June Women’s QBL Coach of the Month – Rebecca Lewis (Brisbane Spartans)
Continuing their impressive start to the season, Rebecca Lewis’ Brisbane Spartans owned a 7-0 record throughout the month, leaving them on top of the QBL ladder at 11-0.
The Spartans most impressive win came against the Mackay Meteorettes, in which they escaped with a narrow 80-77 victory, the night after dismantling the Rockhampton Cyclones by 44 points at Hegvold Stadium.
Across the month’s matches the Spartans averaged a league-high 98 points per game, whilst giving up a league-low 62 points per game. This results in their average winning margin for the month of June to be a whopping 36 points. Lewis was able to use all 12 players on four occasions and in each of those four contests, at least 5 players reached double digits in scoring.
Rebecca was helped by dominant performances from Ashleigh Karaitiana, who averaged 22ppg for the month and saw her being awarded the QBL Women’s Player of the Week in Round 7. Aja Parham and Maddie Allen continued their strong play and the team’s overall dominance ensured that youngsters Jessica McDowell-White and Jameson McMullen were able to see more playing time.
If the Spartans can get through Townsville in Round 11 they will be expected to finish the regular season undefeated with their remaining 5 matches all being against sub .500 teams.
June Men’s QBL Coach of the Month – Mick Downer (South West Metro Pirates)
The Pirates have completely turned their season around in the month of June, bolstering an impressive 5-0 record. An impressive month’s play has pushed them into playoff contention after starting the season 0-4.
Downer’s squad was able to knock off the USC Rip on the Sunshine Coast and are currently the only team to do so. Other impressive wins throughout the month were over rivals Logan, in which they were able to defeat narrowly twice.
The Pirates were forced to deactivate Brendan Teys due to injury after the 0-4 start, which led to the signing of Bullets big man Daniel Kickert. Kickert put up impressive numbers over the 5-game win streak, averaging 21 points and 7 rebounds on 56% shooting for the month. This also included a clutch game-winning basket against Logan in round 9.
Kickert teamed up alongside reigning QBL MVP Tanner McGrew and they quickly became the best frontcourt in the QBL. McGrew averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds on 50% shooting whilst playing alongside Kickert. McGrew will again have an increased role with Kickert now being deactivated for the remainder of the season due to NBL All-Star and Boomers commitments.
The Pirates have since signed U.S. import Jeremey Kendle who was a member of the 2016-17 Bullets team and was also the 2016 SEABL League MVP and Grand Final MVP. South West are currently 0-1 with Kendle in the squad but it will be interesting to see how the remainder of the season plays out for the again new-look Pirates.