Tag: Rebecca Tobin

2019/20 WNBL Team of the Week: Round 7

THEY have had differing formlines of late and even this season, but Southside Flyers, Melbourne Boomers and Bendigo Spirit finished the weekend with a couple of players in our Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) Team of the Week. In what was another difficult week to narrow down the players to just 10, every other team had at least one nominee with the exception of cellar dwellers Townsville Fire who missed out on a nominee this round.

Bendigo’s duo of Tessa Lavey and Rebecca Tobin both made the starting line-up, with Lavey sinking 16 points, five rebounds, 11 assists and two steals, while Tobin was instrumental in center with 8 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and three blocks. Tobin won the stating spot over Mercedes Russell with the Flyers’ center also impressing with a double-double average. Russell was joined on the bench by teammate, Jenna O’Hea.

Melbourne Boomers’ duo Madeleine Garrick and Cayla George also made the starting side, with Garrick a standout guard over the round, posting 26 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals, while George was named as a forward this week with five points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, two steals and four blocks. Rounding out the starting side was Team of the Week regular, Kelsey Griffin who had 27 points, seven rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block over the weekend.

Perth Lynx’s Katie-Rae Ebzery and Adelaide Lightning’s Lauren Nicholson fill out the bench guard spots for Round 7, while forward, Jessica Kuster has been named in the side. They were far from the only contenders however, with a trio of Flyers (Rebecca Cole, Leilani Mitchell and Sara Blicavs), a duo from Sydney Uni Flames (Alex Wilson and Alice Kunek), a duo from Townsville Fire (Julie Vanloo and Abby Bishop), UC Capitals’ Kia Nurse and Adelaide’s Stephanie Talbot.

STARTING FIVE:

G: Madeleine Garrick (MB) – 26 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 0 blocks, 56.3 FG%
G: Tessa Lavey (BS) – 16 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks, 36.8 FG%
C: Rebecca Tobin (BS) – 8 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, 40.0 FG%
F: Kelsey Griffin (UC) – 27 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, 73.3 FG%
F: Cayla George (MB) – 5 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 4 blocks, 16.7 FG%

BENCH:

G; Katie-Rae Ebzery (PL) – 14 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks, 33.3 FG%
G: Lauren Nicholson (AD) – 13 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 38.5 FG%
C: Mercedes Russell (SF) – 20.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 3.0 steals, 2.0 blocks, 53.8 FG%
F: Jessica Kuster (SU) – 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.5 blocks, 76.5 FG%
F: Jenna O’Hea (SF) – 10.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.0 blocks, 37.0 FG%

2019/20 WNBL Team of the Week: Round 6

EIGHT of the 10 players in our Draft Central Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) Team of the Week are from the top three sides, showing their dominance across the weekend. University of Canberra (UC) Capitals and Southside Flyers both recorded three players in the Team of the Week, while Melbourne Boomers had two. Perth Lynx and Sydney Uni Flames rounded out the team with a player each in the side, as Adelaide Lightning, Bendigo Spirit and Townsville Fire missed out on having a player in this week’s team.

It was highly competitive for spots in the Round 6 team, as UC Capitals’ duo Kelsey Griffin (19 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal) and Kia Nurse (18 points, seven rebounds, six assists and one steal) both made the starting side. Marianna Tolo also made the team on the bench after her 12 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, one steal and three blocks in the center position. Southside Flyers had a couple of starters in the team as well, with Mercedes Russell taking that center spot once again thanks to 17 points, nine rebounds, two assists and one block, shooting at an impressive 77.8 per cent from the field. She was joined in the team by Sara Blicavs who starts in the forward half after 12 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, while Rebecca Cole slots onto the bench.

Melbourne Boomers had two players make the team, albeit on the bench. Ezi Magbegor and Lindsay Allen were both named in the forward spots after a couple of impressive performances over two games. To round out the starting side, Alison Schwagmeyer was once again a shining light for Perth Lynx, sinking 22 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and one steal across two matches. The final member of the 10-player team was Sydney Uni Flames’ Alex Wilson who filled out the second guard spot on the bench.

With so many incredible individual performances over the weekend, it was hard to split some players, with Adelaide’s Brianna Turner, Townsville’s Abby Bishop and Bendigo’s Rebecca Tobin all unlucky not to be a representative in the team. Others who impressed but just missed out on selection were Perth’s Lauren Mansfield, Southside’s Leilani Mitchell and Jenna O’Hea, Sydney Uni’s Colleen Planeta and Lauren Scherf, along with Melbourne’s Cayla George.

STARTING FIVE:

G: Alison Schwagmeyer (PL) – 22.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.0 blocks, 57.6 FG%
G: Kia Nurse (UC) – 18 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 0 blocks, 36.8 FG%
C: Mercedes Russell (SF) – 17 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 steals, 1 block, 77.8 FG%
F: Kelsey Griffin (UC) – 19 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 46.7 FG%
F: Sara Blicavs (SF) – 12 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 50.0 FG%

BENCH:

G: Rebecca Cole (SF) – 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks, 60.0 FG%
G: Alex Wilson (SU) – 16 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 41.7 FG%
C: Marianna Tolo (UC) – 12 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks, 44.4 FG%
F: Ezi Magbegor (MB) – 11.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks, 47.6 FG%
F: Lindsay Allen (MB) – 18.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.0 blocks, 46.7 FG%

WNBL Round 6 review: Top three move two games clear

BACK-to-back wins over the weekend to Melbourne Boomers, and victories to Southside Flyers and University of Canberra (UC) Capitals meant the top three in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) moved two games clear of fourth. The other game saw Perth Lynx keep their finals hopes alive with an important win over Sydney Uni Flames.

Adelaide Lightning 57 defeated by Melbourne Boomers 71

Melbourne secured a vital road win against fourth placed Adelaide Lightning to gain a bit of separation inside the top three. The Boomers trailed by three points at the first break, but hit back with a 17-8 second term, and went on with it from there, restricting the Lightning to just 30 points in the last three quarters, while piling on 57 themselves to run away with a 71-57 victory. Lindsay Allen was the top scorer with 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and one steal, while Ezi Magbegor picked up a double double in her best performance of the year with 13 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. Cayla George (13 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks) was superb, while Penina Davidson had 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench. For the Lightning, Nicole Seekamp sank 15 points, two rebounds and three assists, while Brianna Turner (10 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks) and Chelsea Brook (10 points, five rebounds) were the other two players who reached double figure points. Stephanie Talbot tried hard with seven points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals, but ultimately the home side could not put enough points on the board.

DC Medal: 3 – Lindsay Allen (MB), 2 – Ezi Magbegor (MB), 1 – Cayla George (MB)

Sydney Uni Flames 82 defeated by Perth Lynx 91

Perth finally snapped its four-game losing streak with an important nine-point victory over Sydney Uni – the side it last beat all the way back in Round 1. The Lynx edged ahead in the second term after an even first quarter, but then added 23 points to 18 in the third to lead by 10 at the final break. The Flames hit back to cut the deficit back to nine, but it would not be enough in the end. Alison Schwagmeyer produced another stunning game, picking up a double double with 25 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and one steal to be best on court, while Katie-Rae Ebzery returned from Opals duties to post 20 points, three rebounds and three assists in the win. Ariel Atkins continued her good start to her WNBL career with 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals off the bench. Maddison Allen was also strong with 12 points, six rebounds and two blocks. For the Flames, Colleen Planeta was the best with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Alex Wilson shared the top scorer billing with 16 points, three rebounds and nine assists. Lauren Scherf (14 points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocks) and Jessica Kuster (13 points, nine rebounds) were the other two key scorers for the home side.

DC Medal: 3 – Alison Schwagmeyer (PL), 2 – Katie-Rae Ebzery (PL), 1 – Colleen Planeta (SU)

Townsville Fire 59 defeated by Southside Flyers 91

Southside Flyers bounced back from their first loss of the WNBL season with a big statement over cellar dwellers, Townsville Fire. Sitting at opposite ends of the ladder, the Flyers piled on 30 points to 19 in the opening term, then proceeded to win all four quarters in a one-sided, dominant display. Never letting up, it was clear to see that Southside is one of the title contenders, producing such an effort on the road. Jenna O’Hea (21 points, seven assists and two steals) and Rebecca Cole (20 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals) were the key scorers, while Mercedes Russell continued her dominant start to the season with an impressive 17 points, nine rebounds and two assists. It was hard to find the top player for the Flyers with Sara Blicavs also picking up a double double thanks to 12 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, while Leilani Mitchell had eight assists and three rebounds to go with her 13 points. Abby Bishop was the clear standout for the Fire with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Micaela Cocks (10 points, three rebounds and three assists) was the other player to reach double figures in what was a disappointing loss for the home side.

DC Medal: 3 – Mercedes Russell (SF), 2 – Sara Blicavs (SF), 1 – Jenna O’Hea (SF)

Bendigo Spirit 59 defeated by Melbourne Boomers 75

Rounding out a good weekend for the Boomers, Melbourne took home the points on the road against Bendigo Spirit in a 16-point win. The Spirit started strongly to lead by three points at the first break and half-time, before the Boomers took over to lead by the same margin with a quarter to play. They built on that momentum in the final term to post 24 points to 11 and run away with the contest in a margin that was not completely accurate of the game’s tightness. Allen was again the team’s top scorer with 17 points, four assists and two steals in the win, while Madeleine Garrick stepped up to contribute 12 points, six rebounds and two steals. Magbegor (10 points, seven rebounds and two steals) and George (10 points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks) were also prominent across the board. For the Spirit, Abigail Wehrung was a lone hand in the scoring department with 13 points, as well as two rebounds and two assists, while Kelly Wilson picked up nine of her team’s 16 assists, though had seven of her side’s 27 turnovers. Rebecca Tobin was the dominant player off the boards with 15 rebounds to accompany her six points, four assists and two steals.

DC Medal: 3 – Cayla George (MB), 2 – Lindsay Allen (MB), 1 – Madeleine Garrick (MB)

UC Capitals 84 defeated Perth Lynx 66

Reigning premiers, University of Canberra (UC) Capitals finished strongly at home to run over the top of Perth Lynx and maintain touch with Melbourne and Southside in the top three. The Lynx surprised the home crowd in the opening term to lead by a point at quarter time, before the Capitals piled on 23 points to 16 in the second term. Perth got back on top in the third to reclaim the lead by two points at the final break. Like any good side on the ropes, the Capitals found a way to breakthrough and eventually piled on the points in the final term, sinking 32 points to 12 to run away with an 18-point win in a game where – like the previous one – the final margin did not accurately reflect how close the game was. Kelsey Griffin was unbelievable with 19 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while Marianna Tolo (12 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks) also picked up a double double, Kia Nurse played her best game for the season in terms of overall impact and not just points, picking up 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Maddison Rocci also impressed with 13 points, three rebounds and three assists. Coming off the bench, young gun Gemma Potter scored nine points and had two assists. For the Lynx, Lauren Mansfield scored a game-high 23 points, as well as five rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Schwagmeyer added another 19 points and seven rebounds to her season totals. Nadeen Payne (10 points, 10 rebounds) picked up a double-double, while Atkins had six points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists.

DC Medal: 3 – Kelsey Griffin (UC), 2 – Kia Nurse (UC), 1 – Lauren Mansfield (PL)

DC Medal Leaderboard:

16 – Kelsey Griffin (UC)
15 – Cayla George (MB),
14 – Mercedes Russell (SF)
13 – Lindsay Allen (MB)
12 –
11 –
10 – Brianna Turner (AL), Alison Schwagmeyer (PL)
9 –
8 – Katie-Rae Ebzery (PL)
7 – Leilani Mitchell (SF), Abby Bishop (TF), Colleen Planeta (AD), Jenna O’Hea (SF)
6 – Keely Froling (UC), Stephanie Talbot (AL), Kia Nurse (UC)
5 – Alice Kunek (SU), Tahlia Tupaea (SU), Olivia Epoupa (UC)
4 – Imani McGee-Stafford (PL), Kelly Wilson (BS)
3 – Carley Ernst (BS), Rebecca Tobin (BS), Sara Blicavs (SF), Madeleine Garrick (MB),
2 – Crystal Langhorne (AD), Micaela Cocks (TF), Rebecca Cole (SF), Chelsea Brook (AD), Ezi Magbegor (MB), Lauren Mansfield (PL)
1 – Bridget Carleton (TF), Lauren Nicholson (AL), Sophie Cunningham (MB), Jessica Kuster (SU), Nicole Seekamp (AL), Tess Madgen (TF), Ariel Atkins (PL)

2019/20 WNBL review/preview: Round 5 – Midway point of round

WITH the split round taking place in Round 5 of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL), we recap the two games that took place overnight, while previewing the remaining three matches this weekend.

Sydney Uni Flames (82) defeated Townsville Fire (73)

Sydney Uni Flames have leapt past two sides on their way to sixth following an all-important home win against Townsville Fire last night. The Fire were coming off a terrific road win against Perth Lynx, but could not follow on from a strong second term to be overrun by the Flames and sent to the bottom of the table. Sydney Uni gained the advantage early, piling on 28 points to 21, before the Flames’ worst quarter of the season saw them struggle with just nine points to Townsville’s 21, heading into half-time with a five-point deficit. They picked up in the second half however, cutting the deficit to one by the final break, before a barnstorming 28-18 last quarter saw them extinguish the Fire, 82-73. Alice Kunek was the standout with 22 points, four rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal for the Flames, while Jessica Kuster (17 points, six rebounds) and Alex Wilson (16 points, three rebounds scored highly. Tahlia Tupaea (12 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Colleen Planeta (11 points, six rebounds) rounded out a strong starting five effort with their work off the boards. For the Fire, Darcee Garbin was a standout with 19 points, seven rebounds and two assists, while Abby Bishop continued her good form of late with 14 points, five rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Tess Madgen (12 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals) was impressive as well in defeat.

DC Medal: 3 – Alice Kunek (SU), 2 – Tahlia Tupaea (SU), 1 – Abby Bishop (TF)

Southside Flyers (72) defeated UC Capitals (91)

The UC Capitals emerged from their Round 3 slumber to make it two massive wins in a row, knocking off the previously undefeated Southside Flyers on the road. In the first of two games in Victoria, the reigning premiers put the challenge to the ladder leaders with a dominant first half, posting 27-19 in the opening term, then 29-14 in the second quarter to lead by 22 points heading into the main break. It was hard to fathom for the home crowd who were left a little stunned at Dandenong Stadium, as Southside managed to chew back three points in the third term, but could not make any inroads by the final buzzer to go down by 19 points, 72-91. The Capitals’ big guns were all firing once again as Kelsey Griffin lead the way with 14 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block, while Keely Froling‘s work off the bench was superb, notching up a double-double as well, posting 20 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and one block. Kia Nurse lead the scoring with 21 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Marianna Tolo (16 points, seven rebounds) and Olivia Epoupa (15 points, four rebounds, seven assists and three steals) were also prominent. For the Flyers, Leilani Mitchell stood up against her former side, sinking 23 points and collecting five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block for the losers. Mercedes Russell had the 15 points and five rebounds but was quiet by her standards, while Sara Blicavs (11 points, six rebounds) was busy off the boards but had seven turnovers on the night. It was an evening to forget for the Flyers who will be keen to put that one behind them as they have a 16-day break until their November 23 clash with cellar dwellers, Townsville.

DC Medal: 3 – Kelsey Griffin (UC), 2 – Keely Froling (UC), 1 – Olivia Epoupa (UC)

Looking ahead to the rest of the round, three games take place tomorrow night across three different states, with Thursday night’s winners hoping to make it a double-win weekend in Round 5.

PERTH LYNX vs. SYDNEY UNI FLAMES
Saturday, November 9, 7.00pm
Bendat Basketball Centre

Fresh off a victory over fellow bottom three side Townsville, Sydney Uni could really make inroads this weekend if they can topple the out-of-sorts Perth Lynx. While the Lynx have the home court advantage, they have dropped their past four games, two of which were at home with the most disappointing to the previously winless Townsville in Round 4. The last time these two sides met was in Round 1, with Perth claiming what would become its only victory of the season thus far, defeating Sydney Uni, 79-62. Last season the Lynx won all three clashes, including a massive 46-point belting in November. It will be the third straight time these sides have met at Bendat Basketball Centre, and Perth is desperate for a win to get back on track. Alison Schwagmeyer has been a shining light this season, posting up 19.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, while Katie-Rae Ebzery (13.6 points, 4.2 rebounds) and Nadeen Payne (13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds) has been the other consistent player off the boards. Imani McGee-Stafford has used her 201cm frame to have an impact in three games having had to recover from an ankle injury. She has averaged 14.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.3 blocks thus far this season, and if back out on court could make it a trio of Americans, with Schwagmeyer and last week’s debutant, Ariel Atkins (19 points, seven rebounds and four assists). Meanwhile the Flames have had an up-and-down start to the season, but their American imports have also impressed, with Planeta (13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks) and Kuster (11.2 points, 6.2 rebounds) solid, while Australian Kunek has been Sydney Uni’s best with 18.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists across all six starts. The Flames are too far behind on points difference to overtake Adelaide, but should the Flames win and Bendigo Spirit lose, they would move to fifth on the table.

ADELAIDE LIGHTNING vs. BENDIGO SPIRIT
Saturday, November 9, 7.00pm
Titanium Security Arena

In a massive mid-table clash, Adelaide Lightning will be keen to steal back third spot from UC Capitals with a win. In what will be just the Lightning’s second home game – they won their other one against the Flames in Round 1 – they will be hoping to provide plenty of highlights to the crowd. Last time these sides met was last week when Bendigo upset Adelaide by 13 points. Last season, the Lightning won its clash at home and one on the road, while Bendigo won the middle game of the trio. With an identical points difference to the reigning premiers but a win behind, the Lightning must salute here to be any chance of snatching third spot, while Bendigo can grab Adelaide’s fourth spot if the Spirit get up by at least 27 points. Crystal Langhorne injured herself after a massive opening round debut for the Lightning where she put up 20 points and 13 rebounds, with fellow American import, Brianna Turner having to shoulder the load up forward with 16.4 points and 9.6 rebounds across the five games. Lauren Nicholson (17.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists) and Stephanie Talbot (13.6 points, 9.6 rebounds) have been big off the boards, while Nicole Seekamp (12.6 points, 8.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds) has been the playmaker. For the Spirit, Rebecca Tobin has averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and two steals from just two matches, while Marte Grays has put up 11.2 points and 5.8 rebounds thus far this season. Without a genuine standout and the points shared across the board, others who have impressed include Kelly Wilson (10.5 points, 7.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds), Tessa Lavey (10.0 points, 4.5 assists and 3.7 rebounds) and Carley Ernst (9.7 points, 8.3 rebounds) who have become integral members of the starting five.

MELBOURNE BOOMERS vs. UC CAPITALS
Saturday, November 9, 7.00pm
State Basketball Centre

The final game of the round is just as crucial as the other two, with second spot up for grabs between Melbourne Boomers and UC Capitals. The Capitals are now on a two-game winning streak after a disappointing Round 3 that included losses to the Boomers and Flames. It was the manner in which the Capitals’ lost to the Boomers that would burn deeply in the reigning premiers’ minds, losing 107-72 in Geelong. Now at the State Basketball Centre, the Capitals will be keen to have a change of fortunes, and while that result has put a wide gap between the two teams, a Capitals’ win would still see them move past the Boomers having already collected the scalp of the Flyers last night and will look to knock off both top two sides in one weekend. The Capitals’ win over the Flyers was their first on the road for the season having won every game at home, while Melbourne’s loss to Southside last round was the Boomers’ first home loss of the year. Griffin has backed up her MVP winning ways with another double-double season to-date with 16.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals per game. She has plenty of support across the court though, with Nurse (20.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists) doing her thing up the scoring end, while Froling (17.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 blocks) could make a case as one of the most improved this season. The inclusion of Frenchwoman, Epoupa has also been massive, averaging a balanced 9.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6.2 assists and a remarkable 4.0 steals per game. While they have been impressive, the Boomers have also had an even contribution of stars with Cayla George leading the way thanks to a double-double effort of 17.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.4 blocks. American duo, Lindsay Allen (18.4 points, 6.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds) and Sophie Cunningham (10.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists) have also contributed on the scoring front. UC’s form heading into the game is hard to ignore, but Melbourne had no trouble against the Capitals in Round 3 and could well hand out another punishment here.

2019/20 WNBL Team of the Week: Round 4

REIGNING premiers, University of Canberra (UC) Capitals were back on the board in a big way, both with an important win over Sydney Uni Flames, and in our Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) Team of the Week for Round 4. The Capitals had three players named in our 10-player team, one more than Perth Lynx and Townsville Fire, who surprisingly played each other in a tight game. Southside Flyers, Melbourne Boomers and Adelaide Lightning all had a player in the team to round it out, with Bendigo Spirit and Sydney Uni missing out this week.

Townsville picked up its first win of the season and had an impressive two players in the starting line-up. Abby Bishop had a dominant performance with a round-high 31 points, as well as 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals in one of the performances of the weekend. She was joined in the starting side by captain Micaela Cocks, who picked up 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in the Fire’s win over Perth Lynx. A Lynx debutant was named in the other starting five guard spot beside Cocks, with American import, Ariel Atkins shooting 19 points and compiling seven rebounds and four assists in a big performance to tip-off her WNBL career. She was joined in the overall Team of the Week by teammate, Katie-Rae Ebzery.

Another American import who has had an amazing season so far is Mercedes Russell, with the Southside Flyers’ center having another couple of big games. Russell posted 15.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals, while shooting at 73.7 per cent from the field. Rounding out the starting five is UC Capitals’ Keely Froling who was named second forward in back-to-back weeks. She had 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal in the Capitals’ win over the Flames, but was far from the sole contributor, joined in the side by teammates Olivia Epoupa and Kelsey Griffin who make up two of the five bench players. Adelaide’s Brianna Turner and Melbourne’s Cayla George fill out the final two spots in the 10-player squad.

Others who were unlucky to miss out on a spot include Bendigo’s Rebecca Tobin and Kelly Wilson, Southside’s Rebecca Cole and Sara Blicavs, Adelaide’s Stephanie Talbot, Townsville’s Tess Madgen and Sydney Uni’s Alice Kunek.

STARTING FIVE:

G: Micaela Cocks (TF) – 22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 0 blocks, 75.0 FG%
G: Ariel Atkins (PL) – 19 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 0 blocks, 50.0 FG%
C: Mercedes Russell (SF) – 15.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 2.0 blocks, 73.7 FG%
F: Abby Bishop (TF) – 31 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks, 47.8 FG%
F: Keely Froling (UC) – 19 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 61.5 FG%

BENCH:

G: Olivia Epoupa (UC) – 12 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 steals, 0 blocks, 85.7 FG%
G: Katie-Rae Ebzery (PL) – 14 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, 0 blocks, 35.7 FG%
C: Cayla George (MB) – 22 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 50.0 FG%
F: Brianna Turner (AL) – 21 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 38.9 FG%
F: Kelsey Griffin (UC) – 19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 0 blocks, 47.1 FG%

WNBL Round 4 review: Townsville ignites season as Bendigo strike at home

THERE was plenty of action in Round 4 of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) with the Flyers flexing their muscles once again with a convincing 13 point while Townsville Fire registered their first win of the season in a hard-fought battle against Perth.

Bendigo Spirit (67) defeated Adelaide Lightning (54)

It was a massively spirited performance by Bendigo to get the points against Adelaide Lightning in what was a crucial game for ladder positions. The Spirit kept in touch with the top four thanks to the 13-point win, and won three of the four quarters, after levelling the first term. They restricted the Lightning to just eight points in the last term, in a dour affair, showing that the home side can play just as well defensively as they can offensively. Rebecca Tobin was magnificent off the boards with a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, as well as a couple of steals and blocks. Abigail Wehrung (16 points, three rebounds) recorded the most points for her side in the low-scoring win, while Demi Skinner (11 points, two rebounds) also contributed off the bench in what was a good night for the bench players, scoring 37 of the 67 points. It was a different story for the Lightning, with Adelaide not getting a point from its bench, instead with just four players posting up points on the night. Brianna Turner (21 points and 12 rebounds) picked up a double double, as did Stephanie Talbot (13 points, 10 rebounds), while Nicole Seekamp (nine points, seven assists and three rebounds) was solid.

DC Medal: 3 – Rebecca Tobin (BS), 2 – Brianna Turner (AL), 1 – Stephanie Talbot (AL)

UC Capitals (91) defeated Sydney Uni Flames (66)

Despite a somewhat sluggish start, there was no cause for concern from the reigning premiers as the University of Canberra (UC) Capitals exacted their revenge on their NSW/ACT rivals, Sydney Uni Flames, winning 91-66. The 25-point win was fairly comprehensive given the Flames had got the better of the Capitals in Round 3, with the Capitals also going down early in the weekend to make it back-to-back losses. They bounced back with a big win in this clash at home, as they had contributors across the floor. Kia Nurse was the top points scorer with 21, as well as four assists and three steals, while it was hard to decide the best influence as Kelsey Griffin got back to some of her best basketball thanks to 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. The damaging duo was not the only Capitals to impact in a multitude of ways, as Olivia Epoupa (12 points, eight rebounds, 10 assists and four steals) came agonisingly close to a triple double, and Keely Froling‘s work off the bench (19 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks) was also noted. For the losing side it was hard to find winners on the court, as Alice Kunek (17 points, five rebounds and two assists) and Jessica Kuster (16 points, four rebounds, two assists and twos steals) were the two main contributors as a number of their usual reliable stars being down on numbers. Lauren Scherf still managed nine rebounds to go with her six points and four assists, but the Flames will be keen to bounce back from the night.

DC Medal: 3 – Keely Froling (UC), 2 – Olivia Epoupa (UC), 1 – Kelsey Griffin (UC)

Perth Lynx (88) defeated by Townsville Fire (93)

In a memorable night for the visitors and another forgettable one for the home side, Townsville Fire celebrated their first win of the season while piling on more pain to Perth Lynx. In what was their fourth consecutive loss after an initial Round 1 win, Perth looked good to bounce back in the first half, winning both the opening two quarters to lead by six at half-time. It proved to not be enough however, as Townsville raced home with a 20-15 final term to force overtime. It was there the momentum of the Fire kept building as they outscored the Lynx 13-8 in the period to record an all-important victory, 93-88. Abby Bishop was the star of the show with 31 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Micaela Cocks led from the front for her side, posting up 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Tess Madgen was the other Fire player to reach double figures thanks to 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists. For the Lynx, Alison Schwagmeyer‘s strong start to the season continued with another 23 points, as well as three rebounds and three assists, while Ariel Atkins came off the bench in her first game of the season since landing in Australia from the US, putting up 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and a steal. Katie-Rae Ebzery (14 points, nine assists, four rebounds and three steals) contributed across the court and was always prominent.

DC Medal: 3 – Abby Bishop (TF), 2 – Micaela Cocks (TF), 1 – Ariel Atkins (PL)

Southside Flyers (93) defeated Bendigo Spirit (80)

For the second time in as many weeks, Southside Flyers emerged victorious against Bendigo Spirit, defeating their lower ranked Victorian counterparts by 13 points in the Sunday evening game. Southside remained undefeated with the victory and headed into Monday’s night’s blockbuster with Melbourne Boomers with the same form line as their opponents. In the win against Bendigo, Southside flew out of the blocks to put up 24 points to 18 in the first term, then won the second to lead by seven at half-time. Bendigo forced its way back into the contest with a 21-16 third term to get within a basket, but Southside steadied to run away with it 30-19 in the last quarter and secure the 93-80 win. Mercedes Russell was superb once again, picking up a double double with a massive 15 rebounds to go with her 12 points, four assists, three blocks and two steals, while Rebecca Cole (23 points, four assists and two steals) and Sara Blicavs (21 points, three rebounds and three steals) were the strong scorers. Leilani Mitchell had six assists with her 16 points, while Jenna O’Hea (12 points, four rebounds and three assists) also reached double-figure points. For the Spirit, Tobin had 16 points, six rebounds and two steals, while Kelly Wilson was just as impressive with 15 points, four rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Wehrung (13 points) was the other Spirit player to reach double-figure points, but it was not enough across the board.

DC Medal: 3 – Mercedes Russell (SF), 2 – Kelly Wilson (BS), 1 – Rebecca Cole (SF)

Stay tuned for the review of the blockbuster match between the undefeated Melbourne Boomers and Southside Flyers.

DC Medal Leaderboard:

8 – Cayla George (MB), Lindsay Allen (MB), Mercedes Russell (SF)
7 – Alison Schwagmeyer (PL), Leilani Mitchell (SF), Brianna Turner (AL), Kelsey Griffin (UC)
6 – Jenna O’Hea (SF), Abby Bishop (TF)
5 –
4 – Colleen Planeta (AD), Imani McGee-Stafford (PL), Stephanie Talbot (AL), Keely Froling (UC), Olivia Epoupa (UC), Kelly Wilson (BS)
3 – Carley Ernst (BS), Katie-Rae Ebzery (PL), Tahlia Tupaea (SU), Rebecca Tobin (BS)
2 – Crystal Langhorne (AD), Kia Nurse (UC), Madeleine Garrick (MB), Alice Kunek (SU), Micaela Cocks (TF)
1 – Chelsea Brook (AD), Bridget Carleton (TF), Lauren Nicholson (AL), Sophie Cunningham (MB), Jessica Kuster (SU), Nicole Seekamp (AL), Tess Madgen (TF), Sara Blicavs (SF), Ariel Atkins (PL), Rebecca Cole (SF)

NBL1 Women’s finals review: Preliminary Finals

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

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

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

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

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

NBL1 Women’s finals review: Week 1 and 2

FOUR teams remain in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 Women’s competition after the first two weeks of finals were squeezed into a weekend. Kilsyth Cobras’ upset over minor premiers Bendigo Braves was the biggest talking point of the weekend, while Ringwood Hawks went out in straight sets. It means Nunawading Spectres now take on Kilsyth, while Bendigo face Geelong Supercats in what many originally thought could be the grand final clash.

SEMI-FINALS

RINGWOOD HAWKS 7 | 23 | 17 | 26 (73)
NUNAWADING SPECTRES 27 | 24 | 27 | 19 (97)

A dominant first term from Nunawading Spectres has sent Ringwood Hawks packing in straight sets, running out 24-point winners in the semi-final clash yesterday. The Spectres piled on 27 points to seven in the opening term which set up the victory, as they extended the lead by as much as 31 points at the final break before the Hawks cut the final deficit to 24 courtesy of a 26-19 last quarter. Megan Mullings was a lone hand for the home side, posting a game-high 29 points and 13 rebounds in a double-double effort, as Cassidy Mihalko and Danni Bone both scored 11 points and combined for eight rebounds and seven assists as the next best. The Spectres had an even spread across the board with Chelsea D’Angelo putting up 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, while Maddie Garrick topscored with 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Kathleen Scheer (13 points, six rebounds, seven assists and two blocks) and Rebecca Pizzey (12 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and four blocks) were others who stood out in the win.

BENDIGO BRAVES 26 | 21 | 16 | 19 (82)
KNOX RAIDERS 17 | 21 | 21 | 6 (65)

Bendigo Braves will hope a final term flurry of baskets will set the tone for the Preliminary Final next weekend after bouncing back from a shock Qualifying Final loss. The Braves did not have it all their own way against a plucky Knox Raiders, but did take a nine-point lead into quarter and half-time, before the Raiders cut it back to four by the final break. Luckily for the Braves they settled and took control defensively to restrict the Raiders to just six points in the final term to run away with the 17-point victory. Kelly Wilson led the way with only the second triple-double of the NBL1 Women’s competition this year, recording 13 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in a match-winning effort for the Braves. Tessa Lavey scored 20 points, three rebounds, six assists and two steals, while Tess Madgen managed 17 points, six rebounds and two assists. Rebecca Tobin had three steals and seven rebounds to go with her 16 points, while Gabrielle Richards (14 points, 14 rebounds) was also terrific. For Knox, Abbey Wehrung scored 23 points, while Lauren Scherf (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Marena Whittle (10 points, 12 rebounds) picked up double-doubles.

QUARTER FINALS:

GEELONG SUPERCATS 24 | 21 | 17 | 16 (78)
RINGWOOD HAWKS 12 | 13 | 25 | 13 (63)

Geelong Supercats moved through to the Preliminary Finals with a strong 15-point win over Ringwood Hawks courtesy of a big first half which set up the win. The Supercats posted 45 points to 25 in a dominant first two terms, before Ringwood cut the deficit to a manageable 12 points by the final break. Luckily for the home fans, the Supercats steadied and ran out 78-63 winners in the end. Sara Blicavs was again super with 23 points, nine rebounds, two assists and three steals, while Ezi Magbegor posted 15 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in the wing. Zitina Aokuso helped herself to a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Alex Duck had 15 points, four rebounds and a mammoth seven steals. For Ringwood, Mihalko scored an impressive 27 points, six rebounds, three assists and four steals, while Mullings picked up a double-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals. Antonia Farnworth also tried her best with 13 points and four rebounds in the loss.

BENDIGO BRAVES 22 | 20 | 11 | 17 (70)
KILSYTH COBRAS 16 | 17 | 26 | 26 (85)

Kilsyth Cobras have ripped up the NBL1 Women’s script with a stunning come-from-behind win on the road against the almost previously undefeated Bendigo Braves.The Braves dropped just one game in 20 outings during the NBL1 season, and everything looked to be going to plan early with 22 points to 16 in the opening term, then the home team lead by nine at the main break. As if out of nowhere, the Cobras came to the party in the second half, slamming home 26 points to 11 to lead by six at the final break, then put the foot down again with a 26-17 term to run away 85-70 winners to leave the Bendigo crowd stunned. Lauren Nicholson was unsurprisingly the top points scorer with 26, as well as three rebounds, three assists and four steals, but it was Sarah Boothe picking up a double-double (21 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals) who was best on court. Klara Wischer (20 points, eight rebounds and five assists) was also strong across the board, while Alison Downie (12 points, four rebounds and five assists) chipped in to assist the team. For Bendigo the spread was less, with Rebecca Tobin (24 points, 13 rebounds) doing the bulk of the scoring, followed by Wilson (16 points, six rebounds and eight assists), while Richards and Lavey had 12 points each, but combined for just three rebounds and six assists.

ELIMINATION FINALS:

NUNAWADING SPECTRES 26 | 24 | 22 | 17 (89)
WAVERLEY FALCONS 12 | 17 | 19 | 13 (61)

Nunawading Spectres produced the basis for their big semi-final win with a commanding 28-point win over Waverley Falcons. They took control from the first buzzer and did not relent until the final one, winning every term by at least three points, and completely dominating the opening half with 50 points to 29 on the board as they headed into the main break. Scheer posted a game-high 21 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four blocks in the win, while Rachel Antoniadou was busy with 19 points, five rebounds, seven assists and two steals in an all-round effort. Pizzey (16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks) and D’Angelo (16 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks) were others who stood out. For the Falcons, Kelly Bowen stood up in defeat with 20 points, nine rebounds and two steals, while Carley Ernst was the other key scorer with 15 points, seven rebounds five assists and two blocks.

KNOX RAIDERS 21 | 21 | 24 | 20 (86)
DANDENONG RANGERS 16 | 17 | 15 | 17 (65)

Knox Raiders picked up a win in the 2019 NBL1 finals series, downing Dandenong Rangers at the State Basketball Centre by 21 points. It was a dominant win in the end as the Raiders won every quarter on their way to the 86-65 triumph. They lead by five, nine and 18 across the three quarters to put the result beyond doubt and never took the foot off the pedal. Scherf had an equal game-high 22 point as well as 12 rebounds, two assists and a block, while Whittle helped herself to a massive 20 points and 18 rebounds in the win. Wehrung (15 points, three rebounds and three assts) was the other dominant scorer for the Raiders, as Lucy Dawson had seven rebounds to go with her eight points. For the Rangers, Aimie Clydesdale had 22 points and eight assists, while Colleen Planeta recorded another double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Taylah Gillam (10 points, three rebounds) was the other player to reach double figures for the Rangers.

NBL1 Women’s Round 14 review: Bendigo Braves reclaim top spot

WITH two wins separating seventh from eighth in the National Basketball League (NBL)1, very few spots remain for a finals opportunity with four teams still contesting for eighth. The Bendigo Braves and Geelong Supercats have cemented their positions in the top-two, earning double chances with the Ringwood Hawks and Kilsyth Cobras still able to drop out of the top-four in the final round.

The Bendigo Braves opened the round continuing their monstrous win-streak, adding their tenth consecutive win (94-49) against the Albury Wodonga Bandits. The loss puts Albury in tough spot for next week, finishing the round in 9th position below Waverley Falcons who boast six consecutive wins. Tessa Lavey led scoring for the Braves, amassing 22 points, five rebounds and three assists in the win, while Rebecca Tobin (16 points, 13 rebounds and five assists) and Kelly Wilson (13 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists) both snared double-doubles. For the Bandits, Emilee Harmon was the only player to record double-digits, with 12 points, eight rebounds and two assists, alongside Jessie Edwards with nine points and four rebounds. Following their win at home, the Braves quickly found their 11th consecutive win and top spot after beating the Knox Raiders (79-96) on the road. Bendigo’s impressive second term (12-28) decisively took Knox out of the game, despite keeping close for the remaining terms. Again, Tobin was immense in the victory, snaring a huge double-double with 21 points and 22 rebounds, alongside teammates, Wilson (17 points, six rebounds and 10 assists) and Gabrielle Richards (13 points and 11 rebounds), who also finished with double-doubles. For the Raiders, Rebecca Ott led scoring with 19 points, three rebounds and six assists, with Briahna Whatman also impressing with 15 points and seven assists.

In the game that followed, the Raiders fell again to another impressive win streak, making six consecutive wins for the Waverley Falcons at Waverley Basketball Centre. The loss drops the Raiders to fifth, putting their second chance opportunity on the line as finals approach, while the Falcons hold the last spot in eighth. Carley Ernst (24 points, five rebounds and four assists) and Tegan Cunningham (22 points, seven rebounds and two assists) led scoring for the Falcons, with Kelly Bowen (12 points, 12 rebounds and five assists) finding a double-double for the game. Marena Whittle led scoring for the Raiders with 18 points, five rebounds and three assists, with Maddison Wild (14 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Ott (13 points, eight rebounds and five assists) finishing similarly impressive. In the game prior, the Waverley Falcons defeated the Ballarat Rush (76-83) on the road, ending Ballarat’s finals chances. Ernst earned a double-double, amassing 23 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in the win, while Cunningham (17 points and eight rebounds) and Renae Mokrzycki (20 points, six rebounds and two assists) both impressed at the board. For the Rush, Chanise Jenkins came close to a triple-double, recording 33 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists from 40 minutes in the loss. Hsi-Le Bao also cracked double figures with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists.

The Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence put on their most impressive round yet, opening up with a tight 90-86 win on the road against the Eltham Wildcats. The Wildcats opened the half better than Basketball Australia, taking a 52-41 lead into the main break. Though it wasn’t enough, with the visitors dropping Eltham to a 34-point half to close out the game, snaring an impressive four-point victory. Kelsey Rees (16 points and seven rebounds) and Sara-Rose Smith (16 points, six rebounds and two assists) led for Basketball Australia, while Jade Melbourne (14 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Kobe King-Hawea (14 points, six rebounds and four assists) followed close. For Eltham, Chelsie Schweers (22 points and five rebounds), Alice Kunek (18 points, four rebounds, three assists), Chelsea Brook (16 points, nine rebounds and three assists) all impressed in the loss. In Basketball Australia’s second outing, they beat the Hobart Huskies (67-73) for consecutive victories. Melbourne impressed again with 18 points and three assists, with Olivia Pollerd (12 points, three rebounds and two assists) putting together a strong game from 17 minutes. For the Huskies, Ellie Collins led with 22 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Nikki Greene followed close with a double-double on 21 points and 15 rebounds.

Basketball Australia managed to double their total wins from three to six this round, beating the Southern Sabres (79-80) for their third consecutive win in overtime. With both sides out of contention, it simply becomes a battle to stay off the bottom. Melbourne was impressive again, recording a double-double with 29 points and 14 rebounds, while Smith stood up to record her first double-double of the round with 18 points and 10 rebounds. For the Sabres, Rachel Jarry also picked up a double-double 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Amy O’neill managed 25 points with five rebounds in loss.

The Ringwood Hawks continue to make a great case for a top-four finish, currently sitting as one of two teams in the top-six not coming off a loss. Their 89-68 win over the Launceston Tornadoes takes them to third place – one win ahead of fourth. Antonia Farnsworth came close to a triple-double for the Hawks with 24 points, seven rebounds and nine assists, while Megan Mullings followed close with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists. For Launceston, Stella Beck (21 points and 11 rebounds), Stephanie Gardner (14 points, eight rebounds and four assists) and Sarah O’neill (12 points, three rebounds and three assists) all held up well in the loss. In Launceston’s second outing, they managed a solid win over the Diamond Valley Eagles to stay off the bottom of the table. Gardner (24 points, six rebounds and six assists) and O’neill (19 points, nine rebounds and four assists) impressed again, with Brooke Brown (19 points and 11 rebounds) stepping up to record a double-double in the win. For Diamond Valley, Hope Terdich stood up to record 32 points and 14 rebounds, with Shelby Cheslek (21 points, 11 rebounds and five assists) also hitting a double-double and Alex Wilson (17 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists) coming up big with a triple-double in the loss.

In a battle for top-four, the Nunawading Spectres fall to the Kilsyth Cobras (72-80) in a tight game at home. The loss makes it difficult for the Spectres to break into top-four territory in sixth with seventh threatening, while the win for the Cobras has them contesting in fourth. Lauren Nicholson had a big night for the Cobras, recording 32 points, seven rebounds and four assists, with Kara Tessari (11 points, two rebounds and three assists) and Sarah Boothe (10 points, seven rebounds and two assists) also impressing on the night. For the Spectres, Maddie Garrick led scoring with 25 points, while Kathleen Scheer (11 points and seven rebounds), Rebecca Pizzey (11 points and six rebounds) and Rachel Brewster (11 points and three rebounds) combined well in the loss.

In Kilsyth’s second outing they faced a 71-78 loss at the hands of the Frankston Blues. The Blues keep their finals hope alive with the win on the road, putting the Cobras’ second chance in jeopardy for next week. Shereesha Richards put on a big performance with 30 points and 19 rebounds and Taylor Lee came close to triple-double territory with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. For the Cobras, Nicholson (25 points, nine rebounds and five assists), Alison Downie (14 points and eight rebounds) and Klara Wischer (12 points, 11 rebounds and three assists) were strong in the loss.

The Dandenong Rangers sit two wins ahead of eighth in seventh after collecting a tight win over the Albury Wodonga Bandits. This loss, and the one to the Braves, puts Albury’s finals hopes in jeopardy – nursing three consecutive losses at a pivotal moment in the season. Rebecca Cole led scoring for the Rangers, racking up 37 points, three rebounds and seven assists alongside teammate Colleen Planeta who had 21 points with six rebounds. For the Bandits, Edwards impressed once again with 31 points, while Hanna Zavecz followed close with 24 points.

In the final game for the round, the Melbourne Tigers faced off against the Hobart Huskies where they kept their final hopes just in reach with 102-75 win. Monique Conti recorded 36 points, six rebounds and 12 assists on her way to a double-double. Teammates, Briana Gray (25 points, nine rebounds and four assists) and Molly Mathews (19 points, seven rebounds and two assists) were similarly impressive. For Hobart, Sharna Thompson notched up 29 points from 33 minutes, while Tayla Roberts, Nikki Greene and Tayla Stevenson all finished with eight points.

Round 14 results:

Bendigo Braves (94) defeated Albury Wodonga Bandits (49)
Eltham Wildcats (86) defeated by Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (90)
Hobart Huskies (67) defeated by Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (73)
Nunawading Spectres (72) defeated by Kilsyth Cobras (80)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (87) defeated by Dandenong Rangers (90)
Ballarat Rush (76) defeated by Waverley Falcons (83)
Knox Raiders (79) defeated by Bendigo Braves (96)
Ringwood Hawks (89) defeated Launceston Tornadoes (68)
Diamond Valley Eagles (85) defeated by Launceston Tornadoes (93)
Kilsyth Cobras (71) defeated by Frankston Blues (78)
Southern Sabres (79) defeated by Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (80)
Waverley Falcons (83) defeated Knox Raiders (65)
Melbourne Tigers (102) defeated Hobart Huskies (75)

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)