Category: NBL1 Women’s

NBL1 West joins expanding second tier competition

WESTERN Australia is the latest state to join the National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition with the announcement that NBL1 West will tip-off in 2021. Following the success of the 2019 NBL1 (featuring predominantly Victorian teams with a couple of Tasmanian outfits), two more state leagues joined the second tier with the introduction of NBL1 North and NBL1 Central. While they ultimately did not get to play out under that umbrella, the leagues are set to go in 2021 alongside NBL1 West.

The current second tier basketball competition in Western Australia is known as the State Basketball League (SBL) and under the new arrangement that will now become NBL1 West. Fourteen teams will compete in the NBL1 West competition in 2021, with the successful sides:

  • Cockburn Cougars
  • East Perth Eagles
  • Geraldton Buccaneers
  • Goldfield Giants
  • Joondalup Wolves
  • Kalamunda Eastern Suns
  • Lakeside Lightning
  • Mandurah Magic
  • Perry Lakes Hawks
  • Perth Redbacks
  • Rockingham Flames
  • South West Slammers
  • Warwick Senators
  • Willetton Tigers

Each NBL1 league logo has adopted a different primary colour, with the NBL1 West choosing yellow, commonly associated with the state of Western Australia. NBL1 Chief Operating Officer Andy Crook said it was a huge announcement for basketball in Western Australia.

“This is an exciting day for Australian basketball and for basketball in Western Australia with the announcement of NBL1 West. NBL1 is Australia’s premier winter basketball league and we are delighted to welcome Western Australia into the family,” Crook said. “NBL1 will open up stronger pathways for Western Australian players to progress to the NBL, WNBL, US college and overseas leagues. “It will bring bigger audiences to basketball in Western Australia and take NBL1 to a new level.”

“Western Australia becomes the fourth major state league to join NBL1 in the space of just two years. “The support of Basketball Western Australia and the competing clubs is a major endorsement of the league and its direction. “After an interrupted 2020 we can’t wait to get back on the court in 2021.”

Basketball Western Australia CEO Rob Clement said the state governing body had canvassed the 14 clubs about the potential move with the decision to join the growing NBL1 competition ultimately chosen to help build on the work set by the SNBL over the past four decades.

“Basketball Western Australia has worked closely with our 14 clubs to make the decision to join the NBL1,” Clement said. “We are very excited to be part of the NBL1 competition in 2021 and showcasing the strength of basketball in Western Australia. “The SBL has a proud history of 40 years of providing a product that unites our basketball community and we believe that the NBL1 can help us grow this. “We look forward to working closely with the other states to raise the profile of our game in Australia.”

The structure for the 2021 NBL1 season will be announced in the near future, with the separate state leagues to have their own seasons, following by an NBL1 National Championship weekend featuring the best of the best from across the country.

NBL1 Central team summary – Norwood Flames

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition was cancelled for the 2020 season, so instead we take a look back at some of the teams that would have been tipping off in the NBL1 Central competition. Today’s side is Norwood Flames who shared the scoring around in season 2019 but missed out on making a finals appearance.


Finish: 7
Win: 11
Loss: 9



Statistics: 14.1 points, 1.3 assists, 7.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals
Shooting: 43.7% (2pt), 29.4% (3pt), 84.1% (FT)

The leading points scorer for her team, Annetts showcased his consistent ability to ram it home and add to the scoreboard for the Flames throughout 2019. Her average of 14.1 points a game was impressive while her accuracy from the free-throw line also shone true converting 84.1 per cent of his shorts. She also averaged 1.3 steals proving she was no slouch in defence while when it came to rebounding, she managed 7.1 a game. Annetts featured in 18 games such was her durability and most importantly played an average of 31.6 minutes a clear testament to her endurance, reliability and on-court skill.


Statistics: 13.3 points, 2.2 assists, 10.1 rebounds, 0.8 steals
Shooting: 38.1% (2pt), 26.2% (3pt), 67.7% (FT)

Bruffey was a key performer for the Flames last year averaging an impressive double-double credit to her efforts both in points scoring and rebounding. She managed to sink an average of 13.3 points a game while also collecting 10.1 rebounds showcasing her strength around the rim and clever positioning to outbox her opponents. While she would have liked, a higher accuracy sitting well below 50 per cent for both three-pointers and shots inside the arc, Bruffey proved that hard work and determination will still get the job done. The Flames star took the court 18 times throughout the season and averaged the second highest minutes of anyone on the team with 32.6.


Statistics: 9.3 points, 2.9 assists, 8.7 rebounds, 1.0 steal
Shooting: 37.7% (2pt), 12% (3pt), 48.2% (FT)

Featuring in 18 games for the season and racking up an average of 29.1 minutes North played a crucial support role to the likes of Bruffey and Annetts. She was able to ply her trade on court while also facilitating some type of attacking play credit to her 9.3 points a game. She fell just shy of a double-double with 8.7 rebounds but should be commended for her efforts, able to reel down the ball consistently. Much like Bruffey, accuracy was not her strong point especially when it came to long distance shooting, sitting at a mere 12 per cent after only converting three of her 25 attempts but was still a commanding presence on court.


Although it only took two games for the Flames to get on the winners list it was the convincing fashion in which they did it that stimulated plenty of excitement. Dropping 82 points thanks to a combined effort of players proved too much for the Eastern Mavericks who simply could not generate their normal game play. It was a key win for the Flames, helping them to set up the rest of the season and give them that belief that they can match it with the best seeing the Mavericks finished third on the ladder. Strong performances from Bruffey (14 points), Shannon Webber (17 points) and Kelsey Mckay (12 points) helped guide the side to their opening win.


While it was a relatively up and down season for the Flames the narrow six-point win against the Southern Tigers went down a treat. Coming off a win in the previous round the Flames had plenty of pep in their step taking it to their higher ranked opponent and making them work for every inch of it. The win was nothing short of hard fought with the likes of Bruffey leading the way with a whopping 25 points. She really helped to set the attacking tone of the game for Norwood while contributions from Webber (19 points), Annetts (14 points) and Jordyn Freer (12 points) also went a long way in getting the Flames over the line.


Norwood have some talented players that can hit the scoreboard but at times lack that second tier of players to help out when things get tricky and take the heat off the key play makers. With a strong core of players the addition of a more defensive minded player could allow the likes of Annetts and Bruffey to focus on their offensive play.

NBL1 Central Team summary: Sturt Sabres

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition was cancelled for the 2020 season, so instead we take a look back at some of the teams that would have been tipping off in the NBL1 Central competition. Today’s side is Sturt Sabres who after finishing top of the table fell painstakingly short in the grand final, losing by three points.


Finish: 1
Win: 15
Loss: 5



Statistics: 11 points, 1.3 assists, 7 rebounds, 1.3 steals
Shooting: 39.7% (2pt), 26% (3pt), 63.8% (FT)

Playing in 22 of the Sabres’ games throughout the season, Brett was as consistent as they come when on court. Falling short of a double-double with an average of seven rebounds and 11 points Brett ensured she was a constant threat from the free-throw line thanks her 63.8 per cent accuracy. Brett played an average of 23.6 minutes each game showcasing her endurance and reliability when on court to lead the team to success.


Statistics: 18.2 points, 2.9 assists, 10.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals
Shooting: 44.4% (2pt), 35% (3pt), 73.2% (FT)

Smith was a real livewire for the Sabres, able to come onto the court and have a commanding influence with her strength to go to basket racking up an impressive average of 18.2 points. While she played only 16 games, Smith consistently threw her weight around when on court also collecting an average of 10.6 rebounds a game to claim a double-double for her efforts. When on song, Smith was hard to control running amuck across the court and although her accuracy was not overly high her ability to find the ball was second to none giving her plenty of opportunities to hit the scoreboard.


Statistics: 11.7 points, 4.9 assists, 5.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals
Shooting: 54.3% (2pt), 26.8% (3pt), 59.6% (FT)

Another key player for Sturt throughout last season was Angley who in her 17 games proved her worth both on the scoreboard and with her play making abilities. Constantly setting up teammates with her cleverly crafted passes, Angley averaged 4.9 assists a game while also managing to knock back an average of 11.7 points thanks to her solid accuracy from inside the arc. Her rebounding ability was also strong bringing down 5.4 a game and proved her stamina with an average of 27.3 minutes on the court.


It is fair to say that the win against the Forestville Eagles sparked plenty of joy for the Sabres who got the job done by an impressive 15 points. They left nothing to chance in the second semi-final asserting themselves of their opponents and making the most of their opportunities. Not only was it a strong victory but is also helped them to progress into the next stage of finals, the grand final and while they fell short there the semi-final was nothing short of sweet.


Round 9 was a momentous occasion for the Sabres who proved they were the team to beat well and truly asserting themselves on the struggling Central District Lions. It was a complete performance from the Sabres who did not take their foot off the pedal throughout the game, constantly placing pressure on their opponents and finding easy avenue to the basket. Scoring was no problem piling on a whopping 119 points while keeping the Lions to a mere 60 points, a testament to their defensive pressure and attacking intent.


2019 was overall a successful year however the grand final heartbreak will not be forgotten any time soon. The main thing the Sturt Sabres will be hoping to do in 2021 is maintain their incredibly talented list in order to give the shot at the title another crack. They have a wealth of highly skilled players that can all pull their weight and stand up under pressure and they will be hoping to re-create that once again next season and take home the silverware.

NBL1 Central Team summary: West Adelaide

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition was cancelled for the 2020 season, so instead we take a look back at some of the teams that would have been tipping off in the NBL1 Central competition. Today’s side is West Adelaide who proved they have plenty of talent amongst the ranks but just need to find some consistency to go that step further.


Finish: 5
Win: 12
Loss: 8



Statistics: 16.2 points, 2.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds, 2.4 steals
Shooting: 53.4% (2pt), 28.4% (3pt), 72.6% (FT)

Across the 18 games she played, Fejo was a key cog in the Bearcats unit with her ability to hit the scoreboard and get involved defensively averaging an impressive 2.4 steals a game. Fejo was never far from the action sinking 16.2 points a game and most importantly was accurate from inside the arc sitting at over 50 per cent. Her skill from the charity line was also unquestionable nailing 72.6 per cent of her chances and while she will be hoping to build on her accuracy from three-point range proved she was reliable in other areas.


Statistics: 12.2 points, 2.2 assists, 6.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals
Shooting: 40.5% (2pt), 34.2% (3pt), 66% (FT)

Spencer was one of the most reliable players to take the court for the Bearcats throughout their 2019 campaign playing every game. She averaged 24.8 minutes per game and was a main source of scoring power for her side dropping an average of 12.2 points each time she stepped out on court. Although she was not as accurate at Fejo from inside the arc her ability to hit a three was stronger sinking 25 from 73 attempts at 34.2 per cent. With her scoring prowess on show, Spencer also showed that she was strong on the rebound brining down an average of 6.1 per game.


Statistics: 10.9 points, 2.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals
Shooting: 41.6% (2pt), 15.1% (3pt), 61% (FT)

After featuring in every game of the season Langenbrinck averaged 24.3 minutes on the court and was an influential player able to light up the court with her scoring ability. She averaged 10.9 points a game and while she struggle when it came to converting from beyond the perimeter her nous to sink them from the charity line was evident. Her rebounding ability was strong bringing down 3.8 a game while her cleanliness to get a hand in and steal the ball was a key component of her game play. 


Although they did not get the outcome they were hoping for, the sheer fact the Bearcats made it to the elimination finals is a feat in itself. Going down by a heartbreaking two points, West Adelaide showcased their never say die attitude, grit and determination to put up a real fight and take it to Mt Gambier. Langenbrinck led from the front as per usual, knocking back an impressive 22 points while Spencer (15 points), Fejo (10 points) and Alexis Eckles (10 points) left nothing to chance in what was unfortunately their last outing for the season. while it was a devastating loss, the Bearcats will take plenty of confidence and belief out of their performance.


Up against the higher placed Eastern Mavericks the Bearcats well and truly took it to them in Round 19 showcasing their desperation to make it to finals and execution to prevail in a tight contest. Standing up under the pressure the Bearcats collected a five-point win with the likes of Jasmin Fejo (17 points) leading the way for her side. Valuable contributions from teammates Kristina Arsenic who sunk 15 points, Spencer 12 and Tahlia Fejo 10 points also helped to get them over the line in the dying stages of the game.


Making it to finals albeit bundled out in the elimination finals, West Adelaide clearly have a good core group of players that can dictate the way the team plays and their dominance. But the inclusion of another scoring prospect or a strong defensive minded player will help give the Bearcats that added strength to hopefully progress further in finals next season.

NBL1 Central team summary: South Adelaide Panthers

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition was cancelled for the 2020 season, so instead we take a look back at some of the teams that would have been tipping off in the NBL1 Central competition. Today’s side is South Adelaide who struggled throughout 2019 only mustering up five wins for the year.


Finish: 10
Win: 5
Loss: 15



Statistics: 18.7 points, 2.4 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 1.7 steals
Shooting: 55.2% (2pt), 26.2% (3pt), 86.2% (FT)

Saunders was a key contributor for the Panthers throughout their 2019 campaign featuring in 20 of their games. Her ability to find the basket was second to none with a team-high average of 18.7 points showcasing just how explosive she was. Saunders was strong from inside the arc with a 55.2 per cent conversion rate and was even more efficient when it came to the charity line shooting at 86.2 per cent. Her strength on the rebound was also another notable element of her game with an average of six while her durability also shone through taking the court for an average of 31.9 minutes.


Statistics: 16.7 points, 3.4 assists, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals
Shooting: 37.8% (2pt), 74.1% (FT)

Although McKendrick only attempted one shot from three-point range throughout her 18 appearances she found other avenues to hit the scoreboard and be an offensive force for South Adelaide. Playing roughly 34.4 minutes a game McKendrick was a solid option on the court with her attacking play while also showcasing her defensive attributes with 1.2 steals a game. Her rebounding strength also stood tall picking up 8.7 a game credit to her clever positioning and basketball nous.


Statistics: 5.5 points, 3.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals
Shooting: 44.4% (2pt), 18.5% (3pt), 33.3% (FT)

Although Marafioti did not have mind boggling stats it was consistency that proved to be crucial to the Panthers line-up. Her ability to perform time and time again set her apart from her teammates playing in 19 matches and averaging 25.9 minutes such was her reliability to come on court and play her role. Marafioti starred with her defensive skillset to pick off 1.6 steals a game and while she was not the most accurate shooter her ability to dish off a dime allowed her to set up teammates and create attacking forays.


While it was a trying season for the Panthers there is no denying that having a clean sweep over the higher ranked Norwood Flames was a clear highlight for the team. Despite struggling to generate a win against other teams the Panthers seemed to have the wood over the Flames in both occasions running out victorious in Round 1 and Round 17. A 15-point win (67-52) to kick start the season was exactly what the doctor asked for and despite losing their way in the mid-part of the season the Panthers backed up their Round 1 performance taking home an 11-point victory in their next encounter against the Flames.


The Panthers ran riot in Round 5 proving that they have the fire power to do a wealth of damage to the scoreboard when on song. Led by the likes of Saunders with an impressive 20 points and McKendrick who top scored with 21 and notched up a double-double thanks to her 10 assists, the Panthers had all the answers and simply proved too strong for the North Adelaide Rockets. Valuable points contribution from Jordan Smith also went a long way in getting her side over the line putting up 16 points for her efforts while Hannah Stewart also made her presence felt with nine points of her own and 100 per cent from the charity line.


Looking ahead to 2021 the Panthers will be hoping to diversify their scoring options and apply more defensive pressure. While they have the basis of a strong team they will be wanting to add that consistency to their game play and potentially pick up another player that can average double-digits when it comes to scoring to ensure a more even spread.

NBL1 Central summary: Southern Tigers

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition was cancelled for the 2020 season, so instead we take a look back at some of the teams that would have been tipping off in the NBL1 Central competition. Today’s side is Southern Tigers who showed plenty of class throughout season 2019 but lacked the finishing against the higher teams at times.


Finished: 6
Won: 12
Lost: 8



Statistics: 11.3 points, 2.3 assists, 5.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals
Shooting: 29.9% (2pt), 33.3% (3pt), 78.4% (FT)

Thacker was one of the more reliable and consistent performers for the Tigers throughout their 2019 campaign taking the court 18 times and averaging 26.8 minutes per game. Although she did not rack up a huge amount of rebounds with 5.1 each game she clearly showcased her intent when it came to scoring with 11.3 points a game credit to her ability to drive hard to the basket. Thacker will be wanting to improve on her accuracy from the field but proved her dominance at the free-throw line sinking them at an average of 78.4 per cent.


Statistics: 18.9 points, 2.2 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.1 steals
Shooting: 41.3% (2pt), 34% (3pt), 59.8% (FT)

It is fair to say that Cunnigan was a real play maker when she took the court with her scoring prowess constantly on display. Although she only featured in 14 games, Cunnigan impressed with an average of 18.9 points and could have racked up an even higher average if she was more accurate from beyond the arc throughout the season. She was a real livewire both in offence and defence able to get back and put a hand in to steal the ball and run off with it averaging 2.1 steals per game for her efforts. The American was a key cog for the Tigers and helped to keep the scoreboard ticking credit to her competitive spirit.


Statistics: 14.4 points, 3.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals
Shooting: 42.3% (2pt), 16.1% (3pt), 77.6% (FT)

Fawcett played a pivotal role for the Southern Tigers throughout 2019 taking the court 16 times and contributing both to the scoreboard and defensively. While she was not overly accurate from three-point range only sinking five from 31 attempts her strength lay in her skill from the charity line sitting at 77.6 per cent. But accuracy did not stop her from posting high numbers nailing an average of 14.4 points a game, while her ability to collect the rebound also did not go unnoticed with 7.3 a game. her cleanliness was also on show each game pick pocketing opponents with an average of 1.8 steals.


Round 7 was a good round for the Southern Tigers who flexed their muscles against their higher ranked opponents and got another win on the board. A mere four points separated the two teams at the end of the game with the Bearcats going down 63-67 in what was a game filled with plenty of excitement. Fawcett impressed with her 12 points, while Bianca McCalop (10 points), Tara Dodman (10 points) and Thacker (eight points) all contributed to the win. It was a complete team performance from the Tigers who relied on all their players to step up to the plate and deliver, which they did.


With finals out of reach, the Tigers rallied in the last round of the season to really stamp their authority and prove they have what it takes to be a threat to be reckoned with downing the second placed Forestville Eagles, 74-66. It was a strong performance by the Southern Tigers who clearly had a point to prove and did just that. It seemed that they caught Forestville off guard and made the most of their opportunities on the court to run home. After dropping their previous encounter back in Round 16 it was a sweet victory for the Tigers who would take plenty of confidence out of the win.


Looking ahead to 2021, the Tigers have the basis of a quality team but just need to find that consistency and extra points scorer to lighten the load on the likes of Thacker who was out on her feet for the majority of the season. Finding a player that can also help defensively will also go a long way in pushing the Tigers that extra step and give them a shot at finals next season

NBL1 Central women’s team summary: North Adelaide Rockets

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition was cancelled for the 2020 season, so instead we take a look back at some of the teams that would have been tipping off in the NBL1 Central competition. Today’s side is North Adelaide women’s side who had a challenging year to say the least only managing to win four games but showed plenty of competitive spirit throughout the season.


Finished: 9th
Won: 6
Lost: 14


Tayla Corrigan

Statistics: 12.8 points, 1.5 assists, 9.5 rebounds, 1.6 steals
Shooting: 34.9% (2pt), 7.1% (3pt), 74.1% (FT)

Corrigan was a key cog for the Rockets throughout their 2019 campaign able to hit the scoreboard with an average of 12.8 points per game while falling just short of a double-double with 9.5 rebounds each game. She had an influence up either end of the court and while she will be hoping to improve on her three-point accuracy only sinking one of her 14 attempts her ability to make the most of it from the charity line put her in good stead. Corrigan averaged the second most minutes of anyone on her team with 30.7 minutes and took the court 19 times such was her influence each time she stepped out on deck. Her defensive work was also noted, managing to collect 1.6 steals a game credit to her pressure.

Samantha DeFrancesco

Statistics: 13.7 points, 5.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals
Shooting: 35.6% (2pt), 27% (3pt), 69% (FT)

DeFrancesco took the court 15 times for the Rockets throughout the season and proved she was no slouch when it came to pouring on the offensive pressure leading the way with an average of 13.7 points per game. While her efforts on the scoreboard were impressive it was her ability to dish off a dime that did not go unnoticed often setting up teammates to charge towards the bucket with 5.3 assists a game. Although her accuracy was not as deadly as she would have liked she still managed to make it count and plied her trade each time she was out on court racking up an average of 31.5 minutes, credit to her endurance and basketball smarts.

Abigayle Mader

Statistics: 10.8 points, 1.3 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1 steal
Shooting: 43% (2pt), 29% (3pt), 78.7% (FT)

Pairing well with the likes of DeFrancesco and Corrigan, Mader proved to be just what the doctor ordered for the Rockets able to hit the scoreboard and play plenty of minutes. With an average of 10.8 points a game Mader showcased her strength inside the arc and while she struggled to find her range beyond the perimeter her accuracy from the free-throw line all but made up for it converting at an impressive 78.7 per cent. Mader featured in 19 games for the Rockets and ran the court well playing an average of 23.1 minutes helping provide some consistency for her side. She showed glimpses of her defensive pressure picking up a steal a game while also collecting 3.4 rebounds.

Highlight of the Season: Snapping a six-game losing streak

It had been a difficult month and a half for the Rockets who failed to get a win. But that all changed in Round 10 of the season when the Rockets mustered up something special to all but put an end to their run of wretched losses, downing the Central District Lions 92-79. Although the Lions finished lower on the ladder than North Adelaide it was a momentous occasion for the club who were struggling to find any rhythm on court and proved they did have what it takes to put out a full game performance and get the job done.

Best win: defeated Mt Gambier Pioneers by 11 points

With the Rockets only registering four wins throughout their 2019 campaign we had to go back to Round 1 to discover their best win of the year. Coming up against the Mt Gambier Pioneers, the Rockets left nothing to chance making the most of their opportunities and ultimately getting the job done by 11 points (75-66). While it was only Round 1, the Pioneers were a formidable line-up that went on to finish inside the top four but it gave North Adelaide plenty of confidence and belief that on their best day, they can in fact compete with the best in the business. Strong performances from the likes of Corrigan (11 points) along with Mariah Seals (11 points) and Alicia Carline (17 points) all but helped to set up the momentous victory.


If the Rockets can find another play maker that can hit the scoreboard regularly and help bridge that gap between their best and worst, it will help set them up for a more successful 2021 season. North Adelaide have the makings to be a strong team that can challenge the top teams but need to find that consistency across the board.

NBL1 Central women’s team summary: Eastern Mavericks

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition was cancelled for the 2020 season, so instead we take a look back at some of the teams that would have been tipping off in the NBL1 Central competition. Today’s side is Eastern Mavericks women’s side that impressed in season 2019 finishing third on the ladder but fell short in the finals, unable to make a splash dropping both games.


Finished: 3rd
Won: 14
Lost: 6



Statistics: 27.6 points, 3.5 assists, 12.3 rebounds, 1.9 steals
Shooting: 41.5% (2pt), 28.6 (3pt), 82.4 (FT)

Tyson-Thomas was the pick of the bunch for the Eastern Mavericks with her ability to go to basket and simply explode out of the blocks. The talented baller averaged a double-double with an impressive 27.6 points each game, a key reason for her side’s success while her skill off the boards also shone true collecting 12.3 per game. She proved to be too hard to handle for opposition teams more times than not given her high numbers and read of the play. Her accuracy from the free throw line was a testament to her composure under pressure and while her field goal percentage was lower her ability to cause turnovers more than made up for it. Tyson-Thomas also averaged the most minutes of any player with 33.9.


Statistics: 16.7 points, 2.8 assists, 5.1 rebounds, 2 steals
Shooting: 41.9% (2pt), 29.6% (3pt), 75% (FT)

Although Basham was not as prominent a shooter as her teammate Tyson-Thomas, she was more than capable of hitting the scoreboard when need be. She is a classy player that reads the play well and most importantly does the defensive things well averaging two steals a game credit to her cleanliness and skill. Basham made the most of her opportunities when it came to free throws sitting at 75% while her accuracy from two-point range was also solid making her an attacking option for the Mavericks. She featured in 22 games throughout the season while averaging an impressive 31.7 minutes thanks her to durability and high endurance levels.


Statistics: 9.7 points, 1.4 assists, 11.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals
Shooting: 51.9% (2pt), 69.9% (FT)

Despite not making a three-point shot all season, Ratliff proved there were other ways to hit the scoreboard making her presence felt from inside the arc and at the charity line. Ratliff fell agonisingly short of a double-double with 9.7 points a game and an impressive 11.3 rebounds showcasing just how strong she is under the basket. Her ability to read the play and get up to gobble up the missed chances is a nod to her basketball smarts and sheer awareness. Ratliff racked up the minutes throughout the season playing in 22 of the matches and taking the court for an average of 28.5 minutes. She played a good assisting role in assisting the likes of Tyson-Thomas and Basham who managed to find the scoreboard with a little bit more ease.


Although they did not register a win throughout the finals it was still a notable feat for the side to make it all the way to the post-season and compete for a spot in the big dance. The Mavericks were not blown away in either contest putting up a good fight in their second clash against the Mt Gambier Pioneers only going down by a mere three points credit to their star power across the court and variety of scoring options.


With the season coming to an end and the finals in sight the Eastern Mavericks proved that they were a force to be reckoned with in Round 16 downing the top of the table Sturt Sabres by an impressive 17 points. They showed no mercy from start to finish able to keep the Sabres at bay and put on a strong performance, one that will fill them with confidence winning four of their next five.


There is no denying that the Mavericks definitely have something special in the works with the likes of Tyson-Thomas at the helm. They proved that they have the class and ability to mix it with the best but must do it at a consistent level against the top of the tier clubs to go that extra step in 2021 to be title contenders. If the Mavericks can build on their strong foundation and acquire a couple more players that can apply that added bit of scoreboard pressure expect them to be right up there come next season.

NBL1 Central women’s team summary: Woodville Warriors

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition was cancelled for the 2020 season, so instead we take a look back at some of the teams that would have been tipping off in the NBL1 Central competition. Today’s side is Woodville Warriors women’s side that finished in eighth spot on the ladder after a relatively up and down season only stringing together six wins for the year.


Finished: 8th
Won: 6
Lost: 14



Statistics: 21.7 points, 13.1 assists, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals
Shooting: 50.1 % (2pt) | 25% (3pt) | 64.3% FT

Morrell was a shining light for the Warriors throughout their 2019 campaign with the star playing every single game and averaging a whopping 32.4 minutes. Her durability and endurance proved to be the glue for the side while her ability to drive to the rim showcased her impressive talent. Morrell averaged a double-double with 21.7 points per game and 13.1 rebounds per game proving she was a real threat to every team given her on-court presence and most importantly execution.


Statistics: 11.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.5 steals
Shooting: 26.8% (2pt) | 32.3% (3pt) | 81.4% FT

Teaming up with Morrell throughout the season, Session showcased her ability to score from the free throw line making the most of her opportunities sitting an impressive 81.4 per cent. The American import did not skip a beat out on court throughout 2019, averaging 30.1 minutes per game and not missing a match credit to her commanding presence and experience. Although she was not the most accurate shooter from the field she let her playmaking skills do the talking with 3.4 dimes a game.


Statistics: 9.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.4 steals
Shooting: 45.9% (2pt) | 32.3% (3pt) | 66.7% FT

Kinross was another key contributor for the Warriors last season coming in at third when it comes to point scoring thanks to her accuracy from inside the arc. What was most impressive was her ability to pick pocket players as they streamed past. She averaged 1.4 steals a game, testament to her defensive skill while also gobbling up 4.5 rebounds in every outing. She took the court in 19 of a possible 20 games and played an average of 29.8 minutes.


The Woodville Warriors kickstarted their 2019 season in style with a convincing win at home over the Central District Lions. They did not leave anything to chance romping home a 31-point victory showcasing just how impressive they can be when everything falls into place. It was full team effort with each player contributing to the scoreboard or putting in the hard defensively to keep the Lions to a mere 44 points for the match.


After back-to-back losses, the Warriors pulled something special out of the bag in Round 8 to shock the Bearcats and walk out with a 13-point win. West Adelaide finished the season three spots higher than Woodville highlighting just how much of a momentous win this was, throw in the fact it was on the road . The Warriors showed plenty of grit and determination throughout the match to muster up the ability and star power to knock their opponents off their perch with Morrell and Session leading from the front. Valuable contributions from the likes of Teresa McGreehan and Katherine Perkas also did not go unnoticed with the duo helping to push their side over the line in the win.


Although the Warriors did not finish the season the way they would have liked, dropping the last five games of the season, they will take some confidence out of the year winning against some of the higher ranked opponents and going down by narrow margins in some matches, proving they have the calibre and skillset to mix it with the higher echelon teams. If they are able to keep their team together for the next season expect them to come along in leaps and bounds and really put some pressure on the rest of the competition.

NBL1 Central women’s team summary: South Adelaide Panthers

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition was cancelled for the 2020 season, so instead we take a look back at some of the teams that would have been tipping off in the NBL1 Central competition. Today’s side is South Adelaide women’s side that finished second from the bottom, but four wins clear of the wooden spoon.


Finished: 10th
Won: 5
Lost: 15


Brianti Saunders

Statistics: [20] 18.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.7 steals
Shooting: 55.2% (2pt) | 26.2% (3pt) | 86.2% (FT)

The team’s top scorer and one of the damaging duo for the Panthers, Saunders put up team-highs in points and steals for 18.7 and 1.7 per game respectively. Along with that, she picked up the six rebounds and more than two assists per game to fill her stat sheet each and every week from 31.9 minutes. Saunders was hard to combat with an accurate 55.2 per cent shot from inside the arc, and drilling 86.2 per cent of the free-throws when getting to the line.

Mollie McKendrick

Statistics: [18] 16.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals
Shooting: 37.8% (2pt) | 0.0% (3pt) | 74.1% (FT)

Teaming up well with Saunders and causing issues for opposition defences, McKendrick led the team in rebounds (8.7), and was second overall in points (16.7) and assists (3.4). Playing the most minutes of any player on average at 34.4 per game, McKendrick was able to put up plenty of shots, even if it was at a lower accuracy of 37.8 per cent. Her free-throw work was solid at 74.1 per cent and she was always one of the most damaging players in the blue and white.

Anne Hatchard

Statistics: [5] 16.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.8 steals
Shooting: 44.4% (2pt) | 24.1% (3pt) | 64.7% (FT)

The dual-sport athlete was able to pad her stats from limited games much like her ability to find the oblong ball in the AFL Women’s. The talented rebounder averaged a double-double for the season and had she played more than the five games – restricted to due to commitments, Hatchard may well have helped lead the Panthers to a few more wins. While it was mentioned the above players had team-highs in certain statistics, it did not include Hatchard who due to her low game count would not be included, but she did post an impressive 10.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals to go with 16.6 points.

Highlight of the season: Three wins in six games

While the ultimate season record would prove disappointing with five wins from 15 games, the Panthers started strongly enough, winning three of the first six games to head into late April with a balanced win-loss record. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they would win just two more in the next 14 games, but they had a number of competitive losses where they came close.

Best win: defeated Norwood Flames by 11 points

The Panthers enjoyed an impressive win over the Flames despite trailing in most of the key statistics. The Flames had a whopping 11 more blocked shots, 10 more assists and two more defensive rebounds, as well as a higher contribution off the bench. But it was the Panthers who committed less turnovers (minus eight), had more steals (plus three) and more offensive rebounds (plus five) on the night. McKendrick (31 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Saunders (26 points, nine rebounds and three assists) caused all sorts of headaches for the opposition, while Hannah Stewart had seven points and seven rebounds for her troubles in the important win.


South Adelaide Panthers would be an exciting team in 2021 if they can hold onto their list, with former premiership Eagle, Olivia Thompson joining the side along with a number of young guns coming through the program that could make their mark on the 20201 NBL1 Central season.