Duo sparkles as Firebirds topple Giants
FIREBIRDS pair Gabi Simpson and Gretel Tippett have celebrated their Diamonds selection in style, with Queensland snapping a run of two straight losses with a 60-54 thrashing of the Giants at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
The Firebirds dominated from the outset, with the Giants only saving some face in the last quarter by winning it 18-14 to secure a bonus point.
But the Firebirds' seven-point haul, made up of four for the win and three bonus points, moved them back into the top four with three rounds of the season remaining.
Goal attack Tippett was superb for the 60 minutes, but it was the Firebirds' defensive pressure that was a highlight of the contest.
The Giants, who started the match in second place on the ladder, could only manage 59 attempts at goal, compared to the Queenslanders' 82.
The Firebirds led 17-13 at quarter-time, and extended their advantage to 30-22 at the main break.
It was one-way traffic in the third quarter, with the hosts stepping up another notch to lead 48-32 at the final break.
The Giants improved in the last quarter but it was too little too late as the visitors lost for the third time this season.
At halftime in the match, Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander named a 17-strong squad for this year's Quad Series and Constellation Cup.
Joining Simpson and Tippett in the squad were Sunshine Coast Lightning pair Caitlin Bassett and Stephanie Wood.
Diamonds squad: Jessica Anstiss, Caitlin Bassett, April Brandley, Courtney Bruce, Renae Ingles, Sarah Klau, Emily Mannix, Kate Moloney, Tegan Philip, Jamie-Lee Price, Kim Ravaillion, Gabi Simpson, Caitlin Thwaites, Gretel Tippett, Liz Watson, Jo Weston, Stephanie Wood.