Steph Reid’s record 50 point haul powers Blues past Launceston
Behind an NBL1 league record 50 point haul from Steph Reid, the Powerade Frankston Blues have powered past a hapless Launceston Tornadoes outfit 114-67 to register their second win of the season.
In what was an awe-inspiring performance by the former Frankston junior, Reid was an unstoppable force in what proved to be a night to remember for the 23-year-old guard. Reid had more than half her team’s score by half time with 31 points, before finishing with a staggering 50, however she did not stop there.
Reid was on fire from the outset, shooting 19-25 from the field, including a blistering 7-8 from beyond the three-point arc and a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line. Her last 6 points came in the final minutes, hitting back-to-back triples to bring up her new career-high. She also handed out 10 assists and came up with 7 steals, finishing with a plus/minus of +45 while only logging 1 turnover in what was the best individual performance of the season.
While Reid was quite rightly the story of the night, she was far from playing a lone hand. Her former Buffalo team mate JoAnna Smith added 17 points and 7 rebounds, while her WNBL running partner Saraid Taylor also poured in 17 points. Taylor Lee also added 10 points and 4 steals, while rising star Erin Riley came off the bench to scorch the net with 3 three-pointers for 9 points.
The Tornadoes got the scoring underway with the first possession of the game on an offensive rebound, however Reid hit her first three of the night on the next play in reply, a score that would see the Blues never again trailing on the night. Launceston were dominating the offensive boards, with Brittany Hodges and Sarah O’Neill causing headaches for the Blues inside. Reid would go on to score 5 points of her 16 first quarter points inside the last minute, ensuring the Blues led by 7 at the first break.
Smith scored the first 5 points of an 8-0 run which was capped by a Reid triple to open the second period to have the Tornadoes on the back foot. Stella Beck worked her way into the game for the visitors to try and keep pace with the Blues, but Reid continued to tear apart their defenses, scoring almost at will inside and out. Launceston, who entered the game with just an 8-player roster, suffered a blow when star guard Stephanie Gardner was forced from the game with a knee injury late in the half. Frankston took full advantage, with Reid adding 15 points in the term before finding Smith wide open for a jumper late to push the margin out to 21 at half time.
Reid’s relentless scoring continued after half time to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Saraid Taylor’s influence offensively was starting to shine through, and when Erin Riley drained two consecutive three-pointers, the signs looked ominous for Launceston. Reid finished the term with a triple of her own, heading into the final period with 40 points and the Blues leading by 32.
Riley drained her third triple of the night, and while Beck and Hodges battled admirably for Launceston, it was the Blues night at head coach Jess May was afforded the luxury of giving her young bench valuable court time. Still stuck on 40 points, Reid scored her first points of the term inside the last 5 minutes. Reid then fed the ball to Blues junior Zoe Schonfelder in the right corner who found the bottom of the net for a three-pointer and her first ever NBL1 points. Two late three-pointers by Reid saw her bring up 50 points inside the final minte, much to the delight of the home crowd who celebrated a big 47 point victory.
Hodges was Launceston’s best in dropping a big double-double comprising of 19 points and 19 rebounds, while Beck added 19 points and 11 rebounds and O’Neill chipped in with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
It was however Frankston’s night, with the Blues shooting an impressive 53% from the field, 45% from three-point terriory and a perfect 100% from the free throw line. While they were out-rebounded 29-57, the Blues came up with 20 steals, forced 34 turnovers from which they scored 40 points.
Reid’s big night will go down in history as one of the best performances by a Frankston Blues player, and long remembered for those that were there in person to experience a fantastic atmosphere and great night out for the family.
The Powerade Frankston Blues return home next week to host the Eltham Wildcats on Saturday, 11 May with a 5:30pm tip-off.