ROUND ELEVEN GAME PREVIEWS
Friday 8 July
Gold Coast Rollers v Townsville Flames
Gold Coast Rollers: Nadeen Payne has been a steady contributor this season despite the recent form slump that the Rollers are currently in. Her averages of 23.9 points and 10 rebounds a game will be key if her team starts to win games.
Townsville Flames: Ainsley Walsh’s solid season continued in her teams grind-out win over a determined Clippers outfit in their last clash. She will need to bring it for the three games down south this weekend.
The Rollers have lost their last four games after they were sitting pretty at 5-1 and need to get back on the winner’s list desperately. With Payne patrolling the paint, they are every chance to counter the impact that Novosel will bring. With the home crowd behind them, an upset could be brewing as the race for the playoffs heat up.
Bundaberg Bears v Sunshine Coast Rip
Bundaberg Bears: WNBL Product Carly Boag had a serious case put forward for Player of the Week due to her performance against the Capitals. Her 28 points and 14 rebounds unfortunately wasn’t enough to get win despite her dominance across the board.
Sunshine Coast Rip: In another tough night, the Rip were buoyed by Francis Donders 16 points of which she went perfect from behind the arc with 4/4. If these nights continue and with some more support, the Rip are capable of making some noise in the final few rounds of the season.
The Bears’ seemingly strong position that they held just a few weeks ago has faded after three straight losses and they find themselves fighting with the Capitals for second spot in their pool. With the Rip coming into town, they will be confident that they can run them off of the floor and set up a perfect foundation to make a late season surge.
Saturday 9 July
Ipswich Force v Toowoomba Mountaineers
Ipswich Force: Despite foul trouble that got her off the floor after only playing 19 minutes, Kate Heal was still had good production for the Force with 17 points against the ‘Neers. This Toowoomba outfit will be hoping she is a little quieter this weekend.
Toowoomba Mountaineers: Kirby Lennan’s 16 points and 8 rebounds will be a pleasing sight for her coaching staff despite the loss they suffered. Other key players will need to step up for a change in fortune this week.
The Force have won five in a row and they will go into this one as heavy favourites. The Mountaineer women have suffered two heavy defeats handed to them by the Force, with the 36 point drubbing at Cotton On Foundation Stadium a real concern. The ‘Neers will need the likes of Royo Torres and Lennan to fire to give them a chance.
South West Metro Pirates v Townsville Flames
South West Metro Pirates: The Pirate’s shot a low 31.3% in Rockhampton the day after Mackay handed them a heavy defeat. Clearly this is very low and if they hope for a change in fortune this weekend, they need to find a way to score.
Townsville Flames: Cherie Gallagher really showed her offensive abilities as she dropped 16 points on an impressive 70% from the field. If the Flames hope to make noise this post-season, they will need role players like Gallagher stepping up to help out on both ends of the floor.
This Pirates outfit have lost eight straight games and sit second bottom on the ladder. With the Flames sitting at the other end of the table and fighting the Dolphins for a post-season position, they must simply win this game. Stopping the duo of Parsons and Carlson will be pivotal, as they are capable of causing some damage if they get hot.
Gladstone Power v Cairns Dolphins
Gladstone Power: The star duo of Willey and Mellars combined to shoot 13-38 from the field which coincided with a loss that the Power felt they should have won. Look for them both to bounce back and have better games.
Cairns Dolphins: Rachel Pryor was prominent again in Round 10 and showed her coaching staff just how important she is to the overall success of her team. She scored 18 points and did a good job patrolling the paint as she had 13 rebounds also.
After losing four out of their last five games, the Power are now playing for pride. For the Dolphins nevertheless, post-season play is right there in front of them and a win on the road will help their chances immensely to lock up that playoff spot. In what should be an entertaining affair, all eyes will be on the Dolphins to see if they truly can compete in the post-season.
Sunshine Coast Rip v Suncoast Phoenix Clippers
Sunshine Coast Rip: Francis Donders 16 points while going four from four from the three is proving that she is a definite outside threat.
Suncoast Phoenix Clippers: Kierra Mallard showed promise after finishing with 12 points and 14 rebounds during their game against Cairns. If she can follow through with another performance like this she will be able to give her team the confidence boost it is looking for.
After both teams suffered from some tough losses last weekend, they will be looking to prove that they still have the ability to compete and are desperate to win. It ultimately it will come down to who wants it more.
Rockhampton Cyclones V Cairns Dolphins
Rockhampton Cyclones: It was clear that a dominating team performance from the Cyclone’s is what prevailed for their 27 point win over the Pirates during last weeks match-up. With many standout performers in that class, the Dolphin’s will need to be on their toes!
Cairns Dolphins: Jade Kennedy’s double-double of 10 rebounds and 11 points was a definite factor in their win over the Phoenix. She will need to be looking to back up this performance in order to compete with the top of the table.
Game Preview: This is one tough match-up for the northern teams and an important pool game too. With Cairns looking to try and gain a spot in the finals all their games are considered to be must wins. They must find a way to beat this Cyclone’s outfit who haven’t suffered defeat since Round 1 and want to remain on top of the ladder.
Mackay Meteorettes V Gladstone Power
Mackay Meteorettes: After a 50 point win last week, Mackay will need to remain focused and confident through this week and hopefully have another strong performance.
Gladstone Power: After a tough loss to Brisbane, Gladstone will be looking to come out of the gates firing. After an impressive 22 points and 14 rebounds from Markell Walker, she will be looking to back up this performance to prove she can hack it with the best.
The Power will need to contain a strong Meteorettes team if they have hopes of coming off this game with a win. The Meteorettes are still chasing top spot so will have a lot to play for; however the Power have caused some quality teams problems this season so they can’t be written off just yet.
Logan Thunder V Townsville Flames
Logan: After coming off a huge win last week Logan will be looking to continue their form. Kate Gaze has picked up her game and will be looking to continue this form in this upcoming game.
Townsville: Natalie Novosel will be looking to continue dominating the game, after her impressive 30 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists in last week’s game, it will be interesting to see if they are able to keep their impressive performance with four other players also ended up in the double digits for scoring.
With these two teams being in the top five this match-up will prove to be a tough one. The Fire will be looking to gain some more consistency with their wins whereas the Thunder will be looking to continue their winning season and lock up top spot in their pool.
Friday 8 July
Gold Coast Rollers v Townsville Heat
Gold Coast Rollers: Role Player Andrew Lomakin was on fire from downtown in the Rollers most recent victory which happened back in Round 9. He made 6 threes from 10 attempts so he will need to be watched.
Townsville Heat: Superstar Peter Crawford put a serious case forward for Player of the Week with this standout performance consisting of 41 points and 16 rebounds on 50% from the three!
Fresh off of the bye, the Rollers will be well prepared to take on the benchmark team of the QBL this season Friday night. The Heat however are undefeated for a reason, and as this is their first game of a long weekend they will be itching to start it with a win.
Bundaberg Bulls v Sunshine Coast Rip
Bundaberg Bulls: A poor shooting night by star Scheraun King coincided with the big loss that the Bulls suffered at the hands of the Capitals. He will be ready to bounce back and show that touch that he has exhibited all season.
Sunshine Coast Rip: Isaiah Harrison’s gallant performance was soured by a tough loss by the Thunder last Saturday night. He was a menace inside with 19 points and 16 rebounds so no doubt the Bulls will need to prepare to minimise his presence.
The Bulls who are usually strong at home were beaten soundly by a surging Capitals outfit so no doubt they will be ready to make amends. Although despite sitting near the bottom of the ladder, the Rip are tough opposition every week and no doubt this week will not be any different. It should be an entertaining affair.
Saturday 9 July
Ipswich Force v Toowoomba Mountaineers
Ipswich Force: Player of the week James Legan has been lighting it up all season and last weekend up the mountain wasn’t an exception. He dropped 48 points which included a sizzling 11-16 from behind the arc.
Toowoomba Mountaineers: Point Guard Chris Whitehead backed up his previous 51 point game against the Force with another dominant outing. He had a near triple-double with 30 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds.
These two sides will clash again for the third time and if this game is half as good as the others then we are in for a treat. Last weekend saw James Legan hit the game winner to top off a dominant display, and just a few weeks prior Chris Whitehead dropped a season high 51. With the Force so far taking the victories, the Mountaineers will be eager for revenge.
South West Metro Pirates v Townsville Heat
South West Metro Pirates: Jarred Bairstow’s performance against the Rockets at Hegvold Stadium unfortunately couldn’t get the Pirates over the line in hostile conditions. He had 26 points to back up his solid outing of 15 in Mackay the night before.
Townsville Heat: Mirko Djeric did a good job of leading his team and running the offence to keep the Heat’s unbeaten season alive. To go along with his 5 assists he had 16 points so he is a player the Pirate’s will need to stop.
The Pirates return home for the first time since Round 7 and it will be a welcomed sight after being outplayed by the Meteors and the Rockets. As this is the second game in as many days for the Heat with another one to play, they will need to be on their toes as there are a number of teams in the South desperate to cement playoff spots and a big scalp would only better their chances.
Gladstone Power v Cairns Marlins
Gladstone Power: In his first game since Round 2, Yassine Ghomari showed his team just how valuable he can be in this league. Despite the loss, he had 25 points which included 6 made threes and will be full of confidence this weekend.
Cairns Marlins: The Marlins are fresh off of a comfortable 20 point home win over the Clippers and will go into this one full of confidence, especially if James Mitchell can continually bring 26 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists to the table.
The Power have suffered four losses in their last five clashes and with their season slowly slipping away, they will be desperate to get back on track. The Marlins however are chasing the Meteors for that second pool position, and know a loss here will seriously dint their chances if they hope to play this post-season. With so much riding on this game it should be a good one!
Sunshine Coast Rip v Suncoast Phoenix Clippers
Sunshine Coast Rip: Lance Hurdle will need to be watched as he played well in their Round 1 affair, scoring 24 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing 5 assists in his first ever QBL game.
Suncoast Phoenix Clippers: In the same game, Zane Meehl top scored for the home team with 25 points on 10/13 shooting from the field, with 8 rebounds to further show his impact. The Rip will need to find a way to shut him down this time if they hope to come away victors.
With a six game losing streak still sitting above their heads, this is the Clippers’ golden opportunity to register their first win in quite a while. They’re up against a Rip side though who will be ready to win, especially with imports Hurdle and Harrison enjoying good maiden seasons in the QBL.
Rockhampton Rockets v Cairns Marlins
Rockhampton Rockets: In a night where plenty of players could be mentioned, Ray Turner was a beast inside with 16 rebounds to go along with his 27 points. He was too good for the Pirates, and the Rockets Coaching Staff will be hoping for another good outing.
Cairns Marlins: The Marlins let a golden opportunity get away in their Round 4 loss to the Rockets at home. The Rockets scored 42 fourth quarter points in that one and with this being their second game in a double-header, they will need to play all 40 minutes.
With only one loss separating these teams, and both camps keen to play this post-season, this is a game that both sides cannot afford to lose. The Marlins welcome back Tragardh who will anchor the middle however they will need to find a way to stop the highly potent Rockhampton offense from firing.
Mackay Meteors v Gladstone Power
Mackay Meteors: Chris Cedar was on another level as the Meteor’s proved just too much for the Pirates in their double-header. He couldn’t miss from anywhere on the floor and finished with 34 points which included nine made three pointers.
Gladstone Power: Ray Willis was missed on the floor due to foul trouble against the Capitals and as he finished with a near triple-double in a win the last time these two sides met, he will be itching to have the same production.
The Power will make the trip up to Mackay having played the night before, something which may favour the Meteors, of which are coming off of a dominant win at home. The backcourt duo of Willis and Ghomari will need to fire to combat the proven duo of Bruce and Cedar.
Logan Thunder v Townsville Heat
Logan Thunder: Michael Cedar finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds for the Thunder in a hard fought win over the Rip. He will need to bring his “A-Game” again if his side hope to knock off the currently unbeaten heat.
Townsville Heat: In less than 23 minutes of action, NBL Player Luke Schenscher showed just how valuable he is to the Heat’s chances of winning it all this season. He finished with 19 points on 9/14 from the field and will need to have his impact minimised.
Playing the Thunder in their third game in the dreaded three-game road trip, the Heat will need to be ready for a battle. The Thunder are sitting pretty at 9-3 and if they hope to play a home-quarter final, this is one game they’ll need to find a way to win. The Heat however are the benchmark team to date, so it won’t be a walk in the park.