Round 12- Game Previews

QBL Round 12 Game Previews

Men

Toowoomba Mountaineers vs Logan Thunder

Toowoomba are coming off a disappointing home loss at the hands of Gladstone in Round 11. It was an all too familiar result for the Mountaineers plummeting to their tenth straight loss. Their inability to score with the basketball is the biggest issue as they only managed 69 points against the Power, which was their third score under 70 in the past 4 matches. On the other hand, Logan are coming off two big wins over Gold Coast and Gladstone. Keanu Post has been thriving in Mitch Young’s absence and again had two impressive matches in Round 11. Post put up 27 points and 11.5 rebounds per game off an incredible 71% field goal shooting for the weekend. Thomas Ammar also had a great weekend averaging 15 and 10 for the Thunder. Logan have proved they have more than enough depth to survive without Mitch Young and that should lead them to a comfortable win over Toowoomba.
Cairns Marlins vs Mackay Meteors

The Marlins will be fresh coming off their first bye of the season, while this will be Mackay’s first game of an extremely important weekend. The Meteors were able to defeat the Marlins reasonably comfortably on their home deck in Round 10, although this will be a much tougher task to escape Early Setter Stadium with a win. The Meteors managed a 7-point victory over USC in Round 11 and despite a tight finish they will be pleased with the output they received from playing/coach Cam Tragardh (25 points and 9 rebounds), as well as role players Chris Cedar (26 points) and Brad Rasmussen (15 points).  The Meteors should welcome back Lucas Walker who has been in China on NBL All-Star commitments. Without Loughton the Marlins may really struggle to defend the size of the Meteors frontcourt and despite this being a much closer contest, Mackay should still escape with the W.

 

Gladstone Port City Power vs Rockhampton Rockets

With Gladstone winning two of their three Round 11 games they are now surprisingly in the playoff mix. This matchup against the 8th placed Rockets has suddenly turned into a mini playoff game for both sides. Raymond Willis was again massive for the Power, averaging 34 points across three contests last weekend. Strong wins against struggling teams Toowoomba and Ipswich was a great start to the road triple, before Logan brought the Power back down to earth on Sunday afternoon. Rockhampton recorded a strong win against the third-placed USC Rip to again put themselves into the playoff picture. Chris Fowler was huge for the home side scoring 40 points, whilst Rashad Hassan had 24 and 9 boards before fouling out in just 24 minutes of action. Rockhampton again had 3 men play all 40 minutes, whilst only 6 players reached double digit minutes. The Rockets depth will again be challenged on the road but we look forward to a shootout between Willis and Fowler. Rockhampton narrowly on the road.

 

Sunshine Coast Phoenix vs Brisbane Capitals

This will be the third time this season that these two sides have met. Both previous encounters ended with the Capitals taking the points in quite convincing fashion. Sunshine Coast are coming off a heavy loss at the hands of South West Metro, whereas Brisbane will be raring to go after playing just one game in Round 11, due to their match against Townsville being postponed. Phoenix still managed 84 points against the Pirates, but their defence really struggled, giving up 101 points. 19 turnovers led to many easy South West baskets, in addition to the home side only shooting 40% on all two-point field goals. It is extremely difficult to see the Phoenix being able to stay with the second-placed Capitals throughout this contest and expect this to be the third heavy defeat that Brisbane has handed them this season.

 

South West Metro Pirates vs Ipswich Force

South West managed two strong wins in Round 11 over the Sunshine Coast and the highly ranked Brisbane Capitals. Strong performances from Jacob Allen (21 points), captain Ryan Vines (20 points) and Jarred Bairstow (19 points), filled the void left by new recruit Jeremy Kendle who was away with the NBL All-Star’s squad. Ipswich suffered yet another defeat, this time at the hands of Gladstone. This is becoming an all too familiar tale for the Force, as they have now dropped their ninth consecutive game. James Legan managed to put up a solid 28 points, but the squad gave up 100 points on the defensive end. The Force have shown all year that they have no issues scoring the basketball, but they now easily give up the most points per game in the entire QBL league. With Jeremy Kendle back in the lineup we expect the Pirates to put up 110+ on the Force and runaway with this one.

 

Townsville Heat vs Mackay Meteors

The Heat are coming off a disruptive Round 11 with their match against the Capitals being postponed due to flight issues, before eventually defeating a depleted Spartans squad on Sunday despite committing a round-high 22 turnovers. This contest is shaping up to be the Game of the Round and the outcome will have huge repercussions on the playoff picture. Josh Wilcher starred for the Heat against the Spartans notching up a game-high 27 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 5 assists. His head-to-head matchup with Shaun Bruce will be exciting to watch as will Justin Baker v Lucas Walker. Considering Mackay will have played Cairns the night before and had a day of travel behind them, this game is extremely even and Townsville will like their chances against the ladder leaders. Even ballgame, toss of a coin.

 

Gold Coast Rollers vs Brisbane Spartans

Gold Coast suffered a 17-point home defeat at the hands of Logan in Round 11. Dwayne Vale was able to put in a game-high 30 points, but with only one other teammate (Jalen Patton Croker) able to reach double digits, they were no match for the Thunder after quarter time. Shout out to Torrey Craig who put in 16 points for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Summer League, but his Roller teammates would definitely want him back for the remainder of the season. Brisbane came up short against Townsville on Sunday, without their best two players in Jervis and Gibson. Mitch Philp still managed 18 points and 7 assists for the home team, but a poor third quarter ultimately handed the Heat the W. The Spartans may welcome back Tom Jervis after his trip to China, but even without Jervis or Gibson the Spartans should still get over the line in this one.

 

USC Rip City vs Brisbane Capitals

Both teams are coming off weekends in which they’d like to forget. USC suffered two losses at the hands of Mackay and Rockhampton on the road. Despite being 16 down after three periods against the Meteors, the Rip began a spirited comeback only to come up short by 7 points to the competition leaders. Isaih Tueta is probably the first player this year to say he got the better of Shaun Bruce, as Bruce was unable to stop him from recording 28 points and 9 assists. The only major difference in the game was the free throw shooting in which USC only shot 67% compared to 85% for Mackay. Isaih kept his hot streak alive against the Rockets on Saturday night scoring another 34 points to go along with 9 rebounds. After being down 18 at the half, the gap was too big for the Rip going down by 9 points. Defensively the team will be disappointed giving up 104ppg for the weekend. The Capitals suffered a narrow 2-point defeat to the Pirates on Sunday. Brisbane only managed to shoot 41% from the field, which proved to be the difference in the contest. Dusty Rychart put in an efficient 17 and 8 for the road side, whilst Zac Carter had 20 and 6. Despite last weekend’s results, this is still 2nd v 3rd and this result will go a long way to locking in a home final for the winner.

 

Women

Toowoomba Mountaineers vs Logan Thunder

The Toowoomba Mountaineers continue to struggle in QBL 2017. Another loss on the weekend compounded the Mountaineers to twelve straight defeats. Toowoomba only managed to score 37 points against Gladstone with Francis Donders the only player to reach double digits. The team’s shooting woes continued with a field goal percentage of 17.7% being the worst in the league for Round 11. Logan on the other hand are flying, registering their eleventh and twelfth straight wins over the Rollers on the Gold Coast and Gladstone at home. Kate Gaze averaged 23.5 points per game, whilst Sarah Ambrose averaged 8 rebounds and Mikhaela Donnelly had 5.5 assists over the two games. Based on previous results this year, Logan should win by 30 plus.

 

Cairns Dolphins vs Mackay Meteorettes

The Cairns Dolphins had a bye in Round 11 which gave them time to freshen up and fix what was a horror Round 10 double header away from home. Cairns were demolished by Townsville in their first game by 35 points, committing 28 personal fouls in the process. Alli Gloyd was the top-scorer for the Dolphins with just 13 that night. The next day Cairns travelled to Mackay and were beaten in a nail-biter ending a disappointing weekend. Their shot at revenge comes quickly though facing the Meteorettes this week on their home court. Mackay were sensational on Friday night defeating the USC Rip City by 17 points at home. The Meteorettes played strongly as a team and led the league in rebounds and assists for the weekend. Jacqui Zelenka was particularly impressive scoring 23 points, whilst Nadeen Payne gathered 14 rebounds. This shapes up to be one of the matches of the round with both teams sitting in the top five. Mackay have Townsville the following night so it will be interesting to see how many minutes their stars play. Toss of the coin.

 

Gladstone Port City Power vs Rockhampton Cyclones

Gladstone endured a tough triple header on the weekend and despite winning their first game against the winless Toowoomba, the Power suffered two defeats to Ipswich and Logan on consecutive days. Tabatha Richardson Smith and Cassie Rochel were the standout performers for the Power, both averaging over 23 points and 11 rebounds a game on the weekend. The Rockhampton Cyclones’ season continues to worsen with a loss at home to the USC last Saturday night. The Cyclones were missing star Shanavia Dowdell and despite shooting well, the Cyclones’ defence wasn’t able to stop Leah Scott who put up 33 points against them. In a game that had ten lead changes, the Cyclones looked likely to snatch their fifth win of the season before a fantastic last five minutes from the Rip extinguished any hope. Gladstone pipped the Cyclones by 2 points back in Round 2 and with a large parochial crowd for the local derby expect the Power to win in another close one.

 

Sunshine Coast Phoenix vs Brisbane Capitals

The Phoenix currently sit in 12th position on the ladder with just three wins for the season. Despite a strong start to the game last weekend against the South West Metro Pirates, the Phoenix were blown out in the final quarter losing by 26 points in the end. Chelsea Small had a good game scoring 16 points and Erica Carlson led the team in rebounds and assists. But it was turnovers that crippled the Sunshine Coast with 27 in total – the highest of any team in Round 11. This week the Phoenix are back at home to the 8th placed Brisbane Capitals. The Capitals had Saturday night off after airport fog postponed their clash with Townsville and they travelled to South West Metro to face the Pirates the following day. After a topsy-turvy affair, the Capitals managed to come back from a 10-point deficit at the end of the third to win by 6 points in a thriller. D’Lesha Lloyd continued her great season top scoring with 26 points and 13 rebounds. The Capitals need this win to stay in the top eight. Capitals to win by 10 plus.

 

South West Metro Pirates vs Ipswich Force

The Pirates remain in the hunt for a finals spot despite a 1-1 record in Round 11. The Pirates started the weekend well and were dominant at home on Saturday night against the Sunshine Coast Phoenix. Stephanie Bairstow scored 35 points, Shelby Cheslek grabbed 22 rebounds and Madelyn Willey had 9 assists. All three stats led the league in Round 11. The Pirates weren’t able to replicate their success the following day suffering a close defeat to the Capitals despite leading with 5 minutes to go. Bairstow and Cheslek were once again the stars for South West top scoring with 21 points each. The Ipswich Force have now won three straight games after a convincing 104-83 win over Gladstone on Saturday night. Markel Walker was named QBL Player of the Week after scoring 22 points and registering 20 rebounds and 5 assists. Rachel Mate also scored 22 points as did Georgia Williams coming off the bench. The Force have been in great form the past month and should keep that momentum going against the Pirates at Hibiscus.

 

Townsville Flames vs Mackay Meteorettes

Townsville had an interrupted weekend in Brisbane after their flights were cancelled on Saturday morning due to thick fog at Brisbane Airport. Unfortunately for them this meant their match with the Capitals had to be postponed. The following day, the Flames travelled to Rowland Cowan Stadium to meet the undefeated Pirates and suffered a 9-point loss. Mia Murray was the top performer for the Flames scoring 21 points and 7 rebounds in the loss. This weekend Townsville are back at home against a Mackay outfit that will be playing their second game of the round. It will be 4th vs 3rd and the winner will have a much bigger advantage heading into the finals. Mackay were far too strong in Round 3, however at Townsville’s home court anything could happen. Should be the best match of the weekend.

 

Gold Coast Rollers vs Brisbane Spartans

On paper, this match-up seems to be a foregone conclusion, however, the Rollers will play a Spartans outfit missing several of their key players to New Zealand representative duty. Gold Coast were humbled by Logan last Friday night putting up just 35 points. Scoring has been a huge issue for the Rollers and it showed big time on the weekend with the team registering just 1 basket from 27 attempts behind the three-point arc. Ashli Payne was the only player to reach double-digit points and she also led the team with 15 rebounds. The Spartans continued their dominant season winning their twelfth straight game against Townsville on Sunday. Ashleigh Karaitiana was again the top scorer with 21 points followed by Natalie Taylor with 20. The Spartans are averaging the most points scored per game this season and despite a few players out, their depth should be good enough to put in another 100+ performance.

 

USC Rip City vs Brisbane Capitals

The USC Rip City face the Brisbane Capitals in the final game of the round on Sunday. USC were highly impressive in their trip to Mackay and Rockhampton on the weekend finishing with a 1-1 record. The Meteorettes were always going to be a tough assignment on Friday night for the Rip and despite a strong start, were ultimately beaten by 17 points. It was a better result for the Rip the following night beating the Cyclones in Rockhampton thanks to a final quarter comeback. Leah Scott was sensational for the Rip averaging 24 points and 10 rebounds for the weekend. Her 33 points against the Cyclones was the difference in a tight contest that went down to the wire. Claire O’Bryan was consistent through both games averaging 19.5 points. The Capitals will have their second game of the Sunshine Coast double header and will be keen to fend off a challenge from the 10th placed Rip. This contest will be a great finish to the weekend with the loser facing a tough challenge to get into the top eight come finals time.

 

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