Phoenix girls power on in big win against Rockhampton
GLADSTONE Phoenix Power women have completed another step in their quest for a possible home final, taking a narrow victory over the Rockhampton Cyclones while on the road Saturday night, winning 84-81.
The Power quickly took a 20-point lead in the opening half, and from there the playing group never felt that they would lose the match.
"We were never really in doubt, never looked like losing," captain Jess Bibby said. "Despite the close scoreline, we made the big plays when we needed to."
The Power suffered the first loss of the season against Mackay last week, despite playing good basketball and continued their good form throughout the Rockhampton clash.
Diana Neves led the attack, making shots from beyond the perimeter early on and finishing the game with a total of eight three-pointers for 26 points.
Australian representative Natalie Hurst led Gladstone's scoring with Bibby watching from the sideline.
The attention now turns to this weekend for the Power, with the biggest match of the regular season against Mackay.
The Power suffered a six-point loss when they travelled north to play Mackay earlier in the season. They will need a seven-point win this time to see them to return to the top of the competition.
"We will keep things normal," Bibby said. "There is a lot riding on the game. Some might do some extra sessions individually but we will train the normal couple of times.
"This is the game we have been looking forward to. It is the one we have been working towards."
The Power will field a full squad for the first time this season, barring unforeseen circumstances during the week.
"For the first time in a while we will have a full squad at training and to play, with no injuries and no one on tours or representative duties," Bibby said.
The Power's men, meanwhile, were unable to follow the women's lead, and went down to Rockhampton 91-85.