ROUND 13 - Men
Rockhampton Rockets v Southern Districts Spartans
The Rockets have put themselves right in the fight for home court advantage in the first week of the finals following a 2-1 road triple header in round 11. Rockhampton road on the back of guard Shaun Bruce’s massive weekend (18.3 points and 15.0 assists), as well as some offensive outbursts from Jamaal Robateau who averaged 28.7 points across the three games. The team will enter their Friday night hit out against the Spartans following a round 12 bye and full of plenty of confidence. The Spartans will be looking to bounce back following a 15-point loss to the Seahawks and winning only two of their past seven encounters overall. Whitehead and Allen combined for 57 points on an efficient 71% shooting in the loss. Look for Derksen and Dalton to bounce back after poor shooting nights where they combined for 4-27 from the field. With much more of the line we expect the Rockets continue on their winning ways and extend their winning streak to three with relative ease.
Townsville Heat v Logan Thunder
Townsville were able to finish their round 12 SEQ triple header with a 2-1 record. The Heat split their two games on the Sunshine Coast after a 22-point flogging of USC, followed by a 12-point loss to the Phoenix. They were able to conclude their weekend by handing Brisbane their first loss of season 2019 in convincing fashion, running away 19 points the better. Townsville were able to close the third period on a 14-4 run to open up a 15-point buffer heading into the last. Josh Wilcher was instrumental across the three games, finishing with impressive averages of 26.3 points, 5.0 rebounds 5.3 assists on the way to QBL Player of the Week honours. Logan split their round 12 double with a Saturday night home loss to Gold Coast before backing up with a road victory over Ipswich. Mitch Young was huge with 23.0 points and 13.0 rebounds across the two games. Logan now find themselves only two games inside the top 8 and with an extremely challenging northern double ahead of them, round 13 could be make or break for their finals aspirations. Predicting Townsville to keep their undefeated home record alive and move to 7-0 at Townsville StarFM Stadium.
USC Rip City v Sunshine Coast Phoenix
After two round 12 home losses, USC now find themselves out of the finals picture in 9th place heading into the final three rounds of the regular season. After a 22-point loss to Townsville on Friday, Rip fell agonisingly short to Cairns by 2 points on the following evening. USC led at numerous stages over the dying minutes before two clutch free throws by Alex Loughton iced the game for the visitors. Jalen Bradley and Jerron Jamerson were again the stars of the weekend averaging 20 points and 19 points respectively. Phoenix on the other hand were able to split their weekend double with an upset victory over Townsville the night after falling to the Marlins. The Heat had no answers for Eric McAlister (27 points) and John Fitzgerald (19 points and 12 rebounds). Meehl and Massingale also put in strong offensive games for the Phoenix. In what is a pivotal game for both sides, we see 8th v 9th on the QBL table with the winner one step closer to cementing a finals berth. Both sides have struggled to form any kind of consistency of late, making this contest extremely difficult to predict. Rip in a nail biter.
Gold Coast Rollers v Ipswich Force
The Rollers completed the perfect double weekend in round 12 with wins over South West and Logan. Friday night Gold coast jumped out of the blocks with a 29-12 first quarter which eventually led to a 23-point three-quarter time lead before taking the foot off the gas and allowing the Pirates to bring the margin back to a respectable 8 by the final buzzer. Parker put in a quick fire 30 points in 26 minutes, whilst Martin had 16 points and 9 dimes in 23 minutes. The Rollers backed up with an impressive 109-95 road W over the Thunder. A 32-17 second quarter set up the win for the visitors as 7 players reached double figures. Ipswich split their round 12 double 1-1 with a 24-point flogging in Toowoomba before falling to Logan at Llewellyn on Sunday. Kyle Harvey averaged 24.5 points and 11.5 rebounds across the weekend, closely followed by Poulain’s 18 points and 9.5 boards on 65% shooting. With opens up a three-game finish to the season where the Rollers face 11th, 14th and 15th on the table. The Rollers should comfortably take care of the visiting Force and lock in a top 4 position.
Toowoomba Mountaineers v Brisbane Capitals
The Mountaineers were convincing beaten by the visiting Ipswich Force by 24-points in round 12. The loss extends the losing streak to 8 with 4 games remaining to close out the season. Toowoomba took a 3-point lead into the first change before being outscored 15-32 in the second period to turn the game in the favour of the Force. Despite the loss Daniel Sims recorded a near triple-double finishing with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. They will come up against the top-placed Brisbane Capitals who are coming off their first loss of the season. Brisbane were no match for Townsville after half time being outscored by 17 on their way to a 19-point defeat. The Heat did a great job defensively keeping the home side to a season-low 86 points. Jason Cadee can hold his head high after a 31 point and 7 assist game on 50% shooting in the loss. With a tough round 14 northern road double still to come, the Capitals cannot afford to let another game slip if they are to hold onto top position heading into the finals. Brisbane should have no issues bouncing back and making light work of the struggling Mountaineers.
Cairns Marlins v Logan Thunder
For the first time in 2019 the Marlins find themselves in the top 4 following two strong round 12 wins on the Sunshine Coast. Cairns kicked off the weekend with a commanding 18-point win over the Phoenix, led by an efficient 21 points (8/11fg), 7 rebounds and 6 assists from captain Anthony Fisher. Thomas Hamilton was also a strong contributor with 17 points and 8 boards. Saturday night saw a much tighter contest where the Marlins had to overcome a deficit inside the final minutes to defeat USC. Alex Loughton shrugged off an off-shooting night to hit two clutch free-throws in the dying seconds to give his side the 2-point victory. Fabijan Krslovic was the team’s best contributor 19 points and 13 rebounds. They come up against the Thunder who are backing up after a Friday night contest with Townsville. Logan desperately need to record at least one win out of the weekend to take the pressure off their final two weeks of the season where they face the Phoenix and Pirates. In Typical Cairns fashion, the Marlins appear to be peaking at the right time of season and should record another home victory at the expense of the Thunder.
Gladstone Port City Power Surge v South West Metro Pirates
Gladstone enter round 13 well rested following a round 12 bye. The break came at a much-needed time for the Power who are still searching for their first victory since round 2. Despite still chasing that elusive win to break the drought, their form has been much more consistent over the past month, scoring above 85 points in 3 of their past 4 contests. It will be on the defensive end that major improvement is required in order to knock off the visiting Pirates. South West are coming off a 1-1 round 12, where they fell at the hands of the second-placed Gold Coast Rollers before knocking off the Seahawks. The Pirates fell behind by as many as 30 points in the final quarter before the Rollers emptied their bench allowing South West to bring the game back to a respectable 8 points at the final buzzer. Henry Pwono put up a massive 34 points and 10 boards in the win, after his 19 points and 9 boards against the Rollers. The win ended a streak of five consecutive losses for the Pirates. This looms as one of the more realistic chances for victory of late for Gladstone, although it is hard to tip a side who haven’t won for 11 weeks. Pirates to get the victory for Ryan Vines in his 200th QBL match.
Mackay Meteors v Southern Districts Spartans
Mackay will also enter round 13 well rested off a round 12 bye. The Meteors are looking to break a three-game losing streak which has seen them drop to 5th on the ladder and in a slog for the final home court position of the top 4. Mackay hope to regain some of their offensive flow from earlier in the season after being restricted to 77 points or fewer in both of the past two matches – both of which were season lows at the time. Look for Bryce Washington to have a big game against the Spartans as he fights back from two of his poorer performances of the season. The Spartans will be backing up after a Friday night contest in Rockhampton where they face the Rockets. This game will be no easier with both teams still in the fight for home court advantage in the finals. Mackay should have no issues getting their season back on track against one of the league’s worst defences. Meteors by double figures.
ROUND 13 - Women
Rockhampton Cyclones v Carina Leagues Club Lady Spartans
The Cyclones have cemented themselves in second position on the ladder following a 3-0 round 11 triple header with wins over Cairns, Toowoomba and South West by an average of 15 points. The team will be confident heading into their contest against the undefeated Lady Spartans especially with a week’s rest under their belt. Gmrice Davis was massive throughout the victories putting up 22.3 points and 15.3 rebounds across the three games. Southern Districts required a four-quarter effort in order to overcome the Seahawks in their round 12 encounter. Scot and Mellars were huge for the visitors combining for 24 of the teams 30 last quarter points to get them over the line. All eyes in the league will be on 1st v 2nd on the ladder to see if the Cyclones can achieve what no other team has been able to in 2019. We’re predicting an upset with Rockhampton handing the Spartans their first L of 2019.
Townsville Flames v Logan Thunder
Townsville have extended their winning streak to 7 following a successful southern triple-header where they defeated USC, Phoenix and Brisbane all by double figures. Bishop again led the way with averages of 20.3 points and 8.7 rebounds across the weekend. The Flames have kept their opponents to an average of 65.8 points per game over the win streak. The strong month also sees the Flames climb all the way up to third on the ladder as they close out the season with three games on their home court. They will face a Logan squad who are coming off a 1-1 round 12 which included a win over the Rollers and loss to Ipswich which broke a stretch of five consecutive victories. Brittany Carter played her best game for the Thunder yet, finishing with 19 points and 2 blocks despite the loss to Ipswich. It’s hard to tip against the Flames with their current form and they should prove too strong for Logan in this contest.
USC Rip City v Sunshine Coast Phoenix
USC were able to split their round 12 double header 1-1 after following up a loss to Townsville with an 18-point win over the Dolphins. Kisha Lee continues to star for Rip with averages of 25.0 points and 12.5 rebounds over the weekend. The teams record has fallen to 5-9 and are required to win their remaining four games if they are any chance of making the finals. Sunshine Coast Phoenix recorded the same round 12 results with a win over Cairns and loss to Townsville. Casey Lockwood and Carlie Smith were able to lead their team to a come from behind win against the Dolphins, whilst Clancy was the only Phoenix player to reach double figures in their blowout loss to the Flames. Based on last weekend USC appear to bring in a stronger form line into the contest and their depth should be able to lead them to a victory over their cross-town rivals.
Gold Coast Rollers v Ipswich Force
Gold Coast have fallen to fifth on the QBL ladder after their 1-1 weekend which included a win over the Pirates and a loss to Logan. The Rollers dominated the glass in their win over South West pulling in a massive 55 for the game which included 22 on the offensive end. This led to be being a massive +17 in second chance points. Luna-Castro and Moorer backed it up against Logan to both record double-doubles for the second time of the weekend but unfortunately couldn’t get their team over the line for their second win in as many days. Ipswich were able to pull off an undefeated weekend with wins over Toowoomba and Logan. The Force took a 15-point deficit into the final term but a 31-11 last quarter resulted in a 5-point victory. Amanda Johnson starred in both contests finishing the weekend averaging 26.0 points and 10.5 rebounds, closelt followed by Kaili McLaren’s 22.5 a game. Johnson was this weekends Player of the Week recipient. In an important battle between 4th and 5th we will see one team separate themselves from the other and get closer to cementing a top 4 finish. The Rollers have won their past four at Carrara Indoor Stadium and we think the streak will continue in a close one.
Toowoomba Mountaineers v Brisbane Capitals
Toowoomba almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season before falling agonisingly short to Ipswich in round 12. The Mountaineers led by as many 16 before a last quarter surge from the Force triggered an unlikely comeback victory. Anita Brown had another monster night finishing with 29 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 steals, whilst Kristina King had 22 points and 8 boards. The Mountaineers will face up against the struggling Capitals who also have only recorded the one win for the season to date. Brisbane were no match for a Townsville team who were on their third game of their triple header weekend, falling by 19. Brisbane struggled to handle the defensive pressure of the Flames giving up 12 turnovers which led to a massive 34 points. Despite both teams having a season to forget, there is still plenty on the line with the winner of this game likely to escape the wooden spoon for 2019. Toowoomba at home.
Cairns Dolphins v Logan Thunder
Cairns suffered two round 12 defeats at the hands of the Sunshine Coast Phoenix and USC Rip City. The Dolphins were competitive Friday against the Phoenix and even led the game inside the final minutes before falling by 3. Swain, Thompson and Tompkins all contributed on the offensive end whilst Tompkins also added 17 rebounds. Unfortunately, the Dolphins were unable to back it up against USC being blown out in the second half to go down by 18. Swain (27) and Tompkins (21) were both able to round out strong weekends despite the loss. The Thunder will be backing up after a tough hit out against the Flames in Townsville and will be desperate to finish the weekend with at least one win to further improve their finals position. This looks like the more realistic chance for a Logan win. Thunder in a close one.
Gladstone Port City Power Breakers v South West Metro Pirates
Gladstone enter this weekend off a round 12 bye and will be well freshened since there last encounter a fortnight ago. The Breakers will be looking for their first victory since round 9 and to turn around their recent form which included losses to North Gold Coast and Logan by an average of 24 points. Gladstone will come up against a Pirates squad who although competitive in round 12 against the Rollers, have also struggled over the course of the season. A Maddy Willey three-pointer brought the margin back within three inside the final minute but the team was unable to get any closer before eventually falling by 5 points. Willey ended the match with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks. Bairstow was also influential with 18 points. The Pirates were no match for the Seahawks at home on Sunday falling by 19. We expect South West to break their 7-game losing streak and record a much-needed victory.
Mackay Meteorettes v Carina Leagues Club Lady Spartans
Mackay are coming off a much-needed bye following a 28-point home flogging at the hands of Townsville. The Meteorettes were kept to 55 points which was well below their season average of 76 heading into the contest. The team will be looking for more of a contribution from their bench who combined for 6 points on 3-21 shooting in the heavy loss. The Meteorettes get the luxury of facing the undefeated Lady Spartans who will be coming off a massive Friday night contest against the second-placed Cyclones in Rockhampton. A win would cement a finals berth for Mackay and a loss will keep them within arms reach of ninth and missing the finals all together. After opening the season 13-0 it’s almost impossible to see Southern Districts dropping two games in a weekend and for this reason we expect them to get the job done in Mackay Saturday night.