QBL Game Previews – Round 12

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North Gold Coast Seahawks v South West Metro Pirates

After starting their season 0-10, the Seahawks have now won two of their past three with impressive wins over Gold Coast and Rockhampton. North Gold Coast have significantly improved on the defensive end, keeping their past three opponents under 100 points and under 80 in their two victories. Although playoffs are out of the picture, a resurgent Seahawks team still has a lot to prove for the remainder of the season. They come up against a Pirates squad who suffered a disappointing 20-point loss to the Thunder in Round 11. Despite still sitting in sixth position on the QBL ladder, South West are only a game and half from being out of the playoff picture and this is a must win against the bottom-placed side. We expect a competitive contest at Runaway Bay, but South West should be able to escape with a narrow victory.

 

Cairns Marlins v USC Rip City

The Marlins are coming off a Round 11 bye, following a massive Round 10 road win over Mackay. Cairns are the first team to knock off the ladder-leading Meteors on their home court in season 2018. Anthony Fisher continues to impress after a 30 point and 10 rebound performance in Mackay. USC on the other hand have dropped two in a row after winning ten straight. A 19-point home loss to the struggling Rollers in Round 11 drops USC to third on the ladder and only a game clear of fourth placed Logan. 2018 is beginning to take shape as season 2017 did for Rip, who ended up missing out on a home final after being so dominant for the first half of the season. This contest will have a major impact on the playoffs and if the last fortnight has anything to show we expect Cairns to win in front of their home crowd and hand USC their third straight loss.

 

Ipswich Force v Gold Coast Rollers

The Force were victorious over a struggling Gladstone team in Round 11, winning by 12 points on the road. Kyle Harvey was dominant for the visitors with 46 points and 10 rebounds and was a worthy Player of the Week recipient. Ipswich will be looking for their first back-to-back wins since Round 4 and with Gold Coast coming to town another home victory is a realistic possibility. After losing to the previously winless Seahawks, the Rollers bounced back with an emphatic victory over top-of-the-table USC in Round 11. With six players reaching double-digits, led by Deon Mitchell’s 30, the Rollers looked impressive in the rout. This victory should now set the standard for the remainder of the season and although unlikely, playoffs are still a possibility. Ipswich have struggled at home this season only winning the one match and considering the inconsistency of both teams, this is a difficult matchup to pick. Gold Coast may be the slightly superior team in this one and keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

 

North Gold Coast Seahawks v Southern Districts Spartans

The Seahawks will be playing their second game of the weekend against a Spartans squad who also find themselves with only two victories in season 2018. Southern Districts fell narrowly to Rockhampton on Friday night by 3 points. Despite shooting a dismal 35% from the field, the Spartans were able to tie the game inside the last minute before a Malcolm Bernard basket sealed the deal for the road team. With the loser of this game dropping to the bottom of the QBL ladder, there is still a lot on the line for both teams in this contest. Given recent form and playing in front of their home crowd, we expect the Seahawks to win their third game in three weeks and send the Spartans to outright last on the ladder.

 

Rockhampton Rockets v Toowoomba Mountaineers

Coming off a disappointing road triple-header in Round 11, the Rockets will be looking to bounce back at home against the middle-of-the-table Mountaineers. Rockhampton only managed the one victory against the Spartans by three points before falling to North Gold Coast and Brisbane. Ray Willis missed the third game of the weekend against the Capitals and his status for this contest will have a large impact on the game. Toowoomba are coming off a loss to Brisbane which again saw Bozeman putting up ridiculous numbers, scoring 41 points on 58% shooting. The Mountaineers now find themselves half a game outside of the playoff race behind the Rockets and a win here will ultimately result in the teams switching positions on the ladder. Depending on the status of Willis we expect the Rockets to get the home W and hold onto the 8th spot.

 

Mackay Meteors v Gladstone Port City Power

The Meteors now find themselves in the prime position to have home court throughout the entirety of the 2018 QBL playoffs after dismantling the Townsville Heat by 10 points in Round 11. The Lead reached as much as 20 points in the final quarter before emptying the bench allowed the Heat to make the margin look somewhat respectable. Chris Cedar wound the clock back to 2017 QBL Grand Final Game 3 hitting 33 points on 7 made three pointers as the Meteors connected on 50% of their shots from downtown. Gladstone are coming off a disappointing home loss to the Ipswich Force despite the efforts of Taylor Young who put in 38 points and 9 assists for the home team. It is 1st versus 13th in this contest and Mackay will continue to keep a stranglehold on top spot with a comfortable victory in this one.

 

Townsville Heat v USC Rip City

The Heat now find themselves in equal second on the QBL ladder after falling to the top-of-the-table Meteors in Round 11. Despite still putting up 94 points, the Heat could not stop the offensive powerhouse in the Mackay Meteors who put up 104 points, the second most given up by Townsville all season. Froling, Crawford and Jett still all managed to pass their season averages in the loss. USC will be backing up after a game in Cairns on Friday night and will have a task ahead of them in coming up against a determined Heat outfit coming off a loss. Rip are in serious danger of dropping out of the top four and with Mackay coming to town in Round 13, at least one win on the road is a must in Round 12. Unfortunately, we don’t see USC getting a win this weekend as Townsville will prove to be too strong at home.

 

Sunshine Coast Phoenix v Logan Thunder

Coming off a Round 11 bye, Sunshine Coast will be looking to turn around a poor month in which they would like to put behind them. Roy Booker continues to lead the squad recording impressive scoring and assist numbers, although unfortunately this has not been leading to victories. Logan continued their undefeated season at home with a dominating victory over rivals South West in Round 11. With USC playing two games up north, the Thunder will be looking to further cement themselves in the four by the completion of the round. Phoenix will struggle to match the dynamic frontcourt duo of Logan, as the Thunder record their sixth victory in their past seven matches.

 

Brisbane Capitals v South West Metro Pirates

The Capitals have now found themselves in 7th position on the QBL ladder following two impressive Round 11 home wins over the Mountaineers and Rockets. With their next two games also at NAB Stadium, the Capitals are a realistic chance to make a late push on the top 4. Brisbane have been putting up numbers in bunches since acquiring Coenraad and are now easily the league’s top-scoring team. They face a vastly different game style that the Pirates possess, as South West are a defensive-minded squad who look to slow the game down and keep the scoring to a minimum. Coming off a disappointing loss to Logan, the Pirates find themselves only half a game ahead of the Capitals and the loser if this match will find themselves in severe jeopardy of falling out of the playoff race completely. The new look Capitals look as though they can match it with anyone in the league and we expect Brisbane to continue on their run and record another home victory.

 

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North Gold Coast Seahawks v South West Metro Pirates

The Seahawks will be quickly looking to put Round 11 behind them after suffering a 23-point home loss to the Cyclones. North Gold Coast struggled largely on the offensive end only managing 55 points for the game on an abysmal 24% shooting from the field. With the second-placed Pirates coming to town, the Seahawks are desperately holding onto their position inside the playoffs, currently sitting a game clear in seventh. South West made light work of Logan in Round 11, running away with a comfortable 20-point victory. Steph Bairstow led the way with 26 points and 10 rebounds. The Pirates find themselves only one game outside of top spot on the ladder and should prove to be too strong for the Seahawks in this one.

Cairns Dolphins v USC Rip City

Coming off a Round 11 bye, the Dolphins will be fresh as they face a determined USC squad who are looking to make their way back into the playoff picture for the first time since Round 8. Rip city survived a scare against the Gold Coast at home last week but were able to escape with a narrow 4-point victory. Leah Scott continued her great season, putting in 21 points on 57% shooting. With a game the following night against the ladder-leading Flames, this is the must win game of the week for Rip City if they are to intact with the top 8. USC should be leaving Cairns with a victory under their belt.

 

Ipswich Force v Gold Coast Rollers

Ipswich were able to escape Gladstone with a narrow 4-point victory in Round 11, again behind a big game from Amanda Johnson. Johnson put in 37 points and 14 rebounds, including 7 on the offensive glass. The Force still find themselves only one game off top spot on the ladder and with the 13th placed Rollers visiting, they should continue to apply the pressure on the ladder-leading Flames. Despite the loss to USC in Round 11, the team will be pleased with their performance on the road after only going down by 4 points. Carleigh Patrick was massive for the Rollers with 24 points. Ipswich to win this comfortably.

 

North Gold Coast Seahawks v Southern Districts Spartans

The Seahawks will be playing their second game of the weekend, this time against the fifth-placed Spartans. The Spartans were able to get the win over the Cyclones in round 11 behind Ambrosia Anderson’s massive game in which she poured in 37 points. Southern Districts will be looking for their fourth consecutive victory which would tie their longest winning streak of the season. This will be one of two matchups between these two teams over the past month of the regular season and it is likely that the Seahawks will need to win at least one of these if they are to reach the playoffs. Unfortunately, we think the Spartans may be too superior in this one.

 

Rockhampton Cyclones v Toowoomba Mountaineers

Despite going down by 4 points to the Spartans on the first game of their triple header, the Cyclones will be relatively happy with their results last weekend after going 2-1. Rockhampton made light work of North Gold Coast and Brisbane after the disappoint of Friday night. Toowoomba are still searching for that illusive first win of 2018 after going down to the Capitals by 58 points in round 11. Donnaizha Fountain continues to put in work for the Mountaineers with 18 points and 13 rebounds despite another heavy loss. Rockhampton to win comfortably back in front of their home crowd.

 

Mackay Meteorettes v Gladstone Port City Power

Mackay are hanging onto 8th spot on the QBL ladder by the skin of their teeth after going down to the top-placed Townville Flames at home in Round 11. Mia Loyd was dominant with 36 points for the home team, but it was not enough to get the W against the Flames. Coach Ian Haughton will be looking for more out of his bench who only contributed 4 points in the loss. Gladstone came surprisingly close to upsetting Ipswich after only going down by 4 points in front of their home crowd in Round 11. The team put up 90+ points for the second week in a row, behind huge performances from Atkinson and Frost who scored 35 and 28 respectively. The Power have looked like a different team over the past fortnight but going back on the road we expect them to struggle against the Meteorettes. Mackay at home.

 

Townsville Flames v USC Rip City

Townsville were able to keep a frim grip on top spot with a 12-point road victory over the Meteorettes. Micaela Cocks put in work against her old team by putting up 25 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists and played all 40 minutes on her way to QBL Player of the Week honours.  Darcee Garbin was again a solid contributor with 23 points. USC will be playing their second game in as many nights after a visit to Cairns on the Friday. Rip will realistically be looking to head home with a 1-1 split over the weekend, but will no doubt be looking to make their mark by handing Townsville their second loss of the season. Unfortunately, we do not see that happening and a freshened Flames team should make light work of USC on a back-to-back.

 

Sunshine Coast Phoenix v Logan Thunder

The Phoenix are coming off a Round 11 bye but will be looking to bounce back after a 5-point loss at the hands of Ipswich in Round 10. The Force held Sunshine Coast to their equal-lowest score of the season and the Phoenix will be wanting to keep a strangle hold onto their position within the top 4. Logan suffered a disappointing 20-point home loss to the Pirates in Round 11 despite a great individual performance by captain Mikhaela Donnelly who put up 20 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists. Sunshine Coast should be able to get back on the winners list in this one comfortably.

Brisbane Capitals v South West Metro Pirates

The Capitals are coming off a 58-point drumming of the winless Toowoomba Mountaineers in Round 11. 4 players hit double-digits for Brisbane, led by Akilah Bethel’s near triple-double where she managed 24 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists. The squad still managed to runaway heavy victors despite only connecting on the one three-pointer for the game, an area for improvement when facing a much tougher challenge in the Pirates this coming week. After a Friday night hit out with the Seahawks, South West will be playing their second game of the weekend and the freshened Capitals will have a great opportunity to knock off the second-placed team in front of their home fans. This could be seen as a danger game for the Pirates, although we believe they will have too much class as they record their second win for the weekend.

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