Geelong Lady Supercats and Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence go head-to-head in our game of the week, plus we preview every match.
By Grant Richardson
Game of The Week – Geelong v Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence
Saturday 20th June- 6:00pm @ The Geelong Arena
Both sides have won three of their past four games but the Geelong Lady Supercats are flying with three consecutive victories including a belting of Albury-Wodonga last weekend. The Centre of Excellence took care of Nunawading the night after they fell just short of Hobart.
Having already thrashed Albury-Wodonga by 41 points earlier in the season, Geelong inflicted more pain upon them with a 102-49 hiding. Led by Sara Blicavs’ 26 points, five players scored 14+ while Alex Duck recorded 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
A complete performance from the CoE saw them overcome Nunawading 82-58 on Saturday night after losing by 5 points to Hobart on Friday. They were left to rue an 11-27 opening term and came out determined not to make the same mistake against the Spectres, winning the first quarter of that match 37-11.
Lauren Scherf (12 points, 14 rebounds) and Elyse Penaluna (17 and 11) had double-doubles against the Lady Chargers before Alicia Froling (15 and eight), Ezi Magbegor (seven and nine) and Chantel Horvat (12 points) took over against Nunawading.
Returning from the Opals tour of Europe, Blicavs makes a big difference to Geelong’s front court and alongside Tayla Roberts and Rosie Fadljevic, should provide a great contest for Scherf, Penaluna and Anneli Maley. In the back court, Katie-Rae Ebzery has also benefited from her time with the Opals but will face a challenge in the 150+ gamer, Duck.
The CoE are on the road for the first time in over a month but will be given no time to acclimatise by Geelong who are the only unbeaten side at home in the East Conference. They give up just 56 points a game at The Geelong Arena compared to 75 when away from home and that should be enough to counter the visitors depth.
Prediction: Geelong by 6
Friday 19th June –
Hobart v Albury-Wodonga
Albury-Wodonga will be desperate to turn around their season after a third 40+ point loss last weekend. The signs are not good as they lost to Hobart by 52 when they last met in Round 7 while the Lady Chargers have won six straight games and could take top spot in the South Conference with a win.
Saturday 20th June –
Sandringham v Ballarat
Both sides will see this as a golden opportunity to pick up a rare win as they sit on the bottom of their respective conferences with 1-11 records. Sandringham is winless at home but showed signs against Launceston last week before being out-scored 22-1 in the final seven minutes. Ballarat are 0-7 on the road and were also competitive last round against Bendigo but their mission lies in stopping Brittany Smart, who averages 11 more points than any Rush player.
Brisbane v Dandenong
A rematch of last year’s Semi-Final puts fourth placed Brisbane against first placed Dandenong. The Rangers survived a challenge from Frankston last weekend with Clare Papavs scoring 15+ for the fourth straight game. Brisbane fell to Launceston after a 45-24 second half but with 21 points, Odette Andrew’s good form should provide an intriguing battle with Papavs.
Canberra v Kilsyth
The Lady Cobras have not played in three weeks thanks to a Round 9 bye while Canberra are coming off a six-point loss to Hobart. The combination of Julie Forster (14 points, 15 rebounds) and Steph Talbot (19 and 11 with eight assists) owned the usually dominant front court of the Lady Chargers and will provide a great challenge for Sarah Parsons, Cassie Sant and Rosie Moult. Kilsyth’s offensive power is a concern for the home side though as they average 18 more points per game.
Nunawading v Frankston
Nicole Romeo will face her old side for the first time following stellar seasons in 2013 and 2014 for Frankston. She will be looking for a big game after a scoreless performance in Nunawading’s loss to the CoE last round although she did precede that with a game-high 18 points against Sandringham. The in-form Kate Gaze (25 points on 6-10 three point shooting) is likely to be her opponent with the point guard almost carrying the Lady Blues over the line last weekend.
Launceston v Albury-Wodonga
Debuting for Albury-Wodonga last season, Emilee Harmon will be relishing her move to Launceston as two Round 9 victories took the home side’s winning streak to seven. They are the hottest side in the competition and are making a charge for top spot in the South. Kristina Baltic and Alison Bouman will need to be at the top of their game to slow down the home’s side front court of Harmon, Ally Wilson and Mikaela Ruef.
Sunday 21st June –
Bendigo v Frankston
Fourth spot in the South Conference could be on the line in this clash if Frankston overcome Nunawading the night before. Bendigo will have enjoyed an eight-day break after taking care of Ballarat in Round 9 but their 2-4 home record leaves a lot to be desired. They are a 10-point better side when Kelly Wilson plays while Stacia Robertson and Steph Bairstow’s front court battle with Frankston’s Emily Fryters and Kelly Bowen could decide the match.
Ballarat v Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence
The CoE are 3-1 this season on the second night of a double-header. Although Ballarat are 0-3 in the same scenario, they have been competitive in every match. Against such a deep front court, Shanae Greaves and Olivia Thompson will have their work cut out for them but the Rush could gather some momentum with a win as this match begins a four-game home stand.