Ricky James – Bundaberg Bulls
It hasn’t quite come together for the Bulls this season, however there was some positive on Saturday night as the side pulled off a home 88-70 victory over the Pirates, a perfect way to celebrate fan-favourite Willie Shackelford’s 100th. The result also ceased the Bulls’ eye-watering run of 12 straight losses, and standing tall for the team like has done regularly this season was Ricky James who claims this round’s Player Of The Week.
James directed the team superbly was in the thick of the action for the full 40 minutes to fall just one stat short of a famed triple-double. Hitting a game-high 25 points to along with 10 rebounds, James also dished out a game-high nine assists and effected 2 steals. A regular leading scorer for the Bulls this season averaging 23.7 points per game, James has shown glimpses of his talent elsewhere across the court and on Saturday was able to bring it all together for a complete and high quality all-round game.
The US import is playing his first season of QBL and comes into the league with plenty of experience. He has played in leagues across Uruguay, Dominican Republic and Iraq and interspersed these with several seasons of semi-pro ball back home in the US. He has collected plenty of awards throughout his journey and has continued to show his class with the Bulls despite the team’s lean season.
In other standout performances Dominic Cheek hit 31 points while Chehales Tapscott went 24 points and 14 rebounds as the Rockets turned the tide on the Power, Brayden Hobbs fell one assist short of a triple-double in the Meteors win over the Marlins, Justin Baker hit a combined 53 points as the Power split their double header, Aaron Anderson hit 24 points at almost 70% in the Caps win over rivals Logan, while Willie Shackleford hauled in his 14th double-double of the season to celebrate his 100th game in style with a win over the Pirates.
Lisa Brennan – Townsville Flames
An absolute thriller at Townsville Basketball Centre saw the Flames keep their season alive with a nail-biting 1 point overtime win over the team currently standing in their way – the Meteorettes. Much of the plaudits can go Lisa Brennan’s way as she iced two free-throws which made the game go beyond regulation, then drained perhaps the most memorable three-pointer of her career to get the Flames a miracle win in OT. She was also a rock for her side throughout the entire game and a deserving winner of the Women’s Player of the Week for Round 13.
Brennan couldn’t have found a better time to hit her season-best and game-high 31points, matching this with a team-high 12 rebounds where crucially nine of those were on the defensive end. She was close to uncontainable in attack for the visiting Meteorettes, sent to the line for a total of 16 attempts in which she nailed 14. However despite being impressive all around the court throughout this clash, it will be her sole three-pointer of the game in which she will be remembered.
It has been an impressive comeback season for Brennan with this her second POW following her Round 6 effort against the Mountaineers. Along with the addition of Jacqui Zelenka this season, she has provided much needed support for long-time leader Mia Murray and the Flames are now a rejuvenated team regularly pushing the competition’s best. Should things fall the Flames way, they could very well have the chance to prove they are best come playoff time.
Other players to shine in Round 13 were Nicole Michaels helping to keep the Cyclone’s top-spot ambitions alive with 25 point and 16 rebounds against the Power, Samarie Walker with a big double-double of 29 points and 25 rebounds in the Power’s win over the Pirates. Carly Boag notched a double 14 in the Bears’ victory over the Pirates, while Tami Willey was gallant in the Meterorettes’ OT loss to Townsville with 24 points and 17 rebounds.
Ricky James – Bundaberg Bulls