Heal hammers Flyers as Fire take game one

ONE OF the biggest player movements of the last 12 months has paid off, with Shyla Heal leading the Townsville Fire producing a dominant game one win over the Southside Flyers in the WNBL Grand Final series.

After both sides got wins in their respective semi-final outings, the Fire benefited from the extra rest that came from getting that job done in just two games, looking fresher and sharper than the Flyers from the opening tip of the deciding series.

Townsville snatched a rapid 28-14 lead in the opening quarter of the match, grabbing control of the game’s momentum. The Fire won all four quarters on their way to a statement performance in the opening clash of the Grand Final series. In the end, they claimed a commanding 31-point triumph at Townsville Entertainment Centre on Saturday night.

Many expected the addition of Heal to catapult the Fire into championship contention, given the scoring power she had shown during her time with the Sydney Uni Flames. The talented guard displayed how much of a weapon she can be for the Fire, providing consistent offence across all four quarters, and subsequently tormenting the Southside defence.

Townsville Fire (94) def. Southside Flyers (63)

Shyla Heal – 23 points, one rebound, one assist, one steal

A championship side needs plenty of weapons to go all the way, and Heal adds another dimension to an already dangerous Townsville roster, standing up in a crucial game for the team’s title aspirations.

No player on the court registered more points than Heal, with the guard delivering a game-high total of 23. While she has shown scoring capability of this nature in the past, it was her efficiency that caught the eye on Saturday night.

Heal shot a remarkable 90 per cent from the field, an incredible figure given the amount of shots she put up, nailing nine of her 10 attempts in the match.

It was a nearly flawless performance from the talented 21-year-old, who missed just one shot across two-point, three-point and free throw territory. Her only wayward shot came in the form of a turnaround jumpshot, a minuscule blemish in an outstanding performance.

Heal nailed three shots on three attempts from behind the arc, which perfectly demonstrates how in form she was against Southside.

She was a constant threat to the Flyers’ defence, conjuring baskets from seemingly everywhere, and keeping her production rolling across all four quarters.

To add to the impressive nature of her performance, she did it all in less than 20 minutes of court time. Expect the defence to pay much more attention to her in game two, which is set to take place on Wednesday night at State Basketball centre.

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