Jeremy Kendle – Toowoomba Mountaineers
The Mountaineers are on track to make the finals in 2015 after back-to-back successes over the weekend now have them well clear in Pool C. Jeremy Kendle was again the central figure for the mountain men, and after two mammoth performances has claimed the Player of the Week title for Round 10.
First up was the Rollers at home, and after being out-enthused early on to see the Mountaineers be down at the half by seven points, Kendle in tandem with Maxey led a continued Mountaineers surge through the second half for a runaway 95-75 win. Kendle cleaned up with a game-high 31 points to go with 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals, however his best was to come on the road the following day. In helping his side conjure a spirited fourth quarter fightback to pull off a great escape from the Logan Thunder 96-93, Kendle rattled off a season high 44 points which was matched with team-highs of 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
Kendle hails from the US and played his college ball with Bellarmine University, where as a starter in his rookie season, he helped the Knights claim the 2011 NCAA Div 2 Championship. After graduation, Kendle played professionally in Morocco, Switzerland, and back home in the US before finding his way to Toowoomba where he has proven to be one of the best recruits in the league this season. Whilst he is currently the second highest scorer in the league at 29.4 points per game, he is far from a selfish player as he also ranks top five in the league in average assists at 6.0 a game. Along with fellow import Maxey he has regained the spark that was missing from the Mountaineers last season, and the team looks set to be a dangerous proposition come finals time if they can maintain current form.
In other standout performances from Round 10, Aaron Anderson and Ryan Jeffries both went beyond 30 points in Brisbane’s defeat of Bundy, Chehales Tapsott’s 30 points and 8 rebounds in under 30 minutes saw Rockhampton hand Mackay their first defeat of the season, while the Clippers’ Nelson Kahler stood up for a crucial double-double in his team’s thrilling win over the Rollers.
Charmian Mellars – Gladstone Power
Seven road games in 15 days would break plenty of teams, but not the Power, who swept aside all before them to now sit alone at top of the league. Last weekend arguably consisted the toughest of these games for Gladstone, taking on two of the top five teams during the northern swing. Having worked her way into top form recently, Charmian Mellars was a clear standout for the Power in both games to claim Round 10’s women’s Player of the Week.
Mellars laid on consecutive double-double games, where first up against the Dolphins she hit a game-high 25 points at a cracking 71.4% to pair with 10 rebounds. Despite getting into foul trouble in the following clash to the Flames, she was again at the forefront, pulling in a game high 13 rebounds to go with 18 points as the Power held out the fast finishing hosts.
This is Mellars’ first season of QBL, having joined the Power alongside sister Natalie Taylor. She spent several seasons in NZ Women’s Basketball Championship playing for both North Harbour and Auckland, while in 2008 had the proud distinction of representing her country at the Beijing Olympics. After a fairly muted start to the QBL season, Mellars has really come into her own over the past couple of weeks and is beginning to regularly hit big numbers. Along with her sister and other notable recruits in Walker and Henderson, she has fuelled the Power onto continued success as the season progresses.
There were plenty of other players who pulled out big games during Round 10, notably Brooklyn Pope who inspired the Bears back into form with consecutive double-doubles, including a 35 point game over Brisbane. Emma Mackenzie put in a pair of 20 point games as the Rollers’ went back to back, Kayla Standish’s double-double sealed Mackay’s important sweep over Rocky, while Chelsie Schweers again went big with 25 points and 7 assists in the Force’s defeat of the Pirates.