THERE were a number of tight contests in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 North, particularly in the men’s division as we recap some of the big results and top individual performances from Round 3 of the competitions.
Brisbane Capitals survived a scare from Northside Wizards to stand up in the final term and record a four-point win on the road. The Capitals trailed by five points at quarter time and four points at half-time, then drew level at the final break before scoring 22 points to 18 in the last term to record a victory by that exact difference – four points – 78-74. The win negated out the Capitals’ disappointing 16-point defeat to Sunshine Coast Phoenix the night before and moved them to an even 2-2 start to the season.
Meg Essex lead the way with 26 points and six rebounds, with Brooke Blair also influential thanks to her 20 points – including three of five from long-range – seven assists, three rebounds and two steals. Madison Woodford chipped win with 14 points, six rebounds, five steals and four assists in the win, whilst Anna Cameron had an off night in terms of shooting (one of seven from the field and five points total), but did rack up the 12 rebounds – five offensive – to help her team to the win. Audrey Fuller (four points, five rebounds and four assists) Stephanie Collins (two points, five rebounds and four assists) and Grace George (two points, five rebounds and two assists) could not find their range with shooting, but still contributed across the course of the match.
Suffering their second loss in three games, the Wizards still managed to have some standout players, lead by Courtney Woods who managed the 25 points – three of six from three-point range – nine rebounds and three assists. Regan McCarty notched up a double-double of 18 points – four of nine from long-range – 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals. Tiana Mangakahia had the 13 points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals, while Georgia Woolley (nine points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists) and Anais Kirvan (seven points, six rebounds) also had impressive numbers in the defeat.
In the other tight match, Logan Thunder knocked off South West Metro Pirates by eight points, winning all four quarters but in tight encounters. They kept their winning streak alive thanks to the likes of Ashley Taia (24 points, four rebounds), Mikaela Ruef (16 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and five steals) and Mikaela Cann (15 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals), while Amanda Johnson (21 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Kisha Lee (19 points, eight rebounds) tried hard for the Pirates.
The Thunder then went on to smash Northside Wizards by 48 points, piling on 34 points to nine in the third quarter to eventually win, 103-55 at home. Ruef (23 points, 17 rebounds) was the key player in the win as the Thunder proved far too good for Woods (18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals) and her Wizards. In the Capitals’ Friday night loss to the Phoenix, Essex again tried hard with a dominant 27 points, nine rebounds and two assists, but her team could not contain Sunshine Coast and the likes of Kathleen McLeod (18 points, 10 assists and six rebounds), Jennifer Carden-Davis (24 points, six rebounds and two steals) and Amy Browne (19 points, five rebounds and two assists) in the 92-76 result.
In other results, Mackay Meteorettes, Townsville Flames and Southern District Spartans all continued their winning runs, picking up their third consecutive victories, whilst the Phoenix knocked off Red City Roar by 20 points to also move to a 3-1 record in the 2021 NBL1 North season.
ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Sunshine Coast Phoenix (92) def. Brisbane Capitals (76)
Northside Wizards (74) def. by Brisbane Capitals (78)
Rockhampton Cyclones (63) def. by Mackay Meteorettes (88)
Red City Roar (53) def. by Sunshine Coast Phoenix (73)
Cairns Dolphins (53) def. by Townsville Flames (92)
South West Metro Pirates (81) def. by Logan Thunder (89)
Southern Districts Spartans (92) def. USC Rip City (65)
Logan Thunder (103) def. Northside Wizards (55)
Cairns Marlins ended Townsville Heat’s winning start to season, ending the Heat’s two-game unbeaten run with a six-point victory at home. The Marlins won 88-82, in what was a see-sawing contest. Cairns lead by two points at quarter time, before trailing by a point at the half. Townsville turned up the heat in the third term to extend the lead out to four at the final break, but a dominant final term by the home team – which saw them pile on 22 points to 12 – resulted in Cairns running away with an eight-point victory.
James Mitchell put up a strong 22 points, eight rebounds and two assists to be the top-scorer in the match, whilst Marlins’ teammates Deba George (18 points, two assists and two steals) and Anthony Fisher (13 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Ky Stattmann (15 points, eight rebounds and two assists) all hit double-figure points in the match. Alex Loughton (eight points, four rebounds), Curt Ahwang (seven points, three rebounds and two assists) and Aron Farmer (four points, nine rebounds) also managed some key contributions in the win.
Townsville had a number of even performers as well, lead by Josh Spiers (16 points, nine rebounds) and Ethan Betts (15 points, eight assists and five rebounds). Jalen Patton-Croker (14 points, four rebounds and four assists), Luca Yates (12 points, eight rebounds) and Matthew Rees (10 points, eight rebounds and four assists) also hit double-digit points in the match. Keegan Tudehope (eight points, five rebounds) and Peter Crawford (four points, five rebounds and two assists) were others who had impacts at different points of the match.
Mackay Meteors survived a scare from the winless Rockhampton Rockets to secure an 11-point win. Trailing by 23 points at the final break, the Rockets piled on 35-23 points in the last term to show what they are capable of, but it would not be enough, going down 85-96. Emmanuel Malou (23 points, 11 rebounds) and Jerron Jamerson (24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists) did all the damage for the Meteors, while Kon Anguik (15 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals) and Josh Wilcher (17 points, four rebounds and four assists) were among the best players for Rockhampton.
Northside Wizards ended Brisbane Capitals’ three-game winning streak with a 96-79 victory, picking up their second win in the process. Whilst the Capitals were coming off a seven-point win over Sunshine Coast Phoenix the night before, and the Wizards would end up going on to lose to Logan Thunder by 19 points the following day, it was Northside that came away with the 17-point win. Jesse Ghee put up 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists, teaming up well with Aiden Krause (16 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals) in the win. Nicholas Stoddart (23 points, five assists and five steals) and Jacob Wilson (17 points, seven rebounds) were the best scorers for the Capitals, as Ben Volkman (10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists) almost walked away with a triple-double.
Southern Districts Spartans also came away with a narrow win, defeating USC Rip City by just four points, 93-89. Noah Thomas (17 points, five assists and two rebounds) was the equal top-scorer, as both Josh Derksen (17 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Andre Ugrinic (13 points, 10 rebounds and three steals) walked away with double-doubles. Isaih Tueta (22 points, five assists and four rebounds) and Eric McAlister (21 points, nine rebounds) combined for 43 points in a good showing from the visitors.
Meanwhile the Sunshine Coast Phoenix came away with two counter-contrasting tight results, losing to Brisbane Capitals by seven points on Friday night, before posting a five-point win over Red City Roar on Saturday. Jamaal Robateau averaged 28 points, six rebounds, 4.5 steals and 3.5 assists across the two games, as Nelson Kahler (15 points, nine rebounds) and Oscar Cluff (13 points, seven rebounds) also averaged some big numbers. Stoddart (26 points, four rebounds) and Wilston (16 points, six rebounds and three assists) were the best for the Capitals in that win, whilst Kian Dennis (34 points, five rebounds and four assists) and Kobe McDowell-White (28 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals) did all the heavy lifting for the Roar, shooting a combined 11 of 18 from three-point range in the win.
In the other two games, Logan Thunder posted back-to-back wins with a 26-point victory on the road against South West Metro Pirates (107-81), before heading back home to win 93-74 over Northside Wizards to remain on top of the table with a 4-0 record in the opening three rounds of the NBL1 North season.
ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Sunshine Coast Phoenix (71) def. by Brisbane Capitals (78)
Northside Wizards (96) def. Brisbane Capitals (79)
Rockhampton Rockets (85) def. by Mackay Meteors (96)
Red City Roar (95) def. by Sunshine Coast Phoenix (100)
Cairns Marlins (88) def. Townsville Heat (82)
South West Metro Pirates (81) def. by Logan Thunder (107)
Southern Districts Spartans (93) def. USC Rip City (89)
Logan Thunder (93) def. Northside Wizards (74)
Picture credit: NBL1