Battle for Fire’s prestigious MVP
TOWNSVILLE’S trident of inspirational leaders will tonight fight it out for the Fire’s top gong.
C a p t a i n R a c h a e l Flanagan, retired international star Jo Hill and shooting star Amy Lewis are the frontrunners to c l a i m t he c l ub’ s MVP award at the medal dinner at the Greek Community Club.
Opals protege Flanagan swept three major honours last season, claiming club MVP, Players’ Player and Fans’ Player, and has again been a leading figure for the Fire with career-best averages across the board.
The 28-year-old guard not only distinguished herself as one of the WNBL’s finest captains, she did so as the club’s leading scorer and provider, averaging 14.3 points and five assists per game. Lewis might rate her season – which began with a career-high 29-point haul - as an up and down campaign, but she was a reliable outlet in the Fire’s i mpressive l at eseason surge.
Hill, at 37 and playing her final season in Australia’s top flight, ensured she went out on a personal high with a double-double of 15 points and 12 boards in the final round against Logan. It was her t hird doubledouble of the season.
Fire coach Peter Buckle said it would be hard to split the three after they shared the burden of driving an unheralded Townsville side, built around youth and lacking experience. ‘‘ In a lot of ways those three have done a fantastic job,’’ Buckle said.
‘‘ Flanagan’s captaincy was very good, Jo’s experience was valuable and Amy developed her leadership role as well as her own game.’’