2018 QBL Season Review

QBL Season Review – Men’s

Ladder

Mackay Meteors (1) Record: 15-3

Despite turning over three of five starters from their 2017 squad, Mackay did not miss a beat early in the season winning their first 4 games, including two huge Round 2 road wins over rivals Townsville and Cairns. The Meteor’s first loss of the season came at the hands of the Rockhampton Rockets on the road in Round 4. They bounced back in style going on a six-game win streak before the Marlins ended their undefeated home record with a four-point loss to Cairns in Round 10. The only other loss throughout the regular season was Mackay’s lowest point of the year where they suffered a 36-point thumping by USC on the Sunshine Coast in Round 13.

The Metoers opened up their Playoffs with a dominant 18-point rout of the 8th seeded Rockhampton Rockets. Unfortunately, the season came to an end in the Semi Final round as Cairns recorded their second victory in Mackay for 2018. The Meteors lead reached as many as 18 in the early stages of the fourth, before the Marlins caught fire and were able to record a remarkable 99 – 96 victory as they all but ended Mackay’s aspirations of a second straight home QBL Grand Final Series.

Todd Blanchfield starred for the Meteors averaging 21 points, 10 rebounds and 4.3 assists on 47% shooting which saw him voted league MVP and a member of the QBL All League Team. All of the Meteor starters averaged double figures for the season. Robinson was not far behind Blanchfield with 16.5 points per game, closely followed by Cedar (16.2), Larkins (14.4) and Tregardh (12.0). Despite a near flawless regular season, the Meteors will be disappointed in the way their 2018 finished, but no doubt Mackay will bounce back in 2019.

Townsville Heat (2) Record: 15-3

With the big additions of Townsville native Harrison Froling and ex-Croc, Jordair Jett, the Heat were always going to be the team to beat in 2018. After dropping their opening game of the season at home to the Meteors, the Heat went on a 7-game winning streak before eventually dropping to Logan on the road by 12-points in Round 8. Townsville’s only other loss for the regular season was to the Meteors in Mackay for the second time for the season. The Heat closed out the regular season with five straight victories to lock in the 2nd seed heading into the Playoffs.

In the Quarter Finals the Heat were able to outlast a resilient Gold Coast Rollers who hit the Playoffs in great form, holding on to a record a 100 – 92 win. This set up an exciting Semi Final against the visiting Brisbane Capitals. Townsville jumped out of the gates with their lead reaching as much as 27 points in the third quarter before taking the foot off the pedal and allowing the Capitals right back into the contest. Despite cutting the margin all the way back to a single point in the final minutes, the Capitals were unable to hit the lead as the Heat fended off the challenge to record a 5-point victory and cement a position in the Grand Final Series to defend their title. The Heat locked in their back-to-back championship with a 2-0 win over the Marlins. Game 1 saw the Heat opening up a 20-point lead before Cairns came storming home to close within 4 points at the final buzzer. Despite both players fouling out, Baker and Froling scored 23 and 22 points respectively. In Game 2 the Heat were able to overcome a a three-quarter time deficit to seal the title with another 4-point victory. Froling had another huge game with 27 points and 18 rebounds.

Froling had a huge season for the Champions putting up 19.7 points and 11.8 rebounds a night. Froling was the recipient of the Under 23 Youth Player of the Year as well as being voted into the QBL All League Team. Similar to the Meteors, all five of the Heat’s starters put up double figure scoring numbers, again led by point guard Josh Wilcher’s 18 points and 5 assists, along with Justin Baker’s 18 points and 8 rebounds. Jordair Jett put up 16 a game, with Crawford not far behind with 13.

 

Logan Thunder (3) Record: 14-4

After dropping their opening two games of the season to Rockhampton and Mackay on the road, the Thunder bounced back with four consecutive wins before a disappointing 25-point loss at USC in Round 7. Logan suffered another loss at Hibiscus Stadium against the Pirates in Round 9, before closing the season on a 7-game win streak. Logan was the only team to go undefeated at home throughout the regular season, which was a huge contributor to entering the Playoffs as the third seed.

After such an impressive regular season, Logan were matched up against an inconsistent Cairns squad at Cornubia Park Sports Centre where the Thunder were previously undefeated. The Thunder got the Marlins on the wrong night as Cairns hot shooting saw them record a massive 112 – 94 upset road victory. The Marlins shot an incredible 56% from the field and 58% from downtown as they recorded a 50-point turnaround between the last encounter between the two teams in Round 13. Despite the loss Mitch Young, Obi Kyei and Rayshawn Simmons all put up big numbers, but it was their inability to prevent Cairn’s scoring which cost them the game and ultimately the season.

Mitch Young and Obi Kyei quickly became the best frontcourt due in the QBL as Young’s 22.7 points and league-leading 12 rebounds a night put him right in the MVP conversation and being voted into the QBL All League Team. Kyei was not far behind with 20 point and 10 rebound averages. Michael Cedar put up 14 a night, whilst point guard Rayshawn Simmons scored 13 points a game to go along with his league-leading 8.4 assists. Sean Carroll also managed 10 points a game to go along with 4.8 assists. Coaching the Men’s team for the first year saw Luke Cann being voted the QBL Coach of the Year.

 

USC Rip City (4) Record: 13-5

USC started off their 2018 campaign in similar fashion to 2017. After dropping their opening game to cross-town rivals Sunshine Coast at home, Rip City went on a 10-game winning streak to find themselves on top of the QBL table at the completion of Round 9 with a 10-1 record. Over Rounds 10-12 USC suffered 4 straight losses to bring them straight back to the pack and at risk of losing a home-court final in the first week of the Playoffs. Rip bounced back in style closing the regular season with three straight victories, including a 36-point thumping of the top-placed Meteors at USC Sports Stadium.

The final three victories of the regular season locked USC into the four-seed and set up a home Quarter-Final blockbuster against the Brisbane Capitals. In what was an exciting contest, Rip were unable to continue their season alive as they fell to the visiting Capitals in overtime. USC were unable to capitalize on an opportunity to close the game in regulation as a last-second missed three-pointer from Lance Hurdle was followed by a made basket after the final buzzer, therefore the score not counting. This was the second year running that USC have bowed out in the first week of the Playoffs after a strong start to the regular season.

Isaih Tueta had another strong season as his 15.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 7.8 assists a game saw him voted into the QBL All League Team. Lance Hurdle’s streaky shooting helped him on his way as the team’s leading scorer with 19.5 points a game, including second in the league for three-pointers made. Eric McAlister put up 17 points and 7 rebounds a night and his injury troubles in the middle stage of the season were a big factor in USC’s drop off. Josh Tueta also managed double figure scoring with 13 points to go along with 6.5 rebounds per game.

 

Brisbane Capitals (5) Record: 11-7

The Capitals had a poor start to the season where they found themselves 3-4 after Round 7 and in 11th position on the ladder. Heading into the back half of the season Brisbane signed Illawarra Hawks forward Tim Coenraad who immediately helped turnaround the Capitals season. Brisbane closed the season with an 8-2 record over their final 10 games, which led to cementing a Playoff berth in the 5-seed. High points of the regular season included two massive victories over competition newcomers the Seahawks’ in Rounds 2 and 9 by a combined 104 points. These matches were just two of the six times that Brisbane scored over 110 points, which contributed to them being the highest scoring team in the league.

Brisbane faced USC Rip City in the Quarter Final which saw them successful in overtime 106 – 95. Tim Coenraad was huge for the visitors with 37 points, helping set up a Semi Final showdown with the reigning Champion Heat. The Capitals fell into a 27-point hole in the third quarter before an incredible run saw them getting to within 1 single point in the game’s final two minutes. Brisbane were unable to hit the lead as the Heat closed out the Capitals by 5 points and ending their season in dramatic fashion.

Tim Coenraad was extremely influential in his 10 matches with 23 points and 8 rebounds a game on 47% shooting including 42% from downtown. Aaron Anderson had another strong season with 20 points and 6 assists a game on a remarkable 51% shooting clip. Zac Carter, Brandon Davis and Jacob Davis all reached double figure averages scoring 16, 14 and 11 a game respectively. Brandon Davis was also the league steals leader.

 

Cairns Marlins (6) Record: 10-8

The Marlins had a massive start to the season with three big wins in the first round of the season as they went undefeated in their south triple header. For the remainder of the season Cairns were unable to string more than two consecutive wins in a row and somewhat limped into the Playoffs. Round 10 saw arguably Cairns best and worst games of the regular season in the one weekend as they followed up a Saturday night 37-point thrashing by Townsville with a 4-point victory in Mackay the following day. These two games highlighted the ups and downs of the Marlins season.

Despite finishing with a 10-8 record, Cairns were the league’s second-lowest scoring team which looked like a major flaw as they entered the Playoffs. The Marlins quickly put their scoring issues in the past as they put up a massive 112 points on Logan in the Quarter Final on a hot 58% shooting and coming out 18 points the better. The win handed the Thunder their first home loss of the season, as they advanced to a Semi Final blockbuster with the Meteors. The Marlins struggled to keep up with Mackay for three quarters as they fell behind by as much as 18 in early stages of the fourth. Cairns found some of that hot shooting from the previous week as they quickly turned the big deficit into a 3-point victory and a date with the reigning Champion Townsville Heat in the Grand Final Series. The Marlins fell behind by 20 points in game 1 before storming back to go only down by 4 points. Game 2 saw Cairns lead entering the final quarter, again to go down by only 4 points. Unfortunately, Cairns were unable to keep their fairytale run alive but throughout the Playoffs they proved just what they were capable of when they were clicking.

Captain Anthony Fisher had his best year in the QBL as he put up 18 points and 6 rebounds on 46% shooting and 41% from downtown. Christian Jurlina wasn’t far behind Fisher’s scoring output as he finished with 17.8 points a game. Jurlina arguably had his best two individual performances in the Marlins opening two Playoff games. Rounding out the starters, Kuany Kuany, Fabijan Kryslovic and Michael Nwelue all put up at least 11 points and 6 rebounds.

 

Gold Coast Rollers (7) Record: 9-9

After opening their season with a 3-1 record, the Rollers lost 8 of their next 10 to find themselves in 11th position with a 5-9 record at the completion of Round 12. The high point of the regular season was a 44-point thumping of the Rockhampton Rockets in Rockhampton in Round 9. With Playoffs looking like they were all but out of the picture, the Rollers refused to lie down as they won their last 4 matches by an average of 19.5 points. A 9-9 record was enough for Gold Coast to defy the odds and fall into the 7th seed entering the QBL Playoffs.

The Rollers were given the tough task of playing reigning champion Townsville in the Quarter Finals on the road at Townsville 106.3FM Stadium. Despite falling behind by double figures in the last quarter the Rollers would not give up and continues to chip away at the deficit before eventually falling by 8 points. Jack McVeigh was huge for the visitors finishing with 23 points, closely followed by 17 and 9 rebounds from TJ Diop.

McVeigh was the team’s leading scorer finishing with an average of 18.2 for the season, closely followed by Deon Mitchell who put in 16.7 a game. Guard Rhys Martin stuffed the stat sheet on a regular basis with impressive averages of 11.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Tj Diop and Matt Adekponya were the other Rollers players to average double figures.

 

Rockhampton Rockets (8) Record: 9-9

The Rockets began their season in style winning 4 of their first 5 games with their only loss coming at the hands of the Townsville Heat on the road. Unfortunately for Rockhampton they followed this up with three consecutive losses and were unable to get back into any sort of rhythm over the course of the regular season. The Rockets only managed to string together consecutive wins once over the remainder of the season, with a low point being a 44-point home loss to the Rollers in Round 9.

The Rockets limped into the Playoffs as the 8-seed boasting a 9-9 record for the regular season. This set up a North Queensland blockbuster against rivals and the 1-seed Mackay Meteors. Rockhampton were no match for the Meteors falling 74 – 92 and being restricted to their lowest total of the season. Despite the loss Lopez, Mitchell and Willis could all keep their heads high for their Quarter Final efforts.

Rockhampton’s big 4 of Bernard, Willis, Lopez and Mitchell all had great statistical seasons scoring at least 14 points. Malcolm Bernard was league’s fourth leading scorer with 26.5 points per game, whilst Willis was seventh with 22.8. Willis put up his numbers on an extremely efficient 51% from the floor and 91% from the line. Jack Lopez (14.7ppg) was one of the league’s best three-point shooters making 64 on the year which was the third most of any player. Captain James Mitchell had another well-rounded season with averages of 14.5 points, 7 rebounds and 5.3 assists on 54% shooting.

 

Ipswich Force (9) Record: 8-10

After falling to the visiting USC Rip City by 26-point in Round 9, the Force found themselves sitting at 2-7 and in 13th position on the ladder. Ipswich turned their season around going 5-1 over the next 6 games to somehow keep the most unlikely of Playoff berths alive. After splitting their Round 14 games in Mackay and Rockhampton, the Force faced a Round 15 win-or-go-home battle with the Gold Coast Rollers. Ipswich were unable to record the much-needed victory to cement a Playoff berth, going down by 7 points and all but ending their season.

Kyle Harvey had an incredible year for the Force putting up a massive 27.9 points and 7.7 rebounds on 51% shooting.  Kyle had a massive game against the Power in Round 11 when he put up 46 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals. Garrett Hall also finished in the top 15 in the league for scoring averaging 19.6 a game. Joshua Spiers and Jason Ralph put up 16.3 and 11.9 respectively.

South West Metro Pirates (10) Record: 8-10

Despite being in the Playoff picture for majority of the season, the Pirates dropped 5-straight games against Playoff opponents to close out the year as they fell to 10th position with an 8-10 record. South West found themselves as high as 5th after Round 10. The best win of their season was in Round 9 when they defeated the Thunder by 11 points, whilst their lowest point of the season was a 31-point home loss to the Heat in Round 6.

The Pirates had five players average double figures for 2018 led by Princeton Onwas’ 17.5 and 9.1 boards. Jarred Bairstow and Tyrell Harrison both put up 14 and 7 on 57% shooting, whilst Jacob Allen and Ryan Vines averaged 10.4 points on 44% and 39% respectively. South West were the leagues lowest scoring team and their three-point struggles were a major influence in this with no player shooting above 34% from behind the arc.

 

Toowoomba Mountaineers (11) Record: 7-11

After Toowoomba only recorded the 1 win for 2017, the only was up for season 2018. Despite losing 4 of their first 5 games, the Mountaineers bounced back to record 5 victories out of their next 7, largely thanks to Damon Bozeman, to find themselves at 6-6 and inside the Playoff picture at the completion of Round 10. Unfortunately, the Mountaineers were unable to continue on their run as they finished the season 1-5 over their past 6 to fall to 7-11 and 11th on the ladder come Playoff time.

Import guard Damon Bozeman was the talk of the QBL for much of the season as he put up points in bunches on his way to 32.9 points a game and the league scoring title. Bozeman also record 9.2 rebounds per game on 46% shooting. Damon recorded one 50+ point performance on top of four 40+ point games. Over a 3-game span between Rounds 6-9 Bozeman put together 3 straight 40-point games to average 46.3 points over the run. It is to no surprise that he was voted into the QBL All League Team. Harold Ridgeway also had an impressive season putting up 15 points and 11 rebounds, closely followed by Josh Derkson’s 13 and 5 a night.

 

Sunshine Coast Phoenix (12) Record: 6-12

Sunshine Coast started the season on fire going 4-0 before finally dropping a game by a single point to the Gold Coast Rollers. Unfortunately, this was the start of three straight losses for the Phoenix, which was broken by an impressive 7-point Round 7 victory over Rockhampton. This was immediately followed by 7 straight losses to all but end their season. The only win in the final 7 rounds of the season was over the last-placed Southern Districts Spartans. Sunshine Coast were the second-worst defensive side in the league which was a major contributor to their struggles in the back half of the season. Former Bullet Tom Fullarton only played in the team’s opening three games of the season before opting to take on a potential AFL career.

Roy Booker was the main catalyst on the offensive end for the Phoenix, finishing the season 2nd in points per game (30.1), 3rd in assists per game (7.3), 1st in three-pointers made (94) and three-point percentage (45.4%). Jamaal Robateau had a big season with 20.7 points and 6.5 rebound averages, closely followed by CJ Massingale’s 17 a night. Delvon Johnson was a regular double-double guy with 10 and 11 averages.

Gladstone Port City Power (13) Record: 4-14

The Power opened up their season with the Sunshine Coast double which saw them dropping both in dramatically different circumstances. USC defeated Gladstone by 41 points, before Sunshine Coast was able to find a way to survive by the smallest of margins, a single point. After quickly going to 0-5 on the season, Gladstone was able to record their first victory over the Spartans by 5 points. Round 7 was remarkable for the Power as they went 3-0 on the Southern road triple with big wins over the Seahawks, Pirates and Rollers all on the road. Unfortunately, these were the final wins of the season as they dropped their final 9 games to finish with a 4-14 record.

Taylor Young was consistent over the entirety of the season finishing with averages of 22, 5 and 5 on a remarkable 56% shooting. Casey Walker managed to score 16.5 a game despite on a subpar 27% three-point shooting clip. Cirkook Riak put up 16 points along with 9 boards, closely followed by Matthew Hancock’s 14 a night with most of his damage coming from downtown.

 

North Gold Coast Seahawks (14) Record: 3-15

The Seahawks struggled to adjust to the level of competition early in the season as they went winless over their first 10 games by an average of 26.6 points, which included two 50+ point losses to the Brisbane Capitals. In Round 10, North Gold Coast were able to break the trend as they record their first win of the season over fellow Gold Coast team the Rollers by 7 points. This was the start of a very competitive month where the Seahawks went 3-2 and off the bottom of the ladder. Despite a final round loss to the Spartans, by only losing by 3 points, the Seahawks were able to dodge the wooden spoon for 2018.

Jerron Jamerson had a great year finishing 5th for points per game with 23.3 to go along with 4.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists on 51% shooting.  Jamerson was followed by Cameron Goldfinch and Quinton Campbell who both put up 16 points a night, whilst Campbell led his team with 7.8 rebounds.

 

Southern Districts Spartans (15) Record: 3-15

The Spartans struggled in the opening months of the season as they dropped their first 8 games. Despite their first win constantly avoiding them, they were still competitive in majority of these losses with 6 of the 8 being by under 10 points. Southern Districts finally ended the losing streak in Round 9 as they recorded a 4-point win over Sunshine coast Phoenix on the road. Unfortunately, the wins were too few and far between for the Spartans as they only record two more victories for the season, over USC and North Gold Coast.

Dashawn King was the Spartans go to guy for most of the season putting in 21.8 a night on 45% shooting. Will Magney was good in the 8 games he featured in going 15 and 9 on 58%, whilst Adam Gibson’s 15 points a night was only present for 3 games on the season. Jaryd Eustace, Mitch Philp and Benjamin Volkman all scored in double digits on a regular basis. As did Jonathon Mines for the 5 games he featured in in the final weeks of the season. Benjamin Volkman was the league’s field goal percentage leader, connecting on 63% of his attempts.

QBL Season Review – Women’s

Ladder

Townsville started the season in fine fashion winning their first seven games by an average of 28 points. Their first loss came at home against the Spartans in Round 7 before going on another seven-game winning streak ultimately finishing with the top record.

After two commanding home wins against the Seahawks and Cyclones respectively, the Flames came up against the defending champs Southern Districts Spartans in the best of three Grand Final Series. Despite home court advantage, Townsville were unable to dethrone the champs in both games, finishing a fantastic season as runners-up.

Darcee Garbin averaged 20 points over the season, Miela Goodchild had 18, whilst veteran Micaela Cocks racked up 16 a game. Garbin also led the Flames in rebounds with 9 per game, whilst Cocks averaged close to 5 assists each week. Both Darcee Garbin and Micaela Cocks were selected for the League’s All-Star team, whilst Goodchild was named U23 Youth Player of the Year and coach Mike St-Maurice was named coach of the year.

 

Ipswich Force (2) Record: 16-2

Ipswich jumped out of the blocks in 2018 with seven-straight victories including a 9-point win over the Spartans in Round 4. The Force’s first loss came at the hands of the Flames in Round 8 and despite a heavy loss to the Pirates two weeks later, the Force managed to secure a top-two finish on the back of a 16-2 record.

Ipswich went into the playoff series as one of the favourites for the title and enjoyed a comfortable 23-point win over Mackay in the quarter-finals. Their semi-final matchup against the Spartans was a tight, hard-fought contest which was ultimately won by the Spartans. It was a crushing end for the Force who enjoyed their best season since 2015.

Amanda Johnson was named Most Valuable Player in 2018 after recording massive numbers over the season and led the league in scoring and rebounds with 25 and 14 a game respectively. Gintare Mazionyte was also destructive for the Force with 14 points and 9 rebounds a game, whilst Georgia Williams and Rachel Mate also had impressive seasons averaging over 12 points a game.

 

South West Metro Pirates (3) Record: 15-3

The Pirates had a huge recruitment drive at the start of the season and the inclusion of Nicole Seekamp was a massive bonus for South West. The Pirates were one of the early-season favourites after winning their first six games and managed to finish the year with just three losses from their 18 games. The Pirates best win came against Ipswich in Round 10 with an 81-55 thumping of the Force.

The Pirates enjoyed home court advantage in their quarter-final clash with Rockhampton, however, the loss of Seekamp proved costly as the Pirates were rolled 93-81 to see their season end earlier than expected. Seekamp led the team in scoring with 21.5 points and 6 assists per game and was also the league leader in steals and 3-point percentage. Steph Bairstow and Madelyn Willey both averaged over 14 points, whilst Kalani Purcell grabbed 9 rebounds a game.

 

Southern Districts Spartans (4) Record: 15-3

The Spartans started season 2018 as the defending champs and in August they managed to hold on to their title securing back-to-back championships with a 2-0 Grand Final Series win over the Flames in Townsville. Not everything started well for Southern Districts with two losses in their first four games to South West and Ipswich. Another loss to the Phoenix in Round 9 had the Spartans clinging on to a top-four position. It proved to be their last loss of the season with the team recording 9-straight wins to surge into the playoffs as the hottest team in the league.

The Spartans exacted revenge on the Phoenix in the first week of the playoffs with a commanding 25-point win at home. They followed this up a week later in Ipswich to knock out the Force and ensure a spot in consecutive Grand Final Series’.

The Spartans came to Townsville full of confidence and it showed in Game 1 with a 13-point win. They backed it up the following night beating the Flames by 12 points to win their second consecutive QBL title.

Ambrosia Anderson led the scoring for Southern Districts in 2018 with 18 points a game, Aja Parham had 15 and Ashley Taia 14 across the year, whilst Parham and Romy Baer registered over 5 assists a game.

 

Sunshine Coast Phoenix (5) Record: 12-6

The Phoenix imported two of the biggest names in 2018 with Abby Bishop and Natalie Hurst joining the squad at the start of the year and making an immediate impact with the Phoenix rocketing to the top of the ladder after the first two rounds. The Phoenix enjoyed a six-game winning streak through the middle of the season and recorded an impressive 20-point win over the Spartans in Round 9 to sit comfortably in the top 4. A late season slump which included losses to Ipswich, Southern Districts, Townsville and Cairns saw the Phoenix drop out of the top 4 be forced to travel to the Spartans in week one of the playoffs.

The slump continued in the quarter-finals as the Phoenix were no match for the eventual champions going down by 25 points at Rowland Cowan Stadium. A disappointing end to a season which promised so much back in April.

Abby Bishop and Natalie Hurst were the two shining beacons of the Phoenix with both averaging over 24 points and 6 assists a game, while Bishop managed to record over 12 rebounds a game to put her in the top 5 in the league. Both ladies made the All-Star team on the back of their incredible individual seasons. Other strong contributors for Sunshine Coast were Amy Browne (12.7 points a game) and Ashlee Wallis (9 points and 6 rebounds a game).

 

Rockhampton Cyclones (6) Record: 11-7

Despite an up and down start to the year, the Cyclones managed to maintain their position in the 8 for most of the season. The highlight of the year for Rocky was a four-game winning streak in July that resulted in a 15-point win over the ladder leaders Townsville at home. Despite this win the Cyclones lost their last two matches of the season at home to miss out on the top four and settle for sixth.

It was always going to be a tough task travelling to Brisbane to take on the Pirates in week 1 of the playoffs, but to the Cyclones credit they came out all guns blazing knocking off the more fancied South West Metro by 12 points. Aaryn Ellenberg’s late season form ensured the Cyclones were no easy beats coming into the semi-final clash with Townsville and although they were gallant, Rockhampton were no match for the Flames losing by 48 points.

Aaryn Ellenberg finished the season as the top scorer for the Cyclones with 23 points and 5 assists per game. Shanavia Dowdell averaged close to 20 points and 11 rebounds across the season and despite a late season injury was one of the best performing players in the league finishing the year as the top ranked field goal shooter. Brooke Blair (15ppg), Teyla Evans (10ppg) and Christina Boag (11ppg & 11rpg) were also strong performers for Rockhampton in 2018.

 

Mackay Meteorettes (7) Record: 9-9

A late season slump almost derailed the Meteorettes’ playoff chances in 2018, but with a 9-9 record they still managed to see action in August. Mackay’s longest winning streak for the year was just two as consistency plagued their top-four aspirations. The highlight of the year for the Meteorettes was their trip to Brisbane in June, managing to win 2 of the 3 games in the triple-header. One of those wins – against the Seahawks was equally important as it propelled them to a higher position come finals time. Incidentally it was the only team they beat in the top 8 all year. Mackay’s playoffs ended quickly with a tough loss to the Ipswich Force in week 1 signaling the end of a disappointing 2018 after reaching the Grand Final Series the previous year.

Mia Lloyd was the standout for Mackay topping the scoresheets on multiple nights and averaging over 20 points a game. Ruvanna Campbell won Player of Week honours in Round 12 and was a constant threat throughout the season, averaging 14 rebounds a season to be the league leader in the regular season. Heidi Freeburn averaged 14 points whilst Jacqui Zelenka averaged over 10 a game.

 

North Gold Coast Seahawks (8) Record: 9-9

The Seahawks had dominated the SBL in recent seasons and their promotion to the QBL would have been a huge task considering the number of talented teams around them. Early on however, the rest of the league started to notice the newcomers in a new light and the Seahawks became a giant-killer defeating the Sunshine Coast Phoenix in Round 3 to establish their credentials. The Seahawks travelled to North Queensland for the first time in May and although they went down to the Flames on the Friday, they managed to come away with a strong win over the Dolphins the following night in Cairns. An 86-point demolition of Toowoomba in Round 10 was the biggest in the league with Leeza Burdgess scoring 32 points in the thumping.

The Seahawks’ 9-9 record was enough to earn them a spot in the playoffs in their impressive debut season. A daunting task awaited them as they travelled to Townsville for week 1 and although they matched it physically with the Flames, they were outclassed in the end by 23 points. There are plenty of positives to be taken from the Seahawks’ first QBL season and coach Sleaford will look to build on this heading into 2019.

Casey Samuels was the leading scorer for North Gold Coast with averages of 18 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists over the year. Leeza Burdgess averaged over 13 points a game, whilst Hani and Jansen were the top rebounders with 7 per week.

 

Cairns Dolphins (9) Record: 8-10

A disastrous 5-game losing streak in late May and early June was enough to prevent the Dolphins from reaching the playoffs in 2018. The Dolphins were never in the hunt after their mid-season collapse and although they won 4 of their last 5 games, they fell a game short of playing finals. Cairns’ best win of the year came at the very end against the Phoenix – a close 4-pointer at home, whilst a disappointing loss to Logan in Round 13 was the lowlight.

Robin Perkins led the scoring for Cairns with 19 points shooting at 40% from the field. N’Dea Bryant was a late inclusion for the team and averaged 16 points and 8 rebounds, whilst Rachel Pryor had averages of 13 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists.

 

USC Rip City (10) Record: 7-11

Halfway through the year it looked as if USC were planning their run for a top 4 finish with a 6-4 record, however, the final two months of the season was a disaster for the Rip winning just 1 game from their last 8 and losing their last 5 games by an average of 21 points.

The Rip’s best win of the year came against arch-rivals Phoenix 92-87 and with wins either side against Rockhampton and Toowoomba, USC seemed destined to play finals in August.

Leah Scott was outstanding all season long averaging over 21 points a game as well as being the leading rebounder for the team with 9. Carlie Smith had averages of 14, 9 and 4, whilst Hannah Shaw and Bianca Abbott finished the season averaging double-digits in points.

 

Logan Thunder (11) Record: 7-11

The Logan Thunder were weakened by the departures of Kate Gaze and Miela Goodchild in the off-season and were never able to get their season going finishing with a 7-11 record. Logan had just 2 wins in their first 9 games with their only wins coming against Gold Coast and Rockhampton. A 4-game winning streak at the end of the season was not enough to propel the Thunder into the top 8.

Zitina Aokusa was the top scorer for Logan averaging 17 points a game, whilst Mikhaela Donnelly averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists (league high) in 2018. There were other solid contributors in Carroll, Luna Castro and Motuga but ultimately it was not enough for Logan and their focus will now turn to 2019 and the aim of playing finals once again.

 

Brisbane Capitals (12) Record: 6-12

Brisbane were one of the most disappointing stories in 2018 as the Capitals registered a 6-12 record. After two opening wins, the Caps looked good at the start of the season before losing 7 of their next 8. That effectively ruled them out of finals contention and another 5-game losing streak in the next couple of weeks cemented it.

No Capital managed to average more than 15 points a game as Akilah Bethel and Amy Lewis both recorded 14 points across the board, whilst Bethel led the team in rebounds with 10 and Lewis in assists with 4.

 

Gold Coast Rollers (13) Record: 3-15

Gold Coast endured a horror season in 2017 – failing to win a game, but in 2018 they were more than competitive in all games played and managed to finish 13th on the ladder with a 3-15 record. The highlight of the year came in Round 7 with a 16-point win over Gladstone – their first in almost 2 years in the QBL. Two more wins against Toowoomba later in the year gave them an air of confidence leading into 2019.

Alicia Carline produced a brilliant season for the Coast with averages of 15.5 points, 12 rebounds and 3 assists over the year. Kate Hewett, Carleigh Patrick and Siarn Woods also impressed in scoring and Dana Brown led the team in three pointers.

Gladstone Port City Power (14) Record: 1-17

Gladstone endured a horrible 2018 season after departing with two of their best players in Tabatha Richardson Smith and Cassie Rochel. Gladstone’s lone win came against the Mountaineers at home in Round 3 and since then it has been a long struggle for the Power. Whilst being outmatched by many of their opponents, the Power went four straight games losing by 5 points or less against Cairns, Rockhampton, Ipswich and Mackay and were unlucky not to win at least two of them.

Amanda Frost was one of the highest scorers in the league averaging 22 points a game, whilst Ashleigh Kelman-Poto and Milomilo Nanai each averaged 12 points and 9 rebounds a game. Recruiting will be a big focus in the offseason for the Power as they look to reach the heights of 2017 and forget a miserable 2018 season.

 

Toowoomba Mountaineers (15) Record: 0-18

The Mountaineers finished the 2018 QBL season without a win after managing just 2 in 2017. Toowoomba ranked last in points, turnovers, assists, rebounds and shooting and will be looking to forget this season as soon as possible. The Mountaineers scored above 70 in only one game in the year – their best performance a 22-point loss to the Sunshine Coast Phoenix at home.

Donnaizha Fountain was the only player to have averaged over 10 points a game (having played a minimum of 10 games) with the next best player at just 7 a game. Fountain also led the team in rebounds with 10, whilst no player managed to average more than 2 assists per game.

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