Subritzky mows down Townsville Flames
BASKETBALL: A 12-point cameo in over-time from Moengaroa Subritzky (21 points) and a monster 42-point game from import Tabatha Richardson-Smith led McDonalds Gladstone Port City Power to a 96-84 win against Townsville Flames on Friday night at Kev Broome Stadium.
The win improves the Power's record to 3-1 and sets up an intriguing double-header road trip this weekend in Brisbane.
Port City Power take on Brisbane Spartans (4-0) this Saturday followed by Brisbane Capitals (3-1) on Sunday.
Spartans rolled Capitals 70-59 to remain unbeaten and Power coach Ray Cooper said it will be a challenge.
"Going on the road is always tough and it's actually our first road trip we actually had and we just have to wait and see what happens and prepare as best we can for it,” Cooper said.
"We just have to keep building and take one game at a time.”
The Power will be without the services of rising star Kiah Guinea who injured her ankle last Monday.
"It's obviously not too good and it could be a season-ending injury by the looks of it and six to eight weeks at the moment, but I think it's a little bit more than that,” Cooper said.
"She will be wearing a moon boot for six weeks.”
Meanwhile in Friday night's epic match, Subritzky lit up the court in the final five minutes to douse the Flames who threatened to steal the match after being 12-points in arrears at three-quarter-time.
The Power's Cassie Rochel was fouled on the drive that put her team 77-75 ahead, but her missed foul shot meant Rachel McCully made most of a tough drive that sent this epic into over-time.
McCully then put the Flames one point ahead before the hosts started their extra-ordinary run.
Kayla Kiriau (13 points) connected from beyond the three-point arc for 80-78 lead and that's all she wrote.
Rochel had a titanic battle with Flames' and Townsville Fire (WNBL) centre Darcee Garbin (34 points) and she said composure was key.
"We tried to focus on ourselves and keep a level head and I think from that point we were really just working on our defence,” Rochel, who scored 10 points, said.
"Ray just said that we worked so hard where we are who wants it more.”
The tall American import predicted Subritzky would get MVP.
"I told her that the whole the time and those big three pointers at the end and she did that big time (tonight),” Rochel said.
An off-balance basket from Richardson-Smith and a triple from Subritzky had the home crowd in raptures and it was all the Power.
Gladstone began the game sluggishly before baskets to Richardson-Smith, Rochel and Charmian Mellars got the hosts into the contest.
Debutant Alicia Carline was more than handy whenever Rochel came off for a rest.
Townsville had the ascendency to lead 36-33 at half-time and baskets were traded before the Power went on a 18-6 streak to lead by 12 with a quarter to play.
Richardson-Smith stroked a sweet triple on the buzzer to give the port city side momentum.
But led by Garbin, the Flames had other ideas with a triple from McCully and a steal and two points from Haylee Andrews silenced the crowd.
That soon changed in the overtime period as Gladstone finished in powerful fashion for coach Ray Cooper's side.
"We've come too far and worked way too hard to let a team come down and take that win from us on our home court,” Cooper said.
He added it was not up to him to help the Power get up.
"It's just about being disciplined and sticking together,” Cooper said.
The coach was pleased with Carline's and fellow first-gamer Ashleigh Frampton's output.
"They did a great job for us and they will only get better,” Cooper said.
Flames coach Michael St Maurice said the 'Moe' and Richardson-Smith was the difference when it mattered most.
"I think our first half was pretty good and we had matched them and generally getting the shots that we wanted,” St Maurice said.
The coach said Gladstone made some adjustments while Townsville did not.
"We did that in the fourth quarter and that was positive,” St Maurice said.