QBL Game Previews – Round 3

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Cairns Marlins v Rockhampton Rockets

Cairns enter QBL Round 3 after losing their first game of the season at the hands of the Mackay Meteors. The Marlins were able to hold on despite an Anthony Fisher three-pointer giving them a one-point lead inside the final minute of the game. Fisher was the star for the home team scoring a team-high 26 points, whilst teammate Christian Jurlina netted 20 of his own. Rockhampton will be playing their first game of a tough double-header in which they will play Townsville on Saturday night. Coach Tweedy’s squad will be fresh after not playing in Round 2 and will be looking to keep on rolling after a big Round 1 victory over Logan. This is undoubtedly one of the matches of the weekend and we expect Cairns to get back to their winning ways and score their first home victory of 2018.

Mackay Meteors v Toowoomba Mountaineers 

Mackay are one of four remaining undefeated teams in QBL 2018 after two massive road victories over northern rivals Townsville and Cairns in Round 2. QBL Player of the Week Titus Robinson balled out for the Meteors with impressive averages of 25 and 12 in the two wins. Nelson Larkins was equally impressive averaging 21.5 points over the course of the weekend. Toowoomba will be looking for their first victory of the season after dropping both of their matches at home by double digits. The Mountaineers are finding it difficult to score the ball only averaging 69 points in these two games. Damon Bozman put in a massive 36 for the team, with his offensive input being responsible for almost half of their teams points whilst attempting half of the team’s field goal attempts. Danny Morseau will need other players to step up offensively if they are to get anywhere near the Meteors on their home court. Expect to see Mackay victorious in a blowout.

Brisbane Capitals v Ipswich Force

Brisbane quickly put a disappointing Round 1 behind them with a whopping 51-point victory over North Gold Coast in Round 2. The Capitals offense was on a tear as they shot at 54% for the game, whilst putting in an incredible 22 three-pointers resulting in 138 points. 7 players reached double digits, with Jacob Davis netting 31 and Brandon Davis’ incredible stat line of 28 points, 11 rebounds and 8 steals. Ipswich have begun the season 0-2 with another home loss, this time at the hands of Logan. Chris Riches’ men struggled offensively only managing to hit on 35% of their shot attempts and giving up an unacceptable 28 offensive rebounds on the defensive side. Garrett Hall can hold his head high with 20 points and 5 steals on 50% shooting. Considering Ipswich have given up over 100 points in both of their opening contests, it is difficult to see them stopping a Capitals’ outfit which just posted 138. Brisbane comfortably.

Logan Thunder v Southern Districts Spartans

 Logan managed their first victory of 2018 with a commanding 18-point road win over Ipswich. Mitchell Young and Obi Kyei both posted 20-point double doubles, with Young pulling in a massive 20 boards, including 10 on the offensive end. Coach Cann will be rapt with his teams massive 29 assists on 39 made baskets, with Rayshawn Simmons responsible for 12 of his own. Southern Districts will be looking for their first win of 2018 after going down by a heartbreaking 2 points at home to the Gold Coast Rollers. The Spartans were unable to record a single point off the bench in Round 2, which is something that will need to change immediately if the team is to record their first victory of the season. All five starters reached double digits, led by Dashawn King’s 31. Expect to see Logan getting the W in front their home crowd for the first time in 2018.

North Gold Coast Seahawks v Sunshine Coast Phoenix 

After a relatively competitive opening round, the Seahawks were brought back down to earth with a 51-point thrashing at the hands of Brisbane in Round 2. North Gold Coast committed an unacceptable 25 turnovers which led to a number of easy baskets for the visitors. Somehow despite the heavy defeat, the Seahawks managed to win the rebound count, largely due to 24 offensive boards. Quinton Campbell and Jesse Lomax combined for 8/31 from beyond the arc, a figure which will need to increase dramatically if they are to remain in games over the course of the season. Sunshine Coast have begun the season in impressive fashion going 3 & 0 over the opening two rounds. The Phoenix managed to fight off the fast finishing Power on Sunday, recording the victory by the smallest of margins. Point Guard Roy Booker stuffed the stat sheet with 31 points and 14 assists, although on 30 shot attempts. Jamaal Robateau again proved to be an important spark off the bench adding an efficient 24 of his own. The Seahawks will gain some confidence from their Round 1 performance against the Phoenix, in which they only went down by 9 points. Expect to see a determined Seahawks outfit this weekend, although may still come up just short as Sunshine Coast continue their winning ways.

South West Metro Pirates v Gold Coast Rollers

The Pirates have begun their season with an encouraging 2 & 1 record and their only loss being to Cairns by a narrow two points. Princeton Onwas was the star in Round 2 scoring a game-high 37 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Tyrell Harrison was the only other Pirate to reach double digits. Coach Downer will be looking for a more even contribution across the board if they are to hand the Rollers their first loss of 2018. Gold Coast escaped Rowland Cowan Stadium with a two-point victory in Round 2, behind the hot hand of Jack McVeigh who connected on five threes on his way to 30 points. Deon Mitchell had 22 of his own to go along with his 9 dimes. This will be the Rollers toughest test to date and arguably one of the matches of the round. South West might prove to be a little too strong at home.

Gladstone Port City Power v Toowoomba Mountaineers

Gladstone will be looking to get their first win of season 2018 after dropping both games of their Sunshine Coast double in Round 2. After a disappointing first leg of the trip, the Power fought back in game two only to go down at the hands of Sunshine Coast Phoenix by a single point. Three Power players scored over 20 points with Casey Walker being the high man with 30. Coach Brady Walmsley will be looking for more production off their bench after they only managed 5 points (all to Tyler Allen) in the contest. Toowoomba will be coming off a tough night against Mackay on the Friday and may be more realistically looking at this as the more getable game of their weekend. Unfortunately, it is difficult to see the Mountaineers having enough firepower to match Young, Riak and Walker and the Power should record their first win of 2018.

Townsville Heat v Rockhampton Rockets 

Townsville narrowly went down at home to Mackay in Round 2 in their first hit out of season 2018. Big guns Wilcher, Jett and Crawford will be looking to bounce back after rough shooting nights where they combined for only 14/47 from the field. The Heat might be looking for a better balance offensively with nearly half of their shots being from the three-point line, hitting on only 22% of these. Rockhampton will be coming off a tough match against Cairns on the Friday night and will be hoping to have the opportunity to take home one of the QBL’s toughest road doubles. This game will come down to the Rocket’s ability to minimise the influence of the players previously mentioned, as Mackay managed to achieve. Although, it is unlikely to see Townsville dropping two consecutive games at home over the course of the season and they should be able to record their first win.

South West Metro Pirates v USC Rip City

The Pirates will be hoping to make it two from two as they face USC at home on Sunday afternoon. A rare home double on the fixture will see South West backing up after a likely tough contest against the Gold Coast on Saturday. USC are backing up after a big win over Gladstone in Round 2, which saw Lance Hurdle putting up 33 points on 8 made three-pointers and Eric McAlister and Louis Ilton scoring 22 and 19 respectively. Captain Isaih Tueta recorded an impressive 14 assists despite a tough shooting night. We are predicting a tight contest at Hibiscus Sports Complex on Sunday but giving a slight edge to the road team who should come into the match fresh after 8 days rest.

Gold Coast Rollers v Sunshine Coast Phoenix

Both sides come into this Sunday blockbuster having played the night before. Gold Coast are backing up after travelling to South West, whilst Sunshine Coast are playing their second game on the Gold Coast for the weekend. We’re looking forward to the point guard matchup between Mitchell and Booker, who in both of their first seasons in the QBL have displayed their ability to involve their teammates, as both players are in the top-10 in the league for assists. Another exciting match up could be between the two young guns McVeigh and Fullarton. Jack McVeigh has proved to be the Rollers most important offensive threat early in the season averaging 25.5 a game, whilst Fullarton averages 13.3 on a very efficient 50% shooting. This game looms to be another toss of the coin, but with Gold Coast having younger bodies across the board they may be able to recover better on the short back up to get the job done at home.

 

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Cairns Dolphins v Rockhampton Cyclones

The Dolphins had an impressive 13-point win over Mackay last Saturday night led by captain Myra Donkin and Robin Perkins who each scored 22 points in the win. Rachel Pryor collected 11 boards and 5 assists as Cairns dominated in the paint. On Friday night they tackle the Cyclones who are coming off a bye in Round 2. Rocky had a tough opening round loss to Logan and will look to their stars Aaryn Ellenberg and Shanavia Dowdell to lead the way. Dowdell missed the opening round due to illness and will be itching to get back on court in a tough northern double-header for the Cyclones. Cairns are 2 & 2 to start the season and back at home will be tough to beat on Saturday night, however the inclusion of Dowdell could see Rocky take this one. 

Mackay Meteorettes v Toowoomba Mountaineers

The Meteorettes endured a tough double-header up north in Round 2 beaten by both the Flames and Dolphins. Mackay were crushed by the Flames on Friday night going down by 40 points in Townsville despite a strong performance from Ruvanna Campbell who scored 20 points and 16 rebounds in the loss. Shooting hurt Mackay on Friday however, with a field goal percentage of just 28 making it the lowest in the league in Round 2. Mackay were better the following night in Cairns with Mia Lloyd putting up 32 points and 8 rebounds, however the Meteorettes fell to an impressive Dolphins outfit to close out a disappointing road trip for Ian Haughton’s team. The Meteorettes have a great chance to bounce back on Friday night when they take on the struggling Toowoomba Mountaineers. Toowoomba came up against arguably the top team in QBL 2018, the South West Metro Pirates at home in Round 2 and were demolished 108-52. Despite a big performance from Malena Washington who had 22 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in the loss, the Mountaineers were no match for the Pirates. This should be a big win for Mackay at home with the Mountaineers to travel to Gladstone the following night.

Brisbane Capitals v Ipswich Force

Brisbane are 2 from 2 to start the season after a close win against the Seahawks on the Gold Coast last weekend. Madison Woodford scored 17 points, whilst Emma Read and Akilah Bethel led the team with 10 rebounds each. Bethel also had 7 steals – the most of any woman in Round 2 and Amy Lewis led from the front with 8 assists playing the most minutes of any Capital. Ipswich are also undefeated in 2018 thanks to a massive 101-78 win over Logan Thunder. Amanda Johnson was outstanding for the Force leading the way with 42 points and 19 rebounds – leading the league in both columns for Round 2. Her performance was good enough to earn Player of the Week honours and gives Ipswich a huge boost going into a massive clash with the Capitals. This game shapes as the match of the round and if the Capitals can control Johnson, their home crowd could get them over the line in this one.

Logan Thunder v Southern Districts Spartans

Logan are looking to get their season back on track against the Spartans this weekend after suffering a big loss to the Ipswich Force in Round 2. The Thunder welcomed back coach Mel Downer but were outmatched by a Force team that included Amanda Johnson scoring 42 points. The Thunder had their opportunities against Ipswich with almost 30 more shots to their opposition but couldn’t convert their chances. Mikhaela Donnelly was the top scorer with 18, whilst Cassie Carroll scored 17 points and had 8 rebounds. Anna Cameron also chipped in with 15 points and 4 assists. Discipline was also an issue for Logan after committing 25 fouls in the game and their leading scorer from Round 1, Zitina Aokusa fouling out midway through the final quarter. The Spartans bounced back in Round 2 with a strong win over the Rollers on the Gold Coast with Rebecca Haynes and Aja Parham toping the scorers with 19 each. Parham also collected a team high 14 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 steals in an impressive performance. This will be a great local derby with the Spartans the in-form team being the slight favourite. Spartans captain Rebecca Haynes will play her 200th QBL game.

North Gold Coast Seahawks v Sunshine Coast Phoenix

The Seahawks hosted their first QBL game on Saturday night, however it was the Capitals who spoiled the party defeating North Gold Coast by 11 points in an absorbing contest. The Seahawks had their troubles shooting the ball with just 28% from the field in the lowest score of the round. Casey Samuels top scored with 17 points, whilst Leeza Burdgess had 13 rebounds and Lauren Jansen made 5 assists for the home team. This will be the first of two games for the Phoenix on the Gold Coast this weekend and they will look to continue their strong start to the season with their fourth-straight win. Natalie Hurst and Abby Bishop were again outstanding for the Phoenix with Hurst leading the team in points (27), rebounds (13), assists (11) and steals (4) playing the entire game. The Phoenix will need more contributors on a tough road trip to the South ensuring that Bishop and Hurst aren’t playing long minutes in both games. Phoenix should be far too strong in this one and complete an early season sweep against the Seahawks.

South West Metro Pirates v Gold Coast Rollers

The Pirates are flying after a 3 & 0 start to the season and will have a home double-header in Round 3. South West crushed Toowoomba on the weekend by 56 points thanks to big performances from Jade Kirisome (30 points), Nicole Seekamp (27 points and 9 assists) and Madelyn Willey (11 points, 16 rebounds and 9 assists). The Pirates led the league in rebounds, steals and points in Round 2 and will look to continue their unbeaten run against the lowly ranked Gold Coast Rollers. The Rollers will also be playing a double-header in Round 3 and will aim to get their season started after falling to the Spartans in Brisbane last week. Alicia Carline was particularly impressive defensively for the Coast with 17 rebounds and 6 blocks. The Rollers will be well and truly up against it on Saturday with the Pirates short priced favourites to win big.

Gladstone Port City Power v Toowoomba Mountaineers

Gladstone suffered a tough road trip to the Sunshine Coast last week losing to both the Rip and Phoenix in heavy losses. Amanda Frost averaged 17.5 points and 5 assists across the two games, whilst Briana Bailey, Jennifer Mathurin and Ashleigh Kelman-Poto all averaged 15 points on the weekend with Kelman-Poto the leading rebounder with 14. Despite good contributions from a range of players, Gladstone’s depth continues to remain a problem with just 8 players registering time on the court last weekend. Toowoomba will be backing up from a trip to Mackay the previous night and will hope that Gladstone’s small roster can cause some tired legs in their match-up. The Mountaineers will need to cut down on turnovers having committed a league-high 33 in Round 2. The Power have historically been hard to beat at home and should get the W on Saturday night against Toowoomba to kick start their season.

Townsville Flames v Rockhampton Cyclones

After a bye in Round 1, Townsville came out firing last week with a big win against rivals Mackay in front of their home crowd. The Flames’ 40-point win was highlighted by the large spread of top performers with Darcee Garbin (19 points), Micaela Cocks (17 points), Miela Goodchild (16 points), Alex Fowler (11 rebounds) and Haylee Andrews (9 assists) all contributing in the big win. Townsville’s young bench was particularly impressive scoring 24 points. The Flames host a Rockhampton outfit backing up from a trip to Cairns the previous night. The bye in Round 2 will certainly help the Cyclones, along with the impending inclusion of import Shanavia Dowdell. Despite this, Townsville showed why they are one of the teams to beat after Round 2 and should get another win at home on Saturday.

South West Metro Pirates v USC Rip City  

The Pirates host their second game of the weekend against the USC Rip on Sunday afternoon. South West Metro are one of the top teams in QBL 2018 and much like Townsville they have great depth in their squad with 5 players reaching double digits last week against Toowoomba. South West’s opponents USC had a strong win at home against Gladstone last weekend. Leah Scott once again played every minute for the Rip on Saturday and is yet to see the bench in 2018. She led the team with 24 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals in the win. Kristen Langhorn and Jennifer Carden-David also chipped in with 17 and 16 respectively and Bianca Abbott and Carlie Smith also reached double digits for USC. It was a great performance from the Rip considering they lost their first two games at home in Round 1 and will now be looking to make it back to back wins on Sunday. They are however taking on one of the big favourites for the championship and will not find the going easy against the Pirates. South West should get the chocolates and make it 5 from 5 to start the season.

Gold Coast Rollers v Sunshine Coast Phoenix

Gold Coast are back at home on Sunday, a night after travelling to Brisbane to take on the Pirates in Round 3. The Rollers face one of the toughest schedules this weekend taking on two undefeated teams in the Pirates and Phoenix. The Rollers themselves are desperate for a win and will be relying on Alicia Carline’s defence against Abby Bishop and Natalie Hurst in this crucial game. The Phoenix will also be backing up from their game against the Seahawks the following night. It will be interesting to see how many minutes Bishop and Hurst play on Sunday and if the Phoenix can cover them with their roster depth. Look for captain Amy Browne and Ashlee Wallis to carry more of a load against the Rollers. The Phoenix should be good enough to make it 2 from 2 on their trip to the Gold Coast.

 

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