Cyclones take down ladder leaders on home floor
BASKETBALL: Coach Chris Muggeridge believes the Rockhampton Cyclones are poised to repeat their championship glory of 2015 and 2016.
And he has good reason after they blew the first-placed Townsville Flames off the court on Sunday afternoon.
The Rockhampton team was all class, dominating across the court to run out 86-71 winners.
The result was reversed in the men's game, with the now first-placed Townsville Heat beating the Rockhampton Rockets 107-93.
The Cyclones are in sixth and have locked in a finals spot, while the Rockets are sitting in eighth position on the ladder.
Muggeridge hailed Christina Boag the hero of Sunday's victory.
The power forward suffered what looked like a game-ending knee injury early in the first half but returned in the second to play a lead hand in the monumental win.
She finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds in her 26 minutes.
Her combination with Shanavia Dowdell and Aaryn Ellenberg provided a constant challenge for the Flames, with the trio landing 69 points between them.
Muggeridge was "over the moon” about the win.
"It's always good when you beat the top of the table team, especially at home,” he said.
"It was a fantastic game. I was really proud of the girls and it was a huge effort to get that win.
"Even though Townsville was under-strength, they still had a lot of their stars there.
"They beat us by 30 points last time so for us to turn that around and get a 15-point win is absolutely huge and we're going to take that momentum into the next two games.”
The Cyclones were without shooting guard Brooke Blair, who is away on national duties with New Zealand.
Ash Frampton stepped into the role and earned glowing praise from Muggeridge for the way she disrupted the Flames defence and for her aggressive offence.
The Cyclones will round out their regular season with games against the second-placed Ipswich and third-placed South West Metro.
"We've got a huge run coming into finals but we couldn't ask for anything more to have it at home and hopefully we can get another couple of wins.
"Our focus turns immediately to Ipswich.
"They're probably the in-form team in the competition right now. They've beaten some of the best teams in the competition over the last few weeks.
"We're going to have to be on our game for the full 40 minutes if we're going to beat them next week without Brooke.”
"With the season we're having, I've got every confidence and honestly believe that we're going to win this competition.
"Only time will tell but we're definitely on track to do that.”