ROUND 6 - Men
Gold Coast Rollers v North Gold Coast Seahawks
Gold Coast (3-1) will be eager to get back on the court after a 19-day break. The Rollers have not played since Round 3 where they defeated the visiting Rockhampton Rockets by 7 points. Spencer Parker is coming off a 29-point outburst in the victory and is currently averaging 25 a game which is good enough for fifth best in the league over the first five weeks. North Gold Coast are coming off a Round 5 loss against the visiting Logan Thunder. The Seahawks struggled from start to finish as they fell to a 13-point half time deficit and were unable to bridge the gap as they went down by 14. Quinton Campbell put up 22 and 8 boards for the home side but did not receive a lot of help from his teammates. This shapes up as a big game on the Gold Coast and we expect the Rollers to take the victory over their crosstown rivals.
Gladstone Port City Power Surge v Sunshine Coast Phoenix
Gladstone suffered their fourth straight defeat in Round 5 as they struggled on the road against the second-placed Meteors in Mackay. After a strong first quarter which saw the Surge jumping out to an early 14-point deficit, the Meteors quickly erased the deficit as they went into the main break with a three-point lead. Gladstone were no match for the home side in the second half as they eventually went down by 19 points. After opening the season with three consecutive victories, Sunshine Coast’s undefeated streak came to an end to Southern Districts in Round 4. Big man Eric McAlister has had a strong start to the season averaging 26 a night he will be a tough cover for Gladstone Friday night. With a Saturday night matchup in Mackay the following night, Phoenix will see this game as the must win of the weekend and we believe they should bounce back and leave Gladstone victorious in a close one.
Brisbane Capitals v USC Rip City
The Capitals find themselves outright first on the QBL ladder and boast the only undefeated record at 6-0. Brisbane made light work of both USC and Southern Districts in Round 4 as they won both contests by 18 and 16 points respectively. Jason Cadee was the Round 4 Player of the Week as he put in 28.0 points and 5.5 assists across the two games. Rip will need to look to turn around the result of their Round 4 match against Brisbane, this time at Auchenflower Stadium. USC currently sit just outside the playoff picture at 9th and will get no better opportunity to claim a big scalp and kickstart their season. With five Capitals players averaging double figures over their first six matches, they should too many options and easily account for the visitors as they extend their undefeated start to seven games.
Ipswich Force v South West Metro Pirates
Ipswich will be aiming to get back on the winner’s list after a tough 0-2 weekend up north against Townsville and Cairns back in Round 4. The Force were able to push the Heat to double overtime before falling just short and backed it up with a disappointing output against Cairns. Kyle Harvey is currently the league’s leading scorer but unfortunately, this has not been transferring into wins as Ipswich find themselves at 1-4 and giving up the most points a night in the competition. After a strong 13-point Round 4 win over Logan, the Pirates fell agonisingly short to the Meteors the following day. South West gave up another fourth-quarter lead for the third time this season and will need to start finding a way to close out games if they are to get themselves out of their current 2-4 hole. The Pirates look the better team in this one and should escape Llewellyn Stadium with the W.
North Gold Coast Seahawks v Townsville Heat
North Gold Coast will be backing up after a Friday night hit out against Gold Coast as they reigning champions come to town. Townsville only managed 67 points for the entire game against the Marlins in Round 5 after averaging 99 a game over their first 3. Peter Crawford and Matthew Rees were the major contributors for the visitors with 23 and 14 respectively. After a strong first three rounds, Jono Mines will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2-point effort on 1-10 shooting against Cairns. Townsville will be embarrassed by their Round 5 performance and will be determined to return to their opening month form as they face the 12th placed Seahawks. The Heat to get back on the winner’s list and start their double header weekend in style.
Rockhampton Rockets v Cairns Marlins
For the second time this season the Rockets breezed past Gladstone, this time with a 15-point victory in newly rebranded Adani Arena in Rockhampton. For the first time in their opening six matches, Rocky kept their opponents under 80 points. The Rockets have shown they have no problems scoring the ball behind the Big 3 of Ogilvy, O’Mara and Bruce. Sean O’Mara was massive in the victory over Gladstone putting up 37 points on 65% shooting. Bruce distributed the ball well to finish the game with 12 dimes. For the first time, this season the Marlins were able to put together back to back victories as they demolished the visiting Heat in Round 5. Loughton notched up an efficient 18 points for the home side, with Christian Jurlina putting in 21 of his own. Fisher and Krslovic both had double doubles. In what looks like the Game of the Week, the Marlins will look to improve on their 1-4 road record against the Rockets who look as though might have finally clicked. Hard to get a read on this game but we’ll give a slight advantage to Rockhampton being the home team.
Toowoomba Mountaineers v Logan Thunder
The Mountaineers are still chasing their first win of season 2019 with their most recent contest resulting in a narrow 6-point loss to the highly touted Meteors. Toowoomba were unable to capitalise on a 10-point half time buffer as Mackay came out after the main break and outscored the home side 28-12 in the third. Despite putting up a respectable 47% from the field, the Mountaineers only converted on 4-24 from deep, an area which will no doubt need to improve on if they are to record their first win. The Thunder led from start to finish against the Seahawks in Round 5 and squared up their record at 2-2. Mitch Young, Thomas Ammar and Michael Cedar all put up 20+ points on good shooting clips, as Simmons finished with a game-high 7 assists. Toowoomba have been more than competitive thus far, and a win looks not too far away, although Logan should be able to come out the better in this one.
Mackay Meteors v Sunshine Coast Phoenix
The Meteors just keep finding ways to win. In Round 4 Mackay fought back from double figure deficits against both Toowoomba and South West Metro to extend their winning streak to seven and sitting comfortably at second on the ladder at 7-1. Bryce Washington put up a monster 20 and 17 over the two victories, closely followed by Derrick Newton’s 20.5 points and Cedar’s 17 and 7. Sunshine Coast will be playing their second game of the weekend after a Friday night contest in Gladstone. Despite sitting in equal third on the QBL ladder, Phoenix are still to prove themselves against the league’s best teams as each of their four games have been against teams outside the top 8. Saturday is a great chance for Sunshine Coast to prove that they are contenders as they face Mackay in Mackay, one of the competitions toughest tasks. Mackay to win comfortably.
Gladstone Port City Power Surge v Cairns Marlins
Gladstone will play their second home game of the weekend as the Marlins come to town backing up from a game in Rockhampton the night before. It may only be Round 6 but a 1-5 start sees Gladstone in a must win situation in order to keep their season alive. If the Surge cannot record at least one win this coming weekend, then you can all but rule out any chance of a 2019 playoff berth. Cairns on the other hand will also see this game as a must win. With the trip to Rockhampton looking like a genuine 50/50 contest, these are the games the Marlins cannot afford to lose if they see themselves as a 2019 contender. Regardless of the results in both teams first games of the weekend, Cairns should prove to be too strong for the home side who falls to 1-7.
Southern Districts Spartans v Townsville Heat
The Spartans enter Round 6 with a 2-4 record and find themselves sitting 10th on the ladder. Their previous game saw an impressive road victory where they knocked off the previously undefeated Sunshine Coast Phoenix. Christopher Whitehead put in a team-high 29 to continue his impressive start to the season. Whitehead is currently averaging 24, 5 and 5 on 59% shooting. In order to knock off the reigning champions, Southern Districts will need to turn around the poor form they have shown on their home floor to start the season. The Spartans boast a 1-3 record at Rowland Cowan Stadium and will need to start making the most of home court advantage if they are to be a serious player in this year’s competition. It will be a big game for Townsville big Jonathon Mines who returns for his first game against his old team. Tipping an upset here with the fresher team to get the job done on their home floor.
Ipswich Force v Toowoomba Mountaineers
To finish of Round 6, we have the Ipswich Force face off against the winless Toowoomba Mountaineers. With both teams a combined 1-9, this is the perfect opportunity for either team to record a much-needed victory and get their season back on track. Ipswich are backing up from a Saturday night home match against South West and Toowoomba a matchup against the Thunder. The Mountaineers will put a lot of effort into stopping the league’s leading scorer Kyle Harvey. Not only is Harvey averaging 32 a night, his three-point percentage is a staggering 59%, proving he is just as deadly from outside as he is inside the arc. If Toowoomba slows down Harvey, they should win this game, but with this being easier said then done we think Harvey will lead the Force to a close victory at Llewellyn Stadium.
ROUND 6 - Women
Gold Coast Rollers v North Gold Coast Seahawks
Round 6 begins with a bang as the Gold Coast Rollers take on local rivals North Gold Coast Seahawks on Friday night. The Rollers haven’t played since Round 3 and currently sit 11th on the ladder with a 1-3 record from 4 games. Jacquie Luna-Castro has led the team in scoring this season with 16.5 points per game shooting at just under 50%, whilst Susannah Walmsley has also been strong with 13ppg and 7rpg. The Seahawks were one of the few teams to play last weekend and suffered a 20-point loss to the Logan Thunder at home. It marks their second straight loss and as a result, sees them tumble down the ladder to 6th after Round 5. North Gold Coast will be desperate to stop the rot and there’s no better chance to make a statement by beating their coastal cousins away from home on Friday. This should be a massive game with a great atmosphere and the result should go down to the wire.
Gladstone Port City Power Breakers v Sunshine Coast Phoenix
Gladstone will enjoy being home for a double-header this weekend after travelling to Mackay last Friday for a tough 35-point defeat to the Meteorettes. The Power Breakers have struggled to find form this season with a single win against Toowoomba the only highlight in 2019. Gladstone will hope Akilah Bethel and Ash Kelman-Poto can put up similar numbers from last week’s performance in a winnable contest for the Power. The Phoenix are 2-2 and one spot out of the eight coming into their northern double-header. The following day’s clash against Mackay will be a tough ask for the team and so will look to get good form and momentum in this one at Gladstone. Both teams will fancy their chances and will be hoping that a win here will keep them within reach of the eight with plenty to play for. Toss of the coin.
Brisbane Capitals v USC Rip City
The Capitals will be searching for their first win of the season when they host USC in Auchenflower on Saturday night. Brisbane have started the season in the worst possible fashion losing their first 6 games to be the only winless team in the competition. The Caps have struggled to put points on the board with Emma Read the leading scorer at 12.5ppg. Madison Woodford was instrumental in Brisbane’s last outing against the Spartans leading the way with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists and coach Marshall will look for her leadership again this week. Rip City enjoyed their first win of the season against Brisbane in Round 4 and will aim to make it a sweep in Round 6. On that occasion, Madison Rocci top-scored with 22 and 6 assists, whilst Chevannah Paalvast Bianca Abbott and Tahlia Tupaea all averaged double-digits in the 25-point win. The Rip have the wood on Brisbane; however, the Capitals are at home and desperate to climb off the bottom of the ladder. Look for a spirited performance from the home side in this one.
Ipswich Force v South West Metro Pirates
Ipswich will aim to cement a position in the top 8 this week with two games at home, the first against South West Metro. In Round 4 the Force travelled north to face the Flames and Dolphins and were able to split the result 1-1. After a close 10-point loss to Townsville on the Friday night, Ipswich bounced back with a commanding 95-77 win over Cairns the following day. Amanda Johnson averaged 20.5ppg, 14rpg and 3.5apg, whilst Kaili McLaren had averages of 15.5, 6.5 and 4, Amy Lewis picked up 13.5ppg, 5rpg and 5.5 assists and Rachel Mate had 14.5 points over the weekend. The Pirates would have enjoyed the week off after a disappointing Round 4 going down to both Logan and Mackay. South West have a 3-3 record heading into the weekend and sit perilously close to falling outside the eight. Steph Bairstow had a solid weekend in Round 4 averaging 14 points, whilst Kayla Roberts was outstanding against Mackay with 32 points at 56% from the field. Coach Edwards needs more from his team to avoid the slide and will hope for a more rounded effort against Ipswich. This should be one of the games of the week with stars on both sides and a tight encounter should ensue.
North Gold Coast Seahawks v Townsville Flames
The Seahawks tackle their second opponent of the weekend coming up against the Townsville Flames in a battle that will keep the winner within distance of the top four. The Seahawks were disappointing last week in their loss to Logan with Casey Samuels the top-scorer with 14 points and Deja Middleton leading the way with 14 rebounds. North Gold Coast face a Townsville side coming off the back of a 14-point win in Cairns last Friday and have now won three on the trot. The Flames face their first southern trip of the year and their first game at Runaway Bay. Townsville have improved their scoring over the past couple of weeks off the back of strong performances from Micaela Cocks and Lisa Brennan. It should be a fast-paced game with plenty to play for as the top four remains within reaching distance for both.
Mackay Meteorettes v Sunshine Coast Phoenix
Mackay are the in-form team of the competition after their sixth straight win against Gladstone last Friday. The Meteorettes were far too good for the Power thanks to Erica Coville’s big night with 22 points and 10 rebounds to go along with top-scorer Alex Delaney who had 25 shooting at 77% including 6-8 from downtown. Mackay’s depth has been sensational in the past few weeks with many valuable minutes going to the bench. The Phoenix travel to Mackay on the back of a trip to Gladstone with a shot to enter the top eight by the end of the weekend. Sunshine Coast currently commit the most turnovers per game in the league and cannot afford to gift Mackay easy ball on the weekend. Aliyah Huland El, Casey Lockwood and Carlie Smith have put up good numbers this season and all three will be vital to the team’s chances. Mackay have been lights out the past month and will be tough to beat at home.
Rockhampton Cyclones v Cairns Dolphins
Rockhampton sit third on the ladder thanks to a 5-1 record and will be hoping for four straight wins when they host the Dolphins. The Cyclones endured a hard-fought 5-point win over rivals Gladstone in Round 4 thanks to a big performance from Brooke Blair. Blair had 28 points and 9 rebounds in the win, whilst Chloe Snow had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Rockhampton are the third highest scoring team in the league which is a stat that Cairns will need to address in their defensive scheme on Saturday. The Dolphins remain one off the bottom of the ladder and despite some spirited performances in the past week have not won since the opening round. It’s a tough road trip for Cairns who will be desperate to get their season going heading into the second half of the year.
Toowoomba Mountaineers v Logan Thunder
The Mountaineers face another double-header in Round 6 starting with a home encounter against an in-form Logan Thunder. Toowoomba have just the one win this season but still, find themselves within reach of the eight. The Mountaineers put up a league-low 44 points against Mackay a fortnight ago and with a high-scoring Thunder team heading to Toowoomba, they will need to ensure that their shooting improves after just 19 from 65 in the loss. Logan claimed their third win of the season last week taking care of the Seahawks 82-62. All five starters were in double-digits with Ash Taia the top scorer on 18. Mikaela Reuf was outstanding grabbing 15 boards and Mikhaela Cann had another dominant outing with 8 assists and leads the league in that department by a fair way. It’s tough to see Toowoomba winning this one, but after a shock Round 1 win against the Pirates anything can happen at the Clive Berghofer Centre.
Gladstone Port City Power Breakers v Cairns Dolphins
The Power face Cairns in both teams’ second game of the weekend at Gladstone on Sunday. Amarah Coleman is the leading scorer for Gladstone this season averaging 18 a game whilst Akilah Bethel has 16. The Power’s offense has been quite strong this season, however, the defence is the big worry for coach Cooper with Gladstone leaking 84 points per game. Cairns, on the other hand, have struggled to put the ball in the basket averaging just 61 points on offense. The Dolphins have used 15 players over the stretch with one of the best performers being young-gun Shaneice Swain who has averaged over 16 a game. It’s a must-win clash for both sides who are staring down the barrel of multiple losses this early in the season. If either team wants a chance to play finals this year, they must get a win on the board this weekend.
Carina Leagues Club Lady Spartans v Townsville Flames
Southern Districts continue to set the benchmark for the competition as the two-time defending championships remain undefeated in 2019. The Spartans enjoyed another successful weekend in Round 4 beating the Capitals and Phoenix to record six straight for the season. Leah Scott put in a tremendous performance against the Phoenix with 29 points and 15 rebounds and currently leads the league with 22.5 points per game. Aja Parham-Ammar has continued to be productive averaging 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists a game. Townsville face their 2018 Grand Final nemesis coming off the back of a trip to Runaway Bay the night prior. Micaela Cocks and Lisa Brennan each had 19 points in last weekend’s win over Cairns, whilst Alicia Froling was again dominant in the paint with 17 rebounds and 3 blocks. It promises to be a mouth-watering clash between two of the top teams in the competition, but you can’t look past the form of the Spartans and at home, they should have enough to win this one.
Ipswich Force v Toowoomba Mountaineers
Ipswich and Toowoomba go head-to-head in each team’s second game of the weekend to finish off Round 6. The Force will once again be led by the 2018 MVP Amanda Johnson who after a slow start has begun to register similar numbers to last year’s campaign. Ipswich lead the competition with assists and currently score the most points per game. It will be a tough ask for the Mountaineers who come into the game as one of four teams with just one win to their name. Toowoomba will look to Anita Brown to lead their attack as she currently averages over 22 points per game making her the second highest scorer in the league. A potential shootout with Amanda Johnson should make for good viewing. Ipswich have the luxury of playing at home and with a strong crowd behind them should maintain their dominance over Toowoomba.v