Joel Khalu – Coach, Mackay Meteors
THE CHALLENGES CONTINUE…
After winning a tight battle with a new and very much improved Gladstone Power outfit last Saturday night, we now shift our focus to a triple header road trip down south this weekend.
In recent years when faced with this journey, there were games you knew as a coach would potentially be easier than others. Unfortunately, that’s not the case going into this weekend.
Ipswich, Toowoomba and Southwest are three quality sides that are all well coached. We’ll be facing some of the best import players in the competition and some of the potential match-ups that could take place on-floor are definitely worth the price of admission.
I think this season the QBL is showcasing some of the best import players from recent memory. Players like Tapscott, Legan, Kendle, Maxey, Willis & Hollis have all shown they can light up the scoreboard in a hurry, which is great for the fans. Crowd numbers in most venues have seemingly increased and I think that is due to both the talent on display and also a reflection of the hard work each club is doing to promote their game-night product.
The best part is that it’s still early days in the season, so hopefully attendance numbers will continue to grow and more people will continue to get behind Queensland hoops.
If you’re a Mackay fan living in the Southeast part of the State, make sure get along to one of our games this weekend. We’re definitely going to need your support facing this tough challenge!
Peter Pollock – Coach, South West Metro Women’s Team
Our whole focus this season has been making sure we get a little bit better at what we are trying to do each training and each game. We are a very young team apart from our imports Erica Carlson and Kaitlin McBride, so a lot of what we have been doing is teaching and developing an understanding of how our offence works. As a group, I feel we understand it better and have been able to take ownership of our offence and use it a little bit better each game. We have had a great spread of scoring, Ash Heal 9ppg, Charlie Kiemann 10ppg, Christina Sekona 8ppg, Erica Carlson 14ppg, Kaitlin McBride 9ppg, Renee Teys 6ppg, Sammi Deakin-Sharpe 8ppg, and Shyla Heal 8ppg and a good spread on assists. Last week we had a tough match up for our guards in Nat Hurst but I was impressed with how our girls performed against such a quality player like Nat. We rotated Sammi and Shyla in behind Kaitlin and all three did extremely well at both ends of the floor. They all have a genuine eagerness to improve each week and are diligent in doing the extra hours required on court, to get better.
I would like to improve our efficiency a little more. Our posts Erica and Christina have been leading the way in efficiency. Erica has an amazing standing reach, standing toe to toe with our men’s import Ismael Hollis (who is 6’8”)she has about a 5-7 cm reach advantage, she rolls off players well, finishing with either hand and she recognises double teams and will find the open player. Christina is physically the strongest female player I have ever coached. If she gets her hands to the ball it stays there. When we get the ball to her near the ring she is hard to stop.
With those two inside we need to go there more often and have faith that it will come back out, particularly when Erica is on the floor. Our perimeter shooting efficiency rises dramatically when we go inside first and we tend to get more offensive boards, so this is what we have been trying to improve on, over the last couple of weeks.
Defensively we are at a similar stage. We understand what we want and now we are working at being able to deliver it in a game.
Our first matchup this weekend at the Gold Coast (a pool game) and is critical to our season and playoff aspirations. Even though they have only one win, they have played some tough teams, Ipswich, Rocky, Gladstone, Mackay and Bundaberg. They won last week against Bundy so we need to be on task. Our match up against Mackay at home on Sunday will be just as tough as they are big and athletic.
Being a rookie coach in the women’s comp I am not that familiar with which teams are going to be contenders. I can only comment on games I have seen and for mine, Rockhampton play a good game and have the size, skills, smarts and toughness to be there at the end.