Aja Parham – Northside Wizards
The Wizards claimed a confidence-boosting 95-83 win over the higher-ranked Force on Saturday evening, a result that gives them further momentum heading into their crunch final round game against the Thunder. Central to the Wizards’ success over the weekend was Aja Parham who with her dominant all-round effort takes out the women’s Player Of The Week for Round 14.
By far her most complete performance of the season, Parham recorded a triple-double that read 26 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds – all of which were game highs. The splashing of the stat sheet didn’t end there as she also effected five steals, yet another game-high.
Parham is in her second season with the Wizards, returning after a successful stint last year and having spent the summer playing professionally in Spain. After a patchy mid-season sector for the US import, she has lifted her game significantly the past few rounds and reminded all of her versatility. Her rise comes at the perfect time for the Wizards coming into their all or nothing clash with Logan, and it will be up to Parham along with Payne and Langford to lead the way.
Further standouts from Round 14 were Rachel Pryor and Jade Kennedy teaming up for double-doubles in the Dolphins’ upset win over the Power, while Alysa Horn came off the bench for a double-double in only 20 minutes in the Thunder’s important win over the Pirates. Jacqui Zelenka took 19 points and 12 rebounds as the Flames went victorious over the Caps, while Biancia Abbot played gallantly for a round-high 31 points in the Rollers’ loss to the Force.
Ryan Jeffries – Brisbane Capitals
Despite sealing the top of Pool B some weeks ago, the Capitals have not relented as they continue to eye off the overall top spot and the free pass to the Semi-Final that comes with it. They remain in contention after running away from Logan last weekend, holding the competitive hosts at arm’s length for the most part before unleashing punishing back-end to the game. The Caps’ skipper Ryan Jeffries revelled in the latter stages and takes out his second career Player Of The Week.
Jeffries accumulated a season’s best and round-high 42 points, his numbers boosted in a fourth quarter frenzy where during this time he drained 24 points. Included within his 42 point tally were eight successes from beyond the arc while he also helped his teammates out on five occasions.
With Jeffries starting to peak two weeks out from the finals, it’s a very welcome sign for the Capitals, particularly with the tough Rocky-Mackay double coming up to close out the season. While he has at times struggled with inconsistency from the field this year, if he can lead from the front again and repeat what he put on show last Sunday, it will lift his team immensely during the finals where playing with confidence will be everything.
Further highlights from Round 14 were the Pirates’ Jared Bairstow and Ishmael Hollis who each went beyond 30 points in recording double-doubles against the Thunder. Nick Kay continued his purple patch with 32 points and 16 rebounds as the Wizards overcame the Force, Erron Maxey went 34 points and 11 rebounds against the Clippers to ensure the Mountaineers’ run into the finals remains smooth, while the Power’s import duo of Willis and Baker put in big double-double games over the Marlins to seal a playoff berth.