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.

SEASON SUMMARY:

Finished: 6
Won: 12
Lost: 8

TOP PLAYERS:

JEMMA THACKER:

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.

TA’REA CUNNIGAN

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.

DENELLE FAWCETT

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.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE SEASON: NARROW VICTORY OVER THE BEARCATS

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.

BEST WIN: LAST ROUND VICTORY AGAINST SECOND PLACED EAGLES

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.

SUMMARY:

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

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