Shanavia Dowdell – Rockhampton Cyclones
Round 12 saw the Cyclone’s pitted against a desperate Townsville Flames outfit of who were eager to stiffen their position in the playoff picture with a road victory. Fortunately for the seemingly invincible Cyclones however, their loyal fans witnessed their 13th win in a row, which was headlined by the play of American Shanavia Dowdell. She dominated the contest, and led all scorers with 29 to go along with her game-high 12 rebounds. The American post has earnt her second player of the week award, to go along with the Round 4 honours.
Entering Hegvold Stadium on Saturday Night, the Flames would have known a big and ruckus crowd would be awaiting them. With a men’s and women’s game both featuring sides who needed to win, it would have come as no surprise. With 65 points to the home side at half-time, the Cyclone’s just proved too much for the Flames. With 32 assists for the game, the ball movement that this solid Rockhampton unit exhibited epitomises team play and is a big factor for their 13 straight wins.
Despite a lengthy hiatus from the line-up earlier this season, Dowdell hasn’t appeared to slow down as her season averages of 23.1 points and 10.4 rebounds a game haven’t dipped upon her return. It does come at a crucial time in the season too, with fellow northern team and rival Mackay keen to snatch top spot from them and ensure home court advantage throughout the playoffs. With the likes of Jones, Haynes and Norwood accompanying Dowdell on the court the Rockhampton Coaching Staff will be confident of continued success at the pointy end of the season.
For the Pirate’s Sidney Parsons dropped a stellar 43 points to upset the Rollers Saturday night, whilst the Dolphin trio of Evans, Donkin and Pryor were brilliant in their two easy road wins. Kate Gaze continues to light it up down in Logan, with 35 points against the Clipper’s the highlight of that game.
Michael Cedar – Logan Thunder
With the competition in the men’s season really heating up, every game is seen as a must-win. The ladder-leaders Townsville are only one loss in front of the Thunder and their pool rivals Brisbane, it comes as no surprise that no team can afford to slip up even for a second. Last Weekend was no different, with the Thunder facing a SC Phoenix Clippers roster that needed to win to keep their faint playoff hopes alive, Michael Cedar stood up when Head Coach Derek Rucker needed him too. His 24 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists rounded off a vital triple-double and so he has earnt Player of the Week honours for Round 12.
The Townsville native is enjoying his first season for the Thunder, following stints with Gladstone, Mackay and Townsville over the last few years. His talent has never come into question, with the now defunct Townsville Crocodiles requiring his services in the NBL from the 2005-06 season until the 2012-2013 season.
With the Capitals currently sitting equal with his Thunder team at 11-3, Cedar and his teammates will have plenty of time to scout their opposition, as they meet in Round 14 in a match that ultimately could decide not only who gets a home-semi and quarter final; but who hosts the QBL Grand Final Series. The Logan Coaching Staff will need their star guard firing to continue to fire on all cylinders if this were to happen and have a South Team host for the first time in some years.
For the Heat, the star duo of Wilcher and Crawford were sublime again as they filled a number of columns on the stat-sheet enroute to finishing with 24 and 28 points respectively, whilst Brendan Teys was good again for the Pirate’s in another low-scoring tussle with 26 points on 58% from the field.