QBL Game Previews – Round 13

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Toowoomba Mountaineers v Logan Thunder

The Mountaineers now find themselves two games outside of the playoff race after a 13-point loss to Rockhampton in Round 12. Despite an incredible 38 point and 18 rebound performance by Bozeman Toowoomba were unable to capatilise on a three-quarter time lead at Hevgold Stadium. With only four games left in the regular season, the Mountaineers may realistically need to win all four in order to reach the playoffs and that will include two matches against the third placed Thunder. Logan won their third in a row and sixth out of their last seven with a 12-point road victory over the struggling Phoenix in Round 12. Young, Kyei and Cedar combined for a whopping 79 points and 24 rebounds in the win and picked up the slack for only 7 bench points. Logan should be the superior team in this contest, although the Mountaineers play their best basketball in front of their home crowd, winning four of their past five at the Clive Berghofer Rec Center. Despite being a must win for Toowoomba we expect Logan to keep their win streak alive.

 

USC Rip City v Mackay Meteors

Rip City went 0-2 on their northern road double in Round 12 with losses to Cairns and Townsville. After an impressive 10-1 start to the season USC have now lost four straight and find themselves in fourth position on the ladder and only two games clear of eighth. After being such a dominant defensive outfit over the opening months of the season, Rip are giving up 93.5 points a game. USC will now face the top-placed Mackay Meteors in Round 13 and is a must win game if they are to hold onto hope of a home final. The Meteors made light work of Gladstone at home running away 39-point victors behind Titus Robinson’s 22 points in 22 minutes before emptying the bench. With home court advantage throughout the entirety of the playoffs still on the line, Mackay still need to continue to win to keep their hold on top-spot. Considering USC’s struggles of late we expect the Meteors to win the first leg of their sunshine Coast double.

 

Logan Thunder v Cairns Marlins

The Thunder will have a short turnaround after a Friday night hit out in Toowoomba as they backup against the Cairns Marlins on Saturday night. Logan are undefeated at home and will face a team who were successful in all three games of their southern road trip earlier in the season. The Marlins have knocked off two top four teams in the past fortnight and this is the perfect opportunity to keep that streak alive as they face off against the third-placed Thunder. It will be a huge focus for the Marlins to slow down the front court of Young and Kyei who have been nearly unstoppable in recent times. With three of their last four games against sub .500 teams, if Logan can win this at home they are almost a certainty for a top four finish. We think the Thunder will go to 8-0 at home on the season and tighten their grip on third spot on the QBL ladder.

 

Brisbane Capitals v Southern Districts Spartans

The Capitals are coming off a dominating 33-point win over the Pirates in round 12 and now see themselves in sixth position on the ladder. Brisbane’s defense was smothering keeping South West to 64 points and forcing them into a whopping 28 turnovers. Carter, Anderson and Davis scored 20 points each and coach Tarrant was able to limit his star Tim Coenraad to only 12 minutes and fresh and firing against the struggling Spartans. Southern Districts now find themselves in last position on the QBL ladder after a 5-point loss to the Seahawks. After taking a couple weeks to find his feet Jonathon Mines found some form with 29 points and 11 rebounds in only 26 minutes despite the loss. In what has turned out to be a season to forget for the Spartans they would love to finish their season on a high and claim a big scalp in the final weeks of the season. Unfortunately, for Spartans fans we don’t see this happening in Round 13 as the Capitals win their fourth consecutive game at NAB Stadium.

 

South West Metro Pirates v Ipswich Force

The Pirates are coming off an embarrassing 33-point loss to the Capital at NAB Stadium in Round 12, as they were kept to their second lowest score of the season. On the other end, Coach Downer’s men gave up 97 points to the highest scoring team in the league, which is also the most they have given up in season 2018. For a side whose defense looked flawless in the initial stages of the season, the Pirates have given up at least 90 points in six of their last seven games. Considering their offensive struggles throughout the entirety of the season it is important that they look to get back to that defensive minded basketball coming into the playoffs. Ipswich were able to escape the Rollers with a 1-point victory thanks to a game winner from Kyle Harvey on the buzzer. The Force now find themselves in tenth position on the ladder and keep the slim hopes of a playoff berth alive. They will need to win the last 5 games of the season if they are to do so and that starts Saturday against a Pirates squad who will be looking to bounce back from last week’s disastrous performance. We are expecting South West to end the Force’s season Saturday night as they run away with the victory at Hibiscus Stadium.

 

Sunshine Coast Phoenix v Mackay Meteors

The Phoenix suffered their sixth consecutive loss of the season as the red-hot Thunder came to town in Round 12. Sunshine Coast welcomed back Jamaal Robateau for only his second game in the past 5 weeks although his 17 points were not enough to end the losing streak. Delvon Johnson put up a huge 19 points, 20 rebounds and 5 assists in what was his best game of the season. He will again have his work cut out this week as the Mackay frontcourt of Robinson, Blanchfield and Tregardh have proven to be a handful for teams to this point in the season. If Roy Booker can get the upper hand over Nelson Larkins, this will give the Phoenix the best chance to get back on the winners list. With the Meteors playing the second game of a back-to-back the fresher Sunshine Coast squad will have the upper hand in this area, although Mackay have proven their bench has the ability to play big minutes in important games over the course of the season. Mackay just.

 

Gladstone Port City Power v Townsville Heat

The Power went down by a whopping 39 points to the top-placed Meteors in Mackay on Saturday evening and now have the challenge of the reigning champion Heat coming to town. Gladstone have lost six straight since winning all three games on the southern road triple back in Round 7. Not only are the ongoing losses alarming for the Power, the have been outscored by an average of 22 points per game throughout the losing streak. The Heat will need to win each of their remaining games of the season if they are to challenge Mackay for top spot entering the QBL playoffs. Townsville made light work of the declining USC Rip City in Round 12 running away 30-point victors. Harrison Froling stared for the home side with a massive 33 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists as he received QBL Player of the Week honours. Look for Townsville to build a lead early to ensure their starters enough rest heading into Sunday’s contest with Rockhampton. Heat comfortably.

 

Rockhampton Rockets v Townsville Heat

The Rockets have kept themselves inside the playoff picture with a 13-point come from behind win over the Toowoomba Mountaineers in Round 12. Rockhampton entered the last quarter with a narrow deficit but had too much class to overcome the visiting Mountaineers. James Mitchell had an efficient 26 points and 8 assists, whilst Malcom Bernard managed a triple double with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists to go along with 4 blocks and 3 steals although on 7-27 shooting. With Townsville playing the night before and travelling from Gladstone, Rockhampton will have this in their favour and should be looking for a major scalp after a somewhat disappointing last couple of months after starting the season strongly. Townsville should prove too classy as Rocky fall to 8-8.

 

Ipswich Force v North Gold Coast Seahawks

The Force will back up after a Saturday night hit out with the Pirates as the visiting Seahawks come to town. North Gold Coast have gone 3-2 over their past five contests and will be looking to string two consecutive wins together for the first time of the season. With all three of their victories also coming on their home court, the Seahawks will be looking for their first victory away from runaway Bay in 2018. Despite finding themselves 3.5 games ahead of the Seahawks, both teams still have a lot to prove in the remainder of the season as Ipswich have the slim hopes of a playoff berth on the line and with North Gold Coast playing for pride and for the overall confidence of finishing the season strong entering the off season. The Seahawks will be coming off an 8-day break and this will play into their hands and we predict an upset with them recording their first road W in 2018 and all but ending the Force’s playoff hopes.

 

Gold Coast Rollers v Cairns Marlins

The Rollers suffered a heartbreaking loss on the buzzer to Kyle Harvey and the Ipswich Force in Round 12, all but ending their 2018 season. Gold coast missed center TJ Diop last round and will be hoping for his return as the Marlins come to town on their final game of their final trip south of the regular season. Gold Coast’s efforts on the defensive end to keep the Force to 80 points was exceptional, although an increased offensive output is needed in order to knock off a playoff bound team like the Marlins. Look for Jack McVeigh to bounce back after a rough shooting night against the Force where he only managed 1-9 from downtown. With a challenging game on Saturday against the Thunder under their belt, Sunday is a major danger game for the Marlins. We are predicting this game to be a whole lot closer than what the two ladder positions display but with more on the line we expect Cairns to head home with at least one win to come out of the weekend. Marlins narrowly.

 

 

WOMEN

Toowoomba Mountaineers v Logan Thunder

The Mountaineers continue to search for their first win of the season after copping a 43-point loss to the Cyclones in Rockhampton last weekend. Donnaizha Fountain led the team in scoring with 20 to go along with a game-high 10 rebounds. Morgan Prentice was efficient off the bench but Toowoomba continues to struggle offensively and will be hard pressed to win a game this season. Logan fought gallantly against a powerful Phoenix side but ultimately fell by 4 points. Cassie Carroll, Zitina Aokusa and Ula Motuga all reached double-digits but with just 33% shooting from the field it was always going to be a tough task against the likes of Abby Bishop, Browne and Hurst. Logan have been in fairly good form over the past fortnight and should get an easy win here against the bottom side.

 

USC Rip City v Mackay Meteorettes

USC faced their toughest road trip of the year going up north to take on the Dolphins and Flames in back to back nights. Unfortunately for the Rip they went down in both encounters surrendering a position in the top 8. Despite strong individual performance across the board, the Rip couldn’t handle a resurgent Dolphins and in-form Flames on the road. Mackay travel down to the Sunshine Coast in Round 13 on the back of a tight 5-point win over the Power at home. Mackay’s Ruvanna Campbell took out the QBL Player of the Week in Round 12 on the back of 22 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and shooting at 57% from the field. With both teams chasing a playoff’s spot this encounter will be crucial with the Rip slight favourites at home and desperate to keep their chances alive.

 

Brisbane Capitals v Southern Districts Spartans

The Capitals suffered a killer blow to their playoff chances last week after going down to the Pirates at home. The Caps are now two wins outside the 8 and if they are to have any chance of playing in August they must defeat the Spartans on Saturday night. Despite an impressive second half fightback the gap was too far against the Pirates despite the heroics of Akilah Bethel who led the team in points (23), rebounds (11) and steals (5). With one of the toughest schedules to come, it looks like Bronwyn Marshall’s team will miss the playoffs unless they put in a massive win against the Spartans. Southern Districts have now won four in a row after a 13-point win over the Seahawks on the Gold Coast. Ashley Taia top-scored with 18 points and 12 rebounds to keep the Spartans’ chances of a top-four finish alive. Spartans should get the job done.

 

Logan Thunder v Cairns Dolphins

Logan’s second game of the round sees them up against the Cairns Dolphins who have won three out of their last five. Both teams aren’t expected to make the 8, nonetheless this should be an interesting contest at the Thunderdome. The Dolphins had one of their best wins on the season against the Rip in Round 12. N’Dea Bryant and Myra Donkin combined for 46 points and 13 rebounds in the win and Rachel Pryor put up 17 coming off the bench. Logan’s finals chances may be over but they should finish the season strong with two games against Toowoomba and one against Gladstone coming up. A tough match-up for the travelling Dolphins but they will need to get the win to keep any chance of a playoff spot alive.

 

Sunshine Coast Phoenix v Mackay Meteorettes

The Phoenix suffered a scare at home to the Thunder last week but were able to clinch their 11th win of the season to keep fourth spot. Abby Bishop was dominant with 28 points and 11 rebounds, Amy Browne and Ashlee Wallis combined for 25 points, whilst Natalie Hurst had one of her quieter games with just 8 points and 5 assists. Mackay play their second game on the Sunshine Coast and are in good form winning three of their last four games. Mia Lloyd and Ruvanna Campbell have been the top scorers for the Meteorettes this season and will look to lead the team once again on their road double. Heidi Freeburn was tremendous against Gladstone with 30 points and will be important support for the Meteorettes. It should be a great contest between some of the best players in the league, Mackay will be backing up from a game against the Rip the following night and Phoenix should be fresh and favourites for this clash. With plenty to play for it promises to be a close one in Maroochydore.

 

South West Metro Pirates v Ipswich Force

The Pirates continued their winning streak with two wins on the road against the Seahawks and Capitals in Round 12. Despite the absence of Nicole Seekamp, the Pirates were too strong in both encounters. Madelyn Willey, Kalani Purcell and Natalie Taylor all had good weekends with strong numbers across the board. South West sit just one win off the top of the table and a win against third-place Ipswich will go along way to securing a home final. The Force have two games this weekend against tough opponents and they will be looking to avenge their loss to the Pirates from three weeks ago. Ipswich were dominant against Gold Coast last week with Amanda Johnson once again top scoring with 22. Georgia Williams had one of her best games of the year with 20, whilst young gun Catherine MacGregor scored 11 points coming off the bench. This promises to be the match of the round with a top-2 spot on the line. Home court advantage will be vital for the Pirates and they will take confidence from their win over the Force in Round 10. Pirates at home in a close one.

 

Gladstone Port City Power v Townsville Flames

Gladstone fought valiantly against Mackay last week but were ultimately run down in the second half to lose by 5 points. Amanda Frost and Ashleigh Kelman-Poto each scored 21 points and combined for 11 rebounds and 3 steals. Gladstone’s form has improved dramatically in the past month despite having nothing to show for it in the winners’ column and should put up a good showing against the ladder leaders. Townsville continued their hot-streak with another 16-point win over the Rip at home. Miela Goodchild had one of her best performances of the year with 20 points, whilst Micaela Cocks and Stella Beck each scored 16 points. Townsville are almost certain to secure a top-four spot this weekend, but they will look to claim a minor premiership with home court advantage throughout the playoffs firmly on their mind. The Flames have too much to play for and should get the win before they travel to Rocky the following day.

 

Ipswich Force v North Gold Coast Seahawks

The Force were able to make light work of the struggling Gold Coast Rollers running away with a comfortable 42-point home victory. Amanda Johnson was her usual dominant self with 22 points and 10 rebounds, whilst Georgia Williams had an efficient 20 points off only 11 field goal attempts. The win keeps Ipswich sitting comfortably in equal second on the ladder as the enter the final weeks of the season. North Gold Coast on the other hand are hanging on to 8th position after dropping both of their Round 12 games to the Pirates and the Spartans. A disappointing first quarter against the Pirates saw the Seahawks attempting to make their way back from an early 17-point deficit. They were able to claw back to within 2 points inside the final quarter before the Pirates escaped with a 9-point victory. It was a similar situation Saturday against Southern Districts as the Seahawks fell to a 12-point deficit by the first break. Sleaford’s girls will need a stronger start if they are any chance to knock off the Force. Unfortunately, we think Ipswich may prove too strong in this one.

 

Rockhampton Cyclones v Townsville Flames

Rockhampton jumped out to a commanding 24-point lead in the first quarter against the Mounatineers and never looked back as they ran away with a 43-point win. The big win allowed coach Muggeridge to player his entire roster of 12 players and no player played more than 22 minutes on the night. This will ensure that his team is fresh going into one of the biggest games of their season against northern rivals and ladder leaders the Townsville Flames. With the Flames playing the previous night in Gladstone and two days of travel under the belt, the Cyclones find themselves in a perfect opportunity to knock off Townsville and make a late push towards the top 4. The Cyclones find themselves in a position where they will battle the leagues top three teams over the final three weeks of the season. Although, with all three games being at Hevgold Stadium, the Cyclones can approach these final weeks as a mini playoffs before the real season begins. We are predicting an upset in this one with a freshened Rockhampton squad coming away with a narrow victory over the Flames.

 

Gold Coast Rollers v Cairns Dolphins 

The Rollers were no match for competition powerhouse the Ipswich Force in Round 12 as they went down by a disappointing 42-points. Gold Coast were kept to 48 points which was their lowest of the season and also gave up at least 90 points on the defensive end for the third time of the season. They will be looking to bounce back against a Cairns squad who currently sit at 10th on the ladder and have only won the two games away from Early Settler Stadium in 2018. The Dolphins will be backing up after a tough hit out against Logan on Saturday night before making their way down the coast for the final game of Round 13. Although playoffs are out of the equation for both teams, there is still plenty to play for for both teams. Cairns could be looking for three in a row after a possible defeat of the Thunder and this could be the perfect motivation for them to finish the season on a high. Despite being on the second game of a back-to-back we think that Cairns will be too much for the Rollers to handle.

 

 

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