Cyclones torn apart
BASKETBALL: It was a statement game and the McDonalds Gladstone Port City Power women delivered from start to finish.
What made the 77-57 win the more sweeter was that it was against reigning premiers Rockhampton Cyclones and the Power set up its win with a storming 27-12 second quarter.
Losing Shanavia Dowdell to a serious knee injury did not help Rocky's cause because she was prominent early with 10 points in the first 15 minutes.
From that moment on, most of Gladstone's starting five dined in in what was a complete team performance.
Tabatha Richardson-Smith was the star of the show for the home side that had the packed Kev Broome Stadium crowd in party mode.
Fellow US import Cassie Rochel (19 points, 10 rebounds) produced a dynamic defensive swat which stopped a Shannan Muggeridge shot in its tracks.
Richardson-Smith did what she always does and that is shoot whenever she is free or set up plays and delicate passes.
She shot 37 points and four triples that included a long-range bomb that was nothing but net in the final quarter.
Of course the Port City Power side had a cast of others who shone and none better than the ever-green Charmian Mellars who hauled down 16 rebounds to go with her 11 points.
Rochel's side-kick in the high-low post positions, Alicia Carline gets better and better and she had eight rebounds.
While Kayla Kiriau and Dalen Pilitati did not have big numbers on the scorer's sheet, both were huge in the front court with their hustle and tenacity.
Jordan Reymolds tried hard with 18 points and Chloe Morrow shot 10 for the Cyclones.
"The attitude was perfect and just goes to show what we can do with the right mentality,” happy Power coach Ray Cooper said.
"We all were working as one and they did a great job at that and that gave us the edge.”
Cooper said his team also capitalised on the visitor's foul trouble he was pleased with the defence.
"We were just rotating perfectly and just the communication side of things where we were talking to each other,” he said.