Tag: Darcee Garbin

NBL1 South women’s wrap: Round 12 – Eagles stun Blues in upset of the season

DIAMOND Valley Eagles have provided the biggest upset of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s season with a stunning overtime victory against the top-of-the-table Frankston Blues. The Eagles were anchored to the bottom in the game, having only one one match in 12 encounters, including a 17-point defeat at the hands of another struggling side in Albury-Wodonga Bandits. Form meant little against a Blues side missing Opal Tessa Lavey, as the Eagles showed anyone in the competition can win on their night.

Unlike the Eagles, Frankston came in with a completely different form line, having only lost one game from 12 encounters, but that did come the week before. Expected to easily account for the cellar dwellers, the Blues slowly lead by a point at quarter time, before extending the advantage out to nine by the main break. Whilst the visitors would have been expected to run away with it – as Darcee Garbin was running riot – the Eagles were not going to go away easily.

In front of home fans, Diamond Valley poured on 23 points to 16 to cut the deficit back to two with a quarter to play, and then timed their run perfectly. Trailing by five points with 1:09 on the clock in regular time, Olivia Bontempelli came to play. She hit a two-pointer and was fouled to secure the And-One chance to cut the deficit to just two. Leading by the single basket, Garbin had a chance from long-range, but Bontempelli was there to not only collect the defensive rebound, but then hit the two-point leveller. A turnover on the Blues’ transition and a missed three-pointer from the Eagles had the game level pegging heading into overtime.

After 90 seconds of overtime, the teams could still not be split, until Sophie Burrows hit the long-range jumper to put the score at 72-69. Bontempelli soon responded with two points of her own for a five-point lead, and whilst Garbin picked up a foul moments later, only put up one of two from the charity stripe. She was never going to go down quietly though, launching a successful three-pointer to draw within a point with 90 seconds on the clock. This time it was Burrows who came to the rescue, picking up foul after foul to nail five of six free-throws and turn the one-point advantage into a six-point win, following two Blues turnovers and a missed long-range jumper.

Bontempelli was sensational for the Eagles, putting up 23 points, four rebounds and three assists, whilst Burrows’ late contribution of 10 points – seven from the free-throw line – eight rebounds, three steals and two assists was also impressive. Imogen Rock had 15 points, 10 rebounds and two assists, whilst young gun Jade Dunne finished with 12 points and five rebounds. Garbin was a one-person shooting machine with a match-high 35 points, and 13 rebounds, hitting four of 13 from three-point range. Taylah Gilliam (14 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals) and Saraid Taylor (five points, seven rebounds) were both busy off the boards.

It was a massive round of action overall with a whopping 15 games taking place. Frankston Blues suffered a third loss in four games when they went down to the Kilsyth Cobras at home, with the Cobras also picking up a win against Ringwood Hawks by a solitary point. Last placed Hobart Chargers suffered back-to-back defeats at the hands of Nunawading Spectres and Albury-Wodonga Bandits, with the Bandits’ win over the Eagles taking them to four wins for the year. Mt Gambier Pioneers had a mixed bag, going down on the road to Geelong Supercats, before bouncing back with a big 32-point home win against Sandringham Sabres. It was not all bad news for the Sabres who got past Waverley Falcons by four points.

In other results, Eltham Wildcats picked up a two-point win over Dandenong Rangers, Bendigo Braves won against Nunawading Spectres and Ballarat Rush accounted for Knox Raiders. Meanwhile Launceston Tornadoes posted a 21-point win on the road against Dandenong Rangers, before suffering a heartbreaking one-point loss at the the hands of Melbourne Tigers.

NBL1 SOUTH WOMEN’S RESULTS:

Sandringham Sabres (90) def. Waverley Falcons (86)
Geelong Supercats (80) def. Mt Gambier Pioneers (75)
Albury-Wodonga Bandits (71) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (54)
Nunawading Spectres (88) def. Hobart Chargers (70)
Eltham Wildcats (73) def. Dandenong Rangers (71)
Kilsyth Cobras (66) def. Ringwood Hawks (65)
Bendigo Braves (94) def. Nunawading Spectres (80)
Ballarat Rush (52) def. by Knox Raiders (67)
Diamond Valley Eagles (79) def. Frankston Blues (73)
Albury-Wodonga Bandits (85) def. Hobart Chargers (52)
Dandenong Rangers (75) def. by Launceston Tornadoes (96)
Mt Gambier Pioneers (83) def. Sandringham Sabres (51)
Frankston Blues (71) def. by Kilsyth Cobras (76)
Melbourne Tigers (87) def. Launceston Tornadoes (86)
Knox Raiders (93) def. Hobart Chargers (57)

Picture credit: Rachel Louise Photography

Hat-trick Hawks as Blues lose

THE Ringwood Hawks have done what no one else could this season, knocking off the undefeated Frankston Blues in one of three victories for the club in Round 11.

Having already defeated the Melbourne Tigers 71-56 on Wednesday night, and claiming an 18-point victory on Friday night against the Kilsyth Cobras, the Hawks were back in action again on Saturday claiming a massive scalp on the road at the Frankston Basketball Stadium.

After an entertaining first half it was the home team who led at the main break on the back of a brilliant first two quarters from Darcee Garbin who scored 19 points, half of her team’s total, as they led 38-37 with an intriguing second half to come.

The Hawks were brilliant as they managed to overrun the Blues in the second half to claim an 11-point victory. It was a great team performance as Funda Nakkasoglu (11 points), Danni Bone (11 points), Toni Farnworth(10 points), and Marena Whittle (21 points) all scored in double figures for the match. The defence of the Hawks was also a key factor as Ringwood held Frankston to just 24 second half points.

For the Hawks, Whittle completed her 21-point game with 12 rebounds and Bone had four offensive rebounds (five rebounds total) to go along with her 11 points. Meanwhile, Garbin (23 points, 14 rebounds) and Taylah Giliam (21 points, 4/7 three pointers made) were the stars for the Blues.

The defeat of the 10-0 Blues, and the two other wins against the Tigers and the Cobras keeps the Hawks’ hopes of making NBL 1 finals alive.

Meanwhile, Knox had two wins over the weekend including a victory over fellow finals contender Eltham. Knox defeated the Wildcats 75-53, the day after an eight-point victory over the Falcons.

Klara Wischer had a great game scoring 15 points, 13 rebounds, and four steals. Teammates Rebecca Ott (16 points, 4/6 three pointers made), Lucy Dawson (13 points, nine rebounds), Leah Santomaggio (12 points, four three pointers made) also performed, while Rebecca Pizzey (12 points, 10 rebounds, 5/8 field goals made) was again a solid contributor for Eltham.

Elsewhere, Launceston and Bendigo took advantage of the Blues’ defeat, narrowing the gap at the top of the ladder.

The Tornadoes had a close win against the Supercats, with Kelsey Griffin (26 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, four steals) falling just shy of a big triple double in the 73-70 victory.

The Braves had a crushing 31-point win against the Bandits. Abigail Wehrung (27 points, seven rebounds, five assists) and Kate Oliver (24 points, six rebounds, four assists) were huge for the Braves, and Kelly Wilson (nine points, nine rebounds, nine assists) also came close to completing a triple double.

Rachel Antoniadou (22 points, five assists) and Izzy Wright (21 points, six rebounds, five assists) were both important in Nunawading’s 92-66 win against Mt Gambier.

While Sara Bilcavs had 34 points and eight rebounds in Geelong’s first game of the round, a 29-point win over the Hobart Chargers.

Full Round 11 results:

Ringwood Hawks 71 def Melbourne Tigers 56
Hobart Chargers 69 def by Geelong Supercats 98
Bendigo Braves 105 def Albury-Wodonga Bandits 74
Ringwood Hawks 72 def Kilsyth Cobras 54
Knox Basketball 73 def Waverley Falcons 65
Frankston Blues 62 def by Ringwood Hawks 73
Ballarat Rush 72 def by Nunawading Spectres 95
Kilsyth Cobras 90 def Mt Gambier Pioneers 60
Dandenong Rangers 67 def by Albury-Wodonga Bandits 75
Launceston Tornadoes 73 def Geelong Supercats 70
Eltham Wildcats 53 def by Knox Basketball 75
Waverley Falcons 70 def by Frankston Blues 78
Diamond Valley Eagles 85 def Ballarat Rush 78
Nunawading Spectres 92 def Mt Gambier Pioneers 66
Sandringham Sabres 49 def by Melbourne Tigers 100

Photo credit: Ian Knight Photography

2021 NBL1 South: Round 10 – Wildcats hunting top spot, Blues form continues

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 Women’s competition returned to Victoria after another state-wide lockdown and it was the Eltham Wildcats who returned in fine style defeating the Falcons 94-80, continuing on from Saturday’s win against the Waverley Falcons at home. The Wildcats made it two from two in Round 10 after Sunday’s win on the road against the Falcons at the Waverley Basketball Centre.

It was a tight encounter during the first half with the lead changing multiple times, but a massive 14-point second quarter from Alice Kunek (31 points) meant Waverley led at the main break by a narrow two-point margin. Eltham took control of the match in the third term outscoring the Falcons 28-16 with Tess Heal (16 points, four from seven three-pointers) nailing a couple of three-pointers as the clock ran down to give the Wildcats the momentum heading into the last. The Falcons were unable to get on top in the final term as the Wildcats came home with the victory seeing them move into third position on the ladder.

Eltham was dominant on the glass (61-36 rebounds) led by by Anneli Maley (20 rebounds) and Rebecca Pizzey (13 rebounds, five offensive). In addition to the strong rebound numbers, the Wildcats had six double figure scorers in Shelby Britten (17 points), Lily Scanlon (11 points), Erin Riley (11 points), Heal (16 points), Maley (15 points) and Pizzey (21 points). Kunek (31 points, 13 from 21 field goals) certainly played her role, and Renae Mokrzycki (15 points, seven rebounds) also contributed, however the Wildcats prevailed, leaving them in the race for top of the ladder.

Meanwhile, the Frankston Blues continued their unbeaten run with a 73-55 victory over the Diamond Valley Eagles. A commanding first quarter from the Blues saw them lead by 16 points at quarter time as they eased their way to a 10-0 record. Darcee Garbin (18 points, 15 rebounds), Saraid Taylor (15 points, three from four three-pointers) and Ella Batish (15 points, six from seven field goals) all contributed as the Blues consolidated first position on the ladder.

It was also a big weekend for the Geelong Supercats, recording two crushing victories. The Supercats defeated the Sandringham Sabres by 23 points on Saturday, before handing the Eagles their second loss of the round with an emphatic 95-55 scoreline on Sunday. Sara Blicavs (29 points, eight rebounds) and Stephanie Blicavs (23 points, five from nine three-pointers) played a starring role in Sunday’s match as Geelong recorded its second 40-plus winning margin of the season.

Elsewhere, Knox also recorded a big 38-point win over the Ringwood Hawks, while the Bendigo Braves were another team to record two victories over the weekend. Ballarat went 1-1 in Round 10, going down to the Kilsyth Cobras by 28 points before bouncing back to defeat the Melbourne Tigers 80-68 on Sunday. Meanwhile, Nunawading had a big win over the Falcons, and following their defeat to the Wildcats, the Bandits secured a close seven-point victory over the Sabres.

Full Round 10 results:

Hobart Chargers 66 def by Bendigo Braves 80

Geelong Supercats 94 def Sandringham Sabres 71

Frankston Blues 73 def Diamond Valley Eagles 55

Knox Basketball 96 def Ringwood Hawks 58

Nunawading Spectres 93 def Waverley Falcons 57

Ballarat Rush 58 def by Kilsyth Cobras 86

Eltham Wildcats 82 def Albury-Wodonga Bandits 72

Launceston Tornadoes 74 def by Bendigo Braves 87

Diamond Valley Eagles 55 def by Geelong Supercats 95

Waverley Falcons 80 def by Eltham Wildcats 94

Sandingham Sabres 69 def by Albury-Wodonga Bandits 76

Melbourne Tigers 68 def by Ballarat Rush 80

 

Picture credit:

NBL1 South Women’s wrap: Round 6

FRANKSTON Blues stand as the only undefeated side in the competition after Knox Raiders suffered a narrow defeat, and the Blues fought back to win their clash with Geelong Supercats in a blockbuster National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s Round 6 of action.

Geelong Supercats (75) def. by Frankston Blues (80)

The rampaging Frankston Blues started off their Round 6 of action in style with a hard-fought five-point win over Geelong Supercats. The confidence-boosting win showed the Blues could get their hands dirty, fighting back from an 11-point deficit at quarter time, to almost completely erase that by the half, and then finish the stronger of the teams to win, 80-75. Darcee Garbin shot 24 points and racked up 14 rebounds in a massive double-double effort, while Tessa Lavey (19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists), Taylah Giliam (18 points, three assists and two rebounds) and Ella Batish (11 points, three rebounds and two assists) all went to work for the winners. The Supercats had a quartet of talents running around on court, with Sarah Elsworthy (19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals) leading the way, Antoinette Emma-Nnopu (18 points, 10 rebounds) picking up a double-double, and both Stephanie Blicavs (14 points, seven rebounds and six assists) and Alex Duck (10 points, seven rebounds and four assists) getting busy.

Nunawading Spectres (81) def. Knox Raiders (78)

A frantic finish where free-throws decided the contest, Nunawading Spectres held on against a brave Knox Raiders outfit to win by three points at home. Leading by five points at half-time, the Spectres were challenged in the second half as the Raiders cut the deficit to just one at the final break before Nunawading held firm in the last to win the term and secure the 81-78 victory against the previously undefeated side. Penina Davidson (20 points, 12 rebounds and four assists) and Rachel Brewster (20 points, seven rebounds and two assists) both top-scored for the Spectres, while Izzy Wright (18 points, six assists, four steals and three rebounds) and Louise Brown (10 points, seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks) also impressed. The Raiders had a two-player shooting spree between Klara Wischer (25 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Leah Santomaggio (25 points, three rebounds and two steals) in defeat.

Diamond Valley Eagles (52) def. by Kilsyth Cobras (104)

There was no mercy shown to the home team as a visiting Kilsyth Cobras doubled Diamond Valley Eagles’ score in their clash. The Cobras won by 52 points, and won each quarter by at least 12, including a 35-17 second term, and defensive shutdown of 17-4 in the last quarter on their way to a 104-52 win. Lauren Nicholson returned to NBL1 action as one would expect with the experienced WNBL player putting up 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists against the winless Eagles. Lauren Scherf (18 points, 13 rebounds and three assists), Carly Turner (12 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Abigail Curtin (10 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals) also produced big numbers for the winners. Olivia Bontempelli was again the standalone source of scoring for the Eagles, recording 17 points, four rebounds and two assists, while Ivana Vasiljevic was the next best with 10 points.

Dandenong Rangers (93) def. Hobart Chargers (72)

Delivering Hobart Chargers yet another loss, Dandenong Rangers fought back from a half-time deficit of 11 points to completely shut out the Chargers’ offence on their way to a 21-point triumph. The Rangers restricted the Chargers to just 15 points in the second half, 10 less than their second term and 17 less than their first quarter, whilst piled on 47 points themselves to run away with the 93-72 win. Emilee Harmon (26 points, seven rebounds) and Dallas Loughridge (25 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals) combined for 51 points, while Sherry Glennie (15 points, four steals and three rebounds) was also lively in the win. For the Chargers, Ellie Collins dropped 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the clear best in a losing side, supported well by Kylie McCauley (17 points, six rebounds and two assists) and Sharna Thompson (16 points, seven rebounds and two assists).

Eltham Wildcats (88) def. by Launceston Tornadoes (92)

Stunning an unbeaten team on the road, Launceston Tornadoes showed they mean business in the NBL1 season, winning 92-88 against Eltham Wildcats to hand the Wildcats their second loss of the season. The Tornadoes did not have it all their own way, but after being level at the final break, managed to secure the win with the 23-19 final term. Kelsey Griffin showed all of her experience for the Tornadoes with 28 points, 15 rebounds and two steals, while Mariah Payne (22 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals), Teyla Evans (18 points, five rebounds) and Micah Simpson (10 points, six assists and two rebounds) also stood up. Anneli Maley dropped an enormous 36 points and 25 rebounds – 17 defensive – on the Tornadoes in a bid to get her team over the line, also picking up four assists in the process. Rebecca Pizzey (11 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Erin Riley (10 points, four rebounds and two assists) were other prominent Wildcats in the loss.

Ringwood Hawks (88) def. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (68)

Ringwood Hawks handed Albury-Wodonga Bandits another loss, winning all four quarters on their way to a comfortable 20-point win. The Hawks won each quarter by five, four, five and six points to always have that breathing space between themselves and their opponents in order to post the 88-68 win. Funda Nakkasoglu (22 points, nine rebounds and four assists) lead the way for the Hawks, while Marena Whittle (19 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks) picked up a double-double and Hope Terdich (12 points, eight rebounds) also stood up in the win. Emma Mahady (21 points, seven rebounds and two steals) was the dominant scorer for the Bandits, while Geralynn Leaupepe (15 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Geraldynn Leaupepe (13 points, seven rebounds and two steals) teamed up to be double-trouble for the Hawks despite the loss.

Mt Gambier Pioneers (60) def. Ballarat Rush (48)

In a battle between two teams playing their only match of the round, Mt Gambier Pioneers picked up the victory at home over Ballarat Rush by 12 points. In a low-scoring encounter, the half-time lead of 17 points was all it took for the Pioneers, as the Rush could not claw their way back despite a strong final term of 17-13, losing 48-60. Jasmin Howe (28 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists) was the dominant player for the winners, knocking down six of 10 from long-range. Sherrie Calleia (14 points, eight rebounds and six assists) also looked impressive, whilst Hannah Young was next best with only the five points, but eight rebounds and three assists. For the Rush, Kristy Rinaldi was the only double-digit scorer with 11 points, recording six rebounds and three assists, while both Alicia Froling (eight points, 20 rebounds and two blocks) and Kasey Burton (six points, 14 rebounds, two assists and two steals) might have had forgettable shooting nights, but were enormous off the boards.

Kilsyth Cobras (60) def. by Launceston Tornadoes (87)

Backing up their massive win on the road against Eltham Wildcats, the Launceston Tornadoes made it two from two in Round 6, toppling Kilsyth Cobras by 27 points in a convincing four-quarter win. The Tornadoes won every quarter, with the first term 25-12 making the difference during the 87-60 triumph. Griffin added another double-double to her name with 24 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals, but this time she shared the load with Keely Froling who returned to produce a casual 25 points and 16 rebounds, as well as two assists and two steals. Payne (17 points, six rebounds and four assists) and Evans (10 points, six rebounds and two assists) also produced good numbers. Nicholson tried hard for the Cobras across all 40 minutes, recording 18 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals, while Scherf had a double-double of 13 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals, and Turner finished with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in the loss.

Waverley Falcons (63) def. by Bendigo Braves (84)

Grabbing a big win on the road, Bendigo Braves showed just how impressive they could be, downing the Waverley Falcons by 21 points in the team’s only games of the weekend. The Braves took control in the second term with a 29-13 quarter after an even first term, and that set the visitors up for the 84-63 win. Kate Oliver (27 points, eight rebounds and three assists) and Tess Madgen (22 points, 11 rebounds and six assists) both lit up the court with their shooting, while Abigail Wehrung (eight points, seven rebounds and five assists) was busy for the Braves. In defeat, Renae Mokrzycki had 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists, while Kelly Bowen (seven points, eight rebounds and two steals) and Nyakoang Lok (eight points, six rebounds and two assists) were both prominent off the boards.

Melbourne Tigers (89) def. Nunawading Spectres (66)

Melbourne Tigers grabbed an impressive 23-point win over Nunawading Spectres on Sunday to close out a mixed weekend for the Spectres. After grabbing the tight win against Knox Raiders, the Spectres were not able to stay with the Tigers in the final quarter, tiring out and the fresh team dominated to win the term by 19 points, and the match, 89-66. Monique Conti feasted with an almost triple-double of 28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in every minute on court. Also not taking a trip to the bench was fellow WNBL talent Zitina Aokuso (18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks), while Geraldine McCorkell (15 points, six rebounds) and Isabella Brancatisano (five points, 11 rebounds and seven assists) impacted in different ways for the winners. Wright top-scored for the Spectres with 19 points, seven rebounds, three assist and three steals, while Rachel Antoniadou (15 points, three rebounds and three assists) and Davidson (14 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists) were also prominent scorers on the day.

Frankston Blues (90) def. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (67)

Frankston’s dominant unbeaten season rolled out with a 23-point triumph over Albury-Wodonga Bandits. A strong start had the home team 10 points up at the first break, and the 13-point differential in the third term (20-7) really drilled home the point during the 90-67 victory. Garbin shot another 19 points including five of nine from long-range, also recording 10 rebounds and two assists in the process. Giliam (17 points, four rebounds and two assists), Saraid Taylor (15 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Lavey (10 points, six assists and five rebounds) were also prominent in the win. It was no surprise to see Mahady (22 points, five assists, two rebounds and two steals) again the best for the Bandits, while both Jade McCowan (14 points, six rebounds) and Charlotte Beavan (10 points, four rebounds) shared around the points in the loss.

Sandringham Sabres (81) def. Hobart Chargers (49)

Hobart Chargers were no match for Sandringham Sabres as the visitors lost their second game of the weekend on Sunday, going down to the Sabres by 32 points at the southern Basketball Stadium. Whilst the final term was even, the damage was done in the first 30 minutes, as the home side piled on a 32-point lead, keeping the Chargers to 12 points or less in each of those terms during the 81-49 victory. Jenna O’Hea (21 points, six rebounds and three assists) was the top-scorer in the win, while Amy O’Neill (17 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and three steals) and Cassandra Hill (15 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals) were also lively. For the Chargers, Thompson (12 points, five rebounds), McCauley (12 points, six rebounds and two assists) and Collins (11 points, eight rebounds and two steals) were again the double-digit scorers.

Picture credit: NBL1

NBL1 South women’s wrap: Round 5

BENDIGO Braves managed to end the winning streak of one side in the Eltham Wildcats over the weekend, but fell short of inflicting the same fate on another one in Frankston Blues, in what was a huge National Basketball League (NBL)1 weekend of action.

Hobart Chargers (84) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (68)

Opening the round up on the Apple Isle, Hobart Chargers claimed a 16-point victory over Diamond Valley Eagles in a battle of two winless sides. The Eagles actually led at half-time by four points, but a dominant second half in favour of the Chargers – which saw them storm home 48-28 – resulted in the home team winning 84-68. Ellie Collins lead the way with 34 points – five of 11 from long-range – 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks. Madeleine Garrick (23 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists) also stood out, while Tayla Roberts (11 points, three rebounds and three assists) hit double-figure points. Hayley Sparks (19 points, five rebounds and two steals), Imogen Rock (12 points, seven rebounds) and Olivia Bontempelli (10 points, five assists and three rebounds) were among the top-scoring Eagles on the night.

Geelong Supercats (90) def. Melbourne Tigers (82)

The Geelong Supercats managed to breakaway from the Melbourne Tigers in the third term to secure a 90-82 win. The teams were even at half-time, but a 24-11 third quarter in favour of the Supercats put the momentum firmly in favour of Geelong, and whilst the Tigers cut the deficit back by five points, they fell by eight points. Sarah Elsworthy (25 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals) scored the most points in the match, while Alex Duck (18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals), Rebekah O’Donnell (15 points, five rebounds and three assists), Stephanie Blicavs (15 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals) and Antoinette Emma-Nnopu (12 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks) all combined for some big numbers. Zitina Aokuso almost recorded a triple-double of 20 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and two steals, with Monique Conti (22 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Isabella Brancatisano (14 points, two steals) also busy for the visitors.

Bendigo Braves (70) def. Eltham Wildcats (63)

A one-sided first term has aided Bendigo Braves in holding off a fierce Eltham Wildcats outfit and handing the Wildcats their first loss of the NBL1 South season. The Braves piled on 28-8 in the opening term to bolt out to a 20-point lead, but then the Wildcats picked up the slack over the next two quarters, including a 24-9 third term to come within one point at the final break. A 17-11 last quarter saw the Braves secure the 70-63 victory. Tess Madgen (23 points, nine rebounds and five assists) did not spend a minute on the bench in a tireless effort the Braves, while Piper Dunlop (14 points, 13 rebounds and two steals) and Kate Oliver (12 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks) both picked up double-doubles. Tess Heal (22 points, eight rebounds and two steals) top-scored, whilst Anneli Maley dominated off the boards for the Wildcats with 27 rebounds, though was inaccurate from the field, shooting two of 12.

Dandenong Rangers (63) def. by Frankston Blues (78)

Frankston Blues became the first side to win six consecutive games, downing Dandenong Rangers by 15 points on the road. Trailing by three points at quarter time, the Blues found their groove in the second term scoring 23-13 to lead by seven at the main break. Frankston also won the last two quarter by four points each to win by 15, 78-63. Darcee Garbin (27 points, nine rebounds and three steals) and Tessa Lavey (22 points, 13 assists, five rebounds and three steals) were the dominant duo once again for the winners, while Ella Batish had seven points, seven rebounds and two assists. Alison Downie (16 points, six rebounds and two assists), Tenaya Sooalo (13 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Emilee Harmon (12 points, eight rebounds) were the three key Rangers.

Kilsyth Cobras (70) def. by Nunawading Spectres (90)

The Nunawading Spectres leapfrogged Kilsyth Cobras on the NBL1 South ladder with an impressive 20-point victory on the road. The Spectres dominated the first quarter to race out to a 10-point lead, and doubled down in the third term with a 23-8 quarter. Nunawading managed to reduce the final damage by winning the last stanza, but it was still a sizeable 90-70 defeat. Rachel Antoniadou (28 points, 10 rebounds and five assists) was the dominant scorer for the winners, whilst Louise Brown (10 points, 14 rebounds) picked up a double-double, and Izzy Wright (13 points, six rebounds and three assists) was also strong. Carly Turner (15 points, four steals, two rebounds and two assists) lead the points tally for the Cobras, while Lauren Scherf (10 points, 11 rebounds), and Tia Hay (12 points, seven rebounds and five assists) were equally as busy across the court.

Albury-Wodonga Bandits (64) def. by Waverley Falcons (81)

Waverley Falcons produced an impressive 17-point victory over Albury-Wodonga Bandits, coming from a nine-point quarter time deficit to win in emphatic style. After the 24-15 term in favour of the Bandits, the Falcons won the next three quarters by nine, five and 12 points to win 81-64. Kelly Bowen scored a match-high 21 points, as well as 12 rebounds, whilst Renae Mokrzycki also had a double-double of 12 points and 18 rebounds, and Aneta Bandilovska (17 points, four rebounds and two assists) also contributed to the score ticking over. Emma Mahady’s monstrous season rolled on with a huge double-double of 20 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Bandits, while Brodie-Paige Theodore (20 points, four rebounds and two steals) and Jade McCowan (10 points, six rebounds) also notched up double-figure points.

Ringwood Hawks (67) def. Ballarat Rush (50)

Ringwood Hawks won the battle of the two-win sides, defeating Ballarat Rush at home by 17 points, The Hawks got off to a terrific start to lead by 11 points at quarter time, and whilst the second and fourth terms were fairly even, the Hawks beat the Rush by seven points in the third term for an overall 67-50 win. Funda Nakkasoglu (20 points, three assists) lead the way, dropping four of nine from long-range, whilst Marena Whittle (eight points, 12 rebounds, four steals ad two assists) and Demi Skinner (nine points, five rebounds) were also busy. Kasey Burton was the only double-digit scorer for the Rush with 13, as well as 10 rebounds and two steals, whilst Alicia Froling came close to a double-double of nine points, 12 rebounds and four assists in the loss.

Mt Gambier Pioneers (40) def. by Knox Raiders (69)

Two teams at opposite ends of the ladder produced a match of a predictable outcome, with the undefeated Knox Raiders winning their fifth game, and handing the Mt Gambier Pioneers their sixth straight loss. Klara Wischer stood out with 15 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three assists, as Kara Tessari (16 points, three rebounds) and Kiera Rowe (13 points, two rebounds and two steals) also impressed with double-digit points. Jasmine Howe (nine points, five steals and three rebounds) and Sherrie Calleia (nine points, four assists and two steals) both top-scored for their side, whilst Hannah Young racked up 13 rebounds and two steals to go with six points in the loss.

Launceston Tornadoes (103) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (74)

Launceston Tornadoes put together a dominant four-quarter performance to blow away Diamond Valley Eagles by 29 points in the Eagles’ second loss of the round down in Tasmania. Led by an outrageous effort from Keely Froling, the Tornadoes took control from the get-go and powered to a 20-point half-time lead. Whilst the Eagles did managed to break even in the final term, the Tornadoes had already done the damage in the first three quarters. Froling finished with a competition season-high 52 points – 17 of 30 from the field – as well as 26 rebounds – 17 defensive – five assists and four steals. Mariah Payne (26 points, 12 assists and five rebounds) picked up a double-double, while D’Asia Chambers (15 points, four assists, four steals and three assists) also hit double-figure points. Bontempelli topped the points for the Eagles with 20, as well as four assists and two steals, while Sophie Burrows (16 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Ashleigh McBean (12 points, six rebounds) were among the other top performers for the losers.

Eltham Wildcats (83) def. Sandringham Sabres (80)

Bouncing back from the loss the day before, Eltham Wildcats won in a thriller over Sandringham Sabres yesterday. The Wildcats trailed by three points at quarter time, then piled on the pressure to lead by five at the main break. After breaking even in the third quarter, the Sabres won the last quarter 25-23 to come close, but fall short, 83-80. Maley was unstoppable again, picking up 17 points and 24 rebounds – 20 defensive – three assists and two blocks, while Heal (18 points, three assists) and Rebecca Pizzey (18 points, nine rebounds and four assists) both troubled the scorers plenty in the win. Jenna O’Hea played her best game o the season thus far, picking up 30 points – four of eight from long-range – 10 rebounds, five steals, two assists and two blocks. Amy O’Neill (16 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals) and Rachel Jarry (16 points, five rebounds and two assists) also notched up double-figure points in the narrow loss.

Melbourne Tigers (77) def. Dandenong Rangers (70)

In a battle of two Saturday losers, Melbourne Tigers got up by seven points on Sunday in what was a tight contest. The Tigers skipped out to an eight-point lead at half-time, and whilst the Rangers cut that back to seven by the final break, fell 77-70. Both Aokuso (13 points, 15 rebounds and five assists) and Brancatisano (11 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals) picked up double-doubles in the win, as Conti (18 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds) top scored once again for the Tigers. Dallas Loughridge had the 20 points, six rebounds and three assists to lead the way for the Rangers, ahead of Sherry Glennie (12 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Makaela Zeldenryk (10 points, three assists) who also hit double-figure points.

Frankston Blues (74) def. Bendigo Braves (64)

Frankston Blues won another game to make it seventh heaven, defeating Bendigo Braves who were coming off a spirited win over Eltham Wildcats. The Blues won every quarter in what was a tight contest, to take home the 10-point win, 74-64. Lavey finished with 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Garbin had 13 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two locks. Saraid Taylor (12 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Taylah Gilliam (15 points, four rebounds and two assists) were the other two key points scorers. The Braves were led by Oliver (19 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks), Cassidy McLean (12 points, six assists and three rebounds) and Abigail Wehrung (16 points, four assists and two steals).

Picture credit: NBL1

2021 NBL1 South Women’s wrap: Round 3

THREE teams remain undefeated after Round 3 of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s competition, as Frankston Blues (4-0), Knox Raiders (3-0) and Eltham Wildcats (3-0) stand tall amongst the rest of the competition.

Geelong Supercats (92) def. Waverley Falcons (49)

Geelong Supercats have dominated Waverley Falcons by 43 points in a one-sided affair to open the round. The home team raced out to a 10-point lead at quarter time, and then closed down the opposition’s scoring, capped off with a 29-8 third quarter. A 20-14 final term saw the Supercats finish full of steam as well, winning 92-49. Steph Blicavs dominated with 26 points – four of five from long-range – four assists, three rebounds and two steals, while Aimie Clydesdale hit five of 10 from three-point range to finish with 21 points, as well as four rebounds and four assists, while Sarah Elsworthy (17 points, five assists and three rebounds) and Rebekah O’Donnell (11 points, seven rebounds) also stood tall. Renae Mokrzycki (13 points, three rebounds and two assists), Meg Crupi (12 points) and Nyakoang Lok (11 points, five rebounds and two steals) were the double-figure points scorers for the Falcons in the heavy loss.

Frankston Blues (90) def. Launceston Tornadoes (84)

The battle of the undefeated sides lived up to expectations with Frankston Blues triumphing over Launceston Tornadoes by just six points in a thrilling contest. It was a tale of two halves as the home team raced away to pile on 52 points to 38 in the opening half and lead by 14. Launceston hit back in the second half, but could only claw back eight of those 14 points, to go down 90-84. Despite Tessa Lavey having an uncharacteristically poor day shooting (two of 15 from the field and none of nine from long-range for seven points), the dual sport star had 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals to still contribute to the team’s success. Darcee Garbin (23 points, 11 rebounds and three assists) and Ella Batish (20 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists) picked up the slack, while Taylah Giliam (16 points, three rebounds) and Samara Hill (12 points, two assists) also stood tall. For the Tornadoes, it was the triple threat that did all the damage to try and keep the side in it, as Keely Froling (30 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) and Kelsey Griffin (14 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) picked up double-doubles, and Mariah Payne finished with 28 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals.

Knox Raiders (111) def. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (38)

The bloodbath of the round well and truly went to Knox Raiders, who showed no mercy in a dominating 73-point shellacking of Albury-Wodonga Bandits. The Raiders never looked like losing with a 67-21 opening half, and then kept the Bandits to as low as seven points in the final term, running out 111-38 victors. Marianna Tolo had a night out with 25 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, while Klara Wischer also picked up a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Kara Tessari (18 points, four assists and three rebounds), Kiera Rowe (17 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Leah Santomaggio (13 points, four rebounds and three assists) were others who hit double-figure points for the Raiders. Emma Mahady knocked down 20 points, seven rebounds and two steals in a lone-hand for the Bandits, scoring more than half of the team’s points.

Ballarat Rush (67) def. by Bendigo Braves (74)

Bendigo Braves have come away with an important win on the road against Ballarat Rush, facing a 13-point half-time deficit but turning it around with a dominant second half. The Braves trailed 46-33 at the main break, but then kept the Rush to just 21 points after that, whilst they piled on 41 to secure the narrow seven-point win, 74-67. Tess Madgen led the way, picking up an almost triple-double of 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Kate Oliver (18 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals), Cassidy McLean (12 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Piper Dunlop (eight points, seven rebounds and two assists) all shone in the win. For the Rush, Alicia Froling was unstoppable off the boards with 16 rebounds – seven offensive – to go with 14 points, two assists and two blocks, while Kasey Burton (15 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Kristy Rinaldi (15 points, five rebounds and three steals) also contributed strongly.

Diamond Valley Eagles (48) def. by Melbourne Tigers (93)

Diamond Valley Eagles’ winless start to the season continued, going down to Melbourne Tigers by 45 points, while the Tigers strung together back-to-back wins. Melbourne won every quarter, getting out to a 25-point lead at half-time to all but seal the deal, then won the second half by 20 points as well to run out 93-48 winners. Isabella Brancatisano (23 points, 12 rebounds and six assists) and Zitina Aokuso (10 points, 13 rebounds and two assists) both racked up double-doubles, as Monique Conti came close to a remarkable quadruple-double of 23 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and seven steals as a clear best on court. Gemma Simon helped out with 19 points in the Tigers’ win. For the Eagles, Sophie Burrows scored a team-high 12 points to go with six rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Olivia Bontempelli (10 points five rebounds, four steals and three assists) and Ivana Vasiljevic (10 points, three rebounds) also reached double-figure points.

Eltham Wildcats (87) def. Nunawading Spectres (74)

Eltham Wildcats remained undefeated from three games with a solid 13-point victory over Nunawading Spectres at home. The Wildcats raced out to a 14-point lead at half-time, and built it up to as much as 20 points by the final break, before the Spectres fought it out in the final term to cut the deficit back, but fell short of victory as the home team triumphed, 87-74. Lily Scanlon (24 points, six rebounds and two assists) scored the most points, but Anneli Maley‘s unbelievable season off the boards continued with 19 rebounds – 13 defensive – to go with 15 points. Tess Heal (14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals), Rebecca Pizzey (13 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks) and Shelby Britten (10 points, seven assists, two rebounds and two steals) also hit double-figure points in the win. Penina Davidson was a standout for the Spectres in defeat, picking up 20 points, eight rebounds, five steals and two assists, while Rachel Antoniadou (17 points, nine assists and two rebounds) and Rachel Brewster (16 points, five assists, three rebounds and two blocks).

Kilsyth Cobras (75) def. Hobart Chargers (73)

Hobart Chargers fell short of their first victory against Kilsyth Cobras, following a spirited four-quarter effort. The Cobras led by four points at the first break, with the teams tied by half-time. Another strong term from Kilsyth saw them extend the lead out to four again, before the Chargers hit back in the fourth, to even hit the front with 2:24 on the clock, but the Cobras managed to steady and take home the win, 75-73. Lauren Scherf (12 points, 15 rebounds and four assists) and Abigail Curtin (14 points, seven rebounds) were influential, as Briahna Whatman (nine points, 11 rebounds and six assists) came close to a double-double, and Nikita Young (13 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals) was also handy. Madeleine Garrick was the star for the Chargers, not far off a triple-double of 26 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals, while Tayla Roberts (13 points, nine rebounds) and Kylie McCauley (13 points, nine rebounds and five assists), Sharna Roberts (11 points, five rebounds) and Ellie Collins (10 points, eight rebounds) did all the scoring in a losing team.

Mt Gambier Pioneers (45) def. by Ringwood Hawks (89)

A four-quarter performance capped off by a rampant final term put an exclamation mark on the Ringwood Hawks’ victory against Mt Gambier Pioneers. In the Pioneers first game in South Australia this year, they were up against some stiff opposition and the Hawks came to play, leading by 17 points at the final break. No one would have seen the last quarter coming, as Ringwood piled on 35 points to eight in a one-way domination to blow out the final margin to 44 points, 89-45. Funda Nakkasoglu hit a match-high 26 points, as well as five rebounds and three assists, while Marena Whittle (20 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, four steals and four blocks) and Demi Skinner (18 points, nine rebounds) were also impressive. For the Pioneers, Hannah Young was the standout thanks to 11 points and nine rebounds, while Shakera Reilly (10 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Jasmin Howe (nine points, five rebounds and two assists) were others who stood out for the losers.

Bendigo Braves (84) def. Dandenong Rangers (56)

After a win on the road against Ballarat Rush, Bendigo Braves made it back-to-back victories in Round 3 thanks to a 28-point triumph over Dandenong Rangers. The Braves won all four quarters, scoring at least 17 points in every quarter, and keeping the Rangers to 15 or less in three of the four terms to win, 84-56. Madgen feasted on the Rangers with an almost triple-double effort of 43 points – including seven of 13 from long-range – nine rebounds and eight assists, while Oliver (18 points, 14 rebounds) picked up a double-double, and Abigail Wehrung (15 points, six rebounds and five assists) was also impressive across the night. For the Rangers, Dallas Loughbridge scored 17 points, five steals and three assists, stepping up with Emilee Harmon (15 points, seven rebounds) and Tenaya Sooalo (14 points, three steals and two rebounds) also having a helping hand despite the loss.

Waverley Falcons (93) def. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (64)

Another team that made it back-to-back wins for Round 3, whilst also sentencing a league battler to yet another loss were Waverley Falcons, who took care of Albury-Wodonga Bandits by 29 points. The Falcons dominated the first half to race out to a 24-point lead at the main break, though credit to the Bandits who hit back in the third term to cut it to 15 points at the last change and give themselves a sniff. The Falcons quickly got back on top with a 24-10 final quarter and ran out 93-64 winners. Anna Bandilovska (29 points, two rebounds) was the highest points scorer, though Mokrzycki racked up 28 points, 17 rebounds and Kelly Bowen had 17 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in double-double efforts. Mahady was again the key scorer with 20 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists, though she had some support in this match thanks to Charlotte Beavan‘s 16 points and three rebounds – with five of nine triples – and Brodie-Paige Theodore‘s 12 points – nine from the free-throw line – four rebounds and two assists.

Melbourne Tigers (109) def. Hobart Chargers (87)

Melbourne Tigers made it three consecutive wins, and handed Hobart Chargers an 0-4 start to the season with a 22-point victory at home. The Tigers were surprisingly sluggish to start the match and conceded 34 points in the first term to trail by 12 at quarter time, but then stepped up to completely dominate the game and score 87-53 and run out 109-87 winners. Conti had another massive performance of 40 points – eight of 12 from long-range – seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals, while Brancatisano (23 points – five of 11 from long-range – four rebounds and four assists) and Aokuso (19 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, three steals and two blocks in a triple-double effort) all dominated. Collins stepped up with 25 points, six rebounds and three assists in the loss, while Garrick (19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals), Tayla Roberts (15 points, six rebounds) and Thompson (13 points, three rebounds) were also lively.

Sandringham Sabres (67) def. by Launceston Tornadoes (100)

Closing out the weekend was Launceston Tornadoes bouncing back from their first loss of the season against Frankston Blues, to easily win 100-67 against Sandringham Sabres. The Tornadoes won every quarter by at least eight points in a dominant effort to secure the 33-point victory. Froling had an unbelievable performance of 37 points, 13 rebounds and four steals, one of three players to reach double-doubles, as Griffin (20 points, 12 rebounds three assists and two steals) and Payne (20 points, 12 rebounds and four assists) achieved the feat, while Teyla Evans managed the 13 points and four rebounds. Playing their first game of the round, the Sabres’ Amy O’Neill finished with a team-high 20 points, as well as eight assists, five rebounds and three steals. She was complemented by Jenna O’Hea (10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Cassandra Hill (11 points, two rebounds and two assists) in the loss.

Picture credit: Ian Knight Photography

NBL1 South Womens: Round 2 wrap – Blues standalone with 3-0 record

FRANKSTON Blues stand alone as the only side to record three wins so far in the 2021 National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s competition, as the results played out over the weekend. We recap how each of the games went down and who the top performers were with some one-sided results.

Bendigo Braves (70) def. by Frankston Blues (76)

The first of two wins for the weekend for the Blues saw them claim a narrow six-point victory over Bendigo Braves in a come-from-behind triumph. The Braves raced out to a 21-9 lead at quarter time after a dominant first term, with the Blues clawing their way back to within six points at the final break, before slamming on 24-12 in the last quarter to win, 76-70. Darcee Garbin was again a prolific scorer for the Blues, adding 23 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in a standout performance. She teamed up well with Tessa Lavey (14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and two steals) and Taylah Gilliam (14 points, four rebounds). For the Braves, Abigail Wehrung nailed 24 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks, though it was Tess Madgen who came agonisingly close to a triple-double of 16 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and three steals. Piper Dunlop (11 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Kate Oliver (10 points, seven rebounds and four assists) were both impressive for the losers.

Hobart Chargers (61) def. by Ballarat Rush (62)

A two-pointer from Ballarat Rush’s Kasey Burton in the final 30 seconds – and a missed three-point attempt from Hobart Chargers’ Madeleine Garrick helped the Rush grab a one-point thrilling victory at Kingborough Sports Centre. The visitors trailed by five at quarter time, led by one and then four at the next two breaks, then were caught by the Chargers, only to win at the death. Burton had an equal team-high 13 points, as well as six rebounds, but it was the amazing effort of Alicia Froling (10 points, 20 rebounds and five assists) that stood out, while Kristy Rinaldi (seven points, 13 rebounds) also dominated off the boards. Annie Collins had the 13 points and two rebounds to equal Burton on the scoring front. For the Chargers, Garrick finished with a double-double of 19 points – including five of 11 from long-range – and 10 rebounds, while Ellie Collins had 16 points and 15 rebounds in an equally amazing effort. Tayla Roberts came close to a double-double herself picking up 16 points and nine rebounds.

Frankston Blues (78) def. Dandenong Rangers (75)

It was billed as the match of the round, and it certainly lived up to expectations with Frankston Blues moving to 3-0 for the NBL1 South season, defeating Dandenong Rangers by three points. The teams traded blows throughout the match, though the Blues led by 11 points at the final break, before Dandenong hit back with a 23-15 final quarter to get within three points, but fall short, 78-75. Garbin had another outstanding game with 30 points – four of 10 from long-range – and eight assists, while Lavey picked up 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the win. Gililam (13 points, three rebounds and four assists) and Saraid Taylor (seven points, 10 rebounds and three assists) were others who stood out. For the Ranges, Gemma Potter was on fire with six triples leading to her 28 points, as well as five rebounds and two assists. Emilee Harmon (23 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Tenaya Sooalo (16 points, three rebounds, three assists and two blocks) were also busy.

Knox Raiders (82) def. Kilsyth Cobras (70)

Knox Raiders proved too strong for Kilsyth Cobras in their clash at the State Basketball Centre, winning three of the four quarters to post a 12-point win at home. The teams were fairly even at half-time after counter-contrasting first and second terms, with Kilsyth leading by one point. Knox piled on 24-14 after half-time to set up the win, then held on in the final term for the 82-70 victory. Klara Wischer was the star for the Raiders, picking up a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, as well as three steals and two assists. Marianna Tolo (14 points, seven rebounds) and Kiera Rowe (12 points, five rebounds and four assists) were also busy in the match among a host of other contributors. Lauren Scherf stood tall for the Cobras with 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, notching up a double-double while Briahna Whatman (145 points, five assists and three rebounds) and Carly Turner (five points, 10 rebounds and three assists) were also productive.

Sandringham Sabres (72) def. Mt Gambier Pioneers (70)

Sandringham Sabres survived a thriller with a two-point win over the cross-border Mt Gambier Pioneers on Saturday evening. The Sabres held a narrow lead early, and extended it out to as much as 13 points by the final break, before the Pioneers hit back with a massive fourth quarter. The 29-18 term in favour of the visitors would not be enough however, as the Sabres triumphed 72-70. Jenna O’Hea had 27 points, six rebounds and five assists in the win for the Sabres, leading the way from Rachel Jarry (14 points, six rebounds and two steals), Cassandra Hill (10 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Amy O’Neill (eight points, six rebounds and two assists). For the Pioneers, Hannah Young racked up an important double-double of 17 points, 10 rebounds and two steals, while Jasmine Howe (15 points, six rebounds) and Shakera Reilly (11 points, eight rebounds) also stood up on both the scoring and rebounding fronts.

Eltham Wildcats (84) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (52)

Eltham Wildcats made it two from two this season in the NBL1 South competition, dominating the Diamond Valley Eagles to win by 32 points. The Wildcats won by nine, seven, nine and seven points in each of the respective four quarters during the 84-52 victory. Anneli Maley had a ridiculous 29 rebounds – 20 defensive – to be unbeatable off the boards, as well as pick up 21 points, two assists two steals. Rebecca Pizzey (11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks), Shelby Britten (16 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals) were also impressive as Chloe Hilderbrand (10 points, five rebounds and four assists) and Tess Heal (10 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals) also hit double-figure points. In a disappointing loss for the Eagles, Teah Reichert picked up a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Imogen Rock (12 points, five steals) and Sophie Burrows (seven points, six rebounds) tried hard.

Albury-Wodonga Bandits (68) def. by Melbourne Tigers (116)

Melbourne Tigers were on from the first tip-off as they completely dismantled Albury-Wodonga Bandits in a dominant 48-point win. Storming to a 31-13 lead at quarter time, the Tigers lost the second term by three, but then piled on the points in the second half with 62 points to 29 to run out 116-68 victors. Monique Conti impressed with 28 points, six assists and three steals, teaming up brilliantly with fellow WNBL talent Zitina Aokuso (18 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks) doing it all. Isabella Brancatisano (25 points, six rebounds, eight assists and seven steals) was arguably the best on the court, while Melissa Prior (17 points, six rebounds) was also outstanding in the win. The Bandits were led by Emma Mahady (24 points, five rebounds), while Jade McCowan (15 points, three rebounds) and Brodie-Paige Theodore (12 points) reached double-figure points in the loss.

Melbourne Tigers’ Monique Conti puts up a shot. Picture credit: NBL1

Ringwood Hawks (84) def. Geelong Supercats (55)

Bouncing back from a Round 1 loss, Ringwood Hawks proved too much for Geelong Supercats, running out 29-point victors at The Rings on Saturday evening. The Hawks won the first two quarters to stamp their authority on the match and lead by 20 points at the half, before Geelong edged back one point, only for Ringwood to go again and score 22-12 in the final term a for a 84-55 victory. Marena Whittle had a night out with 20 points and 13 rebounds, as well as six assists and two blocks. Funda Nakkasoglu (16 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals), Hope Terdich (13 points, six rebounds) and Demi Skinner (12 points, four rebounds) also stepped up in the win. For the Supercats, Stephanie Blicavs knocked down 17 points, along with three rebounds and two assists, while Aimee Clydesdale was the other prominent scorer with 11 points and five rebounds in the loss.

Launceston Tornadoes (92) def. Ballarat Rush (61)

Launceston Tornadoes have stormed to a dominant 31-point win over Ballarat Rush to go 2-0 this season, with Keely Froling picking up another huge double-double against her sister. The Tornadoes never looked like losing, winning the first half by 23 points, then the second half by another eight to secure the 92-61 victory. Froling finished with 28 points, 19 rebounds – 17 defensive – five assists and four steals, while Mariah Payne (22 points, five rebounds and six assists) and Teyla Evans (15 points, six rebounds and five assists) were other double-digit scorers. For the Rush, Alicia Froling hit up 27 points, seven rebounds and four blocks to be the best of the losers, while Kasey Burton (13 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Kristy Rinaldi (10 points, four rebounds and three assists) were both strong.

Nunawading Spectres (83) defeated Sandringham Sabres (70)

Nunawading Spectres bounced back from a Round 1 loss to hand the Sandringham Sabres their first loss in three games. The Sabres took control to lead by six points at half-time, but having already played a game this round, the Sabres tired in the second half as the Spectres ran over the top of them, courtesy of a dominant 44-25 half to win, 83-70. Izzy Wright (21 points, nine rebounds) and Louise Brown (20 points, five rebounds and four assists) did the damage on the scoreboard, with Rachel Antoniadou (18 points, four rebounds and five assists) not far behind. Rachel Brewster (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Penina Davidson (10 points, 10 rebounds) also picked up double-doubles to share the load across the court. O’Hea was again the standout for the Sabres, picking up 27 points and eight rebounds not leaving the court for a second, while Jarry (16 points, 12 rebounds and two assists) and Amy O’Neill (six points, 11 rebounds) were prominent off the boards.

Waverley Falcons (74) defeated Diamond Valley Eagles (66)

After their heartbreaking one-point loss last week the Waverley Falcons bounced back to win by eight points against Diamond Valley Eagles, handing their opponents a third consecutive loss in the process. The Falcons were led by Aneta Bandilovska (20 points, two rebounds and two assists) on the scoring front, with Renae Mokrzycki (11 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and four steals) recording a double-double. Nyakoang Lok (15 points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Kelly Bowen (13 points, five rebounds) were the other double-digit scorers. For the Eagles, Burrows scored a double-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals, while Jade Dunne (17 points, four assists, four steals and two rebounds) and Olivia Bontempelli (12 points, five rebounds and two locks) were also steadfast in the loss.

Picture credit: Ian Knight Photography

2021 NBL1 South preview: Round 2

ROUND 2 of the National Basketball League (NBL) South tips off from tomorrow night, with our two feature games being the Frankston Blues up against Dandenong Ranges on Saturday (women’s) and Nunawading Specres locking horns with Sandringham Sabres on Sunday (men’s).

WOMEN’S:

An early clash between two local rivals sees Frankston Blues up against Dandenong Rangers at Frankston Basketball Stadium from 5:30pm on Saturday evening. At the start of the round both these teams come in undefeated, though a Friday night clash with Bendigo Braves could change that for the Blues, in one of four all-undefeated clashes. The Blues are fresh off a hard-fought win over Nunawading Spectres by 12 points, whilst the Rangers got away with a 14-point victory over Diamond Valley Eagles on the road in Round 1.

In the Blues’ win, WNBL duo Darcee Garbin and Tessa Lavey caused all sorts of headaches for the Spectres, combining for 53 of the teams’ 90 points on the night. Garbin had a match-high 30 points, shooting 11 of 16 from the field, but crucially a whopping six of eight from long-range. She also picked up six rebounds and thee assists for her troubles. Lavey, coming off an AFLW season with Richmond, did not miss a beat with 23 points – three of eight from three-point range – seven rebounds and nine assists, not too far off an almost triple-double let alone a double-double.

Taylah Gilliam (11 points, two rebounds and three assists) and Ella Batish (eight points, six rebounds) also proved capable of causing trouble for the opposition. Statistically the Blues dominated the assist tally with 21-10, as most of the other stats were fairly even, though hitting more than half of their long-range attempts was crucial, as the Spectres only managed three of 20 compared to the Blues’ 18 of 35.

The Rangers always looked in control against the Eagles at Community Bank Stadium, as Emilee Harmon picked up a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds, as well as two steals. Able to crash the boards, Harmon teamed up well with rising star talent Gemma Potter. The youngster racked up a double-double herself of 14 points and 13 rebounds, as well as five assists, three steals and two blocks in the win. Tenaya Sooalo (18 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Kodie Myszka (seven points, four rebounds and two steals) were others who stood out.

The Rangers led the way in rebounds with a plus-seven in that statistical area, something they will be keen to apply here again. They were not a huge three-point shooting outfit, though made the most of it with six of 17 makes. They need to improve their work from the charity stripe, finishing Round 1 with a 50 per cent efficiency, but the visitors still got away with the win. It will be a focus if they are to take down the Blues on their home court.

The other two undefeated clashes see Knox Raiders hosting Kilsyth Cobras, and Launceston Tornadoes up against Ballarat Rush. After each team played the one game in Round 1, a number of sides will double up, with the Rush also taking on Hobart Chargers in a weekend down in Tasmania, while the Diamond Valley Eagles will hope to pick up their first win against either Eltham Wildcats or Waverley Falcons on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Sandringham Sabres have two chances to pick up another win after going 1-0 in Round 1, taking on Mt Gambier Pioneers and then travelling to take on Nunawading Spectres. In the other two matches, Albury Wodonga Bandits host Melbourne Tigers, and Ringwood Hawks face Geelong Supercats in two battles between sides yet to taste victory this season.

FIXTURES:

Bendigo Braves (1-0) vs. Frankston Blues (1-0)
Hobart Chargers (0-1) vs. Ballarat Rush (1-0)
Frankston Blues (1-0) vs. Dandenong Rangers (1-0)
Knox Raiders (1-0) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (1-0)
Sandringham Sabres (1-0) vs. Mt Gambier Pioneers (0-1)
Eltham Wildcats (1-0) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (0-1)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (0-1) vs. Melbourne Tigers (0-1)
Ringwood Hawks (0-1) vs. Geelong Supercats (0-1)
Launceston Tornadoes (1-0) vs. Ballarat Rush (1-0)
Nunawading Spectres (0-1) vs. Sandringham Sabres (1-0)
Waverley Falcons (0-1) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (0-1)

MEN’S:

There are plenty of blockbuster fixtures to pick from when it comes to match of the round, but this week we take a look at the Sunday head-to-head between Nunawading Spectres and Sandringham Sabres who both won their first round encounters. The Sabres opened the NBL1 competition with a thrilling three-point win over Melbourne Tigers on the road, while the Spectres got up by 11 points over Frankston Blues in a similar tough challenge heading down to bayside.

The Sabres did the bulk of their good work early against the Tigers at Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre, as the visitors piled on 50 points to 38 in the opening half, before the Tigers roared to life, scoring 56 to 47. No doubt while the 97-94 victory was a relief, the Sabres will want more of the first half, and less of the second half in the Round 2 clash with the Spectres. The Sabres dominated the rebounds with 51-38 in that game, but struggled with transition, picking up eight assists – though in a low assist game of 10-8 – and only had two steals to the Tigers’ 10. They made it count from the field however, shooting 47.2 per cent, including 43.8 per cent from long-range, and only missing one of 16 free throws.

The points were shared around in an even spread as Kuany Kuany (20 points, nine rebounds and two assists) and Nicholas Gabsch (18 points, eight rebounds and two assists) both came close to a double-double. Tom O’Brien was handy with 17 points – including seven of eight from the field – also picking up two rebounds and two assists. Kobe Davies was the other player to reach double-figure points, knocking down three of five from long-range to finish with 13 points and three rebounds.

By comparison the Spectres held firm across four quarters against the Blues to come from three points down at quarter time to lead by two at half-time, then run away with an 11-point lead by the final buzzer. The full scores and individual statistics are still unavailable at this stage, but Dain Swetalla was well on his way to a double-double alongside partner-in-crime Simon Conn. The pair will make life difficult for the opposition teams this year, while Costas Hronopoulos and Tom Wright are among the other Spectres to keep an eye on.

The Spectres should be a strong rebounding team, and will look to get plenty of points in the paint, backing themselves to nail the free-throw opportunities. They can move the ball in transition, with their stars able to stuff the stats sheet on their day, and Nunawading has enough depth to share the load, particularly in front of a home crowd.

Casting the eye across other fixtures, the Sabres have an earlier home fixture against Mt Gambier Pioneers, meaning the Spectres will come in the fresher side. Diamond Valley Eagles also do the double after winning their Round 1 match, coming up against two Round 1 losers in Eltham Wildcats and Waverley Falcons. After a thrilling one-point win in Round 1, Kilsyth Cobras travel to Knox Raiders, while the winless pairing of Frankston Blues – who take on Bendigo Braves tomorrow night – and Dandenong Rangers looms as a must-watch.

Ballarat Miners head to the Apple Isle to face Hobart Chargers tomorrow night, before a big clash with North West Tasmania on Saturday. The Melbourne Tigers make the trek to the border to take on Albury Wodonga Bandits, while in the final game, Ringwood Hawks host Geelong Supercats in another all-undefeated clash on Saturday.

FIXTURES:

Bendigo Braves (1-0) vs. Frankston Blues (0-1)
Hobart Chargers (0-1) vs. Ballarat Miners (1-0)
North West Tasmania (1-0) vs. Ballarat Miners (1-0)
Frankston Blues (0-1) vs. Dandenong Rangers (0-1)
Knox Raiders (0-1) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (1-0)
Sandringham Sabres (1-0) vs. Mt Gambier Pioneers (0-1)
Eltham Wildcats (0-1) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (1-0)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (0-1) vs. Melbourne Tigers (0-1)
Ringwood Hawks (1-0) vs. Geelong Supercats (1-0)
Nunawading Spectres (1-0) vs. Sandringham Sabres (1-0)
Waverley Falcons (0-1) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (1-0)

Picture credit: Frankston Blues

2021 NBL1 South Womens: Round 1 wrap – Cobras produce venomous late blow

THERE were a few tight contests amongst a number of one-sided wins as the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South tipped off over the weekend and we run through the women’s division and how the teams fared.

Melbourne Tigers (62) def. by Sandringham Sabres (87)

A second quarter domination from the Sabres was the key to victory against Melbourne Tigers, winning the term by 19 points (25-6), following on from the dominant 25-15 opening term to open up a 50-21 half-time lead. Whilst the Tigers made good inroads in the second half to break even and reduce the deficit by four points, the damage was done during the 87-62 loss. Jenna O’Hea (27 points, 10 rebounds) and Rachel Jarry (22 points, five rebounds and two assists) were sensational for the winners, whilst Amy O’Neill was also handy with seven points and eight rebounds. For the Tigers, Geraldine McCorkell (15 points, four rebounds) and Zitina Aokuso (14 points, five rebounds) stood out, with the latter teaming up well with fellow WNBL talent, and AFLW star Monique Conti (seven points, six rebounds and two steals).

Hobart Chargers (61) def. by Launceston Tornadoes (91)

In the all-Tasmanian battle, Launceston Tornadoes proved far too good for Hobart Chargers despite a dismal third term. The Tornadoes raced out to a 54-26 half-time lead in a one-sided contest, before the Chargers hit back with a 24-9 third quarter, That gave them a sniff at the final break to get to within 13 points of the Tornadoes, but it would be Launceston that would finish the stronger of the sides, powering away with a 28-11 final term and securing a massive 30-point win. Keely Froling was absolutely unstoppable for the Tornadoes, knocking down 42 points at 59.3 per cent from the field, and notching up 22 rebounds – 15 defensive – five assists, three steals and a block in a huge effort. Mariah Payne (16 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals) also picked up a double-double, while Teyla Evans (11 points and three rebounds) and D’Asia Chambers (seven points, four rebounds and five assists) were handy. Madeleine Garrick (26 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks) and Tayla Roberts (18 points, four rebounds) were the two best for the Chargers.

Frankston Blues (90) def. Nunawading Spectres (78)

A strong second term was the difference for Frankston Blues in posting an impressive 12-point win over Nunawading Spectres. The Blues won the second quarter 24-15, gaining the nine-point separation they needed to go on with it, and secure the 90-78 victory. It was a tight game all match, but Darcee Garbin was the key, knocking down 30 points – at 68.6 per cent, as well as six of eight from long-range, and picking up six rebounds and three assists in the process. She teamed up well with fellow WNBL talent Tessa Lavey who returned from the AFLW to pick up 23 points, seven rebounds and nine assists having barely missed a beat. Taylah Gillam (11 points, three assists and two rebounds) and Ella Batish (eight points, six rebounds) were the other two to stand out for the home side. Four players hit double-figure points for Nunawading, with Izzy Wright (23 points, four rebounds) the main destroyer, while Penina Davidson (15 points, seven rebounds), Louise Brown (11 points, seven rebounds), Rachel Brewster (13 points, six rebounds) and Rachel Antoniadou (12 points, five rebounds and six assists) all shared it around to no avail.

Knox Raiders (79) def. Geelong Supercats (72)

Knox Raiders have held strong in the second half to bounce back from a second term that swung in the Geelong Supercats favour, to record a narrow seven-point win. The Raiders raced out of the blocks to lead by nine points at the first break, only for the Supercats to cut the deficit to four by half-time. To the Raiders’ credit they stood up in the second half to hold off the visitors and record a 79-72 victory. Leah Santomaggio (22 points, four rebounds and four assists) and Marianna Tolo (20 points, five rebounds and two assists) both had their say on the contest, as Klara Wischer (10 points, 11 rebounds) picked up a double-double and Eliza West (14 points, five rebounds and three assists) was also busy. Sarah Elsworthy topped the Supercats’ scoring charts with 16, as well as picking up eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Stephanie Blicavs (14 points, nine rebounds) and Aimee Clydesdale (15 points, six rebounds and two assists) both stood up in the game, but while the Supercats were strong off the boards (48-40), they struggled in transition (assists 22-13 in Knox’s favour).

Diamond Valley Eagles (65) def. by Dandenong Ranges (79)

Dandenong Ranges have secured an on-the-road win after a momentum-swinging contest against Diamond Valley Eagles. The Rangers took a strong half-time lead of 12 points, but the Eagles would not lie down easily, taking control in the third to cut the deficit to seven by the final break. Sensing the momentum changing, the Rangers got it back on their terms to win the quarter 23-16 and secure the victory, 79-65. Emilee Harmon (26 points, 10 rebounds) and Gemma Potter (14 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks) were sensational for the winners, as Tenaya Sooalo (18 points, four rebounds and three assists) also had a day out. Olivia Bontempelli (17 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Ivana Vasiljevic (11 points, seven rebounds and four assists) were the two players to hit double-figure points for the Eagles in the loss.

Eltham Wildcats (82) def. Ringwood Hawks (51)

Eltham Wildcats put Ringwood Hawks to the sword after quarter time to run away with an easy 31-point win. The Wildcats burst out of the blocks in the second quarter after the sides were level at the first break, to win the term 23-8. They then went on with it in the next two quarters, winning them 18-11 and 22-13 respectively to secure the 82-51 victory. Anneli Maley brought her own backboard with her, picking up an unheard of 26 points and 26 rebounds – 18 defensive – on her way to best on court honours. Erin Riley (22 points, two rebounds, two assists and three steals) and Lily Scanlon (17 points, six rebounds and two assists) were also sensational on the scoring front, whilst Rebecca Pizzey helped out with eight points, seven rebounds and three assists. Funda Nakkasoglu topscored for the Hawks with 13 points and five rebounds, while Hope Terdich (10 points, four rebounds) and Demi Skinner (10 points) both notched up double-figure points.

Kilsyth Cobras (84) def. Waverley Falcons (74)

Kilsyth Cobras have fired late to win in a stunning overtime game against Waverley Falcons. The Cobras trailed by eight points at quarter time, put together a mammoth second term of 29-12 to hit the front by nine, only to see that lead evaporated due to the Falcons’ 23-7 third term. Trailing by seven points at the final break, the Cobras levelled the scores with a 20-13 final term, forcing overtime which they got up in, 16-6 for an overall 84-74 victory. Carly Turner knocked down 20 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks in a complete game for the Cobras, teaming up well with Lauren Scherf (14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks). Tia Hay (17 points, four steals) and Briahna Whatman (13 points, six assists) was also impressive in the victory. For the falcons, Aneta Bandilovska top-scored with 21 points, as well as three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Renae Mokrzycki picked up a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Nyakoang Lok (13 points, four rebounds) and Jackie Vanderzaag (nine points, seven rebounds and five assists) were also busy.

Albury Wodonga Bandits (61) def. by Ballarat Rush (93)

In arguably the performance of the weekend Ballarat Rush won all four quarters convincingly to defeat Albury Wodonga Bandits by 32 points. The Rush won the quarters by seven, six, 11 and eight points in a comprehensive four-quarter effort to take care of the Bandits on the road, 93-61. Kasey Burton topscored for the Rush with 21 points, six rebounds and three assists, while Claire Constable (18 points including four of nine from long-range, two assists) and Kristy Rinaldi (13 points, two rebounds) were also consistent. Millie Cracknell (10 points) also reached double-figure points, while Alicia Froling was busy across the court with nine points, six rebounds and three assists. For the Bandits, they only had two assists for the entire game – both off the hand of Casey Ardern (two points, two rebounds and one steal), with Emma Mahady a lone hand on the scoring front with 26 points, three rebounds and a steal. The next highest scorer was Brodie-Paige Theodore with nine points and four rebounds in less than 17 minutes.

Mt Gambier Pioneers (54) def. by Bendigo Braves (60)

A strong first half has helped set up a win for Bendigo Braves in a low-scoring contest against Mt Gambier Pioneers. After the NBL1 South competition did not go ahead last season, the Pioneers had to wait an extra year for their debut in the league, and they took it right up to the Braves. The visitors got away to a good start with a three-point lead at quarter time and eight by the main break. The Pioneers fought back to cut the deficit to four at the final change, but the Braves steadied to solidify the win, 60-54. Kate Oliver (17 points, seven rebounds) and Tess Madgen (17 points, six rebounds and three assists) both did the bulk of the damage for the winners, whilst Cassidy McLean (seven points, five rebounds and two steals), Piper Dunlop (seven points, four rebounds) and Abigail Wehrung (six points, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks) were all impressive. Shakera Reilly managed the 16 pints and two rebounds in defeat, while Jasmin Howe also notched up double-figure points with 14 herself. Hannah Young (nine points, eight rebounds and three assists) and Sherrie Calleia (four points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals) were the other Pioneers who contributed across the court.

WNBL20 Season Review – Perth Lynx

THE WNBL for the second straight season has found itself with a clear top four and clear last four in the standings and for the second straight season, Perth Lynx has found themselves in a low-lying position on the WNBL ladder, finishing seventh. Lynx struggled to get going throughout the season with an unappealing record of four wins and nine losses.

While the last-minute season cancellations of Sami Whitcomb and Maddie Allen caused a seismic shift amongst Ryan Petrik’s roster, a number of individuals needed to step up this season and while the results were less favourable than most, plenty of Perth’s players emerged out of WNBL20 better for it.

Thanks to a glacial start to the season in their opening game, going down to Townsville Fire 48-73, and just missing out by five points to the Adelaide Lightning to end the opening round, Perth had already found themselves on the back-foot to begin the season.

Perth’s start to the season became inherently worse, when they encountered a third consecutive loss this time at the hands of the Melbourne Boomers. Following some drastic moves, finally, the Lynx were able to get their name into the winner’s column during their second game of Round 2. While the meaning of the win was expected and rather minimal, it was a win nevertheless against the Bendigo Spirit and the Western Australian side now had something to work with heading in to the second half of the season.

Eight games into WNBL20, Perth found themselves in a rather unremarkable position with a record of one win and seven losses, practically conceding a bottom-four position by this stage. But the Lynx had other ideas entirely for Round 4 raising significant questions on whether they are perhaps better than their final ladder position would suggest.

Despite having just, a slightly better record than Bendigo, Perth convincingly worked over the Spirit for a second time and removed all doubt that they were at a similar level in terms of talent. However, it was their next two contests that the Lynx started to turn some heads.

Backed up by Katie Ebzery and Darcee Garbin’s impressive double-doubles on the night, Perth knocked off a red-hot Townsville Fire by nine points. Following this, the in-form squad managed to fend off the Adelaide Lightning by just a single basket, capping off back-to-back-to-back victories in their first winning streak of the season, re-establishing some honour in the club and their win-loss record.

The Lynx’s brief run of victories would end at three, following a narrow loss to the Sydney Uni Flames, which preceded a season-concluding loss in their final clash of the season against a dominant Boomers outfit.

While finishing seventh at the end of the season with a record of four wins from 13 outings seems quite disappointing, many will be left to ponder “what if?”, regarding the absences of Whitcomb and Allen.

Nevertheless, it was not all doom and gloom after the side’s final game, as Ebzery earned herself a coveted position in the ALL-WNBL First Team for a second season in a row (third of her career). Ebzery completed her stellar season with flying colours averaging 18 points, four rebounds and 3.8 assists, shooting a ridiculous 43.1 per cent from the field – a shoe-in for the Opals squad next year.

Another Opal to be reckoned with was Garbin, who led the team in minutes per game with 33.4. Adding to this, Garbin ranked second in points (16.5), total rebounds (94), blocks per game (0.9) and steals (1.2) throughout her side’s roster. Next to her in the frontcourt was a surprise standout in Alex Sharp, who led the side in rebounds with 7.9 boards per game and ranked fourth in scoring, averaging 8.9 points.

Coach Petrik might not look too fondly on the fact that he finished seventh in his first season as head coach, but the fact that the difference between seventh and fifth was only a single win, means the Lynx might not have too much improving to do. With a full roster next season and the right combination of rotations, we can look forward to Perth providing some quality outings in 2021.