Tag: jazmin shelley

2019/20 WNBL season review: Melbourne Boomers

IT was a solid season for the Melbourne Boomers who made it all the way to finals, but fell at the last hurdle against a rampaging University of Canberra (UC) Capitals. While they were strong at home winning seven out of 10 games, their ability to win on the road made them a formidable outfit notching up eight wins. Despite their best efforts it was simply not enough to take the final leap into the grand final.

Ladder: 3rd
Win-loss: 15-6

Before the beginning of the season, Boomer fans were up and about. Coming off a playoff run that ended in the semi finals, Melbourne added a whole lot of talent to the roster in hope to go one better and claim that all elusive premiership. Stella Beck was coming off a noteworthy NBL1 season collecting 10 rebounds a night, making her a handy inclusion in the side. Boomer fans were similarly eager to find out if Americans, Sophie Cunningham and Rachel Brewster, were up for the challenge and ready to guide their side to victory. Both coming out of American colleges, the WNBL would certainly be quite the adjustment. Fans were also looking forward to seeing the development of Antonia Farnworth, who had some much needed experience with the Hawks in the NBL1. Although, one question that was never answered all season was how would Paige Price go in an WNBL game. The six foot tall, 16 year old ‘prodigy’ got moved up to the senior level after a great season in the NBL1 with the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence averaging 7.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. But the rising star only entered one game for limited minutes. With such a fresh roster, the Boomers did have to say goodbye to some key contributors such as former captain Jenna O’Hea, who took her talents to Southside, as well as Stephanie Talbot who departed for the Lightning. Richmond AFLW star Monique Conti left midway through the season to focus on her football club leaving a sizeable hole in their roster considering the impact she had off the bench. They also parted ways with Sarah Boothe and Jazmin Shelley, both in pursuit of playing overseas. 

After just coming short of playing in the grand final, the new faces added a certain level of confidence that the team could get over the line in 2020. Led by one of the most decorated and experienced coaches in WNBL history, Guy Molloy had a challenge on his hands. With O’Hea gone, the team had Madeleine Garrick to look up to as team captain. All season long, the Boomers were in good hands as the two-time WNBL champion could not be left open, draining 52 three pointers. Garrick was a major reason why the Boomers were first for steals in the league, swiping the ball off opponents 1.8 times a night, which was only tied with Cayla George. Ezi Magbegor, George and Cunningham would make up a stellar trio on offence, all averaging over 11 points a game. But Lindsay Allen would be the recognised star of this season. At only five foot eight, Allen starred averaging 14.8 points a night, the team’s most. The Boomers have plenty of depth, with more than one choice on the fast break, but this abundance of options can be costly at times with players looking to share the load rather than just take control. Renowned for their team like mentality it was sometimes their downfall, often over sharing the ball which resulted in turnovers. 

But the Boomer’s might just have their future superstar already.  At only 20-years-old, and standing at six foot four, Magbegor won Youth Player of the Year this season, for her second time. An award handed to the most outstanding young player in the league. The award has been given to the likes of four-time MVP, Lauren Jackson which if that is any indication, means big things ahead for Magbegor who is only at the beginning of her career. The scoring load was evenly shared between their stars as reflected in the league scoreboard with no player making it inside the top 10 points scorers for the season but that did not stop them from marching into finals and snatching one win off eventual premiers, the UC Capitals. Melbourne had a season for the ages and while the finals loss will linger it is fair to say that the Boomers are well and truly building towards something if they can keep that winning momentum going heading into season 2020/21. 

2019/20 WNBL season team preview: Melbourne Boomers

MELBOURNE Boomers might feel like they have some unfinished business heading into the 2019/20 Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season after going down to Adelaide Lightning in the semi-finals last season. After a big season which saw Melbourne finish second overall and two wins clear of their opponents, a home loss against the Lightning ended up being costly as they were eliminated in the first stage of finals.

Finished: 2nd (Semi-final loss)
Wins: 15
Losses: 6
Points: 30
Percentage: 108.38%

Last season:

The Boomers were title contenders the entire 2018/19 season and are expected to be so again with minimal changes outside a few big outs. Jenna O’Hea will be a sorely missed player this season, heading down the Eastern to play with Southside Flyers, while Stephanie Talbot has left to join the Lightning. Sarah Boothe and Jazmin Shelley have both departed for overseas contracts. The likes of Monique Conti will benefit from a key role in Melbourne Tigers’ NBL1 season and look to get more minutes on the court in the WNBL, while Lindsay Allen will again be a tough player to stop as the versatile forward-guard will hope to back up her 2018/19 season where she averaged 18.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists from 22 games.

New recruits:

Kiwi, Stella Beck was prominent in the NBL1 with almost 10 rebounds per game and will hope to bring that to the Boomers this season. Antonia Farnworth had some great experience with the Hawks during the NBL1, and like Conti and Beck, will aim to start more games this season. A couple of wildcards are Americans Sophie Cunningham and Rachel Brewster who can replace some of the big omissions, while talented youngster, Paige Price will step up to senior level after a great season in the NBL1 with the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence averaging 7.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. With plenty of youth coming through the Boomers, expect them to get better and better as the season progresses and be one of the title contenders once again despite losing a number of key contributors over the off-season.

Star player:

Lindsay Allen. A real playmaker and scorer, the American might not be the tallest player out there, but her ability to find teammates up the court in space and provide assists is damaging for opposition sides.

Cobras show bite to tame Supercats

KILSYTH Cobras are the National Basketball League (NBL)1 inaugural Women’s champions, taking out the decider against Geelong Supercats by 10 points. The Suprcats only held the lead briefly up by three midway through the first term, but it was all the Braves from there, regaining the lead and then never surrendering from that point on to run out 86-76 victors.

GEELONG SUPERCATS 13 | 18 | 17 | 28 (76)
KILSYTH COBRAS 23 | 28 | 22 | 13 (86)

The Supercats lead 9-6 when Zitina Aokuso made a layup with just over six minutes remaining in the first term, but with nine consecutive points, the Cobras jumped ahead by six with four minutes left on the clock in the quarter. Geelong managed to cut the deficit back to four on a couple of occasions, but the last six points of the quarter went the way of the Cobras to hold a very handy 10-point lead at the break.

Kilsyth ensured it did not take the foot off the pedal in the second term, scoring 12-4 to open the quarter, and by the time Clare Carmac had come off the bench to nail a three-pointer, Kilsyth lead by 21 points. It was the same margin with 29 seconds remaining following two successful Lauren Nicholson free throws, but 12 seconds later, Charlotte Brancatisano managed to cut it back to 20 after one of her two free throws was successful.

Geelong started the third term with a flurry, scoring the first seven points to cut the deficit back to 13. The Cobras were not about to let the lead slip though, as they piled on 17 points to two in a dominant five minute patch to blow the lead out to 28 with less than 15 minutes remaining in the final. Aokuso made a fadeaway shot for the Supercats in the last 70 seconds to make it 15 points, but an Alison Downie jumpshot with 14 seconds remaining made sure the Cobras headed into the final break 27 points ahead.

The game seemed all but over when Nicholson made a successful layup with eight minutes remaining and a 24-point lead on the board, but the Supercats were determined to make a final charge. Led by Ezi Magbegor who was the key reason the Supercats were in the match, Geelong managed to work it back to a 13-point deficit when Sara Blicavs nailed a three-pointer with 150 seconds remaining. The Cobras held firm in the remaining minutes, just scoring the two points to the Supercats’ five, but it was enough to run out victors in the last, and most important game of the year.

Nicholson was best on court with 36 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals, having a shootout with fellow Opal, Magbegor who sank 35 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals for the losing side. Nicholson had more contributors around her on the scoring end, with Klara Wischer (16 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals) and Sarah Boothe (10 points, three rebounds) both reaching double figures, while Alison Downie had 11 rebounds to go with her seven points, three assists and two steals. Aokuso (11 points, four rebounds and two steals) and Jazmin Shelley (11 points, three assists and two rebounds) also reached double-figure points in the match.

NBL1 Women’s finals review: Preliminary Finals

BOTH Kilsyth Cobras and Geelong Supercats were able to withstand challenges from their opponents in the respective preliminary finals to advance through to the 2019 National Basketball League (NBL)1 Women’s Grand Final. The Cobras booked a place courtesy of a dominant performance from midway through the second term, while Geelong lead all game and kept composed despite minor premiers’ Bendigo’s best efforts in the final quarter.

KILSYTH COBRAS 22 | 22 | 21 | 17 (82)
NUNAWADING SPECTRES 21 | 14 | 14 | 10 (59)

Kilsyth Cobras have earned a spot in the 2019 NBL1 Women’s decider after a comprehensive 23-point win over Nunawading Spectres at home in their preliminary final clash. The first term saw the Cobras and Spectres going at it only for the home side to nudge ahead by just one goal at the break. Nunawading managed to gain the ascendancy early in the second to regain the lead by two courtesy of a three-pointer by Chelsea D’Angelo four minutes into the term. Unfortunately for the visitors, it was all one-way traffic after that because from the moment Lauren Nicholson sank a three-pointer and Kilsyth lead by that margin midway through the term, the home team did not surrender the lead. Kilsyth lead by as much as 18 points early in the fourth term but the Spectres managed to cut it back to 11 with six minutes remaining in the game. In a remarkable defensive effort over the final six minutes, Kilsyth did not allow Nunawading a score, as they piled on 12 points themselves to run out 82-59 winners. Nicholson was a standout performer with 26 points, eight rebounds and three assists, while both Klara Wischer (20 points, 13 rebounds and four assists) and Sarah Boothe (14 points, 20 rebounds and five assists) dominated off the boards in what was a mammoth win for the Cobras registering 24 rebounds and 13 assists – seven of which came from Alison Downie who also picked up six rebounds. For the Spectres, D’Angelo top-scored with 13 points, as well as four rebounds, three assists and three steals, wile Maddie Garrick picked up a double-double courtesy of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Kathleen Scheer (12 points, eight rebounds and two assists) was the other player who tried her heart out throughout the four quarters, but it was a complete performance from the Cobras who now meet Geelong Supercats in the final.

GEELONG SUPERCATS 25 | 23 | 25 | 10 (83)
BENDIGO BRAVES 18 | 22 | 21 | 19 (80)

Geelong Supercats weathered an almighty comeback from Bendigo Braves to secure a spot in the 2019 NBL1 Women’s Grand Final with a three-point victory. In a game many thought might be the grand final clash, the match lived up to pre-game expectations with Geelong seemingly having the upperhand for most of the contest, but Bendigo did not go down without a fight throwing everything at the Supercats in the final quarter. Geelong never trailed in the game making it a comprehensive victory, as they scored the first five points of the game and took a seven-point lead into quarter time. The Braves made a big charge in the second term to get within a point with just under three minutes remaining, but a nine points to two run late in the half saw the home side win the quarter and extend their lead at half-time to eight. Bendigo could not make much headway into the deficit in the third, getting it as low as seven points with four minutes remaining, but when Zitina Aokuso produced a successful lay-up with 87 seconds left in the quarter, the Supercats were out to a game-high 15-point lead. Trailing by 12 at the final break, Bendigo gradually attacked the deficit to come within five midway through the quarter, but ultimately the Supercats had all the answers with the three-point final margin the closest it had been since the second term. Aokuso scored a team-high 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists, well aided by fellow Australian Opals, Sara Blicavs (18 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Ezi Magbegor (15 points, nine rebounds and four assists). Jazmin Shelley (14 points, four assists) was productive off the bench, wile Alex Duck (10 points, four assists) also achieved a team-high in assists. Rebecca Tobin sank a game-high 23 points, as well as a mind-boggling 20 rebounds, three assists and four steals to be the best player on the court, while Kelly Wilson had a double-double effort with 16 points, 12 assists, six rebounds and two steals. Tessa Lavey (17 points, three rebounds and four assists) and Gabrielle Richards (10 points, seven rebounds and two steals) were the other two Braves to make double figures. Now Geelong head to the decider to face the other side who was able to knock off the minor premiers in the finals, Kilsyth Cobras.

NBL1 Women’s finals preview: Preliminary Finals

THREE of the four top sides have made it through to the penultimate week of finals, but not quite as the script might have planned. The top two sides in Geelong Supercats and Bendigo Braves go head-to-head, while the two underdogs, Kilsyth Cobras and Nunawading Spectres will battle for a spot in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 decider.

KILSYTH COBRAS vs. NUNAWADING SPECTRES
Saturday August 10, 7pm
Kilsyth Basketball Stadium

Not many people would have predicted this to be a preliminary final match-up, especially with Kilsyth having the home court advantage in the third week of finals. Many expected Bendigo Braves to continue their remarkable season and knock off the Cobras, but with an upset win by Kilsyth, the Cobras have opened up the finals race. Joining them in the preliminary final is sixth placed Nunawading Spectres who sent Waverley Falcons packing in straight sets after a semi-final win last weekend. Now these two unlikely opponents meet for a spot in the 2019 NBL1 Women’s decider.

In terms of win-loss records, Kilsyth has a 7-3 record at home, and an even better 8-2 away, which was helped by the win at Bendigo last weekend. They did not come into the finals with the best of form, losing in the final round, but that all changed when then they toppled the minor premiers. Nunawading sit at four wins from 11 games both at home and on the road, meaning neither side is particularly favourable with the home court advantage. These sides will clash in a battle of offence vs. defence, as the Spectres are known for putting up some high numbers, whilst Kilsyth is the best defensive side in the competition. The Cobras also have an extra nine percentage points on Nunawading and if percentage is anything to go by, than these sides deserve to be in the Preliminary Finals, ranked third and fourth respectively.

These sides have met twice in season 2019, and sit at one win apiece. It bodes well for the Spectres in this match as the victors on both occasions have come from the away side. In their first meeting back in June, they played at this venue and a powerful opening term by the Spectres saw them race away to a 24-9 quarter time lead. Kilsyth won the remaining three quarters but could not bridge the 15-point gap, going down by seven, 71-78. Kathleen Scheer (24 points, six rebounds and five assists) and Rachel Antoniadou (17 points, nine rebounds and three assists) were the Spectres’ best in the win, while Klara Wischer (26 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Lauren Nicholson (18 points, five rebounds and two assists) were impressive for the Cobras. Sarah Boothe had a massive 15 rebounds in the defeat, while Rebecca Pizzey and Chelsea D’Angelo both had 13 points to their name for the visitors. In the second match-up only a few weeks ago, Kilsyth came out on top by almost an identical margin, winning 80-72 at Nunawading. They dominated the first half to lead by 17 points at the main break, and while Nunwading hit back to win the second half by nine and could not bridge that gap. Nicholson was best on court in the win, sinking 32 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Boothe (10 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Wischer (eight points, eight assists) were others who impressed. For Nunawading, Maddie Garrick posted a team-high 25 points and had three steals, while Scheer, Pizzey and Rachel Brewster all recorded 11 points on the night.

The big factors which have shone in those two games and will be closely watched on Saturday night, Kilsyth posted 32 assists to 19 over both games, while rebounds were also in the Cobras’ favour 73-49. In fact, the Spectres recorded just 10 offensive rebounds in the two games, compared to Kilsyth’s 22. The big advantage Nunawading has is its spread of scorers, with anyone able to stand up and play a role, whilst Kilsyth have a couple of starts in Nicholson and Boothe, and players who have been able to assist well. Kilsyth is a side you expect can now advance through to the decider and will be favourites here given the Cobras’ last match.

GEELONG SUPERCATS vs. BENDIGO BRAVES
Sunday August 11, 1pm
Geelong Arena

Much like the other head-to-head, many would not have predicted this as a preliminary final, but rather the match a week later. The top two sides have been the clear standouts this season, dropping just four games between them in the regular season. But it showed how finals is a different ball game, when Bendigo was forced to use its double chance after losing to fourth placed Kilsyth. The Braves then knocked off the Knox Raiders to keep their title hopes alive, while Geelong Supercats defeated Ringwood Hawks to move through to the preliminary final. Unlike in the men’s competition, the women’s finals were all played last weekend, so both sides have had the week’s break, with Geelong having the extra day on Bendigo.

Looking at the win-loss records, Geelong has lost just the one game at home – to Bendigo – while winning eight of the 10 matches on the road. For Bendigo, the only two games the Braves have dropped were at home, as the minor premiers head into the clash with 10 consecutive wins on the road this season. When investigating the breakdown of the sides, it is no surprise to see both teams rated well on both ends with Bendigo ranked second and Geelong fourth offensively, while defensively, the Supercats come in at two and the Braves at three. These sides also have the two higher percentages and the only teams with greater than 120 per cent for the season.

Like the other preliminary finalists, these sides have met twice for a win-loss record of one each. Bendigo’s only regular season loss came at home at the hands of the Supercats back in May, while as already mentioned, Geelong’s only loss at home came a few weeks back against the Braves – albeit understrength. On the first occasion these sides met, Geelong got up by 16 points after a dominant first and third quarter set them aside. The Supercats showed they can match it with the best and have momentum swings, including a 20-point advantage in the third term (36-16). Ezi Magbegor sank 30 points, had 10 rebounds as well as two steals and two blocks, while Sara Blicavs (23 points, eight rebounds and six assists) and Jazmin Shelley (26 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals) were also prominent. For the Braves, Kelly Wilson had a remarkable 36 points and nine assists, while Gabrielle Richards picked up a double-double courtesy of 22 points and 12 rebounds, Andrea Wilson had the same amount of rebounds had despite contributing just two points. Tessa Lavey (17 points, six rebounds) and Bianca Dufelmeier (15 points, five rebounds) tried hard, while Supercats Isabelle Bourne and Alex Ducks combined for 22 points 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the victory. In the second game, the Braves never looked like losing against a side missing its three best players running riot over a Geelong outfit minus Magbegor, Blicavs and Shelley on the Braves’ way to a huge 88-58 victory. Gabrielle Turner scored 23 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Richards (22 points, 12 rebounds) and Wilson (21 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, two blocks and two steals) were again the best, as Wilson collected another 11 rebounds from two points, Rebecca Tobin was also prominent with nine rebounds and nine points, as well as seven rebounds. For the Supercats, Isabella Brancatisano (16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists) and Ebony Rolph (15 points, 10 rebounds and six steals) were the two standout players.

How much you can judge the games as a whole is difficult because one was early in the season as teams were finding their best structures and combinations, while the second was where one team was very clearly understrength. Assuming both teams can go in at it full strength, Geelong might have the upperhand being at home and with a vocal crowd backing them. No doubt this could be the game of the season because each team has a number of genuine A-grade stars, as well as some real contributors which makes it a fascinating contest. While Kilsyth did knock off Bendigo in the qualifying final, you would think the Braves are better for it having gone multiple months without tasting defeat. Expect the winner of this game to take out the title as these teams on paper are something else.

NBL1 Women’s Round 11 review: Ringwood Hawks swoop into top four

RINGWOOD Hawks have snatched a top four spot in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 Women’s competition, following back-to-back wins over Round 11, and helped by losses to both Kilsyth Cobras and Nunawading Spectres. The Hawks triumphed over Eltham Wildcats and Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (CoE), both by 11 points. In the win over Eltham, it was the first half that set up the victory, moving to a 13-point lead by half-time, before overcoming a challenge in the third term, then settling to run out 85-74 winners. Megan Mullings posted 22 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocks in the win, while Danni Bone helped herself to 20 points and seven assists, as Cassidy Mihalko also performed strongly (16 points, eight rebounds and two steals). For the Wildcats, there were two players who did the majority of the scoring with Chelsea Schweers (26 points, three rebounds and two assists) and Vanessa Panousis (19 points, six assists) the key players for the home side. In Ringwood’s victory over the CoE, it took a last quarter domination to overcome a determined opposition, trailing by four at the final break before a 23-8 last term saw the home team get over the line, 75-64. Mihalko topscored with 22 points, six rebounds and three steals, while Bone posted up another 20 points, three rebounds and five assists, and Mullings (17 points, nine rebounds and two assists) was prominent again. For the CoE, Lily Scanlon registered 16 points, three rebounds and two steals, while Agnes Emma-Nnopu was the losing side’s best, picking up a double-double thanks to 15 points and 11 rebounds, as well as three assists.

The weekend was not a complete loss for the CoE however, with the young up-and-coming side jumping off the bottom of the table courtesy of an upset two-point win over Melbourne Tigers. They controlled play in the first half, opening up a 14-point lead by the main break, and while the Tigers hit hard in the second half, the CoE maintained their composure to post a 66-64 victory. Scanlon was terrific up the scoring end with 20 points, while Sara-Rose Smith (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Emma-Nnopu (12 rebounds, two steals and two blocks) were strong off the boards. Monique Conti was once again the standout for Melbourne, posting a game-high 21 points as well as four rebounds, three assists and five steals, while Louella Tomlinson (17 points, 15 rebounds, two assists and four blocks) picked up a double-double, and Kasey Burton (14 points, five rebounds and two steals) was busy.

After four consecutive losses, Dandenong Rangers’ win against Frankston Blues must have tasted sweet, downing the reborn Blues side by nine points. Colleen Planeta had a mammoth game, picking up a double-double and was everywhere on the court with 38 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals, while Aimie Clydesdale (17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists) came close to her own double-double, and Taylah Gilliam (16 points, two rebounds and four assists) was also consistent in the drought-breaking victory. For Frankston, Steph Reid continued her good season form with 25 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Shereesha Richards impressed with 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals in the defeat.

Equally important in terms of ladder positioning over the weekend was Waverley Falcons whose season remains with a pulse – albeit a faint one – after downing now cellar dwellers, Diamond Valley Eagles, as well as an upset victory over Nunawading Spectres. In the seven-point win over the Eagles, the Falcons had to come from two points down at the final break to run over the top of the home side and secure the victory in a tight contest. Carley Ernst posted 28 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and three blocks in the win, while Tegan Cunningham helped herself to 20 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Alex Wilson (20 points, five rebounds and six assists) was prominent for the Eagles, while it was no surprise to see Anneli Maley (16 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and four steals) best on court for the losing side and picking up another double-double. In the huge upset over the Spectres, it was a 17-9 third quarter that set up the 62-52 victory, as Cunningham (16 points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals) topscored in the low-scoring victory, while Ernst (13 points, nine rebounds) was the other Falcon to reach double-figure points. Rachel Brewster was the only Spectres’ scorer of note with 18 points – at 70 per cent from the field – as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

At the other end of the table, Knox Raiders’ strong season continued with back-to-back wins in Round 11 in their trip down south to the Apple Isle. They recorded victories over Hobart Huskies (34 points) and Launceston Tornadoes (32) to remind the top two sides of what they are capable of on their day. Against the Huskies, they won every quarter on their way to a big win, led by Lauren Scherf (21 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks) picking up a double-double, as did Marena Whittle (15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks), while Bree Whatman finished the game with 15 points. For the Huskies, Ellie Collins (22 points, six rebounds and five assists) and Tayla Roberts (17 points, nine rebounds and three blocks) were impressive, but had too few help, picking up almost 80 per cent of the team’s points, as well as almost half the rebounds and assists, as well as the only three blocks. Scherf was completely dominant in the Raiders’ massive win over Launceston on Saturday, posting 27 points, 23 rebounds and two assists, while Bec Ott finished with 29 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Stella Beck was the standout player for the Tornadoes, sinking 29 points as well as picking up 13 rebounds, two assists and five steals. The Tornadoes had a rough weekend in terms of fixturing, also going down to the raging machine that is Geelong, losing 89-57. Ezi Magbegor had a game-high 22 points, five rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks in the victory, while Jazmin Shelly was the other high scorer with 20 points, two assists and three steals, as Geelong rotated players around against the bottom four side. Beck (14 points, 10 rebounds and five steals) picked up a double-double, while Brittany Hodges (12 points, five rebounds) did all she could in the loss.

In other results, the weekend was great for Albury Wodonga Bandits fans, while the news was less pleasant for Ballarat Rush supporters as the two sides picked up contrasting results from their two games. The Bandits downed the Southern Sabres, 87-79 in their first game on Saturday, with Molly Rice (18 points, nine rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks) impressive, as as Jessie Edwards (13 points, eight rebounds), Natalie Hurst (16 points, six assists) and Cherise Daniel (16 points, five rebounds). Rachel Jarry was a lone star for the Sabres, sinking 30 points to go with her 10 rebounds and five assists in a prominent double-double effort. In a 19-point win over Ballarat Rush, the Bandits again shared around the points with Emma Mahady (23 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Hanna Zavecz (20 points, 11 rebounds) joining the party as Edwards (26 points, nine rebounds) and Daniel (18 points, 11 rebounds and three assists) were dominant again. Olivia Hackmann stood tall for Ballarat, registering 22 points, six rebounds and three steals, while Hsi-le Bao finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Chanise Jenkins (13 points, eight assists, three rebounds and two steals) was the other Rush player who had an impact in the forward half.

In the Rush’s other game, they went down to second placed Bendigo Braves in a 10-point defeat. Despite leading at quarter time, the Rush could not stop the Braves in the second term, heading into the main break facing an 11-point deficit, and could not recover from there. Kelly Wilson continued her strong season for the Braves, posting 20 points, two rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Rebecca Tobin (18 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and two blocks) was unstoppable off the boards. Gabrielle Richards (13 points, eight rebounds and three assists) was also impressive for the winners, while for the Rush, Bao (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Laura Taylor (11 points, seven rebounds and three assists) were the two standouts. In the other game for Round 11, Nunawading Spectres ended Kilsyth Cobras’ good form of late, knocking them back outside the top four with an important 78-71 victory. The Cobras slipped to seventh such is the evenness of the competition, with the Spectres maintaining sixth after Ringwood leapfrogged the Spectres and Rangers into fourth courtesy of their extra game over the weekend. In Nunawading’s victory, it was Kathleen Scheer who stood tall with 24 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Rachel Antoniadou (17 points, nine rebounds and three assists) and Rebecca Pizzey (13 points, five rebounds and three assists) were also productive. For the losers, Klara Wischer (26 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals) laid claim to best-on-court, while Lauren Nicholson was again strong across the game, posting 18 points, five rebounds and two assists despite the defeat.

Round 11 results:

Geelong Supercats 89 defeated Launceston Tornadoes 57
Hobart Huskies 50 defeated by Knox Raiders 84
Melbourne Tigers 64 defeated by Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 66
Dandenong Rangers 86 defeated Frankston Blues 77
Southern Sabres 79 defeated by Albury Wodonga Bandits 87
Bendigo Braves 81 defeated Ballarat Rush 71*
Kilsyth Cobras 71 defeated by Nunawading Spectres 78*
Diamond Valley Eagles 76 defeated by Waverley Falcons 83
Eltham Wildcats 74 defeated by Ringwood Hawks 85
Launceston Tornadoes 63 defeated by Knox Raiders 95
Ringwood Hawks 75 defeated Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 64
Ballarat Rush 81 defeated by Albury Wodonga Bandits 100
Nunawading Spectres 52 defeated by Waverley Falcons 62

NBL1 mid-season review: Geelong Supercats

IN the mid-season break, Basketball Draft Central takes a look at each National Basketball League (NBL)1 team in both the men’s and women’s competition and will analyse how they have performed to date, some of their top performers, and the run home to see if they can make finals. Today we analyse the Geelong Supercats, who are the top performing team over both competitions, sitting first and third in the women’s and men’s competition respectively.

Men:

Position: 3rd
Wins: 9
Losses: 5

Home: 5-2
Away: 4-3
Last 10: 7-3

Points For: 1162
Points Against: 1119
Percentage: 103.8
Points: 27

Summary:

The Supercats have been a consistent performer in their 14 games so far this season, winning nine, including seven of the past 10. After being mid-table with a split 5-5 record after 10 games, the Supercats have recorded four consecutive wins and are mounting an assault on the top two sides. Demarcus Gatlin has been huge this season with 21.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.4 steals. Lewis Thomas (15.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.9 steals) and Ma’alo Hicks (10.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.9 steals) have been near-unstoppable off the boards this season. Anthony Williams (14.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals) has been the other starter who has been important in Geelong’s rise up the table.

The run home:

R10: Ballarat Miners (H)
R11: North West Thunder (H)
R12: Southern Sabres (A)
R13: Ballarat Miners (A) | Ringwood Hawks (A)
R14: Nil.
R15: Bendigo Braves (H)

The Supercats’ have a mixed bag on the run home. Their toughest encounters come against Ballarat Miners with two games in the final six, while also having matches against bottom two sides, Ringwood Hawks and Southern Sabres. The Supercats will not have any issues making finals given they already have nine wins on the board, but they will be keen to lock up a double chance by finishing top four.

Women:

Position: 1st
Wins: 13
Losses: 1

Home: 7-0
Away: 6-1
Last 10: 10-0

Points For: 1195
Points Against: 912
Percentage: 131.0
Points: 39

Summary:

The Supercats are the side to beat in the women’s competition, sitting on top of the table with just one loss in 14 games, and four games clear of third spot. With just Bendigo Braves for company in the top two with one loss as well. They have a great core of talented players, some of which are world class, while others are developing into future stars. Ezi Magbegor will take to the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) after the season, and she has been a star with 17.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.6 blocks per game, working well with Sara Blicavs (16.1 points. 8.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals). Zitina Aokuso (16.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists) and Alex Duck (7.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.5 steals) have been the other regular starters, while Jazmin Shelley (11.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.7 steals) and Isabelle Bourne (10.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals) have been terrific off the bench.

The run home:

R10: Ballarat Rush (H)
R11: Launceston Tornadoes (H)
R12: Southern Sabres (A)
R13: Ballarat Rush (A) | Ringwood Hawks (A)
R14: Nil.
R15: Bendigo Braves (H)

The Supercats are all but locked into a top two spot given their massive four-game advantage and huge percentage. They have a relatively softer draw in the run home as it is, with the last round clash against the Braves the one to watch in a potential grand final preview. They take on Ballarat Rush twice, as well as bottom four sides, Launceston Tornadoes and Southern Sabres.

NBL1 Women’s Round 7 review: Supercats make it eight on the trot

GEELONG Supercats have made it eight consecutive wins in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 Women’s competition after downing the in-form Melbourne Tigers, and Diamond Valley Eagles in Round 7. Against the Tigers, the Supercats were able to control the game for three quarters to lead by 19 points at the final break, before Melbourne scored 18-17 in the last quarter but it was too little, too late. Ezi Magbegor topscored with 17 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals, while Sara Blicavs had a big all-round game too with 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal. Zitina Aokuso (16 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Jazmin Shelley (13 points, seven rebounds and two assists) were also strong off the boards. For the Tigers, Louella Tomlinson starred with 27 points, five rebounds, four assists and a game-high six blocks, while Monique Conti (17 points, three assists, three steals and two rebounds) and Jenna O’Hea (15 points, eight defensive rebounds and four assists) were also strong in defeat. In the Supercats’ dominant 34-point win over the Eagles, Aokuso topscored with 20 points, two rebounds and two assists, while Blicavs (10 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three steals) and Magbegor (15 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals) were prominent once again. Geraldine McCorkell was the only Eagles player to reach double-figure points, racking up 12 as well as five rebounds and two assists, while Shelby Chesiek had a team-high 11 rebounds.

Nunawading Spectres’ home versus away differing records continued over the weekend, with the Spectres going down to the red-hot Rangers at Dandenong, before bouncing back against the cellar dwellers, Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (CoE) at home. At Dandenong, the Spectres were down at every change for the match to be over at the final break, but did push to the end with a 19-13 final term in the eventual 86-69 loss. Rebecca Cole was simply everywhere for the Rangers, dominating with 40 points, six rebounds, three assists and five steals – only one less steal than the entire Spectres team – while Colleen Planeta (13 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Taylah Gillam (10 points, six rebounds) were others who reached double figures for the home side. Eliza Chilcott was the best for the Spectres, notching up 13 points, 12 rebounds and two assists, while Rachel Antoniadou had 12 points and eight rebounds in the loss. The defeat left Nunawading’s away record at 2-3, while a 26-point win over the CoE moved the Spectres unbeaten streak at home to five. They dominated the first half 47-22, and then controlled play after that in a tight contest to eventually win, 83-57. Chelsea D’Angelo stood tall with 23 points, four rebounds and two steals, but Kathleen Scheer was the star, posting 22 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in an imposing performance. Chilcott managed another nine rebounds in the win, while for the CoE, Kelsey Rees (14 points) was the sole shooter in double figures, as Adelaide Fuller (five points, seven rebounds) and Jade Melbourne (eight points, six rebounds) were the next best.

In a battle of the bottom two sides, Ballarat Rush achieved their second – consecutive – win of the year, keeping Basketball Australia CoE winless from 11 starts. Despite the CoE having a promising second term to lead by 10 points at half-time, a massive second half by the home side saw the Rush pile on 39 points to 17 to run away with a 12-point win. Olivia Hackman was the top scorer for the Rush, posting 17 points, 10 rebounds and two steals in a double-double effort, as did Hsi-le Bao who had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Lucy Cochrane was also impressive off the boards with 17 points and nine rebounds, while it was Chanise Jenkins who was everywhere on court, finishing with an all-round performance of 15 points, nine rebounds, seven steals and five assists. Agnes Emma-Nnopu scored nine points and eight rebounds, while Lily Scanlon was the only CoE player to reach double-figure points, finishing with 13, as well as four rebounds.

It was a mixed bag down south for Albury Wodonga Bandits as the border side suffered a heartbreaking five-point overtime loss to Launceston Tornadoes, before bouncing back with a 13-point win over Hobart Huskies. Leading by nine points at half-time, that advantage was whittled down to four by the final break, and a 21-16 final term to the Tornadoes allowed Launceston to force the game into overtime. The momentum the Tornadoes had built allowed them to score 14-9 in overtime in a memorable 100-95 win. Sarah O’Neill was dominant with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Brittany Hodges (19 points, 14 rebounds) and Stella Beck (15 points, 11 rebounds) both took home double-doubles. For the Bandits, Cherise Daniel also achieved a double-double with a game-high 24 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Jessie Edwards (10 points, 13 rebounds) achieved the feat, and Emilee Harmon (18 points, nine rebounds) was agonisingly close to joining them. They might not have had any double-doubles in the win over Hobart, but the Bandits came home with the points, as Edwards (20 points, seven rebounds), Emma Mahady (21 points, five rebounds) and Natalie Hurst (19 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals) were all prominent in the win. For the Huskies, Nikki Greene was unstoppable off the defensive boards, with the final 82-69 scoreline likely to be worse for the Huskies had it not being for her 17 rebounds – 15 defensive – as well as 17 points and two blocks. Sharna Thompson topscored for the Huskies with 21 points, while Ellie Collins had 13 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Bendigo Braves bounced back from their first loss of the season in Round 6 to post a nine-point victory over Waverley Falcons at home in Round 7. The Braves were in a commanding position at half-time, leading by 18 points, before a determined Falcons outfit cut the final deficit to nine courtesy of a 45-36 second half. Kelly Wilson was the shining light in the victory, recording a rare triple-double, finishing with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, while Tessa Lavey (16 points, five rebounds and six assists), Bianca Dufelmeier (17 points, two assists) and Gabrielle Richards (11 points, nine rebounds) were also strong in the win. Tegan Cunningham seems to have adjusted back to life on the court for the Falcons after her AFL Women’s season, posting a game-high 21 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Falcons, while Kelly Bowen (18 points, two rebounds and three steals) and Carley Mijovic (16 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals) were others who impressed.

Ringwood Hawks bounced back from just their second loss of the season in Round 6 to win in an exciting five-point game over the lowly Southern Sabres. The scores were level at half-time before the Hawks piled on 22-9 in the third quarter to lead by 13 heading into the final change. The Sabres hit back in the final term, scoring 18-10 but falling five points short in the 63-58 loss. Megan Mullings topscored for the Hawks with 24 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals, while Cassidy Mihalko (16 points, eight rebounds) and Danni Bone (11 points, eight rebounds) were also prolific scorers in the win. For the Sabres, Ella Batish (16 points, four rebounds and two steals) and Rachel Jarry (15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals) were the top players. In the Sabres other loss – a 17-point defeat at the hands of Eltham Wildcats – Jarry scored a team-high 17 points as well as nine rebounds and four assists in a big weekend for her, while Tenaya Phillps had 14 points, five rebounds and two assist. Chelsea Schweers put together a starring individual effort with a highlight-reel worthy game of 41 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Chelsea Brook (14 points, eight rebounds and two assists) also impressed in victory.

In the other two games for Round 7, Knox Raiders triumphed over Frankston Blues by 13 points, and Kilsyth Cobras accounted for Diamond Valley Eagles by 25 points. Knox’s Lauren Scherf simply dominated the boards with 32 points, 20 rebounds – 11 offensive – six assists and one steal, while Abbey Wehrung (29 points, five rebounds and six assists) and Bec Ott (25 points, two rebounds and two assists) were also prominent in victory. For the Blues, Steph Reid found the bucket once again with 30 points, eight assists and two steals, while Shereesha Richards had 23 points, seven rebounds and two assists. In Kilsyth’s dominant win over Diamond Valley, Sarah Boothe starred with an equal team-high 18 points, as well as 16 rebounds, while Klara Wischer had eight points and 11 rebounds. For the Eagles, Anneli Maley was a shining light in another low-scoring effort from the visitors, scoring 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the loss.

Round 7 results:

Launceston Tornadoes 100 defeated Albury Wodonga Bandits 95
Melbourne Tigers 74 defeated by Geelong Supercats 92
Dandenong Rangers 86 defeated Nunawading Spectres 67
Frankston Blues 95 defeated by Knox Raiders 108*
Kilsyth Cobras 74 defeated Diamond Valley Eagles 49*
Bendigo Braves 84 defeated Waverley Falcons 75
Hobart Huskies 69 defeated by Albury Wodonga Bandits 82
Ballarat Rush 68 defeated Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 56
Ringwood Hawks 63 defeated Southern Sabres 58
Geelong Supercats 84 defeated Diamond Valley Eagles 50
Southern Sabres 64 defeated by Eltham Wildcats 81
Nunawading Spectres 83 defeated Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 57

NBL1 Women’s round three recap: Raiders produce two big wins as Rangers and Braves go four from four

A THRILLING one-point game to open the round and some impressive performances by Dandenong Rangers and Bendigo Braves have seen the sides remain undefeated at the top of the table with four wins from as many games, while Ringwood Hawks also sit undefeated after the Hawks’ third consecutive win on Sunday. There are still two games to come in Round 3, with Bendigo taking on Frankston tonight and Geelong hosting Eltham on Saturday evening.

The game of the round came in the opening match of Round 3, when Frankston Blues stormed from six points down at the final break to run over the top of Geelong Supercats in an exciting 65-64 victory in front of a home crowd. Steph Reid scored 18 points, six rebounds and seven assists in a big game for the Blues, while JoAnna Smith posted 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals to also be prolific in the win. Taylor Lee (14 points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal) and Saraid Taylor (seven points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals) were others who stood out. For the Supercats, Sara Blicavs posted 16 points and a whopping 16 rebounds, as well as two assists and five steals in a best-on-court performance in a losing side. Isabelle Bourne (15 points, eight rebounds and two steals), Jazmin Shelley (13 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Ebony Rolph (12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks) were others who stood up in the defeat.

Dandenong Rangers remained undefeated with a comprehensive 17-point win over Ballarat Rush at home. The Rangers led throughout the game, racing to a 10-point lead by half-time, and while the Rush won the third term by a point, the Rangers powered home by eight points in the final term to win by a comfortable 17. Aimee Clydesdale (28 points, six rebounds, seven assists and four steals) and Colleen Planeta (27 points, 12 rebounds and five assists) were the most damaging duo for the Rangers, while Taylah Gillam assisted with 13 points and three rebounds. For the Rush, Georgia Amoore top-scored with 15 points, three rebounds and six assists, while Olivia Backmann (13 points, seven rebounds), Claire Constable (11 points, four rebounds) and Hsi-le Bao (nine points, eight rebounds and four assists) were others who impressed.

Bendigo Braves’ win over Kilsyth Cobras kept the visitors undefeated, running out 70-64 winners at Kilsyth. Gabrielle Richards was terrific with 28 points and 12 rebounds – nine defensive – while Nadeen Payne (17 points, five assists) and Kelly Wilson (15 points, 11 assists and five rebounds) were prolific across the court. For the Cobras, Clare Carmac stood tall with 21 points, six rebounds and three assists, while Klara Wischer was equally impressive off the boards with six rebounds to go with 16 points and two assists. The Cobras also suffered a second loss in Round 3 at the hands of the undefeated Ringwood Hawks, 51-68. The Hawks dominated from start to finish and easily ran out winners by 17 points, with Cassidy Mihalko (22 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks) the stand out player on the court. Antonia Farnworth was also impressive for the Hawks, notching up 21 points, four rebounds and two assists. For the Cobras, Sarah Boothe posted 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, while Kara Tessari scored nine points and had five rebounds in an otherwise disappointing day for the visiting team.

At the same time up at the State Basketball Centre, Knox Raiders dominated a sluggish Melbourne Tigers outfit, running away 104-72 winners in a comprehensive performance. The Raiders scored 20 or more points in every quarter, and at the same time, restricted the Tigers to less than 20 in every term. Bec Ott was unstoppable in the front half, racking up 28 points, shooting 66.7 per cent from the field, while also recording six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. Bree Whatman was the creator in attack, scoring 22 points and finding a teammate who capitalised on five occasions. Abbey Wehrung scored 19 points and had eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals in an all-round performance, while Maddy Wild finished with 12 points and three rebounds. For the Tigers, Monique Conti (29 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Louella Tomlinson (24 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals) were the only two dominant scorers, while Kasey Burton registered eight rebounds to go with her six points. The day before, Melbourne secured a three-point win against a fast-fishing Waverley Falcons, 72-69. Conti was again prolific with 21 points, three rebounds and two steals, while Burton had 14 points and six rebounds as well as three steals and two assists. Tomlinson had a game-high 11 rebounds and nine assists to go with 11 points in the win. For the Falcons, Tegan Cunningham returned from her AFL Women’s stint to score 13 points and an equal team-high eight rebounds, while Nyaduoth Lok posted 13 points, and Kelly Bowen had eight rebounds to go with 14 points.

Knox Raiders had a second big win in Round 3, piling on more pain to the Southern Sabres with the latter’s third defeat of the season thus far. Wehrung posted a game-high 21 points for the Raiders while also assisting her teammates to points on nine occasions. Wild had 16 points and five rebounds, while Lucy Dawson recorded 11 points and seven rebounds in the victory. Rachel Jarry top-scored for the Sabres, recording 17 points, seven rebounds and two assists, while Sherry Glennie had 14 points, five rebounds and two assists. Amelia Todhunter (11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals) was the other strong presence across the court in the loss.

In the all-Tasmanian battle, Launceston Tornadoes spoiled the party for Hobart Huskies, claiming their first win while dooming their cross-state rivals to their first defeat of the season. The Tornadoes started strongly and held firm throughout the match to secure the 104-95 win at Kingborough Sports Centre. Sarah O’Neill posted 23 points, 10 rebounds and two assists, while also big on the boards were Stella Beck (19 points, 11 rebounds) and Stephanie Gardner (19 points, 10 rebounds), as Brittany Hodges (14 points, eight rebounds) was also impressive throughout the match. For the Huskies, Tayla Roberts continued her terrific form helping herself to 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Ellie Collins handed the ball to shooters on a silver platter with 11 assists, 10 rebounds and 18 points of her own.

In other results, Nunawading Spectres handed Eltham Wildcats a 17-point defeat after a strong second half saw them record an 89-72 win. Kathleen Scheer posted 18 points, six rebounds and eight assists, while Rebecca Pizzey recorded a game-high 12 rebounds to go with her 16 points and three assists. For the Wildcats, Chelsea Schweers posted a game-high 24 points, while Margaret Mulligan and Chelsea Brook combined for 33 points and 13 rebounds. In the other game, Albury Wodonga Bandits defeated Diamond Valley Eagles 92-81 thanks to a 25-14 final term. Level at the final break, the Bandits stole the game with the dominant final stanza. Jessie Edwards sank 32 points, 17 rebounds and five assists in a massive game, while Emma Mahady scored 17 points and seven rebounds. For the Eagles, Anneli Maley recorded a team-high 21 points and massive 19 rebounds, while Brianna Gregory (17 points and eight rebounds) and Shelby Chesiek (15 points and four rebounds) were also strong on the losing side.

Round 3 Results:

Frankston Blues 65 defeated Geelong Supercats 64
Nunawading Spectres 89 defeated Eltham Wildcats 72
Dandenong Rangers 90 defeated Ballarat Rush 73
Southern Sabres 67 defeated by Knox Raiders 92
Kilsyth Cobras 64 defeated by Bendigo Braves 70
Albury Wodonga Bandits 92 defeated Diamond Valley Eagles 81
Hobart Huskies 95 defeated by Launceston Tornadoes 104
Waverley Falcons 69 defeated by Melbourne Tigers 72
Knox Raiders 104 defeated Melboure Tigers 72
Ringwood Hawks 68 defeated Kilsyth Cobras 51

NBL1 Women’s round two recap: Braves and Rangers make it three from three

BENDIGO Braves and Dandenong Rangers sit atop the National Basketball League (NBL)1 Women’s competition ladder after successfully winning both their games over the weekend. While they tasted success, it was not as enjoyable for the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (CoE) who dropped both games and went to 0-5 to start the season, while Diamond Valley Eagles and Nunawading Spectres split their respective games 1-1.

Bendigo tipped off the round on Friday night with a home victory over the future stars of the Opals. The Braves found themselves trailing by three points at quarter time and one point at half-time to the Basketball Australia CoE, before clicking into gear. The Braves scored 23 points to 15 in the third term before completely shutting down their opposition with a 16-5 final quarter to run away 72-54 winners. Gabrielle Richards was enormous off the boards with 20 points, 11 rebounds and two steals, while Kelly Wilson opened the game up for her teammates with a remarkable 14 assists and five rebounds to go with her 22 points. Tessa Lavey also had a night out for the winners, picking up 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists. For the CoE, Lily Scanlon was the only player to reach double figures, posting 10 points, as well as four rebounds, while Jade Melbourne finished with nine and three, as well as two assists. Adelaide Fuller scored six points and a team-high seven rebounds in the loss.

The next day, Bendigo made the trip down to Ballarat to face the Rush in a bid to go back-to-back. The Rush went down in Round 1, while the Braves now sat at 2-0. The home team got off to a better start, leading by one point at the first break, before Bendigo again flicked the switch, piling on 26 points to 17 in the second term to race to a eight-point advantage at half-time. That lead grew to nine by the final break, and then it was all Bendigo in the final term as the Braves outscored the Rush, 18-9 to win 73-55. Kelly Wilson was again phenomenal around the court, picking up 22 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, however she was far from alone. Richards (13 points, nine rebounds and three assists), Lavey (13 points, seven rebounds and three assists), Andrea Wilson (six points, eight rebounds) and Nadeen Payne (15 points, four rebounds) were all impressive for the winners. In a losing side, Chanise Jenkins was the star, finishing the match with 19 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and five steals, while Olivia Hackman (13 points, three rebounds) and Laura Taylor (10 points, 12 rebounds) were other Ballarat players who stood tall in the defeat.

Just prior to that clash, Dandenong Rangers enjoyed a 10-point win over Southern Sabres after a fast start. The Rangers posted 28 points to 19 in the first term, and while the Sabres fought hard after that, cutting the deficit at half-time and winning the final term, it was not enough to get over the line as the visitors took home the points. Rebecca Cole was sensational with 32 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Aimee Clydesdale had 23 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Others who impressed for the winners included Colleen Planeta who had 11 rebounds – 10 defensive – to go with her 22 points, two assists and three blocks, while Courtney Stothard had eight rebounds – four up each end – as well as three assists and eight points.

In the final game of the round, Dandenong made it two from two over the weekend, defeating Diamond Valley Eagles, 89-69. The Rangers found themselves on the receiving end of a slow start to trail by five at the first break. It was a minor blip on the radar however, as Dandenong won the remaining three quarters by seven, nine and nine points to eventually secure the 20-point win. Cole had another 32-point game, as well as six rebounds, six assists and two steals, while Clydesdale (22 points, two rebounds and three assists) was good again. Planeta dominated off the boards, finishing the weekend with 23 rebounds following 12 in this game, as well as 17 points, four assists, two steals and three blocks. For the Eagles, Hope Terdich scored a team-high 19 points to go with seven rebounds, while Anneli Maley was the losing side’s best, posting 13 points, 12 rebounds – 11 defensive – three assists, one steal and one block.

The day before, Diamond Valley Eagles had more success with a win over Basketball Australia CoE. The Eagles found themselves trailing by four at the first break before putting in a strong second term to lead by three at half-time. They put the foot down in the second half, netting points from everywhere with a 43-24 second half to run away with the 88-66 victory. Maley was prolific on the court with an eye-opening 31 points, including three from four from three-point range, as well as 15 rebounds and two steals. Terdich was busy with 25 points, nine rebounds and two assists, while Brianna Gregory was the other damaging shooter, scoring 18 points at 86 per cent from the floor. She also recorded seven rebounds – six defensive – and two assists. For the losers, Isabel Palmer scored 16 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Fuller finished with 12 points, four rebounds and one assist.

In the match of the round, Eltham Wildcats came from a long way back to run over the top of Waverley Falcons on Saturday night. The Wildcats trailed by nine at the first break and 10 at half-time, before turning it on in the third quarter to cut the deficit to eight by the final break. A 25-22 final term saw the Wildcats scrape home by the narrowest of margins, 81-80. Chelsea Schweers scored 25 points in the win, as well as five defensive rebounds and two steals, while Vanessa Panousis finished with 24 points, two rebounds, two steals and a team-high six assists. For the Falcons, Kelly Bowen was best on court with 30 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block, while Carley Mijovic played a real team game, posting 17 points as well as nine rebounds – eight defensive – and eight assists.

Meanwhile Geelong Supercats continued their undefeated start to the season with a five-point win over Knox Raiders. The home side led at every break, opening up a nine-point lead by half-time. The Raiders charged at them in the third term to cut the final deficit to three, before eventually steadying in the final term to win, 94-89. Sara Blicavs was impressive in the forward half with 15 points, while Jazmin Shelley scored 19 and had three assists. Ezi Magbegor had a massive block at the basket in the match, one of two blocks as well as 12 points and seven rebounds, while Zitina Aokuso also had eight rebounds as well as 15 points. For the Raiders, Lauren Scherf finished with a game-high 26 points, as well as six rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Marena Whittle was prolific across the court, posting 20 points, six rebounds and pickpocketing her opponents four times.

The other team to remain undefeated over the weekend was Ringwood Hawks, knocking off Albury Wodonga Bandits by 10 points at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre. With the basketball legend leading the Bandits in season 2019, it was a tight contest early on as both sides traded blows to start the second half as they did the first – level. Ringwood came alive in the second half however, scoring 44 goals to 34 to win by that margin, and record a 79-69 victory. Antonia Farnworth sunk 21 points and had eight rebounds and two steals, while Cassidy Mihalko finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Also impressive on the boards was Megan Mullings with 12 points and nine rebounds, as well as three steals and two assists. For the home side, the points were evenly spread with the starting line-up all recording double-figure points. Natalie Hurst, Emma Mahady and Jessie Edwards all recorded 14 points, while Cherise Daniel had a team-high seven rebounds to go with her 11 points, one more rebound than Emilee Harmon who also had 13 points.

Nunawading Spectres had a mixed bag down in Tasmania, losing to Hobart Huskies by 12 points, before posting a narrow two-point win over Launceston Tornadoes. Kathleen Scheer was at home down in the Apple Isle, recording 42 points and 28 rebounds across both games, while Rebecca Pizzey was also impressive, posting 32 points and 10 rebounds. Eliza Chilcott‘s work off the boards was also sensational, picking up 22 rebounds as well as 21 points and six assists. For their opponents, Cayla George was dominant for Hobart, recording 27 points, 17 rebounds, three assists and one block, while Ellie Collins assisted well with 21 points, six rebounds, five assists, five steals and three blocks in a superb all-round effort. For Launceston, Brittany Hodges had 29 points and six rebounds, while Sarah O’Neill also had impact on the scoreboard with 21 points, two rebounds and two assists.

In the other game in Round 2, Melbourne Tigers knocked off Frankston Blues, 77-71 after trailing at half-time. The Tigers were down by four at the main break before a Monique Conti-inspired fightback saw the Tigers run over the top of the visitors and enjoy a 77-71 victory. Conti scored 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a best on court performance, while Briana Gray and Louella Tomlinson combined for 23 points, 23 rebounds and 10 assists. Kasey Burton was also prominent off the boards with 12 rebounds to go with her nine points. For the Blues, JoAnna Smith had 26 points and five rebounds, while Saraid Taylor picked up 15 rebounds – 12 defensive – in a strong effort at the basket, as well as 13 points, four assists and three steals.

Round 2 results:

Hobart Huskies 87 defeated Nunawading Spectres 75
Bendigo Braves 72 defeated Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 54
Southern Sabres 89 defeated Dandenong Rangers 99
Geelong Supercats 94 defeated Knox Raiders 89
Diamond Valley Eagles 88 defeated Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 66
Albury Wodonga Bandits 69 defeated by Ringwood Hawks 79
Ballarat Rush 55 defeated by Bendigo Braves 73
Eltham Wildcats 81 defeated Waverley Falcons 80
Launceston Tornadoes 85 defeated by Nunawading Spectres 87
Melbourne Tigers 77 defeated Frankston Blues 71
Dandenong Rangers 89 defeated Diamond Valley Eagles 69