ROUND 2 - Men
Cairns Marlins v South West Metro Pirates
The Marlins will be looking forward to their first home game of season 2019 after a difficult three-game road trip in which they went 1-2. After a tough 11-point loss to the Seahawks on Friday, Cairns ran away 13-point victors over Southern Districts behind a game-high 33 points from Anthony Fisher to go along with 10 rebounds. Despite shooting only 26% from the field against the Capitals, the Marlins were able to push Brisbane to 2OT before falling just short. The Pirates opened their season in style with a 14-point home victory over Toowoomba. Jarred Bairstow filled the stat sheet 31 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in the victory. South West have a chance to start their season 2-0 before a difficult Saturday night matchup with Townsville but we think Cairns may just get over the line in front of their home crowd.
Mackay Meteors v USC Rip City
Mackay were unable to capitalise on a fourth quarter lead in the first game of their triple header narrowly falling to the Gold Coast Rollers by 4-points. The Meteors bounced back with back-to-back double-digit victories over Logan and Ipswich to close out the weekend 2-1. Bryce Washington averaged a massive 27.33 points and 19.67 rebounds across the three games which resulted in Washington receiving Player of the Week honours. Despite double-doubles from Josh Tueta and Brandon Conley USC fell to cross-town rivals Sunshine Coast in Round 1 by 12-points. Rip were unable to score a single bench point in the loss and will no doubt need more production from their reserves if they are going to match it with the Meteors in Mackay. Mackay comfortably.
Sunshine Coast Phoenix v Ipswich Force
Phoenix started their season with a promising 12-point W over USC Rip City. Eric McAlister put up 28 points against his old team and John Fitzgerald had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals of his own. Ipswich are still searching for their first victory of 2019 after a 12-point home loss to the Meteors. With scores tied heading into the final quarter Ipswich were unable to slow down Mackay’s offence in the last giving up 32 points. Kyle Harvey put up 34 to go along with 21 from Jayden Ferguson in the loss. Phoenix at in a close one at home.
Toowoomba Mountaineers v Gladstone Port City Power Surge
The Mountaineers fell behind by as much as 23 points in the third quarter of their Round 1 match against the Pirates before clawing their way back to within 7 points in the last quarter. Eventually the Pirates pulled away comfortable 16-point victors. All Mountaineer starters reached double figures with Ranko Puselijic leading the way with 15. Gladstone are also coming off a Round 1 loss, although to the hands of the Rockhampton Rockets. Paul Aleer put up 23 points on an efficient 9/13 shooting, but the Surge will be looking for more out of Taylor Young and Harold Ridgeway who were both quiet by their own standards in Round 1. A tough matchup to select a winner but there is no shame in losing to a Rockhampton team featuring three NBL players. Gladstone on the road.
Rockhampton Rockets v USC Rip City
Rockhampton recorded a league-high 109 points in their 16-point Round 1 road victory over Gladstone. The Rockets ran out to a 14-point half time lead and never looked back as they ran away comfortable winners. Andrew Ogilvy put up a massive 36 and 13, Adam Gibson an efficient 26 and James Mitchell stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. USC will be backing up after a difficult task against the Meteors in Mackay on Friday night and Saturday night will not be much easier in Rockhampton. We expect the Rockets to make light work of USC as Rip return to the Sunshine Coast Sunday after a winless weekend.
Townsville Heat v South West Metro Pirates
The two-time reigning QBL Champions look to begin the season with a win over the visiting South West Metro Pirates. The Heat will enter their 2019 campaign with a very familiar line-up featuring the likes of Josh Wilcher, Jamell Anderson and Peter Crawford. Townsville have covered the loss of Justin Baker with Southern Districts big man Jonothan Mines who is coming off 14 point and 6 rebound averages in his 5 games in 2018. On the second game of their northern double header the Pirates will have the near impossible task of defeating Townsville in Townsville, an accomplishment that no road side achieved in the Heat’s last twelve games at Townsville StarFM Stadium of 2018. Heat by double figures.
Brisbane Capitals v Gold Coast Rollers
Brisbane were able to kick off their QBL 2019 campaign with a hard fought 2OT victory over the Cairns Marlins at Auchenflower Stadium. In a low scoring affair where both teams struggled to convert on their opportunities, the Capitals were eventually able to escape with a 12-point victory. Jason Cadee was massive for the home team with 42 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds in 45 minutes of playing time, whilst Benjamin Volkman and Will Magnay both put up double-doubles. The Rollers have started their season 2-0 after home victories over Mackay and Southern Districts in Round 1. Spencer Parker averaged 22.5 points over the weekend, closely followed by Rhys Martin’s 18.5. In what should be an exciting battle on Saturday night, both teams will look to keep their unbeaten starts to 2019 alive. Gold Coast in a close one on the road.
Southern Districts Spartans v Gladstone Port City Power Surge
The Spartans have opened their season with two losses to Cairns and Gold Coast. Coming off a disappointing 2018 season which saw the team winning only 3 games, Southern Districts will be looking to get an early win under their belts. Behind a relatively new line up the Spartans will have a great opportunity to record their first win as Gladstone come to town for their second game of the weekend. The Surge will be backing up after a tough hit out against the Mountaineers on Saturday night and Southern Districts will definitely enter the contest the more rested outfit. Spartans just.
North Gold Coast Seahawks v Sunshine Coast Phoenix
North Gold Coast enter their Round 2 matchup against Sunshine Coast full of confidence after an 84-73 win over the Cairns Marlins. The Seahawks jumped out to a 12-point half time lead before a Marlins basket at the start of the fourth closed the margin to within one. Back-to-back buckets from Quinten Campbell gave the Seahawks some space and the squad never looked back as they ran away with the victory. They face up against a Phoenix team on the second night of a double header after a Saturday night home matchup with Ipswich. After what was a difficult first season back in the QBL for the Seahawks in 2018, we expect them to start 2019 in a much stronger fashion as they close Round 2 with 2-0 record.
ROUND 2 - Women
Cairns Dolphins v South West Metro Pirates
The Dolphins endured a tough triple-header to start the season away from home with losses to Seahawks and Spartans before a valiant come from behind 2-point win over the Capitals last Sunday. Young gun Shaneice Swain was impressive across all three games with an average of 19 points including a game-high 29 against the Capitals. Cairns play their first home game of the season against a South West Metro team who went down to Toowoomba in Round 1 on the back of a disappointing 28% shooting from the field. Steph Bairstow led the Pirates with 17 points and 11 rebounds, whilst captain Madelyn Willey had 14 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. It will be interesting to see if the Pirates can bounce back from their Round 1 defeat on a tough trip up north.
Mackay Meteorettes v USC Rip City
Mackay had a mixed start to their season going 2-1 in an opening round triple-header down south. The Meteorettes started QBL 2019 with a 22-point win over the Rollers on the Gold Coast led by Marianna Tolo who topped the scoring with 21 and 10 rebounds. Tolo backed up on Saturday with 13 points to go along with Heidi Freeburn and Alex Delaney who each had 17 as Mackay went down to the Logan Thunder in front of a raucous home crowd. Freeburn and Tolo were again in the points on Sunday combining for 45 in a strong win over the Force in Ipswich. USC suffered a heartbreaking 4-point loss in overtime to local rivals SC Phoenix last Saturday. Tahlia Tupaea played the entire game top scoring with 26 for the Rip, whilst Katherine Ups was impressive off the bench scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. This should be a tight contest in Mackay with the Rip having to back up in Rocky the following night and Mackay coming off a triple-header in Round 1.
Sunshine Coast Phoenix v Ipswich Force
The Phoenix took bragging rights over rivals USC last weekend with an overtime win in front of their home crowd. With the departures of Abby Bishop and Nat Hurst in the off-season, the Phoenix found new blood to step up with Caitlin Clancy (25), Casey Lockwood (22) and Amy Browne (20) combing for the majority of the team’s points. Ipswich suffered a disappointing 14-point loss to Mackay at home in Round 1 with 2018 MVP Amanda Johnson well contained scoring 12 points shooting at just 19%. Georgia Williams top scored for the Force with 15, whilst Rachel Mate was impactful off the bench with 14. Both teams had different fortunes in Round 1, however, this clash should be a close encounter on the Sunny Coast.
Toowoomba Mountaineers v Gladstone Port City Power Breaker
After suffering a winless season in 2018, the Mountaineers started off with a bang beating the Pirates in Brisbane to record their first win in almost two years. Anita Brown starred for Toowoomba scoring 26 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, whilst Demi Skinner and Kristina King combined for 29 points and 26 rebounds. The Mountaineers will look to make it two from two against a Gladstone team who went down to the Cyclones in a close one at home. The Power started off well against rivals Rockhampton leading at all three breaks before being run down in the final quarter. Milomilo Nanai led the scoring with 22 points, Briana Bailey and Akilah Bethel had 16 and 14 respectively whilst Ashleigh Kelman-Poto grabbed 14 boards. Gladstone face the first of two matches in the southeast and would be looking for a strong performance in Toowoomba before tackling the champs Southern Districts on Sunday.
Rockhampton Cyclones v USC Rip City
The Cyclones finished strongly in their opening game against Gladstone winning by 4 points in a tight contest. Shyla Heal was a standout for Rockhampton registering 37 points with 6 3’s. Brooke Blair chipped in with 15 points and Caitlin Cunningham had 14 points, 17 rebounds and 7 assists. Rocky will look to cut down on turnovers with the team committing 22 against Gladstone last weekend as they face a USC team backing up from a trip to Mackay. The Rip will hope to take away at least one win from a hard weekend up north as their first home game isn’t until Round 4.
Townsville Flames v South West Metro Pirates
The Flames had the opening round off and will look to go one step further in 2019 after finishing runners-up to the Spartans in last year’s Grand Finals Series. A large number of players return for Townsville in 2019 including Micaela Cocks, Lisa Brennan, Alex Fowler and Harriet Carey. American Kourtni Perry is the big new addition for the Flames and Townsville will look to her to produce big numbers this year. The Flames open their season as host to South West Metro who back up from a Friday night clash against the Dolphins in Cairns. The Pirates had a tough opening round loss to Toowoomba and will look to put things right in their only trip up to the north in 2019. This will be an intriguing encounter purely to see where both teams sit this early in the season as big expectations would be on both clubs.
Brisbane Capitals v Gold Coast Rollers
Brisbane will look to reverse their fortunes for the second straight week at home when they take on the Gold Coast Rollers in Auchenflower. The Caps blew a 17-point lead early in the fourth quarter to lose narrowly to Cairns, going down by 2 in Round 1. Brisbane controlled the contest well into the fourth before being run down by a Dolphins outfit playing their third game of the round. Emma Read top scored for the Caps with 16 points, whilst Madi Woodford had 12 points and new recruit Francis Donders had 11 rebounds and 6 assists. Gold Coast are off to an 0-2 start after losing both home games against Mackay and Southern Districts. Jacqui Luna-Castro averaged 13.5 points across the weekend, whilst Susannah Walmsley scored 12. With both teams struggling in the opening round, this will be a vital game early in the season as neither side wants to be winless after the first two weeks.
Southern Districts Spartans v Gladstone Port City Power Breakers
The reigning champs began their defence with a 2 & 0 start to the season with wins against Cairns and Gold Coast. Charmian Mellars put up 26 points and 9 rebounds in the win against the Dolphins, Kassandra Donnelly had 11 rebounds and Aja Parham-Ammar led the team with 5 assists. Parham-Ammar led the team against Gold Coast with 19 points, whilst Odette Isaac had 18 points in the Spartan’s second win of the round. Gladstone face a tricky double-header in the south in Round 2 and will need to back up after a trip to Toowoomba the night before. The Power will look for their starters to gain an upper hand against the defending champs early in the contest. It will be a close game but expect the Spartans to run out victors on home court.
North Gold Coast Seahawks v Sunshine Coast Phoenix
The Seahawks were one of the more impressive teams in Round 1 after a convincing 36-point thumping of the Cairns Dolphins last Friday. Newcomer Deja Middleton was a star for the Hawks with 25 points and 23 rebounds earning her QBL Player of the Week honours. Emily Allen led from the front with 12 points of her own, whilst the Hawks enjoyed good contributions off the bench from Kayla Kiriau and Charli Reece who each scored 10 points in the win. The Seahawks host a Phoenix team coming off a Round 1 victory over Rip but will be playing Ipswich the night before at home. It’s a long road trip from the Sunshine Coast down to Runaway Bay and the Seahawks will be hoping their fresh legs will be the deciding factor in this one. It shapes as one of the games of the week based on each team’s form and shouldn’t disappoint.