ROUND 4 - Men
North Gold Coast Seahawks v Toowoomba Mountaineers
The Seahawks suffered a heavy loss at the hands of the Brisbane Capitals in Round 2. North Gold Coast struggled to put the ball in the basket finishing the game with only 76 points whilst giving up 99 to the visitors. Robert Linton was the standout for the home side as he put up an efficient 24 points on 8-12 shooting, including 6-9 from deep. The Mountaineers are currently the only winless side in the Men’s competition after a 14-point road loss to Sunshine Coast Phoenix. Despite taking an 8-point lead into the major break, the Mountaineers were outscored 8-24 in the third quarter as the Phoenix took a stranglehold on the match. Ricardo Martin will be looking to bounce back after a tough 4-19 shooting night. Seahawks at home.
Townsville Heat v Ipswich Force
Townsville was able to keep their winning streak over northern rivals, Cairns, as they ran away 10-point victors over the Marlins in Round 3. Jonathon Mines put in another 32 to go along with 9 rebounds, with teammate Keegan Tudehope scoring 20 of his own as he pulled in 14 boards. The Force managed to split their two-game homestand as the bounced back from a loss to Rockhampton with a win against Gladstone on Saturday. Kyle Harvey was massive with averages of 37.5 points and 14.0 rebounds across the two games as he received the QBL Player of the Week Award. Mitchell Poulain (25 and 12), Jason Ralph (13 and 14) and Joshua Spiers (13 and 10) also record double doubles in their teams first win of 2019. Townsville comfortably.
USC Rip City v Brisbane Capitals
USC will play their first home game of season 2019 as they enter Round 4 with a 2-2 record. Rip City were able to escape with a hard-fought 8-point road victory over the Spartans, largely behind a combined 55 points from Jalen Bradley (32) and Brandon Conley (23) Conley notched his 23 points in a quickfire 24 minutes of playing time on an impressive 11-12 shooting clip. The Capitals (4-0) are one of three undefeated teams left in the competition and they will look to keep this streak alive Friday night up the Coast. Brisbane made light work of North Gold Coast before fighting back from a fourth-quarter deficit against the Pirates on Sunday afternoon. Six Brisbane players scored in double figures against South West and coach Sam Mackinnon will be rapt with the even spread of scoring to start the season. Brisbane to upset USC’s home opener and extend their winning streak to 5.
Logan Thunder v South West Metro Pirates
The Thunder recorded arguably the best win of the QBL season to date after overcoming a 23-point deficit to runaway 8-points the better of the visiting Rockhampton Rockets. Sean Carrol put up a massive 36 points off the bench for the home side which included a whopping 10-14 from behind the arc. Logan shot an impeccable 52% from deep and the 24 makes from long range was a major factor in the comeback. South West have fallen to 1-3 after an opening road win. The Pirates have been in a strong position to win their past two against Townsville and Brisbane and they are desperate to get back on the winners’ list to avoid falling into a 1-4 hole. Jarred Bairstow stuffed the stat sheeting against the Capitals as he finished the game with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. With Mitch Young likely to return to the line-up, Logan should be too strong in this one.
USC Rip City v North Gold Coast Seahawks
Rip will finish their two-game home opener weekend as North Gold Coast come to town. Both teams will be playing their second game in two nights and hoping to finish the round on a positive note. USC will be backing up after the challenging task of trying to defeat the undefeated Capitals, whilst the Seahawks will be coming off a game against the winless Mountaineers. In what is a difficult matchup to predict this early in the season, USC’s win against Southern Districts in round 3, in addition to home court advantage puts them in a strong position to get the W in this contest. Rip City in a close one.
Rockhampton Rockets v Gladstone Port City Power Surge
Rockhampton have fallen to 2-3 on the season after a disappointing 3 game road trip in Round 3. The Rockets started the weekend with a strong 107-98 win over Ipswich before dropping their final two games to Logan and Gold Coast. Rockhampton led the Thunder by as many as 23 points before eventually falling by 8. On Sunday they again blew another double-figure lead as the Rollers kept the Rockets to only 10 final quarter points to close out the game. Rocky continue to get a strong production from their starters but will require more output from the reserves in order to get back on the winners’ list. Gladstone fell 98-107 to Ipswich in their only game of the weekend. Paul Aleer put up 27 points and 15 rebounds in the loss to the Force and along with Ridgeway will have the tough task of slowing down Ogilvy this weekend. The Rockets should defeat the Surge for the second time in four rounds.
Toowoomba Mountaineers v Mackay Meteors
After a trip down to North Gold Coast, Toowoomba will return home to face one of the in-form teams of the competition, the Mackay Meteors. After dropping their opening game of the season to the Gold Coast Rollers, Mackay have bounced back strong with four straight wins. Over the four-game win streak, Mackay has put up an average of 104 points a night and an average winning margin of 16 points. This included a strong 12-point victory over the visiting Cairns Marlins in Round 3. Newton, Cedar and Washington all scored above 20 points. Bryce Washington is putting up impressive averages of 25.2 points and 17.8 rebounds night and it will be extremely challenging for the Mountaineers to slow down the big man. Toowoomba remain winless as Mackay continue the streak.
Cairns Marlins v Ipswich Force
The Marlins have begun their 2019 campaign with one of the toughest fixtures to date. After a Brisbane triple header and the Townsville/Mackay double within the opening three rounds, Cairns find themselves with a 2-4 record. The Marlins lost both Round 3 games by 10 and 12 points respectively against fellow North QLD powerhouses. Fabijan Krslovic averaged 20.5 points and 9.0 rebounds across the weekend and if this form is to continue into Round 4 it will go a long way to getting his side back on the winners’ list. In what is one of the leagues toughest road doubles, Ipswich will be backing up after a Friday night matchup in Townsville. The Force are giving up a league-high 104 points a game, and despite their strong offensive game, will need to begin to shut down opponents scoring abilities if they are to start to convert their efforts into wins. Cairns at home.
Southern Districts Spartans v Brisbane Capitals
The Spartans find themselves as one of three teams boasting a 1-3 record after a disappointing 96-88 home loss to USC in Round 3. Christopher Whitehead put in another 29 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 6 assists, whilst Callum Dalton had 22 of his own. Southern Districts only managed 6 bench points, a stat that will need to change if they are going to have any chance at handing Brisbane their first loss of 2019. The Capitals will be backing up after a trip to USC on Friday night and based on recent results this appears to be the easier game of their weekend. The depth and even spread of contributors for Brisbane across the opening three rounds continues to put them in a great position as they enter another road double header weekend. Brisbane to close out another weekend undefeated.
South West Metro Pirates v Mackay Meteors
The Pirates and Meteors will both be backing up after Saturday night road games against Logan and Toowoomba respectively. In what appears to be a danger weekend for South West, their weekend doesn’t get much easier as Mackay enter Hibiscus Stadium on Sunday afternoon. South West will need to win either game this weekend or else they find themselves in dangerous territory at 1-5 after the opening month of the season. Given the Meteors impressive form since their Round 1 loss to Gold Coast, it is difficult to pick against them. Mackay may have too much firepower as they return home after a 2-0 trip down south.
Sunshine Coast Phoenix v Southern Districts Spartans
Sunshine Coast are the last remaining undefeated team to play in Round 4. In a 14-point victory over Toowoomba, USC recruit Eric McAlister continued his impressive start to the season with another 30 points and 14 rebounds to go along with 4 block shots. Phoenix trailed by 8 heading into the major break before a dominant third quarter where they outscored the Mountaineers 24-8 was enough to turn the momentum of the game and lead them to another victory. The Spartans will be backing up after a home hit out against another undefeated team in the Capitals and will be looking to achieve the difficult task of handing both teams their first losses in the same weekend. Sunshine Coast should enter this match fresh with it being their first game in 8 days and this should be a factor against a Southern Districts squad on the second night of a back-to-back. Phoenix at home.
ROUND 4 - Women
North Gold Coast Seahawks v Toowoomba Mountaineers
The 3 & 0 Seahawks host the 1 & 2 Mountaineers in Friday night’s Round 4 opener on the Gold Coast. Both teams face a home and away double-header this weekend and both will look to get off to a good start with a win on Friday. The Seahawks are red-hot to start the season and were dominant against the Capitals in Round 3 winning 81-55. Deja Middleton kept her good from going with a standout 26 points, 14 rebounds and 4 steals for NGC, whilst Emily Allen and Casey Samuels have both been solid starters all season combining for 27 against Brisbane. Toowoomba were gallant in defeat to the Phoenix last week as Anita Brown put up a game-high 28 points in the loss. The Mountaineers will look to get back on the winner’s board after two straight losses, but away from home against the in-form Seahawks is a big ask and the home side should be too strong in this one.
Townsville Flames v Ipswich Force
Townsville held on for their first win of the year against Cairns last week registering a 4-point win over their rivals. Micaela Cocks top-scored for the Flames with 22 points and had 7 assists with no breaks for the veteran. Kourtni Perry picked up 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Alicia Froling was again instrumental capturing 12 rebounds. The Flames host an Ipswich side coming off a 2 & 0 weekend at home and are starting to hit the form which catapulted them into semi-finalists in 2018. Last year’s MVP Amanda Johnson was back to her best last round earning Player of the Week with averages of 27 points and 18 rebounds in wins against Rockhampton and Gladstone. This shapes as an interesting contest with plenty of stars on show and if Ipswich can quiet the rowdy home crowd in Townsville, they should be slight favourites to get the chocolates in this one.
USC Rip City v Brisbane Capitals
USC host their first games of the season this weekend with matchups against the Caps on Friday and the Seahawks on Saturday. The Rip put up a good fight against the Spartans last round in a low-scoring affair eventually going down by 8 points in Carina. Maddison Rocci led the way for USC with 16 points, whilst Chevannah Paalvast notched a whopping 9 steals in her first game of the season. The Capitals continue to struggle in 2019 with two big losses against North Gold Coast and South West Metro in Round 3 compounding them to last place on the ladder with a 0 & 4 record. Brisbane were blown out of the water from the start of each game last week and Saturday’s top scorer against the Seahawks Emma Reid could only manage a minute in the following game against the Pirates. Things are starting to look dire for the Capitals and they will need to turn their season around quickly in this matchup against the also winless USC before they tackle the Spartans in their second game of the round. Both teams will be desperate for their first win of the season and that should mean a close contest on the Sunshine Coast.
Logan Thunder v South West Metro Pirates
It’s always a big occasion when Logan meet South West Metro in QBL, and Saturday night will be no different. The Thunder are coming off a disappointing loss to the Cyclones last week and despite a strong first half with scores locked at the big break, Logan were unable to match Rockhampton in the second half going down by 18 points. Mikhaela Cann (nee Donnelly) was back to her best form with a team-high 28 points shooting at 56% from the field. Mikaela Ruef registered 18 points to go along with her 10 rebounds, whilst Ash Taia picked up 7 steals in a strong effort. Both Ruef and Taia fouled out leaving Logan with little depth as the Cyclones ran over the top of them in the final quarter. The Pirates face a tricky double-header this weekend buoyed by their big win over the Capitals last round. The Pirates were dominant at home last week and will look to carry on that form against their rivals in what should be a highly entertaining clash at the Thunderdome. Expect a big crowd at Logan for this one and based on both team’s form it’s hard not to tip the Pirates despite being the visitors.
USC Rip City v North Gold Coast Seahawks
Depending on their result against the Capitals the night before, the USC could be coming into this game searching for their first win in season 2019. The Seahawks will be hoping for the complete opposite looking to continue their unbeaten streak as they travel north to the Sunshine Coast on Saturday night. Despite their winless start, the Rip have been competitive in all matches this season with an average losing margin of just 7 and all losses coming under 10 points. Liisa Ups remains the top scorer for the Rip with 16 a game despite a disappointing 2 points against the Spartans in Round 3 and Chevannah Paalvast should be a good addition for USC after an impressive first start against Brisbane last week. The Seahawks continue to roll on and based on being strong favourites against Toowoomba on Friday night they should go into this one remaining undefeated. It’s a battle of top against bottom and the top team Seahawks should have enough to get over the Rip.
Cairns Dolphins v Ipswich Force
Cairns remain with just one win on the board after their six games in season 2019. The Dolphins travelled to Townsville and Mackay last week and weren’t able to come away with a W in each game despite a spirited performance against the Flames on Saturday. The Dolphins flew out of the gates against Townsville and despite a fourth-quarter comeback weren’t able to reel back the deficit. It was a different story on Sunday as Cairns were mauled by the Meteorettes 88-57 in Mackay. Janee Thompson and Anglea Tompkins both averaged 28 points over the weekend with Tompkins grabbing 18 boards in the loss to Townsville and Thompson collecting 9 assists in the same game. Shaneice Swain continues to be a shining light for Cairns with averages of 11, 3 and 1 across the two games. Ipswich face their second of two games in the north this weekend and will look to star Amanda Johnson to bring the heat once again. Georgia Williams and Amy Lewis have also been focal points for the Force as their season starts to click into gear. It’s always tough to back up from a trip to Townsville the night prior, however, the strength of Ipswich’s starters should be too good against Cairns this weekend.
Rockhampton Cyclones v Gladstone Port City Power Breakers
Rockhampton endured a tough road triple-header in week 3 and despite an opening night loss to Ipswich, managed to finish the weekend with a 2 & 1 record after wins against Logan and Gold Coast. Abby Bishop showed why she is one of the best in the league with an average of 19.3 points, 12.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists across the weekend. She was well supported by Alice Kunek who put up 21 points including a massive 37 against Logan, 5.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Strong contributions from Brooke Blair and Shyla Heal were also instrumental in Rocky’s successful weekend. This round the Cyclones face local rivals Gladstone for the second time in four weeks as the Power will look to gain revenge after a narrow 4-point loss in Round 1. Gladstone will look to their leaders once again and will hope that Akilah Bethel puts in another big performance as was the case against Ipswich last week hitting 36 points with 13-24 from the field to go along with a team-high 11 rebounds. Amarah Coleman was also impressive with 24 points and 7 rebounds, however, the Power Breakers fell to Ipswich by 11 points. Rocky have looked the better of the two teams this far into the season and home-court advantage should be enough to get them over the line in this one.
Southern Districts Lady Spartans v Brisbane Capitals
The Lady Spartans continue to dominate in their championship defence and after another win last weekend against the Rip, they sit at the top of the ladder with the Seahawks at 4 & 0. Although it was far from convincing, the Spartans did enough to get the win last week in a low-scoring affair eventually coming up trumps 58-50 at Rowland Cowan Stadium. Leah Scott continued her good from scoring 23 points and collected 11 rebounds, whilst Aja Parham-Ammar was again strong defensively with 14 rebounds and 3 steals to go along with her 13 points. There will be cause for concern however with the Spartans’ shooting – registering just 34% from the field; something that coach Lewis will look to turnaround this weekend. The Capitals face the unenviable task of taking on the defending champs on their home court this Saturday. Brisbane are yet to get a win on the board and although they take on a winless USC team the night before, this matchup does not look pretty on paper. The Caps need to find someone to score baskets this week as the team is currently averaging just 56 points a game this season. The Spartans are at home, undefeated and keen to extend their winning streak. This could be a big margin at Carina.
Toowoomba Mountaineers v Mackay Meteorettes
The Mountaineers head home for their second game of the round when they play host to the 4 & 1 Mackay Meteorettes. Toowoomba were the surprise packets in Round 1 defeating the South West Metro Pirates but since then have not registered a win. Saturday’s game against Mackay will be another tough encounter after recent losses to the Phoenix and Gladstone. Toowoomba conceded a massive 56 points in the paint last week and will need to address that area against a tough Meteorettes outfit. Mackay travel to the south for the second time this year and are in good from having won their last 3. Erica Coville has been a good addition for the Meteorettes and despite starting on the bench last week against Cairns was able to top score with 20 points. The Meteorettes will aim to get off to a good start on their southern road trip with a win in this one against the Mountaineers. Form and history would tell us that Mackay should have it easy in this one.
South West Metro Pirates v Mackay Meteorettes
The Pirates have bounced back well since their shock Round 1 loss to Toowoomba and have won their last three games to sit 5th on the ladder after 3 rounds. The Pirates easily took care of the Capitals last week with an 80-46 thumping at home. Mia Loyd has been dominant of late and again starred for the Pirates with 27 points including 5-9 from deep as well as a team-high 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Kayla Roberts also impressed with 19 points and 8 rebounds against Brisbane, whilst Steph Bairstow collected 14 points shooting at 55% from the field. The Pirates handed the ball over 24 times against the Capitals and will need to address this against a fast running Mackay outfit. The Meteorettes face the tougher of their double-header against the fresh-legged Pirates but depending on the result of the previous night against the Mountaineers, should come into this game with good form. The battle between Loyd and Coville should be interesting and this game shapes as one of the best of the round. Toss of the coin on Sunday.
Sunshine Coast Phoenix v Southern Districts Lady Spartans
The final game of the week sees the Sunshine Coast Phoenix do battle with the Southern Districts Lady Spartans at Maroochydore. The Phoenix have had an up and down start to the year but managed to get a solid win against Toowoomba last week. Carlie Smith was the standout for Phoenix registering 25 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists in a commanding performance. Aliyah Huland El has been a welcome addition for the Sunny Coast putting up good numbers again in Round 3 with 24 points shooting at 61% plus 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Whilst the Phoenix have got themselves into good form, their biggest test will come this Sunday against the Spartans. Southern Districts continue to set the benchmark for the competition and will look to nab another couple of wins this weekend to continue their winning streak to 6. Although a road trip to the Sunshine Coast the day after a game will be tough, expect the Lady Spartans to roll on to another win in this one.