IN a series wrapping up the 2020 Queensland State League (QSL) season, we take a look back at each of the 12 clubs in both the men’s and women’s competitions and how they performed across the season. We continue our review series with the first of our two premiers for season 2020, Logan Thunder, who took out the women’s title and also reached the post-season series in the men’s competition.
Position: 6th (Quarter final loss)
The men’s side reached the finals series but fell 19 points short in the quarter finals to eventual premiers, Brisbane Capitals. The Thunder were no strangers to huge totals, hitting more than 95 points in eight of the 12 games, including five tons. They started off shaky with five losses in six games to sit 1-5 and look almost out of the finals race. The Thunder kick-started their season with a 15-point win over North Gold Coast Seahawks and went on to win five straight matches to finish the year on a high, but ultimately could not quite overcome the strength of the Capitals.
Experienced Chris Cedar averaged an impressive 20.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 10 games throughout the season, one of four players to hit double-figure points averages. Atem Bior (16.2 points, 7.7 rebounds), Mitchell Young (14.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists) and Kian Dennis (11.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists) also stood out from a scoring front, playing all 12 games. Michael Cedar was another key distributor, averaging the 4.1 dimes to go with 5.1 rebounds and 9.3 points.
Position: 1st (Premiers)
There was no faulting the Thunder women’s side, quite literally with an undefeated season. They just got better and better as the season rolled on, passing every test and not scoring less than 76 points all season. Their tightest matches came in the opening two rounds, winning by 13 and 15 points against RedCity Roar and Southern District Spartans. From there, they never looked liked losing a game with the next closest win a whopping 27 points against Gold Coast Rollers. Some of their victories included 78 points against Toowoomba Mountaineers, 59 points against Northside Wizards and 56 points against Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal. They smashed Ipswich Force by a huge 62 points in the semi-finals, then held off Southern District Spartans for the second time in 2020, winning 85-61 to claim the title.
Mikaela Ruef had a remarkable year in a team that had no shortage of contributors week-in, week-out. Ruef finished with a whopping 22.3 points, 18.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists as one of the stars of the QSL competition. Mikhaela Cann (11.8 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds) was not too far behind, while Chevannah Paalvast (11.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists) and Ashley Taia (11.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists) also averaged double-figure points and had massive influence across the court. Cassie Carroll (8.1 points, 3.9 rebounds) and Danielle Bayes (13.1 points, 3.2 assists) provided great support all over in what was a remarkable team performance from start to finish.
Picture: Stephen Schulz Photography