Round 13- Game Previews

QBL Game Previews – Round 13

Men

Toowoomba Mountaineers vs Ipswich Force

Round 13 kicks off with a bottom four matchup between the struggling Mountaineers and Ipswich Force. This match will enable one team to put an end to their current agonising losing streak, which stands at 11 for Toowoomba and 10 for Ipswich. The Mountaineers are coming off another heavy defeat at the hands of Logan, despite another 27 points from Abdul-Bassit and 20 from Weber. Ipswich were much more competitive, only going down by 8 against the in form Pirates. Unfortunately for the Force they will be without captain James Legan for the remainder of the season, after suffering a nasty leg injury in Round 12. Without Legan it is difficult to see Ipswich being able to get over the top of Toowoomba. Mountaineers at home.

Mackay Meteors vs Brisbane Capitals

Easily the Match of the Round in the men’s fixture with 1st vs 2nd. Mackay are currently undefeated at home, although this will be their biggest test for the regular season. After splitting the Cairns/Townsville double header, the Meteors will be looking to get back on the winners list and will hopefully welcome back Shaun Bruce who missed Saturday night’s loss against the Heat. Bruce was massive in their overtime victory over Cairns notching up 29 points, whilst teammate Lucas Walker messed around and got a triple double. Walker had little-to-no effect against the Heat as he fouled out in only 14 minutes of action. On the other hand, Brisbane are coming off a successful Sunshine Coast double despite two close outings. Aaron Anderson again led the Capitals averaging 25.5 points over both contests with Dusty Rychart contributing solidly against the Phoenix. Rychart v Tregardh will be a great matchup as both ex-NBL bigs will bang down low. Bruce v Anderson will be another important matchup in deciding this match. Mackay should be able to keep their undefeated home record alive.

Townsville Heat vs Gladstone Port City Power

Who would have thought this matchup would feature the two hottest teams in the month of July? Townsville will be extremely confident after knocking off the top-placed Mackay Meteors in Round 12. The Heat were able to take advantage of no Shaun Bruce, with point guard Josh Wilcher going off for a massive 36 points and 7 assists. This win has moved Townsville into third on the ladder and a win over Gladstone will further clamp their hold on a home playoff berth. Gladstone is coming off a big 22-point win over Rockhampton, with Ray Willis keeping his amazing hot-streak alive going for 36 points on an incredible 78% from the field. This performance led him to consecutive QBL Player of the Week awards. Despite Gladstone’s resurgence this month, we expect Townsville to be too strong for the Power at home.

Gold Coast Rollers vs South West Metro Pirates

Despite Gold Coast being handed their fourth straight defeat in the men’s fixture, they were extremely competitive only going down by 7 points at home against the Spartans. With exception of Dwayne Vale (1-10), the Rollers were on fire from downtown connecting on 41% of shots behind the arc and hitting an impressive 17. Thalo Green led the way for the Rollers with 16, closely followed by 15 from Adam Darragh (all from 3-point range). South West are coming off a surprisingly close game against Ipswich in which they welcomed back Jeremy Kendle. Kendle notched up a game-high 31 points, with partner in crime Tanner McGrew scoring 29 of his own, along with 12 rebounds. South West’s run of late has pushed them within a game of 4th spot and will now be looking to cement themselves with home court advantage in the playoffs with every win for the remainder of the season. They’ll get this started on Saturday will a big win over the Rollers.

Sunshine Coast Phoenix vs Brisbane Spartans

A brave Sunshine Coast squad entered the last quarter against the Brisbane Capitals down 17, to fight back and only go down by 6 points in Round 12.  Tom Fullarton was the high man for the Phoenix scoring an impressive 20 points and 8 assists, whilst Matt Kenyon nearly managed a triple double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. The team managed to shoot a solid 47% from the field but were disadvantaged by committing 25 turnovers, which ultimately was the difference in the match. Brisbane Spartans are coming off a 7-point win over the Gold Coast Rollers. The Spartans were again playing without Adam Gibson and also Will McDowell-White who was in Melbourne playing for United. Tom Jervis was welcomed back with open arms and did not disappoint with 30 points and 12 rebounds. If Gibson remains out, this could be a very tight affair.

Rockhampton Rockets vs Brisbane Capitals

Rockhampton are coming off a disappointing loss to the Power in Round 12. The Rockets would have entered that game full of confidence and seen it as a great opportunity to cement themselves as a playoff contender. Gladstone were able to convert on a massive 63% of field goals against Rockhampton and no team will be able to win a match giving up those kinds of stats defensively. Jack Lopez was great for the Rockets scoring 19 points, including 5-7 from deep. Rashad Hassan also managed 18 points, but with 6 turnovers. Brisbane will be coming off a day of travel after playing in Mackay the night before. With the hype surrounding the Meteors v Capitals game, the Rockets are getting the Capitals at a great time, as the Capitals may not have the energy to back up after such a big contest. Despite this we are expecting the Capitals to get over the line in a close one.

Cairns Marlins vs Gladstone Port City Power

The Marlins are coming off an overtime heartbreak against the Meteors in Round 12. Cairns were unfortunately unable to hold onto a 9-point lead going into the last period. Kuany Kuany played his best game for the squad scoring 23 points and pulling in 13 rebounds, whilst Damon Heuir played the full 45 minutes to score an inefficient 24 points. Cairns have plummeted to 5th on the QBL ladder following their third consecutive loss and will be desperate to get back on the winners list. Gladstone will have played Townsville the previous night and will no doubt enter Early Setter Stadium fatigued on Saturday night. Ray Willis will again no doubt light up the scoreboard, but we don’t expect that to be enough to get them over the line. Marlins at home.

Logan Thunder vs Ipswich Force

Logan welcomed back Mitch Young with open arms in Round 12 and he picked up right where he left off with an impressive 23 points in just 23 minutes. Friday’s 19-point win over Toowoomba enabled all 12 players to see the court and all but one to hit the scoreboard. Logan will be hoping for a similar outcome against the struggling Force who are coming off their tenth straight loss. Ipswich will be playing their second game of the weekend and depending on their result against last-placed Toowoomba, may still be fighting to keep the slimmest of playoff hopes alive. With Young back in the line-up, Logan will be expected to win this comfortably.

USC Rip City vs Brisbane Spartans

After winning nine of their first ten matches, USC has lost their last three and have dropped to 4th on the QBL ladder. This game is not only huge in reigniting the flame within the team that we saw in the first two months of the season, it is extremely important in separating themselves from the remainder of the pack and to keep a home court final dream alive. Isaih Tueta had another 24 points and 11 rebounds throughout Round 12, although it was not enough to get over the line against the Capitals. The Spartans come into this matchup with an unconvincing win over the Gold Coast Rollers, but will be pleased with more huge numbers from Tom Jervis (30 points and 12 rebounds). Will McDowell-White will be back in the Spartans line-up after missing the Rollers game and his presence is essential to the Spartans making the playoffs. Quietly one of the games of the round and perhaps Spartans can get over the line in an upset.

 

Women

Townsville Flames vs Gladstone Port City Power

Townsville got back on the winners list last weekend after a fantastic 30-point thrashing over Mackay. The Flames put up 81 shots to 64, a stat which highlighted their dominance on the floor. Darcee Garbin top scored with 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Flames, whilst there were good contributions from Mia Murray, Rachel McCully and Haylee Andrews. Townsville will come up against 5th placed Gladstone on Friday and will need to stop Tabatha Richardson Smith after she dominated the Cyclones at home last week. The Power face a tough double-header this weekend in Townsville and Cairns, just two weeks after travelling down south for a triple-header in southeast Queensland. If the Flames can back up their performance last week against Mackay they should be able to cement a top-four finish. The battle between Garbin and Richardson Smith will be worth the price of admission alone.

Mackay Meteorettes vs Brisbane Capitals

Mackay suffered a disappointing 30-point loss to Townsville on Saturday night after being dominated in their worst performance of the season. The Meteorettes ranked lowest in the league for Round 12 in both assists and three-point shooting. Tami Willey was the standout for Mackay scoring 29 points and 8 rebounds in a disappointing team performance. Mackay still sit comfortably in the top four but face a tough test at home against a red-hot Capitals team. The Capitals travelled to the Sunshine Coast last weekend and managed to win both games against the Phoenix and USC Rip. The Capitals had a big win over the Phoenix on Saturday night with eleven players taking the court. D’Lesha Lloyd and Heidi Freeburn top scored with 20 points each, whilst Lloyd captured 8 rebounds in the win. This shapes up as another danger game for Mackay with the surging Capitals looking to take their scalp before the finals. Should be a great game – Mackay to bounce back at home.

Toowoomba Mountaineers vs Ipswich Force

Toowoomba continue to struggle in QBL 2017 and once again suffered a big defeat in Round 12, this time at the hands of the Logan Thunder. Toowoomba managed to put up 62 shots but were only able to score 19 baskets, resulting in just 45 points for the night. Ezy Parsons was the only Mountaineer to score more than 10 points and she led the team in assists with 4. Kimberlee Wilson impressed off the bench grabbing 8 rebounds but it was a familiar story for the cellar-dwellers, going down heavily in the end. The Force will be looking to bounce back from a tough 3-point loss to the Pirates on the weekend. Shenita Landry scored 18 points and Markel Walker had 16 rebounds but Ipswich were denied in the end by a spirited South West Metro outfit. This will be the first of two games for the Force this weekend and they should gain confidence going into their match-up with Logan on Sunday after a big win over Toowoomba in this one.

Cairns Dolphins vs Gladstone Port City Power

The Dolphins suffered a 24-point loss to Mackay at home on Friday night and as a result dropped from 5th to 7th on the ladder. Alli Gloyd top scored for the Dolphins with 20 points and 7 rebounds on a difficult night. This was Cairns’ third-straight loss for the season and their chances of a home quarter final are now hanging by a thread. Their next opponent Gladstone have leapfrogged them on the ladder after a 20-point win over Rockhampton in Round 12. The Power were once again led by the incredible Tabatha Richardson Smith who scored a weekend-high 37 points and 9 assists, resulting in another QBL Player of the Week accolade. Charmian Mellars also played strongly for Gladstone picking up 16 rebounds in the win. Cairns will have their work cut out for them stopping Richardson Smith, but at home in front of a raucous crowd and desperate to snap a three-game losing streak, look for the Dolphins to bounce back strongly and keep their top 4 hopes alive.

Rockhampton Cyclones vs Brisbane Capitals

Rockhampton have lost 8 out of their last 9 matches after a 20-point defeat to neighbours Gladstone over the weekend. Jordan Reynolds top scored for the Cyclones with 18 points and Christina Boag grabbed 13 boards but Rocky couldn’t stop Tabatha Richardson Smith and co, suffering defensively especially in the paint. Rocky also struggled offensively putting up just 57 points – their lowest score of the season. The Capitals will need to back up from a tough road trip to Mackay the night before but will be buoyed from a great result in their double header last week. After thumping the Phoenix, the night before, the Capitals outlasted the Rip to win a nail biter by 1 point. D’Lesha Lloyd was once again the top scorer putting up 33 points and was well supported by Amy Lewis who had 26 including 5 three-pointers. The Capitals need this win to cement their place in the finals and should get the job done away from home.

Sunshine Coast Phoenix vs Brisbane Spartans

The Sunshine Coast Phoenix’s finals hopes have taken a nosedive after running into a red-hot Capitals outfit and going down by 34 points at home last weekend. The Phoenix were never in the contest and despite attempting the same number of baskets, it was their discipline that let them down. The Phoenix conceded 25 fouls – the highest in Round 12 by any team. Ashlee Wallis top scored for Sunshine Coast with just 15 points. The Spartans remain undefeated in 2017 and surged to a massive win over the Rollers on the Gold Coast. Despite missing a few stars to New Zealand national duty, the Spartans were far too strong for their opponents. Odette Isaac led the way for the competition leaders on Sunday with 28 points and Ashleigh Karaitiana continued her good season scoring 25. Rebecca Haynes led the team with 5 assists and 18 rebounds – a league high in Round 12. The Spartans are on top for a reason and should win their 14th straight this weekend against a Phoenix team who have lost two on the trot.

Gold Coast Rollers vs South West Metro Pirates

Gold Coast suffered their 13th straight loss of the year going down to the top-ranked Spartans by a whopping 49 points at home. The Rollers scored just 43 points – the lowest of the round and shot at just 24.6% for the game. It was always going to be a battle of David and Goliath and there were some good performances especially from Ashli Payne who scored 18 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. The pleasing aspect for the Rollers coaching staff was that they were able to get more minutes into the younger members of the squad, something that will serve them well heading into the 2018 season. The Pirates are still sitting just outside the eight despite a great win over the 8th placed Ipswich Force on the weekend. Pirates captain Madelyn Willey led the scoring with 28 points as well as 4 assists in an inspiring performance. Stephanie Bairstow scored 22 and was impressive behind the arc knocking down 4 from downtown. Shelby Cheslek did her job defensively registering 16 rebounds and 3 blocks. Another win here for the Pirates could see them in the 8 after Round 13 and with that in mind they should be far too strong for the struggling Rollers.

USC Rip City vs Brisbane Spartans

The USC Rip almost pulled off a great upset on the weekend, but it ended in a heart-breaking 1-point loss to the Capitals. Leah Scott has been one of the players of the season for the Rip and she led the scoring once again with 25 points and 9 rebounds. Claire O’Bryan was also a factor scoring 19 with 5 assists. The Rip managed to pull back an 11-point deficit in the final five minutes but were ultimately beaten by a strong Capitals outfit. The Spartans will be backing up from their first Sunshine Coast game the night before against the Phoenix and will look to continue their undefeated streak in 2017. The Rip have played well in the last month but up against the competition leaders it will be an almighty task. Spartans should continue their dominance heading into the finals.

Logan Thunder vs Ipswich Force

Logan have lost just one game this year to the undefeated Spartans in Round 1 and continued their hot streak in Round 12 by belting the Rollers on the Gold Coast. Logan’s field goal percentage was the highest of the round with Kate Gaze again top-scoring for the Thunder with 30 points. Logan’s captain Mikhaela Donnelly had 11 assists and Sarah Ambrose led the team with 10 total rebounds. Logan’s depth continues to impress as the bench scored a total of 27 points – the best from any team over the weekend. Ipswich dropped from 7th to 8th on the ladder after suffering a loss to the Pirates on Saturday. Their shooting was disappointing against South West and their discipline was also a factor with Shenita Landry fouling out when the game was on the line. The Thunder should be too strong at home going into a massive double header up north in Round 14.

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