Tag: logan thunder

2020 QSL team review: Logan Thunder

IN a series wrapping up the 2020 Queensland State League (QSL) season, we take a look back at each of the 12 clubs in both the men’s and women’s competitions and how they performed across the season. We continue our review series with the first of our two premiers for season 2020, Logan Thunder, who took out the women’s title and also reached the post-season series in the men’s competition.

Men’s:

Position: 6th (Quarter final loss)
Wins: 6
Losses: 5
For: 1069
Against: 969

The men’s side reached the finals series but fell 19 points short in the quarter finals to eventual premiers, Brisbane Capitals. The Thunder were no strangers to huge totals, hitting more than 95 points in eight of the 12 games, including five tons. They started off shaky with five losses in six games to sit 1-5 and look almost out of the finals race. The Thunder kick-started their season with a 15-point win over North Gold Coast Seahawks and went on to win five straight matches to finish the year on a high, but ultimately could not quite overcome the strength of the Capitals.

Experienced Chris Cedar averaged an impressive 20.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 10 games throughout the season, one of four players to hit double-figure points averages. Atem Bior (16.2 points, 7.7 rebounds), Mitchell Young (14.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists) and Kian Dennis (11.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists) also stood out from a scoring front, playing all 12 games. Michael Cedar was another key distributor, averaging the 4.1 dimes to go with 5.1 rebounds and 9.3 points.

Women’s:

Position: 1st (Premiers)
Wins: 11
Losses: 0
For: 1028
Against: 560

There was no faulting the Thunder women’s side, quite literally with an undefeated season. They just got better and better as the season rolled on, passing every test and not scoring less than 76 points all season. Their tightest matches came in the opening two rounds, winning by 13 and 15 points against RedCity Roar and Southern District Spartans. From there, they never looked liked losing a game with the next closest win a whopping 27 points against Gold Coast Rollers. Some of their victories included 78 points against Toowoomba Mountaineers, 59 points against Northside Wizards and 56 points against Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal. They smashed Ipswich Force by a huge 62 points in the semi-finals, then held off Southern District Spartans for the second time in 2020, winning 85-61 to claim the title.

Mikaela Ruef had a remarkable year in a team that had no shortage of contributors week-in, week-out. Ruef finished with a whopping 22.3 points, 18.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists as one of the stars of the QSL competition. Mikhaela Cann (11.8 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds) was not too far behind, while Chevannah Paalvast (11.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists) and Ashley Taia (11.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists) also averaged double-figure points and had massive influence across the court. Cassie Carroll (8.1 points, 3.9 rebounds) and Danielle Bayes (13.1 points, 3.2 assists) provided great support all over in what was a remarkable team performance from start to finish.

Picture: Stephen Schulz Photography

Capitals and Phoenix Teal move through to next stage of finals

IT was a big weekend of Queensland State League (QSL) Men’s action with Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal and Brisbane Capitals progressing through to the semi-finals. Phoenix Teal caused somewhat of an upset defeating their higher ranked opponent, while it was no surprise the Capitals got the win over Thunder, after narrowly missing a top two position based on percentage. The two winners will now face RedCity Roar and Ipswich Force who bypassed the quarter finals stage.

Southern Districts Spartans (96) defeated by Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal (107)

Phoenix Teal flipped the script on the Spartans in their quarter final clash, downing the higher ranked side by 11 points. Sunshine Coast made it count on the scoreboard sitting at 58 per cent from inside the paint, while the Spartans struggled to find their stroke at 47 per cent. Phoenix Teal also showcased their hot hand from the charity strip boasting a higher percentage after sinking 23 shots from 25 attempts. Phoenix Teal flexed in a number facets of the game leading the steals and blocks count and while the Spartans clinched one more rebound (35-34), Sunshine Coast was simply too strong. On the turnover front, Southern Districts was costly with ball in hand throwing the ball away 15 times, while Phoenix Teal only registered 12.

Jamaal Robateau led all comers when it came to points sinking 31 for the match while also amassing eight assists and two blocks in what was a solid performance for Sunshine Coast. He was well-aided by Zane Meehl who knocked back 18 points of his own and collected five rebounds all of which were defensive in the process. Nelson Kahler recorded a double-double for Phoenix Teal finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds to his name while also highlighting his defensive attributes managing four blocks. Teammate Jonathan Jassan also inflicted plenty of scoreboard pain with 17 points while Oscar Cluff was the only other player to enter double digits with 10 points for the game. For the Spartans, Tyrell Harrison was the most prolific downing 19 points and dragging in 10 rebounds in a desperate effort for his side while Kobe McDowell-White was the next closest with 15 points, all of which came through triples highlighting his skill from deep. Anei Muorter and Joshua Derksen also plied their trade combining for 22 points and eight assists but it was not enough to get the Spartans over the line.

The win sees Sunshine Coast prepare to take on RedCity Roar in an almighty clash on Friday night.

Brisbane Capitals (117) defeated Logan Thunder (98)

Brisbane Capitals made no mistake against Logan Thunder, ticking all the boxes in their clash to ensure they pushed through to the second week of finals and kept their premiership dreams alive. They ran out 19-point victors thanks to their three-point accuracy, and while Thunder boasted a higher two-point and free throw percentage they had limited opportunities to attack the rim credit to the Capitals’ pressure. Brisbane reigned supreme when it came to rebounds with 10 more than the Thunder 46-36 and also had a lower turnover rate with 12 compared to the Thunder’s 17. The Capitals were clever with ball in hand racking up 24 assists while Logan only managed 15 and while the latter generated more blocks and steals could not capitalise on their opportunities.

It looked like Jason Cadee had his own ball out on court and simply could not be stopped finding the rim with great ease, evident through his game-high 41 points. He sat at 54 per cent from three-point range, nailing seven of his 13 attempts and fell just short of a double-double thanks to his eight assists. Nicholas Stoddart was another key contributor for the winners, adding 24 points to the scoreboard while Timothy Soong also starred sinking 18 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in an all-round strong performance. Didan Toto fell short of a double-double finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds, seven defensive in his 30 minutes on court. While the Capitals had Cadee, Thunder looked to Christopher Cedar to stand up and that he did, nailing 33 points with his 100 per cent accuracy from the charity strip paying dividends. Cedar also managed 10 rebounds and three steals in a gallant performance despite being in a losing side. Thomas Ammar also lent a hand to the scoreboard with 20 points, as did teammate Mitchell Young who managed 17 points and eight rebounds.

The Capitals will now take on Ipswich Force in the semi-final on Saturday making for an exciting clash.

Picture: Joy Hooper

QSL Men’s quarter finals preview: Capitals and Spartans to host do-or-die finals

IT is set to be a big weekend of Queensland Basketball League (QSL) Men’s action as four teams battle it out to progress to the next stage of finals and keep their premiership hopes alive. RedCity Roar and Ipswich Force have already booked their spot in the round two action of the finals after finishing first and second respectively, and will be awaiting the winner of the two quarter finals whether it be Southern Districts Spartans, Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal, Brisbane Roar or Logan Thunder.

Southern Districts Spartans v. Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal
Saturday, 17 October

In a battle of fourth verse fifth expect plenty of fireworks and excitement as both sides endeavour to make it to next week. The last time these two sides met was in Round 8 as the Spartans run out victorious by 15 points against a feat they will be hoping to repeat in the final. On the other hand Phoenix Teal will be hoping to flip the script. Accuracy seemed to be the main area of concern for Sunshine Coast converting at a lower clip than the Spartans something they will be acutely aware of heading into the clash.

In their last outing, Anei Muorter was the dominant scorer sinking 20 points while Callum Dalton was not far behind with 19 points and eight rebounds. Tyrell Harrison was another key contributor with 14 points and nine rebounds while his ability to block the ball provides plenty of excitement and opportunities for the Spartans something they will be hoping to re-create once again. they were however without the services of Tamuri Wigness who has proven to be a key figure when it comes to dishing off dimes and setting up attacking forays.

For the Phoenix Teal they will be looking to the likes of Jamaal Robateau to lead the way having piled on 27 points in their last encounter and picking up a massive nine steals. Robateau will a player the Spartans look to stop given his dominance and ability to tear game apart. Another player that cannot be overlooked is Nelson Kahler  who is both able to hit the scoreboard with great ease while also ply his trade off the boards. Jonathan Jassen can sometimes fly under the radar but has had a recent run of hot form coming off 24 and 25-point outings and will be eager to bring that rhythm into the clash on Saturday.

If recent history is anything to go by it is fair to say that the result is in favour of the Spartans however finals basketball brings a whole new level of intensity and desperation making it anyone’s game.

Brisbane Capitals v. Logan Thunder
Sunday, 18 October

The second and final game of quarter finals sees Brisbane Roar and Logan Thunder go head to head on Sunday. It has been a strong season for the Roar finishing in third thanks to their nine wins from 11 games and feel agonisingly short of second spot so expect them to come out with a real fire in the belly. The Thunder have been somewhat up and down winning six games and losing five making for an interesting contest between the two sides. Last time they locked horns it was the Roar that came out on top albeit by 11 points in a much closer match than many anticipated something the Thunder will take plenty of confidence out of.

The Capitals boast a wealth of scoring options with Jason Cadee the most dominant of all sitting fourth in the competition for average points with 23.36 a game while also proving to be a handy option on the assist leading the league with 6.91 a game. Cadee will be the one the thunder have to stop given he is also renowned for his ability to cleanly contest the ball and win it back. Jarred Bairstow is another concern for the Thunder given his ability to find the rim and score nailing 25 points last time they met while also putting on a show in the rebounding front with 14 to his name. Cameron Goldfinch and Timothy Soong are others able to have an impact and keep the scoreboard ticking over for the Capitals.

The Thunder are not without their own stars with Christopher Cedar proving to be a real thorn in the Capitals’ side last time the two sides met, knocking back 29 points and while he has been a fraction quieter over the past couple of weeks he will draw plenty of confidence form that performance. Thomas Ammar stepped up to the plate converting 20 points from his 31 minutes on court while Atem Bior also flexed his muscles with 18 points and an impressive 15 rebounds nine of them defensive showcasing just how much of a threat he can be, when firing on all cylinder.

It will take a team effort from Logan Thunder if they are to ruffle the feathers of the Capitals and get the win, given the multiple avenues in which the latter possess to not only score but so too defend.

Picture: Lachlan Nuttall

QSL Men’s Round 9 preview: Gold Coast Roll into Logan for penultimate round

IN a short season, it is hard to believe the Queensland State League (QSL) competition is almost done and dusted with sides heading out for their penultimate round of basketball action. Our previewed match of the round sees Logan Thunder hosting Gold Coast Rollers in a seventh-against-eighth clash.

There are a number of lopsided clashes predicted for the weekend, with a top-against-bottom match between RedCity Roar and North Gold Coast Seahawks, with Harry Froling and the Roar expected to make it into double-digits when it comes to win, whilst the same could be said for the Seahawks, but on the other end of the scale as they hold an 0-9 record. Top four side Ipswich Force are capable of anything, and led by Nathan Sobey are expected to put away the 10th placed Northside Wizards.

In a much closer Saturday clash, Jarred Bairstow and his third placed Brisbane Capitals host Jamaal Robateau and his fifth placed Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal in what will likely shape as a massive clash in the lead-up to finals. It would be our match of the round given the talent on court, but both sides have featured in that regard over the past couple of weeks. In some Friday night fixtures, Robateau and his side first take on the Wizards in a fixture they hope to win, and could level with the Capitals if they can beat them on Saturday and claim back-to-back wins. Also on Friday night, USC Rip City hosts the second placed South Districts Spartans in a game that could well be lop-sided, but the former have nothing to lose at home.

Getting stuck into the must-win match between Logan Thunder and Gold Coast Rollers, the stakes are huge with the teams both sitting just outside a finals place – top six – with the Thunder set to take sixth place if they win give South West Metro Pirates are not playing this weekend. The Rollers are still two wins back which means they cannot afford to drop anymore games in the run to the finals, so this is the first of a virtual elimination final for them.

The Rollers come in off the back of a relieving win against Northside Wizards which kept their season alive after back-to-back losses against the Pirates and Capitals hurt. They showed they can match it with the top sides however, not blown away and even beat Phoenix Teal by eight points, but have just struggled on the offensive end, ranked ninth for points for. Defensively they hold up pretty well compared to others, but as a general rule of thumb have been involved in more lower scoring contests, whereas their opponents have put up some massive scorers, but also conceded them.

Logan Thunder are on a three-game winning streak after starting the season 1-5 and now remain a huge chance for finals. They copped a really unlucky draw with the top five teams in the opening six matches, and has since played three of the bottom four sides and capitalised in those games.

Chris Cedar has had a strong influence on the Thunder this season, averaging 19.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists, really doing it all for his side. They have four players in double-digit points, with Atem Bior in some handy form, playing every game this season and putting up 17.3 points and 8.1 rebounds, similar numbers to Mitchell Young (13.8 points, 8.6 rebounds), while Kian Dennis has also been impressive (12.2 points, 4.2 rebounds).

For the Rollers, Jalen Patton Croker leads the way with 19.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists for his side, while Adrian La Fleur (13.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists), Jaze Morris (11.8 points, 3.8 rebounds) and Tidjane Diop (11.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists) has also been prominent. The Rollers have missed the impact of Levi Frankland of late having averaged 15.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists from the five games to start the season

Logan Thunder arguably have the edge in this one, they are in some good form and have been gelling well over the last few weeks. While this is expected to be a thriller and could go either way, the Thunder seem to be building towards finals now.

QSL MEN’S ROUND 9 FIXTURES:

Friday, October 2:

Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal (5th, 5-3) vs. Northside Wizards (10th, 2-6)
USC Rip City (11th, 2-7) vs. Southern Districts Spartans (2nd, 7-2)

Saturday, October 3:

Brisbane Capitals (3rd, 7-2) vs. Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal (5th, 5-3)
Logan Thunder (7th, 4-5) vs. Gold Coast Rollers (8th, 3-5)
Ipswich Force (4th, 6-2) vs. Northside Wizards (10th, 2-6)
RedCity Roar (1st, 9-0) vs. North Gold Coast Seahawks (12th, 0-9)

Photo: Stephen Schulz Photography

QSL Men’s Round 7 preview: Thunder look to build momentum in bottom two clash

USC RIP City and Toowoomba Mountaineers will double-up over the weekend with each of the other 10 Queensland State League (QSL) Men’s teams taking to the court once over the weekend. USC face Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal tomorrow night before taking on Ipswich Force on Saturday, whilst Toowoomba travel to take on the Southern Districts Spartans on Saturday ahead of the standalone clash with RedCity Roar on Sunday.

Our predicted match of the round is the bottom two clash between North Gold Coast Seahawks and Logan Thunder with just one win from 12 games between the sides. Whilst they have been struggling thus far in the QSL season, the match presents both sides with a chance of winning. The Thunder’s sole win came against South West Metro Pirates three weeks ago, when they toppled the sixth placed side by 15 points in an upset. Whilst their win-loss record might look bad, they have taken it up to the top sides in a rather unlucky fixture to-date.

Against the top five teams they lost to RedCity Roar (1st) by 13 points, Brisbane Capitals (2nd) by 11 points, Southern District Spartans (3rd,) by 19 points, Ipswich Force (4th) by two points and Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal (5th) by 10 points. In other words, their five losses have come against top five teams, and the win came against the sixth placed Pirates. So with a good run of fixturing, the Thunder could build some momentum in the second half of the season.

The Seahawks on the other hand, have not been so close, with similar opponents, losing to Brisbane (35 points), Southern Districts (66 points) and Sunshine Coast (50 points), as well as a 30-point loss to the Mountaineers, a 23-point loss to the Gold Coast Rollers, and most recently, a 44-point loss to the Pirates. Their 11-point defeat to Northside Wizards in Round 1 was the closest they got and is the only one under 20 points.

Looking at the top Seahawks for offence, Jesse Lomax is leading the way with 12.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists this season. He is well ahead of the next highest in Maika Shortland (7.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists), whilst a number of players have contributed five points per game for the league’s last placed side. The troubles have come with assists, as Shortland’s two per game is the highest in his team and only five players average between 1.0 and 2.0 per game. Rebounding wise, they share the load with Loseli Tupou averaging 4.1 per game to go with his 6.9 points per game.

By comparison, the Thunder have had no troubles scoring with Chris Cedar putting up 23 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.4 assists, whilst Atem Bior has been dominant off the boards with 7.8 rebounds and 16.2 points. Mitchell Young (14.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists) is close to a double-double, whilst Michael Cedar has been a facilitator on transition with 3.4 assists to go with 5.4 rebounds and 11.4 points. The Thunder go in as strong favourites for the clash given their tough fixture and efforts, but the Seahawks will be keen to take over with the home court advantage.

In another crucial match over the weekend, third placed Southern District Spartans host the seventh placed Toowoomba Mountaineers in what could be telling in the run home to the finals. The Spartans are looking for their sixth win of the season, while the Mountaineers will hope to balance their win-loss record at 4-4. The other standalone clash by two teams only playing one game is the sixth placed South Metro Pirates up against ninth placed Northside Wizards.

Of the double-ups, USC Rip City have the tough challenges up against top five sides, Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal and Ipswich Force, whilst the Mountaineers will need to be at their best to take down the undefeated RedCity Roar. Meanwhile, second placed Brisbane Capitals travel to lock horns with eighth placed Gold Coast Rollers in what looms as a huge match between the sides.

Friday, September 18:

USC Rip City (10th, 2-4) vs. Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal (5th, 4-2)

Saturday, September 19:

Gold Coast Rollers (8th, 2-4) vs. Brisbane Capitals (2nd, 6-1)
Ipswich Force (4th, 4-2) vs. USC Rip City (10th, 2-4)
North Gold Coast Seahawks (12th, 0-7) vs. Logan Thunder (11th, 1-5)
Southern Districts Spartans (3rd, 5-2) vs. Toowoomba Mountaineers (7th, 3-4)
South West Metro Pirates (6th, 4-4) vs. Northside Wizards (9th, 2-4)

Sunday, September 20:

Toowoomba Mountaineers (7th, 3-4) vs. RedCity Roar (1st, 6-0)

Picture: David Price – Strategic Productions

QSL Women’s Round 6 preview: Top of the table clash to light up weekend

A TOP of the table Queensland State League (QSL) Women’s clash between Logan Thunder and Brisbane Capitals is our match of Round 6. In a weekend that features just five games – Gold Coast Rollers and USC Rip City have the bye – the undefeated Thunder and the 5-1 Capitals appear to be two of the clear standouts this season. With the 4-2 Rollers having the bye, the winner will move to six wins – two clear inside the top three – whilst the loser will likely slip to third with Southern District Spartans (5-1) also taking to the court on the weekend.

The Capitals are the home side, and after winning their first two games of the season, dropped the Round 3 clash against a Maddison Rocci-inspired USC Rip City. They bounced back the very next day with a punishing 65-point shellacking of the winless Toowoomba Mountaineer, a defeat which is rarely ever seen on a basketball court. They escaped with a one-point win over Northside Wizards and then comfortably took care of North Gold Coast Seahawks to sit with an average score of 78.7 points, the third most in the competition, whilst only conceding 58.8 points, ranked second overall.

The only problem is their opposition is ranked number one, and while the Thunder do have a game in hand (5-0), they have only allowed a measly 53 points per game this season. In the past two weeks, they have conceded just 67 points combined, whilst piling on 173 themselves. With an average of 87.4 points per game, the Thunder are ranked second on offence – behind the Spartans – but also accounted for the Spartans 76-61 three weeks ago. That result was their only score below 80, as they have achieved scores of 89 (once) and 94 (twice) to give an indication of how potent they are on attack.

What makes the Thunder so damaging is their ability to share the load on the scoring end. Mikaela Ruef is the star of the show, with 18.6 points, 14.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists. But the opposition cannot afford to just try and shut her down, as the likes of Ashley Taia (11.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists), Mikhaela Cann (11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists) and Chevannah Paalvast (11.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists) are more than capable of putting up big numbers. Ruef also leads the steals count for the Thunder with 3.0 per game, and blocks with 1.2 per game showing she has an all-round attitude.

The Capitals also like to share the points around, with Georgia Woolley having the most points on the court in this match, dropping 19.0 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Madison Woodford is not far behind with 13.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists, while Meg Essex (13.6 points, 8.4 rebounds) and Anna Cameron (10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds) have been huge off the boards. Essex in particular has a huge job because she leads the league in blocks. In by leading the league, she is double the next highest blocker in the competition, averaging 2.4 blocks per game. Likewise, Woodford and Woolley are both strong on defence, with Woodford averaging 4.0 steals per game, and Woodford 3.3.

The Thunder head into the game as favourites, but the Capitals are just as strong defensively, so it will be a fascinating contest to watch.

In other games over the weekend, Steph Reid and the Northside Wizards will look to square their season ledger at three wins from six games when they welcome the Toowoomba Mountaineers to town. The last placed Mountaineers have struggled this season, and trying to contain the second highest scorer this season will be a challenge. Meanwhile the other bottom three sides face off in the 1-6 11th placed South West Metro Pirates hosting the 10th placed North Gold Coast Seahawks (2-4). Lauren Jansen is enjoying a good season off the boards for the Seahawks and will be looking for that to continue against Bree Farley and her Pirates.

In the other games, the damaging duo of Ashleigh Karaitiana and Lauren Mansfield will look to bring home another win to the RedCity Roar and keep in touch with the top few teams when they travel to take on Amy Browne and the Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal. Meanwhile seventh placed Ipswich Force led by Amy Lewis (24.0 points per game) locks horns with the 3rd placed Spartans with Madelyn Willey (23.2 points per game) enjoying a strong season.

Saturday, September 12:

Brisbane Capitals (2nd, 5-1) vs. Logan Thunder (1st, 5-0)
Ipswich Force (7th, 2-3) vs. Southern Districts Spartans (3rd, 5-1)
Northside Wizards (8th, 2-3) vs. Toowoomba Mountaineers (12th, 0-6)
Sunshine Coast Phoenix Teal (9th, 2-3) vs. RedCity Roar (5th, 3-2)
South West Metro Pirates (11th, 1-6) vs. North Gold Coast Seahawks (10th, 2-4)

Byes: Gold Coast Rollers, USC Rip City

Picture: Stephen Schulz Photography