QBL Game Previews – Round 10

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Toowoomba Mountaineers vs Gold Coast Rollers 

Despite coming off a narrow loss to the equal ladder-leading Rip City, the Mountaineers (4-6) will enter Round 10 full of confidence as they face the Gold Coast Rollers (4-6) in their sixth consecutive home game. Bozeman has further cemented his position as league-leading scorer (36.6pg) with an incredible QBL season-high 51 points against USC. Although splitting their northern road double 1-1, the Rollers are coming off the most unlikely victories against Rockhampton, winning by a whopping 44 points, before going down narrowly to the equal ladder-leading Meteors by 4. The first of two games for both teams in Round 10 will be massive as the winner will be one step closer to an even win/loss record and a playoff berth. Behind the unstoppable Bozeman, Toowoomba at home.

 

Logan Thunder vs Brisbane Capitals

After a near flawless 7 weeks the Logan Thunder came crashing back down to earth after an 11-point loss to South West Metro in Round 9. Kyei and Young both had 20-point double doubles but was not enough to get them over the line against the Pirates. Coach Luke Cann will be disappointed with his team’s defensive output as they allowed South West to shoot 51% and score over 100 for the first time this season. Brisbane on the other hand won both of their Round 9 matches and now find themselves inside the playoff picture for the first time this season. The Capitals had their second 50+ point victory over the Seahawks, before making light work of the Spartans on Sunday. A huge game for both teams as they look to cement their positions inside the top 8. Logan at home.

 

Ipswich Force vs Sunshine Coast Phoenix

An interesting matchup at Llewewllyn Stadium on Saturday as both sides enter Round 10 on multi-game losing streaks. Ipswich have now lost 5 in a row after a home drumming at the hands of USC in Round 9, whilst Sunshine Coast’s depth has been tested in recent times after dropping their 4th on the trot against the previously winless Spartans at home. Ipswich have only managed 69.5 points a game in their past two matches, albeit against the league’s top 2 defenses. This is significantly down from their 89 points per game average on the season. They now face the league’s second worst defensive in the Phoenix and we expect a shootout between these two offensive minded outfits. Sunshine Coast will be motivated to find themselves back in the playoff race after dropping out of the 8 for the first time this season. Behind the hot hand of Booker, we expect them to escape Ipswich with a narrow victory.

 

North Gold Coast Seahawks vs Gold Coast Rollers 

The Seahawks are still searching for their first win of 2018, coming off a 53-point thumping at the hands of Brisbane. North Gold Coast could only manage 67 points on the offensive end which was their lowest of the season, as well as giving up over 100 for the 8th time this season. They will face the Rollers in the local derby for the first and only time for the season and could not think of a better way to record their first victory. Gold Coast will be coming off a tough match against Toowoomba on Friday, but if Round 9 has anything to show its that the Rollers might be finding some form at the business end of the season. Rollers comfortably.

 

Gladstone Port City Power vs Rockhampton Rockets 

Since winning four in a row, the Power have been brought back down to earth dropping their last three games by an average of 22 points. Round 9 produced a much better effort than in the previous two weeks only going down by 9 points to Cairns on the road. Gladstone will be looking to pick up their offense after scoring in the seventies in the last two weeks, which are their lowest scores of the season. Rockhampton will be looking to bounce back after an embarrassing 44-point home defeat to the struggling Gold Coast Rollers in Round 9. What was seen to many as an easy victory suddenly ended as a whopping defeat, as the Rockets lost their fourth game in five matches. Now in 8th position on the QBL ladder, this is a must win game for the Rockets if they are to be playoff contenders in 2018. We expect them to bounce back and add to Gladstone’s three consecutive losses.

 

Southern Districts Spartans vs USC Rip City

Round 9 saw the Spartans recording their first victory of season 2018, with a narrow 4-point victory over the struggling Phoenix in Maroochydore. Southern Districts scored over 100 points for the first time this season behind Dashawn King’s 39. They backed up at home on Sunday with a disappointing 21-point loss to the Capitals. USC are on a tear at the moment, with Round 9 seeing them record their ninth and tenth straight victories. Saturday against Toowoomba may have been a little too close for comfort escaping with only a 7-point win, before making light work of Ipswich on Sunday winning by a convincing 26 points. This looks like another very winnable game for the joint ladder-leaders and we are again backing them to keep the winning streak alive.

 

Townsville Heat vs Cairns Marlins 

One of the matches of the round sees Cairns making their first trip to Townsville since last year’s agonizing semi-final loss. Despite dropping to Logan a fortnight ago, the Heat have looked amazing in their title defense in 2018, outscoring their opponents on average by a league-leading 16 points a night. To no surprise Townsville made light work of Gladstone last round winning by 31 points, compared to the Marlins who only managed to defeat the Power by 9. The Marlins enter this weekend 0-4 against Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton and will need to win at least one game this weekend to convince us they have what it takes to win on the road come playoff time. Cairns are 4-4 since Round 1 and have been playing inconsistent basketball at best, unfortunately for the Marlins we see the Heat winning comfortably at home.

 

Toowoomba Mountaineers vs North Gold Coast Seahawks

Toowoomba will find themselves in a realistic position to go 2-0 for the weekend and finish Round 10 with an even 6-6 record. This is definitely the easier game of the weekend for the Mountaineers as they face the winless Seahawks after a day’s rest since taking on the Rollers on Friday night. The Seahawks on the other hand will have faced the Rollers the previous night at home and will be backing up the following day. Regardless of previous results of either teams first games of Round 10, Toowoomba will prove to be too strong and this one and cement themselves as a potential playoff contender going into their final 6 games of the regular season.

 

Ipswich Force vs South West Metro Pirates 

Ipswich will be playing their second game in as many days as South West come to town to improve on their current two-game winning streak. The Force will be backing up after Sunshine Coast come to town on Saturday night and despite both games being at home, Llewellyn Stadium hasn’t been much of a security blanket yet in 2018 with Ipswich dropping all 5 games so far this season. The Pirates currently find themselves a game clear in sixth position and considering Logan and Cairn’s tough matches in Round 10, South West are a big chance to enter the top 4 at the completion of this round. If the Pirates are to prove themselves as a serious threat in 2018 this is a game they should win and win comfortably. We are predicting them to do just that.

 

Mackay Meteors vs Cairns Marlins  

The Meteors were able to escape with a narrow 4-point win over the Gold Coast Rollers who were backing up after a thumping of Rockhampton. Mackay will be glad to take the victory and move forward to this week’s matchup with the Cairns Marlins. Like last week, they will face a team on the second game of a road double and will be the fresher team coming into the contest. The Marlins will be backing up after the tough task of Townsville in Townsville and this match with complete the toughest road trip in the QBL as they look to give Mackay their first home loss of 2018. Mackay will continue their unbeaten home streak and send the Marlins back home with a loss under their belts.

 

WOMEN

Logan Thunder v Brisbane Capitals

Logan and Brisbane have both had forgettable seasons with just three wins each for the year making this game a win or go home scenario. Despite a strong start to their game against South West Metro, the Thunder were eventually overrun in the second half going down by 22 points. Mikhaela Donnelly led the way again for Logan with 22 points but committed 10 turnovers in the process. Zitina Aokusa had 16 points and 9 rebounds, whilst Ula Motuga scored 10. Logan gave up a staggering 33 turnovers in the game, by far most of the league in Round 9. The Capitals continue to struggle in 2018 and had another disappointing weekend in Round 9 losing to both the Seahawks and Spartans. Akilah Bethel once again was the standout for Brisbane leading the team in points and rebounds for both games. The Caps were far better in their second game against the Spartans narrowly going down to the defending champions, however the losses continue to stack up and it seems now that the playoffs are a stretch too far for Bronwyn Marshall’s team. There is hope for both teams, however the loser of this one will see their season end.

 

Toowoomba Mountaineers v Gold Coast Rollers

The Mountaineers remain winless in 2018 falling to Rip City at home last weekend. Toowoomba were impressive for most parts of the first half but quickly fell away after the break. Donnaizha Fountain top scored with 14 points, however no other Mountaineer managed to reach 8 points or more. Gold Coast travelled to Central Queensland to take on the Cyclones and Meteorettes in Rockhampton and Mackay respectively in Round 9 but couldn’t come away with a win. The Rollers would be buoyed by their performances on the road double-header particularly against Mackay where they fell by just 8 points. The Gold Coast face another double-header away from home beginning with fellow cellar-dwellers Toowoomba. The Rollers have looked the far better team of the two this year and should be good enough to get their second win of the season.

 

Ipswich Force v Sunshine Coast Phoenix  

Ipswich continued their great form with a 17-point victory over USC Rip City in Round 9. The Force now sit second on the ladder with just percentage separating them from ladder leaders Townsville. Amanda Johnson remains one of the favourites for Player of the Year after another strong showing against the Rip racking up 26 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals. Georgia Williams was also impressive with 18 points shooting at 66% from the field. Ipswich come up against third-place Sunshine Coast Phoenix in a mouth-watering clash at Llewellyn Stadium. The Phoenix flexed their muscles against the Spartans with a dominant 20-point win at home thanks to performances from Natalie Hurst (28 points, 4 steals), Caitlin Clancy (22 points) and Abby Bishop (19 points, 9 rebounds and 12 assists). This will be a great matchup between some of the biggest names in the league with Johnson going head-to-head with Bishop and Hurst. Ipswich have been strong at home all season; however, they will need to back up the next day against South West Metro. Toss of the coin in this one.

 

North Gold Coast Seahawks v Gold Coast Rollers

The Seahawks have their biggest game of the season in Round 9 – their first QBL home game against local rivals Gold Coast Rollers. The big home crowd that is expected to show up at Runaway Bay should have reason to be confident with their team’s form this season. North Gold Coast recorded their sixth win of the season against the struggling Brisbane Capitals away from home last weekend with a 75-56 win. Aimee Hani starred off the bench with 16 points and 10 rebounds as four other Seahawks managed to score double-digits. The Rollers will be backing up from a trip to Toowoomba the previous day and will relish the chance to upset their neighbours on their home court. Gold Coast’s performances have been far better in 2018 and should have confidence off the back of a probable win against the Mountaineers. The Seahawks need to keep winning to cement their spot in the top 8 and they should have enough firepower to down the Rollers in this one.

 

Southern Districts Spartans v USC Rip City  

Southern Districts dropped their first game in five attempts after a disappointing 20-point loss to the Phoenix on the Sunshine Coast in Round 9. The Spartans managed to bounce back the following day at home with a win against the Capitals to remain in fifth spot on the ladder. Ambrosia Anderson had averages of 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists over the weekend, whilst Ashley Taia had 17.5, 6.5 and 2 and Aja Parham recorded 12.5, 4.5 and 5.5 in the two games. Rip City split their road double-header 1-1 in Round 9 enjoying a big win over Toowoomba before going down to the Ipswich Force on Sunday. Kristen Langhorn top-scored for the Rip against Toowoomba with 21 but failed to score the following day against the Force. Leah Scott averaged 18.5 points over the weekend, whilst Carlie Smith had 17.5 and 11 rebounds including a game-high 25 against Ipswich. The Rip have struggled for consistency in the past month and will be hoping to get some form back in a crucial showdown with the Spartans to keep their playoff chances intact. Southern Districts at home should bounce back and get the W.

 

Gladstone Port City Power v Rockhampton Cyclones  

The Power’s miserable season continued in Round 9 with losses to both Townsville and Cairns away from home. Gladstone showed considerable improvement in their second match against Cairns, narrowly going down by 3 points after being trounced by the Flames on the previous night. Amanda Frost was a standout for the Power against Townsville with a game-high 27 points. Frost backed up the next day with another 17 and was supported well by Tanaya Atkinson who had 27 points and 16 rebounds in the close loss. Gladstone has just one win on the season and they will hope that a local derby against rivals Rockhampton can spark them into life in 2018. The Cyclones recorded back to back wins with a comfortable win over Gold Coast at home last Friday. Aaryn Ellenberg top-scored with 18 for Rocky, whilst Shanavia Dowdell had 16 and newcomer Brooke Blair chipped in with 12 off the bench. The Cyclones were impressive in counter-attack with 30 points off turnovers and 15 total steals for the night. Rockhampton will look to dominate Gladstone once again as they did back in Round 5 recording a massive 40-point win at home. It should be a repeat result but much closer this time around.

 

Townsville Flames v Cairns Dolphins  

Townsville remain on top of the ladder thanks to another big win at home – this time against the lowly Gladstone 104-68. Darcee Garbin led the team with 22 points shooting at 66% from the field and grabbed 8 rebounds along with 8 assists for a near triple-double. Other big contributors for the Flames were Miela Goodchild (20 points and 4 assists) and Alex Fowler (17 points and 8 rebounds). Townsville face rivals Cairns on Saturday and based on the form of both teams going in, on paper it should be a stroll for the Flames, however the Dolphins will lift for the northern derby. The Dolphins managed to squeeze home against the Power last week on the back of big games from Robin Perkins (23 points), Rachel Pryor (18 points and 8 rebounds) and N’Dea Bryant (14 points and 10 rebounds). Cairns were belted by Townsville in Round 5 and will be looking to shut down the attacking prowess of the league leaders. With so many stars in the lineup for Townsville, it should be another win at home for the Flames.

 

Ipswich Force v South West Metro Pirates

Ipswich face another top 4 team in Round 10 with a matchup against South West Metro Pirates. Amanda Johnson continues to make headlines with an average of 27 points and 15 rebounds a game making her the first and second ranked player in respective statistics for the league. The Force will be looking to secure a top 2 spot heading into the final two months of the season with back to back wins at home this weekend. The Pirates were back to their best last week after a dominant 22-point win over Logan at home. Nicole Seekamp was awarded Player of the Week honours in Round 9 on the back of 25 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists and 8 steals against the Thunder. Madelyn Willey and Steph Bairstow each scored 18 points, whilst Natalie Taylor was threatening all night with 5 assists and 5 steals. The Pirates have not strung consecutive wins since Round 4 and will be hoping for a big performance against the surging Ipswich Force. It should be a great battle in Ipswich with the Force having the slight advantage at home.

 

Toowoomba Mountaineers v North Gold Coast Seahawks

Toowoomba will be hoping two home games in Round 10 can deliver them their first win of the season against the North Gold Coast Seahawks. The Mountaineers continue to rank last in points, shooting, assists and turnovers committed in 2018 and will hope that their fortunes can be reversed up against a Seahawks team backing up from the night before. It’s a dream scenario for North Gold Coast who play two of the bottom three teams on a double header weekend and they will endeavour to cement a spot in the top 8 with playoffs just around the corner. It’s been a wonderful debut season for the Seahawks who have surprised many with their performances in 2018 against some of the biggest teams and players. Regardless of the team making the playoffs, season 2018 would be considered a huge success for the fledging QBL franchise.

 

Mackay Meteorettes v Cairns Dolphins  

Mackay are back in the top 8 after a close win against the Rollers in Round 9. The Meteorettes were able to fend off a late challenge from Gold Coast to record a vital win at home. Ruvanna Campbell led the team with a team-high 20 points and 16 rebounds, whilst Mia Lloyd and Heidi Freeburn scored a combined 31 points and 13 rebounds. Mackay will now look to cement their top 8 position with a win at home to the Dolphins who sit two spots below in 10th on the ladder. Cairns have looked good in patches this season but have failed to develop consistency throughout the first two months of the season. The Dolphins have won two on the trot thanks to wins over Gladstone and Gold Coast to keep their playoff chances alive but will struggle to see action in August if they fall to the Meteorettes in this one. Mackay should get the job done against a tired Cairns outfit travelling back from Townsville the night before.

 

 

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