The WCMG and TripBookee Pirate teams were unable to register a win on the northern road trip to Townsville and Cairns over the weekend.
Mia Murray and Darcy Garbin displayed their WNBL talent leading the Flames to a comfortable victory in the women's game in the first leg of the trip in Townsville. Garbin's length, versatility and athleticsm was match up problem for the Pirates and at the other end the Townsville team's smothering defence left the the Pirates with many late shot clock attempts. Maddy Willey and Sidney Parson ensured the Pirates stayed in touch making some tough shots. Foul trouble had the Pirates on the back foot early in the game. They stayed in the game battling a ten point margin until midway through the second quarter when a 10 point run saw the Flame push it out to a 16 point margin at the half. Townsville had 28 free throw attempts while the Pirates had 7 and were dominated on the boards 53-31. The Pirates steadied the ship before another Townsville 12-2 run pushed the game out of reach for the girls. Final score 99-52. Maddie Willey had 22pts Sidney Parson 14pts and Savannah Au contributed well with 9pts off the bench.
In the men's game against the Heat, Olympian Peter Crawford was deadly from the perimeter shooting 5 of 7 from the three point line, while point guard Joshua Wilcher showed why Townsville finished top of the ladder last season with masterful display of efficiency. Pirates were short handed with Brendan Teys was ruled out pre game and Jarred Bairstow not travelling because of injury. Starting centre Will Sinclair, and Tanner McGrew's preparation was limited by injury and late arrival respectively. Even Ryan Vines had a disrupted preparation nursing an injury but had an exception game to lead all scorers with 28 pts at 57% from the field. The WCMG Pirates made a run at the end of the second and third quarters but Townsville steadied the ship to run comfortable winners 98-79.
It was a similar story to their previous game for the TripBookee girls in Cairns. Cairns had 31 foul shot attempts to the Pirates 16 and were dominated on the boards 51 to 27. The Pirates had two good quarters, in the first and last, but Cairns made their runs in the second and third to close it out 87-64. The arrival of 6'5" Shelby Cheslek and the return of Stephanie Bairstow can not come soon enough to help provide depth in the forwards. Shelby will arrive in time for the first home game this Saturday against the Gold Coast Rollers. Steph is still doubtful recovering her knee injury and will be assessed later in the week.
The men's game against Cairns saw the WCMG Pirates struggle to contain Damon Heiur who finished with a game high 28pts at 72% from the field. Teys did not pass his fitness test, but McGrew started to look more comfortable with 18pts and 11 rebs. Defensively the Pirates struggled giving up 206 points over the two games.
The focus now will be to get all bodies on court for Saturday's first home game against the Gold Coast Rollers. The women tip off at 5.30pm and the men at 7.30pm.