At the conclusion of the 2015 season, we look back on how the teams from Nunawading fared.
NUNAWADING SPECTRES WOMEN
Wins – 10
Losses – 12
Standing – 4th East Conference
Post-Season Results – lost to Geelong (PF)
2013 result – 16 wins 8 losses, 3rd East Conference
Nunawading started the season with four wins from their first five games before causing an upset of sorts in the Semi-Final when they defeated Brisbane in a nail-biter. Nicole Romeo was the hero in that clash and she finished with 14 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists on the season while Carly Wilson, brought in as a replacement for Bec Cole, collected 8.8 points a game. Their perimeter defence was the second best in the league, allowing just 28% three-point shooting.
An ACL injury to Cole in Round 6 derailed the Spectres season as they went 6-10 without her for the rest of the year. Although they took care of Brisbane in the Semi-Final, their overall record against other finalists was just 3-10 while they also finished 5-6 at home. They were also the fourth worst rebounding team in the league and gave up the fourth most amount of turnovers.
One of five players to hit the court for every game of the year, Kate Oliver provided a much needed boost to Nunawading’s front court with 15.4 points and six rebounds per contest. After scoring just 2 in her opening game, she reached double-figures in every match while her defence was just as impressive, tallying 20 blocks (tenth in the league) and 19 steals. With at least a 7cm height advantage on any of her team mates, Oliver will is sure to be a key member of Nunawading’s side next season.
The back-court duo of Cole and Romeo never truly had a chance to be tested but the combination could be deadly if successful so it will be interesting to see if coach Scott Carey chases them in 2016. Losing Hannah Zavecz and Alanna Smith this season hurt their bench so they must continue to develop back-ups in the event they lose someone as integral as Cole again next year.
Coming over from the Victorian Youth Championship, Georgia Pineau showed her ability in limited opportunities with 3.5 points and 3.3 boards in ten minutes a night. She is just 18 years of age but could be the perfect complement to Oliver, playing at the power forward position. Recording 11 points, six rebounds and four assists against the might of Dandenong was a glimpse of the future for Pineau and the Spectres.
GRADE – 6/10
NUNAWADING SPECTRES MEN
Wins – 12
Losses – 12
Standing – 5th East Conference
2013 result – 20 wins 6 losses, 1st East Conference
A victory over the defending champions in the opening round was the perfect start to the season and led Nunawading to an early 6-3 record. Matt O’Hea (49%) and Andrew Steel (38%) helped the Spectres to be the second best three-point shooting team. Delwan Graham (13.9 points and 10.1 rebounds) was a superb pick-up in the off-season and one of six players to average a double-double, Adam Ballinger (13.8 points) was a critical late signing and Simon Conn increased his excellent career numbers while surpassing 200 games with 19.6 points (fifth in the league) and 9.6 boards.
One of the most consistent teams in recent years, Nunawading ended a run of making at least the Preliminary Final for the past five seasons when they dropped their final three games to fall behind Ballarat and finish in fifth place. Injury is partly to blame but considering their list, coach David Biwer would have been very disappointed in his side to miss out. Giving up 86 points a game, they also owned the third worst defence.
After 250+ games in SEABL, Shane McDonald is making the most of his time with the New Zealand Breakers in what he has conceded is his final chance at a national level. Leading the league once again in assists at 7.6 (1.8 more than any other player), the point guard also owned the third-best assist-turnover ratio for any player in the top ten. McDonald maintained his 15.5 points average while increasing his field goal shooting from 44% to 48%.
Even with a successful NBL season, McDonald will return to SEABL for the Winter but a back-up point guard in the ilk of Breland Hogan will be needed to keep up the pace when McDonald rests. Some front-court youth would also benefit the ageing Conn who continues to be plagued by niggling injuries.
Mark Breda could put his hand up as a useful addition to that front court after five seasons at SEABL level. As a 42% field-goal shooter he has the ability to pull defenders away from the basket while his stroke from the three-point line (36%) would also open up the paint for Conn and Graham.