Chehales Tapscott – Rockhampton Rockets
Chehales Tapscott has put on another stunning performance to help lead the Rockhampton Rockets to another crushing victory, and in turn clinching him a second consecutive Player of the Week title. In their match at home against Northside Wizards, Tapscott contributed a huge 41 points at 77% in the field, 19 rebounds, seven blocks, four assists and one steal to help Rockhampton secure the 121-89 win and handing Northside their second loss of the weekend and of the season to date. The Rockets came firing out of the block from tip-off, quickly building themselves a 13-point lead going into quarter-time, with Tapscott putting up 12 points for the quarter. The Rockets extended their lead to up to 30 points during the second quarter, Tapscott contributing 14 points to the lead, before the Wizards managed to bring the margin back to 14 by the halftime break. The Rockets refused to give the Wizards a chance at a comeback however, and were quick to push their lead back out to in excess of 20 points during the third quarter, aided by a further 10 points from Tapscott. Heading into the final quarter with a healthy 26-point lead, Tapscott and the Rockets used the final quarter to relax, the import hitting his final five points for the match and Rockhampton cruising to a comfortable 32-point victory.
This is the Oregon forward’s second Player of the Week title for the 2015 season, last week impressing with 95 points and 43 rebounds for the Rockets over the course of their two wins and one loss in Round 2 on the road. The 24 year old continues to play a starring role in the Rockets’ line-up, following a phenomenal debut season with the team in 2014. After being named Player of the Week three times during the season, Tapscott was named the league’s leading scorer with an average of 30.25 points per game, was named in the All League Team, was the 2014 QBL Men’s Most Valuable Player, in addition to helping Rockhampton secure the 2014 Championship title. His return to Rockhampton this season follows a stint with Japanese team Bambitious Nara in the QBL off-season, where he averaged 18.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. In 2013 Tapscott impressed in the US International Basketball League with the Vancouver Volcanoes, averaging 23.3 points and 13.2 rebounds per game for the season and subsequently being named league MVP. It came off the back of a Rookie of the Year performance of 28.6 points per game for the Salem Soldiers. Tapscott graduated from Portland State University where he averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game, and led the NCAA Big Sky Conference in rebounds and blocks.
South West Metro Pirates import Ishmael Hollis had a standout performance of 40 points and 11 rebounds in a valiant effort during the Pirates’ loss to Cairns Marlins, while Darren Moore also showed strength in defeat with 35 points for Northside in the loss against Rockhampton. Gladstone’s Justin Baker helped the Power get the win over Gold Coast with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Toowoomba’s Erron Maxey gave it his all during the Mountaineers’ defeat by Brisbane, with 26 points and 16 rebounds.
Rachel Pryor – Cairns Dolphins
After almost attaining a triple-double in her team’s dominant 102-83 win over the previously undefeated South West Metro Pirates, Rachel Pryor is the women’s Player of the Week for Round 3. Pryor contributed 20 points at 56% in the field, 10 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and one steal in just over 30 minutes on court. During a close opening quarter scores were kept close and both teams shared the lead throughout the period, before the Dolphins got the edge to lead by five points going into the first break. The Pirates hit back in the second term, chipping away at Cairns’ eight point lead halfway through the quarter to steal the lead and go into halftime up 46-42. Pryor fired up in the third quarter in an effort to get the Dolphins back on track, hitting 12 points and providing valuable support to captain Jade Kennedy to see the home side regain the lead and head into the final quarter ahead 72-70. Pryor’s hard work in the third quarter helped set the Dolphins up for a dominant final quarter, Pryor continuing to provide support as Cairns cruised to a 19-point victory.
It’s Pryor’s first season with the Dolphins, heading north following two strong seasons with the Gladstone Power. She secured the Player of the Week title in Round 15 of the 2014 season, following stellar performances of a combined 39 points and 24 rebounds in wins over Townsville and Cairns, in addition to providing all-round support across the court in assists and defensive work. She is again proving herself as a reliable asset to her team, adding valuable talent to the Dolphins line-up. The forward currently sits on averages of 17 points and 12 rebounds per game so far this season. Originally from the Gold Coast, Pryor has also served as a long-term and integral player with the Brisbane Spartans in the SEABL – playing more than 150 games for the Spartans, and was selected to the Logan Thunder WNBL Academy development program in 2012.
Round 3 saw a number of impressive performances across the league, with Pryor’s team-mate Jade Kennedy among them, putting on 29 points and eight rebounds in the Dolphins’ win over the Pirates. Gladstone’s Samarie Walker and Tierra Henderson were integral in the Power’s win over Gold Coast, Henderson hitting 26 points and Walker pulling 14 points and a massive 21 rebounds. Rockhampton Cyclones dominated Northside Wizards with a 102-62 victory, led by Rebecca Haynes (21 points, 13 rebounds), Nicole Michaels (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Chandrea Jones (24 points, 8 rebounds) – with Jones making her season debut back from injury. Mackay’s Jillian Haughton also pulled a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Meteorettes’ win over Northside, while Toowoomba’s Kisha Lee put up a solid effort in defeat with 21 points and 14 rebounds in the loss against Brisbane Capitals.
NB: As statistics were not recorded for the men’s and women’s Suncoast Clippers and Logan Thunder matches by the home association, unfortunately these matches were unable to be considered for Round 3 Player of the Week selections.