ON COURT: Point guard Aaryn Ellenberg scored 13 points for the Rockhampton Cyclones in the team's big loss to the Townsville Flames.
ON COURT: Point guard Aaryn Ellenberg scored 13 points for the Rockhampton Cyclones in the team's big loss to the Townsville Flames. ALIX SWEENEY

'Heartbreaking loss': Cyclones beaten in QBL semi

BASKETBALL: The Rockhampton Cyclones championship hopes have been blown away by a red-hot Townsville.

The Cyclones were beaten 111-63 by the Flames in the QBL semi-final in Townsville on Saturday night.

Coach Chris Muggeridge was gutted by the result, especially after his team's impressive showing in last weekend's quarter final.

"It's definitely not the way we planned on the season finishing,” Muggeridge said yesterday.

"It's a heartbreaking loss, and it's still pretty hard to swallow right now.

"I felt after last weekend, beating South West Metro in the manner that we did, that we were a massive chance of taking this game out this weekend.

"If we played like we did last weekend we would have won that game last night but we just didn't turn up.”

The Cyclones started strongly and trailed by just one point at the first break but foul trouble proved costly.

Rockhampton Cyclones player Teyla Evans.
Rockhampton Cyclones player Teyla Evans. ALIX SWEENEY

"We had to change what we did defensively, we couldn't be as aggressive and that allowed Townsville to get into a lane a little bit more, get feet in the paint and that hurt us,” Muggeridge said.

"They just started to score at will and we didn't recover from there.”

Muggeridge heaped praise on shooting guard Brooke Blair.

"Brooke was absolutely fantastic. She went at 100 per cent and never gave up,” he said.

"She was a shining light in a game that was not good.”

Muggeridge said while the loss was hard to take, it was important to look at the bigger picture.

"We finished top four in the competition. It's an absolutely massive effort to get to a semi-final in one of the toughest competitions there is,” he said.

"The QBL this year has lifted to a different level and to be able to compete and be in that elite four is something we can be proud of.

"We'll learn from the experience and move forward and hopefully go one step further next year.”



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