 at the main break. Although Sydney managed to remain a chance until the final term, a late run from the Fire saw the visitors take home a 70-48 triumph to sit comfortably atop the standings.

On a team that is chock full of star power, it was Courtney Woods that stood out for the victors with her best performance of the season.

Sydney Flames (48) def. by Townsville Fire (70)

Courtney Woods – 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, one block

Woods delivered in a number of aspects of the game during Townsville’s big win over the Flames, and demonstrated just how dangerous this Fire team can be.

Although many may have expected her teammates to produce bigger numbers, it was Woods’ ability to stamp her authority on the match that caught the eye the most.

She delivered 19 points on 7/14 shooting from the field, which was the most of anyone on the court. Six of her seven makes came from inside the arc, with Woods playing to her strengths and finding space close to the rim.

Woods was particularly damaging in the fourth quarter as Townsville put the game to bed. Eight of her points came in the last term, as she found space in the mid-range and hurt the opposition with her ability to knock down the jump shot at a consistent rate.

One of the biggest positives from her performance was her work on the glass, producing seven boards for the match, with three of these coming on the offensive end and creating second chance scoring points. Woods was able to generate more offence with putback opportunities thanks to her smarts in chasing down the loose ball.

To cap off a well-rounded performance, Woods excelled as a playmaker, often initiating the offensive possession with the first pass in the chain to find a teammate in a scoring position. Although she had her best scoring performance of the season, the guard was able to make the right decision with ball in hand and create scoring through others.

It was an outstanding showing from Woods, and the fact that she demonstrated that this is the level she can deliver on any given night makes Townsville an even scarier prospect.

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