Tag: kasey burton

NBL1 South Women’s team summary: Melbourne Tigers

IN light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South Conference has been cancelled this year. As such, while Draft Central intended to do a preview on all teams leading up to the delayed start, it will instead be a team summary from last season and what they might look to improve on for 2021. Today’s edition looks at Melbourne Tigers’ womens side that showed some promise but could not maintain consistency throughout the year with a lot of close losses.

2019 in Review:

Finished: 12th
Wins: 8
Losses: 12
Home: 5-6
Away: 3-6

What went right:

  • Competitive throughout with seven of the 12 losses being single-digit defeats
  • Started solidly with a 5-4 record
  • Blocks (4.5 per game, the best in the competition)
  • Louella Tomlinson’s season

Melbourne had a mixed bag of a season that had little consistency, but there was still optimism for the future despite an 8-12 record. The Tigers only had five double-digit losses, indicating for the most part they were in the game. They started solidly with a 5-4 record from nine matches and with Louella Tomlinson on fire throughout the year, they were able to work hard defensively to remain in the contest. They were the top blocking side in the NBL1 competition, averaging 4.5 per game, which helped them win in low-scoring contests and remain close when losing. Young guns, Monique Conti and Kasey Burton also impressed throughout the season with strong performances and the highest volume points and almost a double-double respectively.

What went wrong:

  • Struggled on the road with just three wins from nine games
  • Won just three of the last eight games
  • Scoring (72.9 points per game, ranked 15th overall and 41.8 per cent two-point accuracy and 70 per cent free-throw accuracy ranked 16th overall)

The season just simply did not quite go to plan for the Tigers, with scoring being the biggest issue. They averaged the 72.9 points per game which ranked 15th overall, and when they did get their chances, they averaged just 41.8 per cent and 70 per cent from the two point range and free-throw line which put them in the bottom three sides. While having Jenna O’Hea for longer than three games would have made a massive difference, the Tigers still struggled on the road with just three wins from nine games and finished the season in disappointing fashion with just three wins from eight games after being in finals contention mid-season.

Louella Tomlinson

The standout performer on the team, Tomlinson’s experience was vital in leading her side throughout the year. In the absence of O’Hea, Tomlinson did the bulk of the damage across the board, recording team-highs in rebounds (10.6), assists (5.1) and blocks (3.5). Playing in 17 of her team’s 20 games, Tomlinson finished the year with a double double average thanks to 16.3 points to accompany her double-figure rebounds total. Like her teammates, Tomlinson’s accuracy could improve, but by sheer weight of numbers she was a dominant performer in an inconsistent side.

Monique Conti

The pocket rocket showed that another season of AFL Women’s football did not slow her round ball abilities as a key player in the Tigers outfit. Despite standing at sub-170cm, Conti still put up big numbers of 20.4 points, as well as 4.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.4 steals. What set her aside from her teammates was Conti’s ability to drill the long-range shot, with 33.8 per cent efficiency, and a team-high 53 total makes from outside the arc.

Kasey Burton

The versatile up-and-comer had a really promising season in terms of her ability to pad plenty of stats and have an impact across the court. She came close to a double double thanks to 9.8 points and 8.3 rebounds. Alongside that, Burton also picked up 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game, being the only member to start in every single game last season. She was another contributor from long-range with 25 successful makes, though coming at a 28.4 per cent accuracy. Teaming up with Conti, the pair has the ability to be a real damaging duo of the future.

Young Gun:

Katie Bugden

The then 21-year-old managed to play in 16 games and start 10 of those, stepping up with an increased role than what might have been initially expected. In that time she produced an average of 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.9 steals per game and a solid all-round performance. Her shooting accuracy could improve with just 37.4 per cent from two-point range and two from 23 when it came to three-point range. Her experience from being a starter so often will give her confidence going into 2021.

Christmas list for 2021:

Another shooter or two. The Tigers had a clear deficiency in the scoring department, certainly in terms of both volume and accuracy. Throwing in an additional player who can average double-figure points would be a huge acquisition, and getting someone of O’Hea’s quality to play for a full season could be the difference between finals or not.

Summary:

The Melbourne Tigers have plenty to work on for the future with a number of areas that could improve for 2021. They have a good core of players and some really talented youth prospects coming through the ranks who could be set for more court time in the season ahead. While they need to tweak their ability to score, the Tigers were good at stopping shots, and had plenty of reasons to be pleased with aspects of the way they played.

2019/20 WNBL season review: Bendigo Spirit

IT was a case of new faces, same story, for the Bendigo Spirit during the 2019/20 Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season, with the side fortunate to not finish on the bottom of the ladder after having a few bumps along the way.

Ladder: 7th
Win-loss: 5-16

This season for Spirit was categorised by fresh faces. Recruiting so many players, it was almost a completely new line-up from last year. To go with this brand new roster, the Spirit brought in a brand new coach in Tracey York. But with new faces came the issue of key old names missing, such as 2018/19 leading scorer, Nadeen Payne who left to join the Perth Lynx, along with Marena Whittle. The Lightning acquired Natalie Hurst while the Flyers grabbed Louella Tomlinson, and Jessie Rennie left for the USA. Nevertheless, Spirit was able to bring in Tessa Lavey and Carley Ernst from Dandenong Rangers, Shyla Heal from Perth and Kelly Wilson from Canberra. The Spirit also picked up Kasey Burton from Melbourne, and Marte Grays from the USA as their final piece for what was a chaotic offseason. Yet with so many fresh faces came very little team chemistry as the Spirit finished second last, again. But even with such an uncharted roster, a winning culture would surely be set as long as the team was captained by Wilson, or so was thought. Fresh off winning the NBL1 MVP for the Bendigo Braves, putting together 19.3 points, 10.5 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals a game, the Spirit were optimistic about their chances. But their dysfunction went far beyond a lack of common bond among players.

Rebecca Tobin, Spirit’s best player from last season, looked to have taken her game to the next level when playing in the NBL1, averaging 16.3 points, 12.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.6 blocks per game from 15 matches. However misfortune would follow as Tobin was sidelined after a knock to the head during a training session right before the season. Playing just a third of the season, Tobin would only average 8.3 points a game. This would be a massive factor for what was certainly a derailed season. Placing in the bottom two in both steals and blocks per game, while also being second in turnovers, the Spirit simply struggled defensively. The side’s concentration on bringing in new players this season instead of building up last season’s combinations ultimately proved to be their downfall, with the changes on court falling short from expectations.

The Spirit had a very tough schedule to begin the season, playing seven teams that would make the playoff across their first eight games. It was not exactly the fairytale story Gabe Richards wanted to end her career on. A two-time champion who wore the Bendigo Spirit uniform for almost every season the Spirit has been alive in the WNBL, her presence will be sorely missed. However the torch may be in the hands of new recruit, Shyla Heal, who by all standards had a breakout season. Daughter of Australian basketball legend, Shane Heal, Shyla was expected to be a key contributor from the jump, learning from the more experienced players, her role was initially about being the spot up shooter in the offence. But at only 18 years of age, she put the league on notice and led her team in points per game with 12.1. Definitely a player to follow, who will not only be the Spirit’s franchise player, but maybe one day the face of the league.

2019/20 WNBL season team preview: Bendigo Spirit

A NEW season and a new head coach for Bendigo Spirit, who finished bottom two last season in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL). With previous coach Simon Pritchard‘s contract not renewed, the Spirit opted to hire Adelaide 36ers assistant coach, Tracy York to take the club forward. The Spirit have had plenty of changes over the off-season with recruits and departures, in a bid to chance the side’s fortunes for the 2019/20 WNBL season.

Finished: 7th
Wins: 7
Losses: 14
Points: 14
Percentage: 89.15%

Last season:

It was overall a disappointing year for the Spirit, winning just 33 per cent of their games and finishing seventh overall for the WNBL season. Nadeen Payne was the highest points scorer, averaging 13.3 per game to go with her 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists, but she has since departed the club for Perth Lynx, along with Marena Whittle. Natalie Hurst has also moved on to Adelaide and will be a huge loss, while Louella Tomlinson (Southside Flyers) and Jessie Rennie (USA) have also moved on. With so much change at the club, they will be looking for the inclusions to have an early impact and shape up the season from a strong start.

New recruits:

They spared no expense in going on a huge recruiting drive to build up the Spirit team again, bringing in Tessa Lavey and Carley Ernst from Dandenong Rangers, Shyla Heal from Perth and Kelly Wilson from Canberra. After averaging just the seven points per game last season in the WNBL, but the 4.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists, Wilson had a big year for Bendigo Braves, putting together 19.3 points, 10.5 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals in the NBL1. Ernst (Waverley Falcons) and Lavey (Braves) were equally as influential across the season, and could be quality inclusions this season. Gabrielle Richards was a revelation last season for the Braves in the NBL1, and now has a chance to use her work off the boards (14.1 points and 9.2 rebounds) in the big league. The Spirit also picked up Kasey Burton from Melbourne, and American Marte Grays, while Alicia Froling was signed before being released after an injury mid-year.

Star player:

Rebecca Tobin. While much has been spoken about the comings and goings of the Spirit, Tobin re-signed with the club after entering free agency and will be aiming to build on her performances at the Braves in the NBL1, where she averaged 16.3 points, 12.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.6 blocks per game in 15 matches. Last season in the NBL, Tobin averaged 10.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.7. assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks and is a steadying influence in a side where much change has occurred.

NBL1 Women’s Round 15 review: Braves make a statement as Cobras secure fourth

THE final round of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 Women’s competition is done and dusted, with the top eight locked up ahead of the start of finals in a fortnight. Bendigo Braves sent a message to the rest of the competition with a comprehensive 30-point win over second placed Geelong Supercats to lock up the minor premiership. The Braves’ only loss had come at the hands of the Supercats, and from the outside it was clear to see they were keen to post a big win. They won all four quarters on their way to victory, albeit against a Geelong side missing Sara Blicavs and Ovie Magbegor. Instead it was Gabrielle Richards (22 points, 12 rebounds) and Kelly Wilson (21 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and two blocks) who dominated, while Gabriella Turner (23 points, five rebounds and three assists) also had a say in the proceedings for the winners. In their NBL stars absences, Isabella Brancatisano had her best game to-date, picking up 16 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Ebony Rolph helped herself to 15 points, 10 rebounds and six steals with both players registering double-doubles.

In the standalone game on Friday night, Waverley Falcons locked up a top eight spot courtesy of a 34-point win over Hobart Huskies to secure the finalists for season 2019. The visiting side also won each of hte four quarters on their way to an imposing 97-63 win over the bottom four side. Renae Mokrzycki had a team-high 18 points and seven rebounds, while Tegan Cunningham (12 points, 10 rebounds) picked up a double-double, and Kelly Bowen (12 points, five rebounds, four steals and two assists) was also important in the victory. For the Huskies, Ellie Collins (19 points, two rebounds, three assists and two blocks) was the standout scorer, while Tayla Roberts (10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Kylie McCauley (nine points, seven rebounds and two assists) were both prominent off the boards. Waverley then moved into seventh spot on the table courtesy of a 22-point win over Launceston Tornadoes. Carley Ernst picked up 21 points and nine rebounds in the big win, while Mokrzycki (19 points, nine rebounds), Cunningham (15 points, seven rebounds), Bowen (10 points, nine assists, three steals and 13 rebounds) and Jessica Bygate (11 points, six rebounds) had great presence off the boards and on the scoreboard. Launceston’s Stephanie Gardner topscored for her side with 19 points and four rebounds, while Micah Simpson (16 points), and Sarah O’Neill (14 points, five rebounds) also tried hard throughout the game.

Dandenong Rangers’ weekend saw them just cling onto a finals spot, dropping both games, albeit against top four sides in Kilsyth Cobras (23 points) and Ringwood Hawks (three points) on consecutive days. In the big loss to Kilsyth, it was a slow start of 17 points to the Cobras’ 43 that all but sealed the Rangers’ fate, with Sarah Boothe having a night out by feasting on 28 points and 23 rebounds, shooting at 72.2 per cent from the field, as well as six assists. Clare Camac was the next highest points scorer for the Cobras with 17, as well as five assists and three rebounds, while Alison Downie picked up a double-double thanks to 12 points, 14 rebounds and four assists. For the losers, Colleen Planeta did the bulk of the damage picking up a double-double herself courtesy of 27 points and 11 rebounds, while Rebecca Cole was the next highest scorer (12 points, seven rebounds. In the loss to Ringwood, Planeta again did all she could with 25 points, nine rebounds and three bocks, while Cole recorded 23 points and six rebounds. For the Hawks, they shared the points around as Ella Ogier (16 points, 11 rebounds) was the best of them, ahead of Cassidy Mihalko (15 points, eight rebounds and three steals) and Danni Bone (14 points, nine rebounds and six assists).

A team who enjoyed a much better weekend was Eltham Wildcats, downing Nunawading Spectres by seven points, then toppling Melbourne Tigers by 21. Whilst it was not enough to make finals due to Waverley claiming both wins, the Wildcats finished their season on a high with back-to-back wins to sit ninth on the table. Against Nunawading it was Alice Kunek (27 points, nine rebounds and six assists) who stood tall), but she was joined by Chelsea Schweers (18 points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals), Vanessa Panousis (13 points, four rebounds and four assists) and Chelsea Brook (11 points, nine rebounds and four assists) as other double-figure scorers. Nunawading had a couple of important scorers, with Maddie Garrick (20 points, six rebounds) leading the way, although Kathleen Scheer (18 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks) was best on the court. Rachel Brewster (13 points, nine rebounds) and Rebecca Pizzey (12 points, nine rebounds) came agonisingly close to double-doubles. In the comfortable win over Melbourne, Schweers had a team-high 23 points, while Margaret Mulligan was the standout with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Kunek (17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Brook (15 points, eight rebounds and three steals) were productive for their sides. For the Tigers, Monique Conti finished her consistent season off on the right note with 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Kasey Burton (15 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals) was the other Tigers’ player who stood tall.

Ballarat Rush also enjoyed a win over Melbourne Tigers on their way to a narrow five-point victory. Chanise Jenkins had 24 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and four steals in the win, while Olivia Hackmann (19 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals) and Hsi-le Bao (13 points, 10 rebounds) were other Rush players to reach double-figure points. Conti was again the standout for the Tigers with 23 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, while Katie Budgen picked up some of the slack with 21 points, five rebounds, two assists and three steals, and Kasey Burton helped herself to a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds, as wells four assist, four steals and two blocks.

Knox Raiders finished the season with an on-the-road win against Albury Wodonga Bandits. The Raiders posted a 98-84 victory, winning three of the four quarters to do it comfortably in the end. Abbey Wehrung (22 points, two rebounds, six assists and two steals) and Bec Ott (21 points, five rebounds and four assists) both troubled the scorers quite a bit, while Lauren Scherf picked up a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds). For the Bandits, Jessie Edwards was the top player with 25 points and seven rebounds, while Emilee Harmon (17 points, six rebounds) and Cherise Daniel (15 points, five rebounds) were both productive players on the court.

In the other two games, Southern Sabres suffered two losses to finish off a disappointing season, going down to last placed Diamond Valley Eagles by 19 points, before suffering a narrow one-point loss to Frankston Blues. Diamond Valley’s Shelby Cheslek (25 points, 12 rebounds) and Anneli Maley (21 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and three steals) were dominant against the Sabres’ side, with Rachel Jarry (24 points, nine rebounds and six steals) doing all she could, while Amy O’Neill (14 points, eight rebounds and two assists) was the next best. In the narrowest of overtime losses, O’Neill was again prominent for the Sabres, registering 22 points, five rebounds, 10 assists and four steals, while Tenaya Phillips (24 points, five rebounds and three steals) and Ella Batish (20 points, six rebounds) were also busy. For the Blues, Shereesha Richards hauled her side across the line thanks to a mammoth 40-point, 14-rebound and seven-assist game, leading the way ahead of Saraid Taylor (19 points, 10 rebounds) who picked up a double-double as well, while Courtney Wilkins (14 points, seven rebounds) and Taylor Lee (13 points, six rebounds and four assists) were the next best.

Round 15 results:

Hobart Huskies 63 defeated by Waverley Falcons 97
Geelong Supercats 58 defeated by Bendigo Braves 88
Kilsyth Cobras 81 defeated Dandenong Rangers 58
Diamond Valley Eagles 88 defeated Southern Sabres 69
Albury Wodonga Bandits 84 defeated by Knox Raiders 98
Ballarat Rush 84 defeated by Melbourne Tigers 79
Eltham Wildcats 80 defeated Nunawading Spectres 73
Launceston Tornadoes 77 defeated by Waverley Falcons 99
Southern Sabres 96 defeated by Frankston Blues 97
Dandenong Rangers 68 defeated by Ringwood Hawks 71
Melbourne Tigers 72 defeated by Eltham Wildcats 93

Final ladder:

1 Bendigo Braves 19-1
2 Geelong Supercats 17-3
3 Ringwood Hawks 15-5
4 Kilsyth Cobras 14-6
5 Knox Raiders 14-6
6 Nunawading Spectres 12-8
7 Waverley Falcons 11-9
8 Dandenong Rangers 11-9

9 Eltham Wildcats 10-10
10 Albury Wodonga Bandits 9-11
11 Frankston Blues 9-11
12 Ballarat Rush 8-12
13 Melbourne Tigers 8-12
14 Basketball Australia CoE 6-14
15 Hobart HUskies 6-14
16 Southern Sabres 4-16
17 Launceston Tornadoes 4-16
18 Diamond Valley Eagles 3-17

Week 1 finals:

Bendigo Braves vs. Kilsyth Cobras
Geelong Supercats vs. Ringwood Hawks
Knox Raiders vs. Dandenong Rangers
Nunawading Spectres vs. Waverley Falcons

NBL1 Women’s Round 13 review: Bendigo Braves make it nine in a row

THE Geelong Supercats cleaned up their first game of the NBL (National Basketball League)1 for Round 13, against the Ballarat Rush – defeating the home side 82-70. The game opened very much in Geelong’s favour (19-10) but took a turn in the second and third with Ballarat snaring consecutive 23-point terms, compared to 19 and 17 for Geelong. Though the Supercats struck back in the fourth with a decisive 27 points to 14, defeating the Rush by 12 points on the road. Zitinia Aokuso recorded a double-double for the Supercats with 24 points, 16 rebounds and four assists. She was supported well by teammates, Alex Duck (18 points, two rebounds and three assists), Isabella Brancatisano (16 points and five rebounds) and Sara Blicavs (13 points and 15 rebounds), who all pulled up strong in the paint. For the Rush, Georgia Amoore was a standout – recording 19 points from 25 minutes in the loss. Hsi-Le Bao managed a double-double in the loss with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Olivia Hackmann (13 points and six rebounds) and Chanise Jenkins (13 points, five rebounds and seven assists) also proved pivotal throughout.

In Ballarat’s second outing, the Rush managed to snare a 72-64 victory against the travelling, Hobart Huskies. The win places Ballarat (thirteenth) one position higher than Hobart (fourteenth) who are nursing consecutive losses in Round 13. Jenkins again proved dominant for the Rush, putting up a double-double with 24 points, four rebounds and 11 assists. Teammate, Lucy Cochrane, also managed a double-double, finishing with 10 points and 15 rebounds alongside Bao who pulled big numbers off the rebound (16). Laura Taylor also impressed from 18 minutes, recording 11 points and five rebounds, with Hackmann (14 points, six rebounds and three assists) also proving impressive. In the loss, Ellie Collins was immense with 24 points, seven rebounds and three assists, as was Nikki Greene (14 points and 12 rebounds) who managed a double-double. Despite the result, this game marked a huge improvement for Hobart when compared with their 52-102 loss against the fifth-placed Kilsyth Cobras at home. The Huskies were blitzed in all terms by the visitors, recording a low of seven points to 24 in the third term, with none of their players cracking double-digits on the scoreboard. Lauren Nicholson dropped 40 points, five rebounds and two assists in the win, with Klara Wischer (15 points, six rebounds and five assists) and Sarah Boothe (11 points, six rebounds and two assists) also proving impressive. For Hobart, Sharna Thompson managed nine points, four rebounds and two assists but only hit two of 11 from the field. Tayla Roberts (eight points and four rebounds) and Collins (nine points, six rebounds and three assists) also proved important.

Kilsyth’s time in Tasmania presented complete success after finishing their second outing in a 85-63 win over the Launceston Tornadoes. The loss marks eight consecutive defeats for the Tornadoes – currently nursing the largest losing streak and the worst home record in the league. Kilsyth continued to build an impressive away record (6-3-0), earning three consecutive wins as we enter Round 14. Guard, Kara Tessari, lifted plenty from her usual 10-point average, snaring 20 points, three rebound and five assists, alongside fellow guard, Nicholson, who recorded 19 points, five rebounds and three assists – slightly under her usual average. For the Tornadoes, Sarah O’Neill was impressive across her 35 minutes, earning 20 points with her teammate, Stephanie Gardner, also impacting with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Following on from their victory over Ballarat which opened the round, the first-placed Geelong Supercats faced the Ringwood Hawks and suffered an uncharacteristic 78-70 loss. The rebounding Hawks proved better at every turn, taking a 41-30 lead into the main break, with Geelong managing a small resurgence in the second half but failed in catching the Hawks by the end of the game. Antonia Farnworth had a huge game with 29 points, six rebounds and five assists in the win. Teammates, Cassidy Mihalko (15 points, four rebounds and four assists) and Megan Mullings (10 points, three rebounds and two assists) also proved pivotal in the win. For the Supercats, Blicavs (20 points, seven rebounds and five assists) had a big performance again, with Aokuso managed a double-double again with 12 points, 10 rebounds and three assists, alongside Ebony Rolph who lifted with 17 points and five rebounds in the loss.

In one of the tightest games of the round, the Eltham Wildcats snared an impressive 84-80 win over the Albury Wodonga Bandits on the road. The game was close from the first whistle, with Albury taking a one-point lead (41-40) lead into the main break before adding just one more point to it by the end of the third term. Eltham kept close throughout – with a 29-23 final term closing them out to snatch a tight win from the Bandits. Alice Kunek was huge in the victory, recording a double-double from 26 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Chelsea Brook (19 points and 11 rebounds) also managed a double-double, with Chelsie Schweers (17 points) and Margaret Mulligan (13 points and seven rebounds) also standing out for the Wildcats. The Bandits had big performers in Natalie Hurst (26 points, four rebounds and three assists), Cherise Daniel (19 points, 13 rebounds and five assists) and Jessie Edwards (16 points, 12 rebounds and three assists) – the two former both managing double-doubles in the loss.

The Frankston Blues hosted their first game for the round, winning 75-69 over the Melbourne Tigers. The Blues led all terms except the last, where they tied 22-22 to take out a six-point victory. The loss drops the Tigers to 12th and puts them in real danger of slipping further. Shereesha Richards dominated for the Blues, recording a double-double with 29 points and 10 rebounds. JoAnna Smith also impressed, lifting from 11-point average to snag 22 points and five rebounds in the win. For the Tigers, Kasey Burton led scoring with a double-double, recording 16 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. Teammates, Monique Conti (12 points), Louella Tomlinson (12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists) and Brianna Gray (12 points and four rebounds) also proved effective despite the loss.

In a similarly tight affair, the Frankston Blues suffer a loss to cross-town rivals in the Southern Sabres in a 93-98 thriller at Frankston Basketball Stadium. Despite the Blues opened the game with pure dominance, shutting the first term down 32-17 – taking a 51-40 lead into the main break. The Sabres bounced back in the third and fourth terms, outscoring the Blues 57-42 to win the game. Forward, Rachel Jarry, led scoring for the Sabres with 27 points, three rebounds and five assists. Her teammates, Morgan Riley (22 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Ella Batish (11 points, six rebound and six assists) assisting well on both ends in the win. The Blues boasted big performances from Richards (30 points, 12 rebounds and four assists), Smith (25 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Courtney Wilkins (17 points, eight rebounds and four assists).

The Bendigo Braves continued their nine consecutive win streak with a 90-68 victory over the Diamond Valley Eagles. The Braves currently boast the largest streak in the league in second position, and despite being matched well in the first term (24-24), added another victory comfortably with big second (21-10) and third term efforts (25-14). Rebecca Tobin recorded an impressive double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds from just 24 minutes. Her teammates also held up well in the win, with Bianca Dufelmeier (17 points and four rebounds), Tess Madgen (15 points, four rebounds and six assists) and Gabrielle Richards (12 points and eight rebounds) all combining well on the floor. For the Eagles, Shelby Cheslek dominated under the ring, dropping 19 points with 13 rebounds. Alex Wilson (13 points, three rebounds and seven assists) and Hope Terdich (12 points and five rebounds) also assisted well in offence despite a poor result.

The third-placed Knox Raiders have gone down at home against the Nunawading Spectres (84-101) in a high-scoring affair at State Basketball Centre. Despite opening up the first term 27-20, the Knox Raiders were simply outgunned by the Spectres, conceding two 30-point terms for the game. Kathleen Scheer did it all in the victory, amassing 23 points, seven rebounds and nine assists, coming close to triple-double territory. Maddie Garrick finished similarly with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists, alongside teammates, Rachel Antoniadou (18 points, seven rebounds and four assists), Kiera Rowe (15 points, six rebounds and five assists) and Rebecca Pizzey (13 points, 12 rebounds and four assists) who damaged well on both ends. For the Raiders, Marena Whittle was standout, recording 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists, alongside Maddison Wild who also impressed with 18 points and four rebounds.

In the final game of the round, the Waverly Falcons best cross-town rivals, Dandenong Rangers, in a 77-66 victory. The Rangers kept close at the main break – trailing 38-34 before losing touch in the final term. In the end, the Rangers were let down by weak defence, allowing 28 points from second chances to 10 in the loss. Tegan Cunningham finished just out of double-double territory in the win with 29 points, nine rebounds and two assists, alongside Carley Ernst who snared 14 points, 14 rebounds and four assists. For the Rangers, Rebecca Cole led with 22 points, five rebounds and three assists, followed close by Aimie Clydesdale who had 19 points and three rebounds in the defeat.

Round 13 Results:

Hobart Huskies (52) defeated by Kilsyth Cobras (102)
Bendigo Braves (90) defeated Diamond Valley Eagles (68)
Frankston Blues (75) defeated Melbourne Tigers (69)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (80) defeated by Eltham Wildcats (84)
Ballarat Rush (72) defeated Hobart Huskies (64)
Knox Raiders (84) defeated by Nunawading Spectres (101)
Ringwood Hawks (78) defeated Geelong Supercats (70)
Launceston Tornadoes (63) defeated by Kilsyth Cobras (85)
Frankston Blues (93) defeated by Southern Sabres (97)
Waverly Falcons (77) defeated Dandenong Rangers (66)

NBL1 Women’s Round 12 review: Top eight gap widens

THE gap between the top eight and bottom 10 in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition has increased, with Albury Wodonga Bandits’ victory over Frankston Blues, and losses to both Melbourne Tigers and Eltham Wildcats making it a six-point differential between the Bandits and Tigers. The Bandits proved to be more than a handful for the Blues, winning three of their four quarters on the way to a comfortable 22-point victory. Jessie Edwards had a night out with 32 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while Cherise Daniel (17 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals), Emilee Harmon (13 points, nine rebounds and five assists), Emma Mahady (14 points, four rebounds and eight assists) and Natalie Hurst (15 points, two rebounds and five assists) all made it a dominant performance by the Bandits’ starting five outfit. For Frankston, Taylor Lee (24 points, six rebounds and two assists) and Shereesha Richards (21 points, nine rebounds) were the two that stood up in the defeat.

The win was important for the Bandits considering Melbourne had knocked off Launceston Tornadoes the night before. The Tigers came from five points down at half-time to run out eight-point victors courtesy of a 13-point second half advantage. Louella Tomlinson topscored with 28 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and four blocks in a huge effort, while Monique Conti was also impressive with 23 points, three rebounds and two assists, as was Briana Gray (15 points, nine rebounds and two blocks). Stephanie Gardner was the dominant player on the court, sinking 31 points for the home side, while also recording 11 rebounds and four assists. Stella Beck had 19 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals in the other player to pick up a double-double for the Tornadoes. Melbourne could not have the same luck in the match against Hobart Huskies, ruing a slow start that saw them 13 points down at quarter time, before hitting back but falling five points short in a five-point defeat, 86-81. Kasey Burton was the key scorer for the Tigers in this game with 26 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Molly Matthews had 17 points and six rebounds, and Tomlinson picked up another 11 rebounds to go with her nine points. For the winners, Jennifer Schlott continued her great season with 34 points and six rebounds, while Nikki Greene picked up a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Sharna Thompson (21 points, five rebounds and four assists) and Tayla Roberts (11 points, nine rebounds and two assists) were the other two players who impressed in various areas of the game.

Ringwood navigated its way through a tough round of fixturing to end the weekend how it had started – in fourth spot. The Hawks knocked off Nunawading Spectres in a thrilling five-point win, before going down to Knox Raiders by just three points in an equally tight contest. In the victory, it was a second half comeback by the visitors, shooting 43 points to 33 after trailing by five at the main break. Cassidy Mihalko led the way with 25 points and a field goal percentage of 71.4, as well as nine rebounds and one steal. Megan Mullings picked up a double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four steals, while Danni Bone was also prolific with scoring, posting 16 points, three rebounds, three assists and four steals. Rachel Antoniadou was the key scorer for the losers with 18 points, four rebounds and two assists, while Maddie Garrick stepped up to record 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Rebecca Pizzey also picked up a double-double with 12 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks, while Kathleen Scheer (12 points, five rebounds and two steals) was solid. In the tight loss to the Raiders, the Hawks could not quite make the up the six-point quarter time deficit, cutting it back to three by the final break. Mullings did all she could with another double-double thanks to 27 points, 11 rebounds and four steals, while Mihalko (14 points, four rebounds) and Amanda Meinking (11 points, 15 rebounds) were also superb. For the winners, Marena Whittle dominated with 26 points of her own as well as nine rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Bec Ott (12 points, four rebounds and four assists) and Bree Whatman (11 points, three rebounds, seven assists and two steals) were others who finished the game with impressive numbers.

Nunawading recovered from the Ringwood loss to notch up a huge 30-point victory over Diamond Valley Eagles. The visitors never looked like losing the contest, as they had six players record double-figure points. Pizzey (12 points, 11 rebounds) picked up another double-double for the weekend, as did Scheer (12 points, 12 rebounds), while Chelsea D’Angelo was the key playmaker with 19 points, six assists and four rebounds, while Garrick (19 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals) and Antoniadou (18 points, four rebounds and three assists) were also big in the impressive win. For the Eagles, Shelby Chesiek was the standout player with 22 points, nine rebounds and two steals, while Hope Terdich had 11 points and six rebounds in the loss. The Eagles also suffered a loss to Ballarat Rush, going down 84-68. Chanise Jenkins (26 points, six rebounds, nine assists and five steals) and Hsi-le Bao (25 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) combined for 51 points in a dominant effort up the scoring end for the Rush, while Olivia Hackmann (15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals) was also consistent across the board, and Lucy Cochrane busy off the boards with 11 rebounds – eight defensive. Alex Wilson was the busiest Eagle on the night, picking up 14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals, while Terdich (14 points, six rebounds and three steals), Chesiek (six points, 11 rebounds and three assists) and Geraldine McCorkell (12 points, five rebounds and four assists) also tried hard in the match.

The top side had to work for it, but title favourites Geelong Supercats got the job done on the road against Southern Sabres, 66-59. The Supercats did enough in the first half to open up a nine-point lead and hold off the Sabres in the second half on their way to a seven-point triumph. Sara Blicavs (23 points, 12 rebounds and three steals) and Zitina Aokuso (17 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals) both picked up double-doubles while Rachel Jarry (13 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists) and Amy O’Neil (14 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals were the two standout players from the losing side. In the Sabres’ loss on the road against Waverley Falcons, a disappointing middle two terms led to the visitors going down 82-73. Tenaya Phillips (26 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and four steals) was the clear best for the Sabres in the loss, while Jarry was the other prominent scorer with 12 points and seven rebounds. For the Falcons, Kelly Bowen (23 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and three steals) and Tegan Cunningham (17 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two steals) picked up double-doubles, while Renae Mokrzycki helped herself to 15 points, four rebounds and four steals.

In the last couple of games, Kilsyth Cobras kept their top four hopes alive with an important 19-point win over Dandenong Rangers, while Bendigo Braves dominated Eltham Wildcats to make it difficult for the Wildcats to recover for finals. Kilsyth were on fire from the opening term, racing out to a 10-point quarter time lead and were never headed from there, triumphing 80-61. Sarah Boothe posted a double-double of 24 points and 13 rebounds as well as four assists and five steals, while Lauren Nicholson was another dominant force for the Cobras, finishing with 23 points, four rebounds and two assists. For the Rangers, Taylah Gillam topscored with 19 points, as well as four rebounds and three assists, while Colleen Planeta helped herself to a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds in the loss. In Bendigo’s massive 96-60 win over Eltham, the Braves handed the Wildcats their fifth consecutive loss, leaving them two games adrift of the top eight. Rebecca Tobin posted a massive double-double of 22 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three blocks, while Kelly Wilson (19 points, six rebounds and 14 assists) also collected one. Gabrielle Richards (16 points, seven rebounds) and Tessa Lavey (14 points, four assists and three steals) also impressed throughout the match. Kiara Mountford (16 points, six rebounds), Dyani Ananiev (14 points, three rebounds) and Vanessa Panousis (10 points, seven rebounds and three assists) were the top players for the Wildcats.

Round 12 results:

Launceston Tornadoes 79 defeated by Melbourne Tigers 87
Dandenong Rangers 61 defeated by Kilsyth Cobras 80
Southern Sabres 59 defeated by Geelong Supercats 66
Nunawading Spectres 73 defeated by Ringwood Hawks 78
Eltham Wildcats 60 defeated by Bendigo Braves 96
Hobart Huskies 86 defeated Melbourne Tigers 81
Albury Wodonga Bandits 98 defeated Frankston Blues 76
Ballarat Rush 84 defeated Diamond Valley Eagles 68
Diamond Valley Eagles 74 defeated by Nunawading Spectres 104
Knox Raiders 73 defeated Ringwood Hawks 70
Waverley Falcons 82 defeated Southern Sabres 73

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 Women’s Round 10 review: Sabres, Eagles wreak havoc on top eight sides

GEELONG Supercats, Bendigo Braves and Kilsyth Cobras’ winning runs continued as Dandenong Rangers’ poor form stretched another week in a big round of National Basketball League (NBL)1 Women’s action.

In the shocks of the round, bottom two sides Southern Sabres and Diamond Valley Eagles both picked up their third and second wins respectively to move up the table. The Sabres knocked off Dandenong Rangers by a point to mark the Rangers’ fourth consecutive loss and see Dandenong drop out of the top four for the first time. The Rangers led by as much as eight points at the final break, but a 25-16 final term in favour of the visitors saw the Sabres run over the top of the favourites. Ella Batish sank 21 points and had seven rebounds, while Tenaya Phillips helped herself to 18 points, five rebounds and five assists. Rachel Jarry (10 points, 12 rebounds and four assists) and Amelia Todhunter (four points, 10 rebounds and two assists) were huge off the boards. For the Rangers, Colleen Planeta stepped up with 20 points, five rebounds, three assists and three blocks, while Aimie Clydesdale (16 points, three rebounds) and Rosie Fadljevic (12 points, seven rebounds and two steals) worked hard to reach double-figure points.

Diamond Valley Eagles’ two-point win over Eltham Wildcats was equally as challenging, taking out the game 89-87 after trailing at the main break by six points. A determined second half saw the Eagles open it up and pile on 46 points to 38 to steal the three points and put Eltham’s top eight hopes in jeopardy. Anneli Maley has been a rock of consistency in an otherwise disappointing year for the Eagles, posting 27 points, 16 rebounds and six assists, but this week was joined by her four other starters who reached double-figure points. Shelby Cheslek (14 points, nine rebounds and four steals), Meg Crupi (14 points, three assists), Alex Wilson (13 points, six rebounds and seven assists) and Hope Terdich (12 points, seven rebounds) all impressed in a great team effort for the Eagles. In a losing side, Chelsea Schweers had a equal round-high 39 points to go with two rebounds and two assists, while Margaret Mulligan posted 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. In Eltham’s other loss, an equally heartbreaking – but spirited against a top three side – three-point defeat to Knox Raiders, Schweers produced a 27-point, seven-rebound game to lead the way, while Chelsea Brook had 20 points, five rebounds and two blocks. Lauren Scherf (17 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks) led the way for the Raiders in the 82-79 victory, while Abbey Wehrung (13 points, eight rebounds) and Marena Whittle (13 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks) were also impressive.

The win for Knox was an important one, having come after a 17-points loss to Kilsyth Cobras who took full advantage of Dandenong’s shock defeat to move into fourth spot on the table. The Cobras made it eight consecutive victories with the win over Knox, as Lauren Nicholson produced an equal round-high 39 points – shooting at 68 per cent from the floor and 80 per cent from three-point range – as well as 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals in an unbelievable game. Kara Tessari (12 points, 10 assists and three rebounds) and Sarah Boothe (10 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) both picked up double-doubles, while Klara Wischer was busy with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists. For the Raiders, Scherf helped herself to 15 points, five rebounds and two blocks, while Whittle had 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the defeat.

Another team that took advantage of Dandenong’s loss was Nunawading Spectres, moving to just percentage behind the Rangers in sixth. The Spectres’ fortress at Nunawading Basketball Centre continued as their record there stretched to 6-1, with a nine-point win over Melbourne Tigers. That result looked in doubt at the final break as the Tigers overturned a 10-point half-time deficit into a four-point lead at the final change. Despite the momentum with the visitors, Nunawading dug deep and produced a 29-16 final term to win, 75-66. Rachel Antoniadou top scored with 17 points, three assists, three rebounds and two steals for the Spectres, while Rachel Brewster (14 points, seven rebounds), Eliza Chilcott (12 points, nine rebounds and three assists) and Chelsea D’Angelo (12 points, four rebounds) were all impressive on the day. For the Tigers, Molly Matthews picked up a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, as Kasey Burton just missed out with 15 points and nine rebounds.

Meanwhile at the top of the table, Geelong Supercats reminded Ballarat Rush of what it takes to take down the best, running away with a 23-point win at home. The Supercats led early with a 12-point advantage at quarter time, and aside from the Rush cutting the half-time deficit back to five, it was Geelong’s game to lose and they showed that with a dominant 41-23 second half to make it 12-straight wins. Sara Blicavs (22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists) and Ezi Magbegor (16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks) were at their best, while Zitina Aokuso‘s (10 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and four blocks) work off the boards was rewarding for the winners. Unfortunately for the Rush, it was a one-player show with Chanise Jenkins (30 points, nine rebounds and five assists) picking up half of her team’s points, while Hsi-le Bao had 12 rebounds – eight defensive – to stand up when the Supercats were attacking.

Keeping close touch with the Supercats at the top, second placed Bendigo Braves came away with the points against Albury Wodonga Bandits, winning all four quarters on their way to a 76-57 victory. Rebecca Tobin posted a game-high 22 points, 12 rebounds and three assists, while Bianca Dufelmeier (19 points, five steals, two blocks and two rebounds) and Kelly Wilson (14 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals) were productive for the winners. Albury Wodonga had the two players reach double-figures with Emma Mahady (21 points, four rebounds and two assists) leading the way, while Jessie Edwards (14 points, five rebounds and two assists) was also solid.

In other results, Ringwood Hawks won a crucial game against Waverley Falcons to remain in the top eight, coming from seven points down at half-time to win, 71-67. Megan Mullings (27 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks) and Cassidy Mihalko (22 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals) did all the damage on the scoring front for the Hawks, while Kelly Bowen (18 points, seven rebounds and two assists) was the sole major scorer for the Falcons. In the all-Tasmanian battle, Hobart Huskies’ fast start of 31 points to 18 helped them race to a 90-69 victory over Launceston Tornadoes, ending the Tornadoes hopes of a finals berth, while keeping their own slim chances alive. Tayla Roberts helped herself to a massive game of 18 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while Jennifer Schlott (17 points, eight rebounds and nine assists) came agonisingly close to a rare triple-double. Sharna Thompson (17 points, seven rebounds) and Nikki Green (14 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and three blocks) were others who impressed for the Huskies. Stella Beck (23 points, 19 rebounds, four assists and three steals) was magnificent in the Tornadoes’ defeat. While Sarah O’Neill tried hard with 14 points and eight rebounds. In the other game, Frankston Blues continued their hunt for an unlikely finals berth after a slow start, posting a 12-point win over Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (CoE) in the nation’s capital. Shereesha Richards was the star for the Blues, posting 26 points, 12 rebounds and three steals, while Steph Reid (23 points, five rebounds, seven assists and three steals) was equally as dominant. Jade Melbourne came off the bench to sink 17 points, four rebounds and two assists for the CoE, while Gemma Potter had 14 points, six rebounds and two assists in the loss.

Round 10 results:

Geelong Supercats 83 defeated Ballarat Rush 60
Dandenong Rangers 69 defeated by Southern Sabres 70
Kilsyth Cobras 87 defeated Knox Raiders 70
Albury Wodonga Bandits 57 defeated by Bendigo Braves 76
Eltham Wildcats 87 defeated by Diamond Valley Eagles 89
Launceston Tornadoes 69 defeated by Hobart Huskies 90
Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 70 defeated by Frankston Blues 82
Knox Raiders 82 defeated Eltham Wildcats 79
Waverley Falcons 67 defeated by Ringwood Hawks 71
Nunawading Spectres 75 defeated Melbourne Tigers 66

NBL1 mid-season review: Melbourne Tigers

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 Melbourne Tigers, with the men on an impressive run of late, while the women have been inconsistent, but their best is good enough to match it with the top sides.

Men:

Position: 4th
Wins: 8
Losses: 4

Home: 7-1
Away: 1-3
Last 10: 7-3

Points For: 1038
Points Against: 1015
Percentage: 96.6
Points: 24

Summary:

After a shaky start to the season that saw the Tigers drop four of the first six games, Melbourne has turned its home venue, Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) into a fortress. The Tigers are on a six-game winning streak, largely thanks to a 7-1 record at home. On the road they are less confident, winning just one of four, but have set themselves up for a run at the double chance. The star all season has been Nic Pozoglou (21.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals) who has been near-unstoppable at times, while Dane Pineau (16.8 points, 15.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.1 blocks) has become a massive addition to the line-up, teaming up well with Mike Wells (12.7 points, 1.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.8 steals) and Michael Luxford (11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.2 steals), while William Hickey‘s (9.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steals) work off the bench has been handy.

The run home:

R10: Nunawading Spectres (A)
R11: Baskewtball Australia Centre of Excellence (H)
R12: North West Thunder (A) | Hobart Huskies (A)
R13: Frankston Blues (A)
R14: Hobart Huskies (H)
R15: Ballarat Miners (A) | Eltham Wildcats (H)

The run home is far from easy, facing the top two sides in the final eight games, while also having to play a further two sides in the top eight, and do the double down in Tasmania. Given their record, the Tigers would only need about three wins to lock up finals which they should do easily, but they will also be keen to aim higher and go for top four.

Women:

Position: 10th
Wins: 6
Losses: 6

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

Points For: 853
Points Against: 864
Percentage: 96.5
Points: 18

Summary:

The greatest claim to a yo-yo season to date, the Tigers have not won nor lost more than two consecutive games. They looked down early, then had a nice couple of wins, dropped back and have picked up again. Trying to work out where they will finish is difficult given the talent on the list, but the obvious inconsistency thus far. Only two players – Louella Tomlinson (16.5 points, 10.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 3.3 blocks and 1.2 steals) and Kasey Burton (7.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals) – have started in all 12 games, while Monique Conti (20.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals) and Molly Matthews (7.3 points, 4.8 rebounds) have been important players throughout the season. The addition of Jenna O’Hea (25.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks) was massive, but she has only managed the three games to-date.

The run home:

R10: Nunawading Spectres (A)
R11: Baskewtball Australia Centre of Excellence (H)
R12: Launceston Tornadoes (A) | Hobart Huskies (A)
R13: Frankston Blues (A)
R14: Hobart Huskies (H)
R15: Ballarat Rush (A) | Eltham Wildcats (H)

The main goal for the Tigers will be to get more consistency in their game from week to week and try and push into the top eight. They will look to win more than half of their remaining eight games to be a chance of finals, and with the evenness of the competition, they will need to knock off those teams around them. With just Nunawading Spectres (sixth) and Eltham Wildcats (eighth) above them, every game is winnable for the tenth placed Tigers, they just need to find the grove.

NBL1 Women’s Round 9 review: Supercats juggernaut continues to purr as four of top five extend winning streaks

THE remarkable run for Geelong Supercats, Bendigo Braves, Knox Raiders and Kilsyth Cobras continued in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 women’s competition over the weekend, with the respective sides extending their winning streaks to 11, five, five and seven games respectively. The most impressive of all winning streaks was the Supercats, who made it into double figures with back-to-back wins in the Apple Isle. The Supercats knocked off Hobart Huskies on Friday night by 28 points, before downing the Launceston Tornadoes in a 14-point win. In the victory over the Huskies, it was Ezi Magbegor (24 points, seven rebounds and two blocks) and Zitina Aokuso (20 points, 11 rebounds and two assists) who hit the scoreboard, but Sarah Blicavs (12 points, 11 rebounds and six assists) and Alex Duck (eight points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals) were key off the boards. Hobart’s top players were Sharna Thompson (14 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Ellie Collins (14 points, five rebounds and two assists). In the Launceston victory, Aokuso piled on 25 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while Magbegor (19 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks), Duck (17 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and two steals) and Blicavs (13 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and two steals) were again prominent. For the Tornadoes, Stella Beck picked up a double-double with 17 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and five blocks to be the home side’s best, while Rebeca Abel (20 points, four rebounds) and Stephanie Gardner (15 points, four rebounds and four assists) were also impressive.

Melbourne Tigers had an impressive win over Albury Wodonga Bandits after trailing at quarter time to win 78-59 on Sunday afternoon. Monique Conti posted 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while Louella Tomlinson added 14 points, nine rebounds, 10 assists and four blocks. Molly Matthews had 13 points and six rebounds, as Kasey Burton was also productive with 11 points and nine rebounds. Cherise Daniel was the top points scorer on the night, sinking 29 points for the Bandits along with three rebounds and two assists, while Jessie Edwards picked up a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Bandits also fell victim to a red-hot Nunawading Spectres with the visitors getting up by 10 points, 83-73 at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre. Daniel did her best with another impressive shooting effort, sinking 19 points and picking up three rebounds, while Edwards (17 points, seven rebounds) and Natalie Hurst (12 points, six rebounds) were others who stood tall in defeat. For the winners, Kathleen Scheer posted a double-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Kiera Rowe and Rachel Antoniadou both registered 14 points. Eliza Chilcott had a memorable all-round game with 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in the win.

Second placed Bendigo Braves picked up another two wins with a 25-point victory over Southern Sabres on Saturday, before doubling up with a win on the road against Ringwood Hawks, 72-60 to make it five consecutive victories. In the win over the Sabres, Kelly Wilson top scored with 21 points, five rebounds, 10 assists and six steals in a massive game both ways, while Rebecca Tobin was equally as impressive, sinking 21 points and picking up nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Tessa Lavey was the key playmaker with 11 points, 12 assists and three rebounds in the win. For the Sabres, Tenaya Phillips was the top points scorer with 21, as well as three rebounds and three assists, while Rachel Jarry was also impressive with 16 points, four rebounds and three assists. A 14-4 third term set up Bendigo’s 12-point win over Ringwood after leading by just three at the main break. Wilson again had a big game with 21 points, four rebounds and eight assists, while Tobin picked up 15 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Lavey (12 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals) was also impressive. For the Hawks, Antonia Farnworth was the top scorer with 16 points, while ending the match with five rebounds, six assists and two steals. Danni Bone (10 points, six rebounds and three assists) was the other Hawk to reach double figures.

Knox Raiders snapped up Dandenong Rangers’ third spot with a 76-65 victory to continue their winning run of five consecutive victories, while handing the Rangers their third consecutive loss following a 9-1 start to the season. Lauren Scherf was best on court with 33 points and an unbelievable 26 rebounds – 21 of which came off the defensive board to deny the Rangers of many offensive second chances. She also had four assists, with teammate Abbey Wehrung leading an equal game-high seven assists, as well as 15 points and four rebounds. Marena Whittle was the other Raider with a double-double, picking up 15 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Colleen Planeta stood up in defeat for the Rangers, posting 25 points and eight rebounds, while Rosie Fadljevic managed 11 points and seven rebounds in the loss.

The other big winner on the weekend was Kilsyth Cobras, holding off a determined Eltham Wildcats by two points, before having a more comfortable 20-point victory over Waverley Falcons the day after. The Cobras set up the narrow win over the Wildcats with a 21-11 first term, and while the Wildcats won each subsequent quarter, still fell two points short in the 69-67 defeat. The win made it the Cobras’ seventh consecutive victory after being a remarkable 1-4 to start the season. Lauren Nicholson was the star for the winners with 25 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Kara Tessari was the other player to reach double figures with 10 points, four steals and two assists. Klara Wischer (eight points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals) and Emily Fryters (four points, nine rebounds, three assists and four steals) had a strong defensive presence. Vanessa Panousis top scored for the home side with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Abbey Ellis had 14 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals in the loss. In the big win over Waverley, Nicholson again did the bulk of the scoring with 20 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals, but it was more evenly spread this time with Tessari (15 points, two rebounds, four assists), Alison Downie (13 points, two rebounds and three steals) and Taylor Mathers (10 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals) all reaching double-figure points tallies.

A one-point loss at the hands of Ringwood Hawks ultimately stopped Ballarat Rush having a remarkable six-game winning streak, after taking care of Frankston Blues in an equally tight two-point win. There would have been some seriously tense moments in the Rush coaching space after trailing by by three points at the final break against Ringwood. The Rush hit hard in the final term, winning it 15-13 but ultimately falling short, 76-75. Cassidy Mihalko (24 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and three steals) and Megan Mullings (22 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks) were the two dominant scorers for the Hawks, while Farnworth had a handy nine points, eight rebounds and five assists in the win. For the Rush, Olivia Hackmann was a standout, posting a game-high 30 points, as well as 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals. Chanise Jenkins (18 points, eight assists, two rebounds and two steals) was the other Rush player to stand up in the tight contest. It took until overtime for the Rush to finally dismiss Frankston Blues in an 89-87 victory, but it was worth the wait. Hackmann again was superb, posting 32 points and seven rebounds, while Jenkins (16 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Hsi-le Bao (12 points, 11 rebounds) were also impressive in the win. For the Blues, Steph Reid posted 25 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals in another big game, while Taylor Lee had 24 points, three rebounds and six assists. Shereesha Richards‘ 14 points and 11 rebounds was a strong effort, as was Saraid Taylor‘s 19 and four.

In the final match to be covered over the weekend, Frankston notched up an 18-point victory over Diamond Valley Eagles. The result came before the heartbreaking loss to the Rush, having started strong to lead by as much as 20 points at the final break for the Eagles won the last term. Richards had a big game with 25 points and 11 rebounds – seven defensive – while Lee had 12 points, 11 assists, four rebounds and two steals in a double-double effort. For the Eagles, Anneli Maley again was the star for the Eagles, scoring 23 points and amassing a massive 19 rebounds – 14 defensive – while Hope Terdich picked up 15 points and nine rebounds in the loss.

Results:

Hobart Huskies 62 defeated by Geelong Supercats 90
Launceston Tornadoes 71 defeated by Geelong Supercats 85
Diamond Valley Eagles 81 defeated by Frankston Blues 99
Bendigo Braves 95 defeated Southern Sabres 70
Eltham Wildcats 67 defeated by Kilsyth Cobras 69
Albury Wodonga Bandits 73 defeated by Nunawading Spectres 83
Ballarat Rush 75 defeated by Ringwood Hawks 76
Knox Raiders 76 defeated Dandenong Rangers 65
Ringwood Hawks 60 defeated by Bendigo Braves 72
Frankston Blues 87 defeated by Ballarat Rush 89
Waverley Falcons 49 defeated by Kilsyth Cobras 69
Melbourne Tigers 78 defeated Albury Wodonga Bandits 59