ROUND 14 - Men
Cairns Marlins v Gladstone Port City Power Surge
The Marlins recorded a strong 16-point round 13 victory over the visiting Logan Thunder. The win was the fifth in the row for Cairns and tenth in their past eleven matches. A dominant second period where the home side only gave up 12 points set up the win in a contest where the lead ballooned to as much has 24 inside the final quarter before Logan closed out on a 14-6 run to make the score line look more respectable. In a game where six Marlins players reached double figures, Thomas Hamilton was the teams highest scorer finishing with 22 points and 9 rebounds, whilst Loughton had a quickfire 17 off the bench. Gladstone were unable to make the most of their home court advantage against the Pirates falling by 15. Despite the loss, Nathaniel Koko provided a spark off the bench finishing with 20 points in 24 minutes. The loss now brings the teams losing streak to 13 and things do not get any easier with a road double against Cairns and Townsville on the cards for round 14. This will be the last regular season game for the Marlins and a victory over Gladstone will see them lock in a home quarter final. Cairns comfortably.
Mackay Meteors v Brisbane Capitals
Despite a slow start, Mackay were able to break a run of three straight losses with a 10-point win over Southern Districts in round 13. Bryce Washington was able to return to some of his earlier season form finishing with 25 points and 12 boards, whilst Cedar (24 points and 9 boards) and Rasmussen (16 points and 12 boards) were also strong contributors. The offensive struggles continued for the Meteors, only finishing with 85 points which is their lowest in any victory in 2019. Brisbane was able to recover from their first loss of the season in emphatic fashion, crushing the bottom-placed Toowoomba Mountaineers by 47 points without team leading scorer and facilitator Jason Cadee. Will Magnay posted a monster stat line finishing with 38 points, 15 rebounds, 6 blocks and 4 steals (in only 28 minutes) and was the obvious choice for QBL Player of the Week. This is the toughest weekend of the season to date for the Capitals with road games against Mackay (5th) and Rockhampton (6th). The Meteors look rocky of late and their best would be required to knock off the top-placed Capitals. We don’t see this occurring this weekend as Brisbane escape with a narrow victory.
USC Rip City v South West Metro Pirates
Rip find themselves back inside the top-8 after a dominant last quarter which led them to a 16-point triumph over cross-town rivals Sunshine Coast Phoenix. Jerron Jamerson was huge with 36 points whilst playing a full 40 minutes, followed by Jalen Bradley’s 23 and Louis Ilton’s 21 on a perfect 6/6 from the field. USC only managed a single bench point for the game, and this is an area they will need to fins a greater contribution if they want to continue their push towards the finals. South West Metro kept their slim finals hopes alive with a 15-point win in Gladstone. A dominant 30-14 opening period set up the win for the visitors and they never looked back extending the lead to as many as 23 in the early stages of the fourth. Croff put in 27 to go with a huge 16 boards, whilst Kerle had 25 of his own. Jarred Bairstow continues to search for a triple-double finishing with 15 points, 8 boards and 7 dimes. The Pirates have the chance to tie Rip at 7-9 if they can record the victory in this all-important contest. We expect Rip to get the job done on their home floor as they strengthen their finals aspirations.
Logan Thunder v Sunshine Coast Phoenix
A disappointing round 13 saw the Thunder drop both games of their northern road double by 15 and 16 points respectively. Logan found themselves down by double figures at half time in both contests and were unable to pull the margins back in the second half as the lead extended to over 20 in both matches. Mitch Young battled strongly with averages of 19.5 points and 11.5 rebounds whilst Rayshawn Simmons averaged 13.0 points and 8.5 assists on 55% shooting. The two losses see the team only one win inside the top 8. A round 14 loss to Sunshine Coast could see them momentarily drop out of the finals picture heading into the final round of the regular season. Sunshine Coast’s finals aspirations were dealt a major blow with a 16-point round 13 loss to Rip City. Phoenix were no match for USC in the final term as they were outscored 12-26 for the quarter. Darnell Robateau was the team’s leading scorer with 21, whilst CJ Massingale had 16 off the bench. Sunshine Coast have only won 3 of their past 11 games and it’s hard to see them reversing their current form against a Logan side who have won 4 of their past 5 at Cornubia Park sports Centre. Although, an upset win would put Phoenix above Logan on the ladder entering the final round. Thunder at home.
USC Rip City v Ipswich Force
Rip will be backing up for their second home game of round 13 with the chance to lock in a finals berth against the struggling Ipswich Force. Ipswich suffered a 34-point drumming of the third-placed Gold Coast Rollers at Carrara Indoor Stadium. The Force were no match for the home side, falling behind by 15 at the first change and the Rollers never let Ipswich into the game. The only positive for the visitors was again the play of league leading scorer Kyle Harvey. Harvey put in 39 points on 67% shooting, contributing almost half of his teams 81 points. Outside of Harvey, the team only managed to convert on 29% of field goals. With their finals aspirations all but over, Ipswich have an opportunity to finish their season on a high note by putting a dagger into Rip’s season. Rip in a close one.
Rockhampton Rockets v Brisbane Capitals
The Rockets have suddenly strung six wins over their last seven to find themselves pushing for a top 4 spot and a home quarter final. Rockhampton kept this dream alive with a 10-point round 13 win over Southern Districts. The Rockets dominated the first three terms to lead by 32 at three quarter time before emptying the bench and allowing Spartans to bring the result back to a respectable amount. All five starters contributed led by Robateau’s 25 points, closely followed by Bruce and O’Mara’s 21 and Ogilvy’s 18 in 21 minutes. Rockhampton face the top-placed Brisbane Capitals on their home court which will be second game of the Capitals double header. Brisbane will be backing up after a Friday night contest in Mackay. The Rockets are definitely peaking at the right time of year and this will be a tough task for Brisbane on the second night of a back to back. The point guard match up of Bruce v Cadee will be exciting as two of the league’s best facilitators go head to head. Rocky in a close one.
Gold Coast Rollers v Toowoomba Mountaineers
Gold Coast made light work of Ipswich in round 13 running away comfortable 34 points the better. The Rollers put up a season-high 115 points as they connected on 53% of their shots. The team had an even spread of contributors with no player scoring more than 20 points or playing more than 27 minutes. Rose, Martin and Parker combined for 21 assists, whilst Eustace put in a quickfire 20 points in 19 minutes off the bench. In round 14 they face the bottom-placed Toowoomba Mountaineers who are coming off a horrid home performance against Brisbane where they lost by 47 points and were kept to a season-low 59 points. The Mountaineers only trailed by 11 at the major break but were outscored 19-55 in a second half collapse. Cameron Weber was the only Toowoomba player to reach double figures, finishing with 13. Gold Coast to win this easily and lock in a top 4 finish entering the final round of the regular season.
Southern Districts Spartans v North Gold Coast Seahawks
The Spartans look to get back on the winners list after an unsuccessful 0-2 road trip against Rockhampton and Mackay. Southern Districts were blown out of the water by Rockhampton before a strong last quarter against the Rockets bench resulted in only a 10-point loss. Saturday night the squad was much more competitive trailing by only 5 entering the fourth before eventually going down by 10 again. Despite the competitive contest, the Spartans were kept to 75 points for the game which is their lowest tally since round 1. Despite only shooting at 37% for the weekend, Callum Dalton averaged 16.0 points and 12.0 boards for the weekend, just behind Whiteheads 19.5 a game. They will face a well-rested Seahawks outfit who are coming off a round 13 bye. The Seahawks will be looking for a repeat of the result between these two teams back in round 12 where they ran out 15 points the better. Southern Districts to win in a close one at Rowland Cowan Stadium.
Townsville Heat v Gladstone Port City Power Surge
Townsville backed up after their round 12 triple header with a 15-point home win over the Logan Thunder. The Heat ran the lead up to as many as many as 22 in the fourth before taking the foot off the gas in the final minutes. The win extends Townsville’s undefeated home streak to 7 games, with their final two games of the season also being played at Townsville StarFM Stadium. Wilcher continued him strong form with 27 points and 9 assists, whilst Rees and Tudehope both record double doubles. With the top-placed Capitals playing their Rocky-Mackay double, the Heat are still a realistic chance of securing the top seed entering the finals if results fall their way. They come up against a struggling Gladstone outfit who will be playing their second road game of the weekend after a Friday night contest in Cairns. Townsville will win this one in convincing fashion.
Toowoomba Mountaineers v South West Metro Pirates
If South West Metro can upset USC on Friday night their season will still be alive ahead of a Sunday hit out in Toowoomba. The Mountaineers on the other hand will have a difficult task of backing up after a trip down to the Gold Coast to battle the 13-3 Rollers who are on the charge towards a strong finals campaign. Coach Breen will be asking his men to put on a better show for their home fans after their round 13 display against the Capitals. The Pirates could be looking for their fourth straight victory and an unlikely finals push after finding themselves 4-9 after round 13 games. Toowoomba may find the Pirates in a vulnerable state depending on their Friday night result but either way we believe that South West will prove to be too strong in this one.
ROUND 14 - Women
Cairns Dolphins v Gladstone Port City Power Breakers
The Dolphins were unable to capitalise on home court advantage as they fell to Logan by 16 points at Early Settler Stadium. The Thunder led by 22 at the major break and were able to take their foot off the gas I the second half as they emptied their bench. Janee Thompson was massive for her team finishing with 32 of their 75 points. Cairns have a great opportunity to finish their season off with a win as the 13th placed Gladstone Breakers come to town. Gladstone were also unable to get a victory on their home court, also falling to the Pirates by 16 points. The Breakers only trailed by 4 heading into the final term but were ran over the top of by the visitors in the last. Amarah Coleman finished with 32 points, closely followed by Akilah Bethel’s 22 and 12. Gladstone will be looking to return the favour to the Dolphins who were able to record a 1-point victory over the Breakers in Gladstone back in round 6. Cairns in a close one.
Mackay Meteorettes v Brisbane Capitals
The Meteorettes were able to hand the Lady Spartans their first loss of 2019 thanks to a buzzer-beating heave from Erica Covile. The lead changed four times in the final minute before the Covile prayer eventually decided the match. Freeburn (24), Covile (20 and 12) and Burdgess (19 and 16) led the charge for the home side as they moved to 10-6 and cemented a finals berth. Despite sitting in 7th on the ladder, Mackay are only one game behind third and if they are able to finish the season with two wins a home quarter final is not out of the question. They will start with the 14th placed Capitals coming to town who will be full of confidence following their second win from their past three matches. Brisbane escaped 79-77 the better of Toowoomba thanks to 5 final minute points from Stacey Howard. Howard was the teams leading scorer with 23, whilst Dowdell recorded a near triple double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Brisbane appear to be a different team than the one who started 0-12, but we still think they’ll be no match for the Meteorettes.
USC Rip City v South West Metro Pirates
USC escaped their battle against cross-town rivals 7 points the better as they ran away 66-59 victors in a low scoring affair. Kisha Lee put in a game-high 22 points to go along with 9 rebounds, whilst Maddi Rocci had 20 points and 4 steals. Although Rip are out of the finals race, the win ensured that Phoenix can no longer make finals. South West Metro put together a massive final quarter where they outscored Gladstone 28-16 as they went on to record a 16-point road victory. Mia Loyd was huge with 39 points and 14 rebounds and Maddy Willey stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists and 5 steals – falling only 1 rebound shy of a triple double. The win sees the Pirates improve to 5-10 on what has been a disappointing season. They will get the opportunity to close the year on a strong note with their next two games coming against teams outside of the playoff race. Pirates to get another road W.
Logan Thunder v Sunshine Coast Phoenix
Logan could not have asked for a better weekend going 2-0 on their northern road double with emphatic wins over both Townsville and Cairns. The Thunder made the most of a Bishop-less Flames team running away 13 points the better and backing it up with a 16-point drumming of Cairns, where they led by as many as 28 points in the final term. Ruef was again a star with weekend averages of 23.5 points and 22.0 rebounds on 56% shooting – enough to see her awarded the QBL Women’s Player of the Week for the third time this season. Brittany Carter was also a strong contributor with 19.5 points and 9.0 assists over the two wins. Sunshine Coast have been eliminated from the finals race following their 7-point loss the USC Rip City. This is the third time in their past four matches that they have been kept to under 60 points. Browne and Clancy both top-scored for Phoenix with 13 points as all five starters were forced to play big minutes due to only suiting up seven players. Logan to win comfortably and push closer to locking in a home quarter final.
USC Rip City v Ipswich Force
Rip will be playing their second home game in as many days as the 6th placed Ipswich Force come to town. Ipswich now find themselves in a four-way tie for third position following a 71-78 road loss to Gold Coast. The Force were outscored in each of the opening three quarters to find themselves in a 19-point hole throughout the final quarter before working the final margin back to a respectable 7 points. Amanda Johnson was a lone soldier for the visitors ending up with 32 points and 7 rebounds. Coach Brad George will be asking for a stronger defensive effort against USC after allowing the Rollers to hit on 46% of field goals in their loss. We expect Ipswich to bounce back and defeat the Rip on their home court.
Rockhampton Cyclones v Brisbane Capitals
The Cyclones were unable to win the battle of 1st v 2nd in their home loss to the Lady Spartans eventually going down by 16 points. Rockhampton superstar Gmrice Davis unfortunately went down inside the opening minute of the match and did not return to the court. Jessica Thomas tried her best to perform in the absence of her teammate finishing with a massive 36 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in all 40 minutes of playing time. Coach Chris Muggeridge will be embarrassed with his teams whopping 37 turnovers which led to an astonishing 40 points from turnovers for the visitors. Rockhampton have a perfect opportunity to get back on the winners list as the struggling Capitals come to town following their Friday night hit out in Mackay. The Cyclones will make light work of Brisbane as they move one game closer to locking in the two-seed for the QBL finals.
Gold Coast Rollers v Toowoomba Mountaineers
Gold Coast recorded an important 7-point home win over Ipswich in round 13 to move to equal third in a four-way tie with Townsville, Logan and Ipswich. The Rollers dominated for majority of the match and even extended the lead to as many as 19 points in the final term before allowing the Force to score more freely in junk time. All five Roller starters hit double figures with Luna-Castro netting 17 points to go with 10 rebounds and 4 blocks, whilst Ariana Moorer finished one assist shy of a triple double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 9 dimes. Gold Coast will face a determined last-placed Toowoomba Mountaineers outfit at Carrara Indoor Stadium who are coming off an agonising 2-point loss to Brisbane in round 13. The Mountaineers were unable to capitalise on a three-quarter time lead as the loss now sees Brisbane overtake Toowoomba on the table. Despite the loss Anita Brown put in another 24 points to go along with 12 rebounds, closely followed by Skinner’s 19 and King’s 18 points and 13 boards. The rollers are the far superior team and should win comfortably.
Carina Leagues Club Lady Spartans v North Gold Coast Seahawks
The Lady Spartans split their road double header 1-1 to suffer their first loss of 2019. Southern Districts defensive pressure was too much for the Cyclones to handle on Friday night as they recorded 25 steals which led to 37 turnovers from Rockhampton. Aja Parham-Ammar was huge with 27 points and 9 steals, closely followed by Leah Scott’s 24 points and 4 steals. Their perfect season came to an end on Saturday night after a half court heave from Meteorettes import Erica Covile gave Mackay the two-point victory. Parham-Ammar and Scott backed up their hot form with 18 and 17 points respectively. In round 14 they will face the 8th placed Seahawks in a potential quarter final preview. Despite not playing in round 13 North Gold Coast were able to clinch a finals berth with Sunshine Coast’s loss to USC. Southern Districts will be eager to get back on the winners list after their sole defeat and they should be able to do so against the Seahawks.
Townsville Flames v Gladstone Port City Power Breakers
Townsville’s seven game win streak came to an end at the hands of Logan on Friday night at Townsville StarFM Stadium. The Flames missed their star big Abbey Bishop and therefore had no answer for Logan star Mikaela Ruef who finished with 29 points and 24 rebounds. Alicia Froling picked up some of the slack with an efficient 12 points and 13 rebounds on 83% shooting. Fabbro had 17 points and 10 rebounds of her own, whilst McCully and Brennan also reached double figures despite struggling from the field. They will look to get back on the winners list as Gladstone come to town after a Friday night match up with Cairns. The Flames now find themselves amidst of the four-way tie for third and they should be able to record an easy W over the struggling Breakers.
Toowoomba Mountaineers v South West Metro Pirates
The final game of round 14 sees the bottom placed Toowoomba Mountaineers face the visiting South West Metro Pirates at Clive Berghofer Rec Centre. Both teams are ruled out of finals and will be playing for bragging rights and to finish their seasons on a positive note. Toowoomba will be backing up after the tough challenge of facing the Rollers on the Gold Coast, whilst the Pirates will have a days rest after their journey to the Sunshine Coast to battle USC. Toowoomba’s only win of the season occurred all the way back in round 1 at South West so we expect the Pirates to return the ledger this time around and leave Toowoomba with the win under their belts.