Tanner McGrew – South West Metro Pirates
In a round littered by dead-rubber matchups, most coaches around the league would have kept most of their cards to their chests for this week’s important round of finals matchups. No different to this was the Logan and South West Metro game which took place down in the ‘ship’ Saturday night. With both teams knowing they would face each other again this weekend, it would be a chance for younger players to see some action on the court. Nevertheless, the Pirate’s big man showed he had plenty to play for as he tore apart the Thunder’s interior defence, helping the Pirate’s win 93-83 and thus earning himself Player of the Week honours for Round 15.
Arguably the most valuable import in the QBL, Round 11 POW Tanner McGrew finished the night with 29 points and 16 rebounds. Rebounding is something this West Virginian takes pride in, which is highlighted by the fact in only his first professional contract and thus his rookie year in the QBL, he averaged 14.9 rebounds per contest – which is good for the best in the league. The man known affectionately as “The beast” down at South West also showed his touch from outside the paint, as he connected on 2-4 from behind the arc and shot a respectable 7-10 from the charity stripe.
With the Pirate’s finishing the season at 12-5 and third on the ladder, they have set themselves up with a real chance for post-season success. With a win come Saturday night, they will have their semi-final in Brisbane (either at home or at NAB) and will not have to travel to Townsville in the semi-finals. No doubt for this to happen, Mcgrew will have to fire along with Teys and Vines for the Pirates to be successful. McGrew has shown his class, toughness and skill and the South West Metro Pirates will be hoping to retain his services for years to come.
Other noteworthy performances over the weekend include ‘Neers Captain Erron Maxey dropping 77 points in two games, Joshua Wilcher recording a near triple-double over the Bull’s with 22pts-14ass-9rbs and Cameron Tragardh finished with 27 and 10 shooting 68% from the field.
Claire O-Bryan – Sunshine Coast Rip
With only three wins on the board prior to Round 15, Rip City in their first season in the QBL have understandably had up and down results, with only three wins to their name. With such a young team however this was always going to be the case. Saturday night was another highlight for this young squad, with an 85-82 win over the Power to finish off the season. Claire O’Bryan was at the forefront of this upset, with 27 points and 7 rebounds good enough to get her team over the line and thus earn Player of the Week honours for Round 15.
Since arriving to the Rip for her first game back in Round 8, O’Bryan has been one of the squad’s better players and most consistent performers. The last few seasons she took her talents to Bucknell University, a NCAA Division One Program in Pennsylvania which resides in the Patriot League. In 2016, O’Bryan was a part of a talented Bison team that was co-champion in the regular season before losing in the semi-finals.
With the Rip being such a young group, the organisation will be hoping that players such as O’Bryan continue to stick around and help develop a strong core of junior talent who can reap in the success at QBL Level. No doubt O’Bryan is still getting used to playing back home in Australia, and with another solid preseason, the Rip will be looking to fire next year.
Other outstanding performances from Round 15 include Shyla Heal’s 24 pts-8rbs-8ass in an upset win for the Force up in Rockhampton, Markell Walker was solid again with two huge double-doubles for the Power and Kate Gaze dropped 33 points on the Pirate’s in their match up against the Pirates.