Quarter Final - Men
Brisbane Capitals (1) v Logan Thunder (8)
Last time they met: Round 10 – Brisbane 111 (Cadee 50) def Logan 86 (Ammar and Machando 16)
After their sole loss of the season in Round 12 to Townsville the Capitals closed out the season strong with four straight wins by an average of 19.75 points. Their final game of the regular season was a 14-point home victory over the Phoenix which all but ended Sunshine Coast’s chance of a final berth. Aaron Anderson stared in the absence of Jason Cadee finishing with 30 points and 4 steals, while Will Magnay continued his impressive run of form since returning from the world University Games with 20 points and 13 boards. Brisbane gave Logan a lifeline on their season by defeating the Phoenix.
Logan were able to lock in the eighth and final finals position after a dominant 105-82 road victory over South West Metro. A 27-14 third quarter broke open the game for the Thunder, allowing them to empty their bench and rest the starters for the final term. Ryan Jeffries put up a season-high 29 points on 70% shooting, Young and Ammar both had double-doubles, whilst Simmons had 8 dimes ion only 15 minutes of playing time. Logan’s defense has clicked into gear over the final two weeks of the season, keeping their opponents to 77 and 82 points respectively after allowing 97.8 points against per game entering the final two rounds.
The number one seed will likely welcome back their star point guard in Cadee who missed their regular season finale due to attending the Australian National Camp in Melbourne over the past week. Cadee closed out the regular season averaging 24.75 points and 7.62 assists to finish third in the league in both statistical categories. Logan’s toughest task may be to limit the impact of Will Magnay who averaged 24.25 points, 16.00 rebounds and 5.25 blocks over his past 4 games. It’s difficult to see the 8-8 Thunder getting the job done over the 17-1 Capitals after somewhat limping into the finals winning only 2 of their final 6 matches.
Prediction: Brisbane by 12
Gold Coast Rollers (2) v USC Rip City (7)
Last time they met: Round 11 – USC 88 (Tueta 24) def Gold Coast 84 (Parker 29)
Gold Coast were able to steal the second seed off the Townsville Heat following their final round win over Gladstone and Rockhampton’s upset win over Townsville. The Rollers didn’t get it all their own way in Gladstone entering the final term with scores tied before eventually running out 10 points the better. Jaryd Eustace had a season-high 32 points off the bench, while three starters all scored 18 points or more led by Parker’s 25 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals.
USC were able to cement the seventh seed with a 53-35 second half against the Seahawks which saw them finish 16-point victors at Runaway Bay Indoor Stadium. Josh Tueta had a monster game finishing with 31 points and 13 rebounds. Rip recorded 22 assists on 35 made field goal attempts with Isaih Tueta leading the way with 7 of his own. Both Jamerson and Bradley completed the game with 15 points and 6 dimes.
Gold Coast closed the season with five straight victories and have recorded at least 100 points in each of their past four matches. They will be wary of a repeat of their round 11 performance where they allowed USC to come in hand them their only home loss of the season. Rip have also closed out the regular season as one of the league’s hottest teams winning four straight. USC look to be peaking at the right time of year and are a real threat to cause a major upset on the Gold Coast this weekend. In what we predict to be the closest Quarter Final of the weekend, we expect the home side to hold on in a thriller.
Prediction: Gold Coast by 3
Townsville Heat (3) v Mackay Meteors (6)
Last time they met: Round 11 – Townsville 105 (Wilcher 28) def Mackay 70 (Cedar 18)
Townsville surrendered the overall second seed after a 27-point home loss to the Rockhampton Rockets in round 15. The Heat entered the main break trailing by only 6 points, but the visitors quickly put any chance of a comeback to bed with a 28-14 third period blowing the lead out to 20 points by the final change. Matt Rees was serviceable with 14 points and 9 board in 24 minutes while Wilcher and Mines struggled going a combined 10-34 from the field.
The Meteors also fell to the Rockets on their home floor to close out the regular season, going down by 17 points. Mackay’s defense once again struggled allowing the visitors to convert on 54% of their shot attempts. One positive to take out of the game would be Bryce Washington finishing with 24 points and 10 boards. Mackay’s 96 points on the offensive end was their highest tally in their past six matches despite the heavy loss.
After what has been another dominant regular season, Townsville’s championship aspirations have been dealt a major blow with Jamell Anderson returning to Great Britain for FIBA World Cup commitments and an injury to Peter Crawford, both of who are both essential pieces towards a deep finals run. Mackay on the other hand enter the QBL finals with their own struggles only winning one of their past five matches – including two losses to the Heat. The Meteors have only managed 84.5 points per game over this stretch after averaging 100.5 points over the first eight rounds. Not too many other teams would be able to recover the following the absence of two important players but we believe that Townsville are more than capable of recording the victory against the struggling Meteors.
Prediction: Townsville by 7
Cairns Marlins (4) v Rockhampton Rockets (5)
Last time they met: Round 11 – Cairns 100 (Jurlina 29) def Rockhampton 77 (Robateau 21)
The Marlins will enter the opening round of the QBL finals well rested following their round 15 bye. Compare this to the Rockets who travelled to Mackay and Townsville for their final two games of the regular season. Rockhampton closed the season out in style with two huge road wins by an average of 22 points. Shaun Bruce put up a massive 24.0 points, 13.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds across the weekend, while Sean O’Mara was the QBL Player of the Week with averages of 24.5 points and 13.5 rebounds.
Cairns are winners of 11 of their past 12 games with their only loss being by 5 points to the second seeded Gold Coast Rollers. This game will feature a clash in respective game styles with the Marlins being the leagues stingiest defense only allowing their opponents to score 81 points on a nightly basis, compared to Rockhampton allowing 91. The Rockets on the other hand are the leagues second highest scoring team with coach Tweedy wanting Bruce to push the tempo, while Cairns are the tenth high scoring team.
The Marlins were able to win the series matchup comfortably between the two teams 2-0 by an average of 22 points. Whilst Cairns have continued their strong form since the teams last outing in round 11, the rockets have dramatically turned their form around and are a much different side since the July 5th match. Despite the Rockets turning their season around in recent times, it’s almost impossible to pick against the Marlins at home.
Prediction: Cairns by 8
Quarter Final - Women
Carina Leagues Club Lady Spartans (1) v USC Rip City (8)
Last time they met: Round 10 – Spartans 80 (Isaac 24) def USC 75 (Tupaea 29)
The Spartans head into the 2019 finals series with just one loss on the season looking for three straight QBL titles. The competition favourites take on a USC outfit who have won their past five games to surge into the playoffs.
With the exception of a close loss in Mackay to the Meteorettes, the Spartans have dominated in 2019 crushing opponents on the back of stars Leah Scott (24 points and 8 rebounds), Aja Parham-Ammar (14 points and 8 rebounds) and Natalie Taylor (14 points and 5 rebounds) over the season. The strong team dynamic of the Spartans has been the key this year with multiple players scoring double-digits week to week.
The Rip have enjoyed a fantastic past few weeks winning games against Cairns, Phoenix, South West, Ipswich and a tight 3-point win over the Seahawks which enabled them to win the head-to-head tie for the final playoff spot. USC have benefited from the addition of Kisha Lee who averaged over 22 points across the season as well as Tahlia Tupaea, Maddison Rocci and Chevannah Paalvast who have each put up over 17 points a game.
The Rip have been competitive against the Spartans this season going down in both games by 8 and 5 respectively and will relish the role of underdogs heading into Rowland Cowan Stadium. On paper and based on previous form this year, the Spartans should come away with an easy win, however, USC have proven to cause the occasional upset.
Prediction: Spartans by 13
Rockhampton Cyclones (2) v Ipswich Force (7)
Last time they met: Round 3 – Ipswich 100 (Johnson 25) def Rockhampton 75 (Bishop 21)
The only time these two teams met in 2019 was way back in Round 3 when Ipswich destroyed Rockhampton by 25 points. Since then, the fortunes of both teams have been reversed with Rocky enjoying a 14-4 record to finish second on the ladder, whilst Ipswich have lost their last three games to finish seventh with an 11-7 record.
The Cyclones have enjoyed a consistent season thanks to strong contributions from Jessica Thomas, Brooke Blair and Mary Goulding and have a good home-court record at 7-2 for the season. Rockhampton endured a tough final week of the season traveling north to face Townsville and Mackay coming home with one win in the two clashes. They’ll appreciate playing in front of their adoring crowd in the first week of the finals and will hope to shut down Ipswich’s key player Amanda Johnson.
Whilst Johnson has had another great season, her stats are down from last year’s incredible MVP-winning campaign with teams focusing more on stopping the star forward. Johnson top-scored for Ipswich this season with averages of 22 points and 13 rebounds, whilst Amy Lewis, Georgia Ralph and Kaili McLaren all featured heavily with double-digit points throughout the season.
The focus for Ipswich will be on Amanda Johnson and if she can find her sparkling best an upset may be on the cards. The Cyclones have a great home record in 2019 and will hope that the fans can drive home another playoff victory.
Prediction: Rockhampton by 4
Townsville Flames (3) v Mackay Meteorettes (6)
Last time they met: Round 11 – Townsville 83 (McCully 20) def Mackay 55 (Burgess 17)
Since the welcome addition of Abby Bishop, no team has been hotter than the Townsville Flames in the backend of the season. This quarter final sees them take on arch-rivals Mackay in a clash that’s sure to match the hype.
Townsville won 9 out of their last 10 games to finish third on the ladder, a thought that looked improbable after starting the season 4-4. Bishop’s impact has been significant with the Opal scoring an average of 26 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists across 7 games. Veteran guard Micaela Cocks has enjoyed another stellar season averaging 14 points, whilst the Flames’ young stars Alex Fowler and Harriet Carey have also been impressive averaging 12 and 7 respectively.
The Meteorettes flew out of the blocks to start the season winning 7 of their first 8 games, however, a bad stretch in June hurt Mackay falling down the ladder to eventually finish in sixth position and face a tough road trip north to Townsville. Erica Covile and Heidi Freeburn have been the leading contributors for Mackay with 18 and 16 a game respectively and their match-up with Bishop this weekend will prove pivotal for the team’s chances.
Townsville won both encounters in 2019 and are in far better form than their northern rivals and with a massive crowd expected, they should have enough firepower to get through this one.
Prediction: Townsville by 8
Gold Coast Rollers (4) v Logan Thunder (5)
Last time they met: Round 12 – Logan 70 (Taia 20) def Gold Coast 65 (Moorer 17)
This quarter-final shapes as the game of the round and the closest to predict with both teams having beaten each other this season.
Gold Coast have been one of the stories of 2019 finishing in the top four with a 13-5 record after winning just three games in the last two seasons combined. There have been many success stories for the Rollers this year including Jacquie Luna-Castro averaging 18 points and 8 rebounds a game, whilst Ariana Moorer, Carleigh Patrick and Susannah Walmsley all had impressive campaigns each averaging in double-digits. The Rollers team ethos has improved dramatically under the coaching of Cassie Dover and Gold Coast are now hunting their first playoff victory for some time.
Logan have quietly put together another impressive season narrowly finishing outside the top four with a 12-6 record. Consistency has been the issue for the Thunder with impressive wins in Townsville and against Mackay negated by defeats to Ipswich and South West Metro. Mikaela Ruef has been one of the standout players this season with averages of 21 points and 20 rebounds each night. Ash Taia and Brittany Carter have also been influential putting up 18 a game, whilst the loss of star player Mikhaela Cann in recent weeks is huge after she produced another outstanding season.
This matchup should prove to be the closest of all quarterfinals this weekend and it will be interesting to see if Gold Coast can handle the pressure of playoffs against an experienced Logan outfit.
Prediction: Logan by 2