Reid-iculous performance lifts Flames to title

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 North Women’s competition wrapped up on the weekend, with the Townsville Flames claiming the 2022 championship after downing the Logan Thunder in two games over the past couple of weeks.

Logan Thunder (48) def. Townsville Flames (80)

The Flames were dominant in both outings, and were able to claim one of the most remarkable upsets we have seen in some time. Despite Townsville’s strong season, it was a near flawless home and away campaign for the Thunder, and came in heavy favourites to win it all after going 19-0 in the regular season.

However, a stirring perfromance in game two from Stephanie Reid has seen the Flames seal a remarkable championship, with the point guard delivering an oustanding offensive performance. She was rightfully crowned Coles Express NBL1 North Finals MVP after averaging 24.5 points and 9.5 assists.

Stephanie Reid in game two – 28 points, two rebounds, eight assists

Reid was an offensive machine against the Thunder, who had no answers for her willingness to get to her shot from mid-range or drive to the paint. When she was running downhill, there was not much the defence could do to prevent either a bucket or a trip to the free throw line.

All of her field goals came from inside the three-point line, and on some handy efficiency too. Nine of her 14 shots found the bottom of the net, with the defensive pressure not fazing the 26-year-old, who was able to keep Townsville’s offence rolling.

Arguably the biggest strength of her game was her ability to draw contact as she attacked the hoop with some serious tenacity. Whether it was in transition or in a half court set, the pacy guard constantly put pressure on Logan’s interior defence, which was struggling to keep up and had its back against the wall for much of the game.

Once Reid began to get on a roll, the Flames started to look for her and rotate across the court to try and give her as much room as possible to get into the paint. She nailed all 10 of her attempts from the free throw line, punishing Logan for some sloppy defence techniques. It was also a way to slow down any momentum the Thunder were looking to conjure.

Reid topped off a blistering scoring performance with an eye-catching eight dimes, as she was able to draw in the defence and dish out to some wide open Flames in the corner or in the paint.

It was a fitting way for Reid to top off the season, given her consistency was at a high level for much of the year. She was able to stand up on the biggest of stages and drive her team to a title in 2022.

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