Fire extend WNBL streak, painful end to Caps' drought

WNBL ladder leaders Townsville Fire extended their winning streak in round seven while young star Jade Melbourne led the UC Capitals to their first victory of the season - and paid a price for it.

Melbourne (30 points, 10 assists) and fellow co-captain Alex Sharp (12 points, 13 rebounds) posted double-doubles to steer the Capitals to an 84-72 upset win over the Melbourne Boomers on Friday night.

The drought-breaking result ended a run of eight straight losses to start the season and left emotional Caps coach Kristen Veal in tears at the final buzzer.

And in a dramatic post-script, Melbourne was taken hospital after having one of her front teeth broken in half in a huge collision with Boomers guard Jordin Canada.

The 21-year-old Australian Opals guard underwent surgery to repair the damage, while Canada was left nursing a sore head and required stitches.

The painful fall-out was worth it for Melbourne, who made her WNBA debut with Seattle Storm this year and is regarded as one of Australia's brightest young talents.

Despite their breakthrough win, the Caps (1-8) remain last on the ladder.

Townsville (8-1) sit comfortably at the opposite end after captain Sami Whitcomb guided the reigning champions to an impressive round-seven double with wins over play-off hopefuls Southside and Sydney.

Having suffered their only defeat of the season so far to Southside in round two, Townsville gained revenge with 105-77 trouncing of the Flyers on their home floor on Thursday night.

Stephanie Reid (22 points) and Whitcomb (21) shone as the Fire dominated the first period 31-15 and extended their lead by each interval.

The Flyers stemmed the flow during the final quarter but the damage had been done, despite American duo Mercedes Russell and Jasmine Dickey scoring 20 points each.

Whitcomb (18 points, seven rebounds) starred again as Townsville backed up on the road with a 70-48 thumping of Sydney on Saturday night.

Mikaela Reuf (11 points, 15 rebounds) posted a double-double and Courtney Woods (19, seven) also starred, while Lauren Nicholson (11 points) was the only Flames scorer in double figures.

Townsville's pair of victories extended their winning streak to seven games as they chase back-to-back titles.

Southside (6-3) recovered on Sunday with 91-81 in a victory away to the Bendigo Spirit behind 24 points from Maddi Rocci and 22 from Bec Cole.

But the Boomers' (6-3) week grew worse after their shock loss to the Capitals when they suffered a 68-59 home defeat to the Adelaide Lightning on Sunday.

The Lightning (3-8) overpowered their hosts with a stifling 15-8 final period behind a double-double from Isobel Borlase (21 points, 12 rebounds).

Their win over the Boomers came after an 81-77 loss to Bendigo (3-6) in Geelong on Friday night.

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