ROUND 15 - Men
Toowoomba Mountaineers v Southern Districts Spartans
In what will be our first ‘dead rubber’ of the final round, the last-placed Mountaineers host the eleventh-placed Spartans. Puseljic put in an efficient 21 for the home side in the 16-point loss. Toowoomba shot a respectable 47% from the field against the Pirates but were clumsy with the ball recording 29 turnovers as well as allowing South West to shoot an unacceptable 57% for the game. The Spartans on the other hand were able to break a four-game losing streak with a 20-point home victory over the Seahawks. This will be the opening game of Southern Districts road double to close out their season, with a Saturday night fixture at Ipswich to follow. Spartans have a great chance to put a positive spin on what has been a disappointing season, whilst the Mountaineers would love to give their fans something to cheer about with what would be their first win since June 1. Spartans on the road.
Mackay Meteors v Rockhampton Rockets
A round 14 home loss to the first-placed Brisbane Capitals now sees the Meteors drop five of their past seven games. Mackay pulled the margin back to four in the dying minutes but were unable to pull any closer eventually falling by 7 points. Despite the loss Washington returned to his early season form with 25 points and 11 boards, whilst Cedar stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. They will host the Rockhampton Rockets who also suffered a round 14 home loss to the Capitals. The Rockets gave up an alarming 20 made three-pointers to the Capitals which was a major reason for the loss. Ogilvy put 16 points to go along with 21 boards, whilst Shaun Bruce recorded another double-double. Both Mackay and Rocky only managed to play seven players in the matches against the Capitals and both coaches will no doubt extend their rotations in the final match of the regular season. The winner will lock in fifth position and a Week 1 date with the Marlins in Cairns. Mackay in a close one.
Brisbane Capitals v Sunshine Coast Phoenix
With two huge road wins in round 14, the Capitals have locked in the number one seed and home court advantage throughout the entirety of the finals. Magnay continues to make his opponents think twice before entering the paint averaging 6.5 blocks in the two games to go with his 19.5 points and 18.0 rebounds. Cadee was again awarded Player of the Week honours with 25.0 points and 10.5 assists for the weekend. Cadee is a likely out for the final round after being called up to the Australian Boomers squad, whilst the team is in a position where they could rest other players if the choose to do so. The Phoenix kept their finals hopes alive with an all important 6-point victory over the Logan in round 14. In a match where both teams struggled to put the ball in the hoop, CJ Massingale was the difference finishing with 30 points out of his teams 77. Sunshine Coast have their destiny in their own hands with a final round win cementing their position in the finals. A loss will result in them relying on other results to go their way in order to keep their season alive. We’re tipping the Phoenix to knock off a Cadee-less Capitals outfit with the potential of other starters resting.
Ipswich Force v Southern Districts Spartans
After a strong opening term against USC, Ipswich were outscored 16-34 in the second period to find themselves in a 13-point hole entering the major break. The Force were unable to recover eventually falling by 11 points on the Sunshine Coast. Ferguson (27) and Ghee (23) were the high point scorers for the visitors, while Harvey had a quiet 18 by his high standards. They will play their final game of the season in front of their home crowd against a Southern Districts Spartans squad who will be backing up after a Friday night match in Toowoomba. Both teams have had disappointing season and will be looking to close out 2019 on a high note. The Force have only recorded the two wins from their eight games at Llewellyn Stadium yet believe they will be able to finish their season giving the fans something to cheer about. Ipswich by single figures.
North Gold Coast Seahawks v USC Rip City
The Seahawks were no match for Southern Districts at Rowland Cowan Stadium in round 14 being blown out by 20 points. North Gold Coast only trailed by 5 entering the fourth but a quick 7-0 run by the Spartans quickly extended the lead and all up ending North Gold Coast’s hopes of a road victory. The Seahawks had five players reach double figures in scoring but struggled to contain the Spartans bigs as they were outrebounded by 7 on the offensive glass and a -24 in points in the paint. The Seahawks will close their 2019 campaign with a home game against seventh-placed Rip City. Two big round 14 home wins over South West Metro and Ipswich have put USC in a commanding position for a finals berth. Like the Phoenix, Rip’s fate is in their own hands with a victory locking in seventh position and potentially even a rise to sixth in Rockhampton suffer two losses. Look for Jerron Jamerson to put in work against his old team and lead USC to win and into the finals.
South West Metro Pirates v Logan Thunder
Despite finding themselves at 4-8 at the completion of round 11 South West somehow enter the final round of the season with the possibility of still playing finals. The Pirates were able to get past the struggling Mountaineers on Sunday after their loss to USC on Friday to keep their season alive. Ryan Vines stuffed the stat sheet on his way to 18 points, 10 assists and 7 boards, whilst Pwono had 25 of his own. Logan on the other hand could have locked in a finals berth with a win over the Phoenix but fell by 6 points on their home court. The Thunder were kept to 71 points which is their lowest total of the season. Coleman (25) and Ammar (15) tried their best to steady the ship as Cedar and Young struggled from the find combing for 3-22. Both teams find themselves in a position where they are relying on other results to go their way in order to make the finals, although a loss would eliminate them completely. The Pirates appear to be playing slightly more consistent of late and we think they will record a narrow victory.
Gladstone Port City Power Surge v Gold Coast Rollers
Despite falling behind by as much as 28 in their match against the Heat, the Power continued to battle in the fourth quarter eventually bringing the margin back to 8 by the final buzzer. Tipene (30 points) and Young (28 points and 8 assists) were huge for the visitors as they fell to their 15th straight loss on the season. Gladstone will close out their season in front of their home crowd as the Gold Coast Rollers search for their 15th win of the regular season. The Rollers blew the visiting Mountaineers off the court in round 14, running away 37 points the better. Thalo Green scored an efficient 25 points in 24 minutes, whilst Parker finished 2 assists shy of a triple double with 14 points, 14 boards and 8 dimes. Gold Coast are locked into the 2/3 seed entering the finals but will still be hoping for a Townsville loss to ensure a home semi final given they win in the opening week of the finals. Gold Coast comfortably.
Townsville Heat v Rockhampton Rockets
The Heat enter the final round of the QBL regular season with their fate in their own hands. With a home quarter final locked in, a win will see Townsville finish in second position and a loss could see them drop to third if Gold Coast can defeat Gladstone. Townsville blew their round 14 lead over Gladstone to as many as 28 before emptying their bench and allowing the visitors to get the final margin back to a respectable 8 points. Josh Wilcher continued his hot run of form with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in only 26 minutes. The Rockets will be backing up after their Friday night hit out against the Meteors. Two losses for Rockhampton could see them drop to as low as seventh if USC can get a road win over North Gold Coast. This would ultimately set up a rematch against Townsville in Week 1 of the finals. Given a Townsville win locks in home court for the first two weeks of the finals, the Heat have a lot more on the line and therefore we expect Townsville to win their fourth in a row.
ROUND 15 - Women
Toowoomba Mountaineers v Carina Leagues Club Lady Spartans
Round 15 kicks off with top versus bottom in Toowoomba as the Lady Spartans face the Mountaineers. Toowoomba nearly pulled off their second win of the season as they fell in overtime to the visiting Pirates. Anita Brown put in a massive 28 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists although of an inefficient 11-33 from the field. King and Skinner also balled out with 27 and 22 points respectively. Southern Districts have had top position locked in since their round 13 win over Rockhampton and now have the opportunity to rest players in their round 15 road double if they have the desire to do so. The Lady Spartans have the most depth in the league and regardless of who plays in this win they will record the victory over Toowoomba.
Mackay Meteorettes v Rockhampton Cyclones
The Meteorettes came out 14 points the better of the Capitals in round 14 and now find themselves in a tie for sixth with Ipswich. Heidi Freeburn had 22 for the home team to go with her 7 assists in the win. They will face the visiting Rockhampton Cyclones who limped over the line against the 2-15 Capitals in round 14. The Cyclones found themselves in a 13-point hole heading into the major break but were able restrict Brisbane to 10 points in the final term as they eventually escaped 6 points the better. Rockhampton have locked in home court for the first week of the finals but can still drop to third if they suffer two losses. Rocky’s depth will be tested in the final round of the regular season with injuries hitting key players over the past couple of weeks. Mackay to get the W on their home court.
Brisbane Capitals v Sunshine Coast Phoenix
Despite finishing their road double 0-2, the Capitals were extremely competitive against Rockhampton and Mackay only losing by a combined 20 points over the two games. Brisbane led throughout various stages of the fourth quarter in Rockhampton before eventually falling by 6 points. Dowdell had a great weekend, finishing with averages of 20.0 points and 10.0 rebounds across the two games. The Capitals will close their season with a home game against the tenth-placed Phoenix. Sunshine Coast’s dream of a finals berth came to an end with an 18-point road loss to Logan in round 14. Clancy (23) and Browne (21) were the main contributors for the visitors. Brisbane’s form over the past month has been impressive and if this continues, they are a big chance to finish the season with a home victory. Capitals just.
Ipswich Force v Carina Leagues Club Lady Spartans
A narrow 5-point round 14 loss to USC sees Ipswich drop to seventh entering the final round of the season. The Force were unable to capitalise on a 5-point lead entering the final term as they allowed USC to finish on a 10-0 run over the final three minutes of the match. Amanda Johnson struggled from the field despite ending with 15 points and 19 boards, whilst McLaren was a perfect 8-8 form the field. The loss now prevents Ipswich from finishing top 4 and securing a home final. Ipswich will be keen to get back on the winners list after dropping their past two matches. They will play their final game at Llewellyn Stadium of the season against the top-placed Lady Spartans. Southern Districts in a close one.
North Gold Coast Seahawks v USC Rip City
The Seahawks got an early taste of finals basketball in their round 14 loss to the top placed Lady Spartans. Deja Middleton was a standout for the visitors finishing with 25 points and 12 rebounds but ultimately her team was no match for the ladder-leaders falling by 25 points. They now find themselves in a final round blockbuster against USC following their two big round 14 home wins. Rip were able knock off the Pirates by 3 before a 5-point come from behind victory over Ipswich has kept their season alive. Maddi Rocci averaged 24 points over the weekend, closely followed by Paalvast’s 21. Both teams now find themselves in a position where their fate lies in their own hands. USC are required to defeat North Gold Coast by 13 points or more to steal the last position entering finals. If Seahawks win or lose by 1-12 they will finish 8th. We predict USC to win the game but not by enough to make the finals.
South West Metro Pirates v Logan Thunder
South West split their round 14 road double 1-1 with an overtime win Sunday over Toowoomba following a narrow loss to Rip on Friday. Mia Loyd put in a massive 38 points and 14 boards against the Mountaineers, whilst Kayla Roberts also had a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards. Both players also notched up double-doubles against Rip but struggled from the field. They close out their season with the third placed Thunder coming to Hibiscus in an attempt to lock in a top 4 finish and home quarter final. Logan made light work of Sunshine Coast in round 14 running away 18 points the better. Ruef, Carter and Taia all contributed strongly finishing with 19+ points each. The Thunder find themselves in a position where they can finish anywhere between third and sixth, but a win would lock in top 4. Logan have won 8 of their past 9 and we think their hot streak will continue as they escape with a narrow win over the Pirates.
Gladstone Port City Power Breakers v Gold Coast Rollers
Gladstone lost both games of their round 14 road double to see their losing streak extend to five games. The Breakers held the lead inside the final minute before a Sarah Heard triple stole the lead back for the Dolphins to escape with a 2-point victory. Gladstone struggled from the field only shooting 31% for the game but would be happy with the spread of contributors with four starters reaching double figures. The squad was no match for Townsville Saturday night falling by 22. Gold Coast will enter the final round of the regular season in fifth position and full of confidence after their 24-point flogging of Toowoomba. The Rollers scored a season-high 102 and were led by Patrick’s 23 and Tolley’s 21. They need other results to go their way in order to host in the opening week of the finals. Gladstone will be no match for the visiting Rollers who will enter the finals winners 7 of their past 8.
Townsville Flames v Rockhampton Cyclones
Townsville returned to the winners list win an easy 22-point win over the Gladstone Breakers in round 14. Harriet Carey was dominant for the Flames finishing with 28 points, whilst Froling had a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards. This sets up an exciting last round duel against the Cyclones in what will be a battle between third and fifth. The Flames find themselves in a position where they can jump all the way up to second or drop as low as fifth depending on other results. Townsville will lock in a home final with a victory and we expect them to do this facing a run down and injured Cyclones outfit who could realistically enter the finals with two straight losses.