The Southside Flyers completed a dominant WNBL season by beating the Fire 99-82 in the grand final in Townsville

The Flyers, who finished the regular season at the top of the standings, were hit hard by the fire in the first two quarters, with scores ranging from 22-22 in the first break

With a 48:46 lead at the end of their second term, the Flyers took control of the season decision when they opened an eight point lead in the middle of the third quarter

In the final break they then led 71-61, before finishing strong in the fourth quarter to secure their championship victory

Leilani Mitchell, who won the Rachael Sporn Medal as MVP in the grand finals, was outstanding with a 31-point record for the Flyers, while Rebecca Cole scored 22 points

Flyers captain Jenna O’Hea said the win would ease the pain of last season’s big loss to the Capitals

“We got so close last year. To overcome the hurdle today, 2020 was a roller coaster ride for everyone

The win ended a WNBL season that was in a compressed format due to the coronavirus pandemic

All eight teams have joined the North Queensland hub Players from overseas competitions had to be quarantined before the start of the season

“This was the biggest grind of basketball season I’ve ever felt It’s just relief We did it”

It is the club’s first WNBL title since it was renamed Southside Flyers ahead of the 2019-2020 season

The Flyers faced an early hurdle when Cambage was sent off after her second personal foul just three minutes into the opening quarter

The opal star didn’t return to court until the beginning of the third quarter

The absence of Cambage for most of the first half forced the Flyers to make a significant tactical change, and it was Mitchell who stepped on the plate

Mitchell made five out of six three-point attempts in the first half to keep their team competing, and Cambage scored 12 points in the third quarter to open the game wide

Star Fire Guard Shyla Heal, who earlier scored 30 and 28 points in the final series, has been withheld by the Flyers

The 19-year-old finished the four-out-of-18 shooting with just 11 points, while Lauren Nicholson (20 points) scored most of the score for the fire

The Flyers received a huge boost ahead of the game when O’Hea was released to play after a knee injury that recovered faster than expected

Cambage and O’Hea helped the Bulleen Boomers win the 2010/2011 WNBL title and the two were in tears after the game

“I texted Jenna in March. I saw a photo of us celebrating the Boomer Grand Final 10 years ago and I sent it to her and I said,” Jenna, I want this again “said Cambage

“I hadn’t even thought about signing, I just wanted that moment with Jenna

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Southside Flyers

World News – AU – Southside Flyers defeat the brave Townsville Fire to win the WNBL Championship