Kilsyth and Hobart go head-to-head in our game of the week, plus we preview each match.
By Grant Richardson
Game of The Week – Kilsyth v Hobart
Saturday 25th April- 6:00pm @ Kilsyth Sports Centre
Despite it only being Round 3, the implications of this match could be massive in the South Conference as the second-placed Lady Chargers visit the third-placed Lady Cobras.
Hobart will hit the road for the first time after starting the season 2-0 at home. Last week, they fought off a feisty Geelong side to win 80-75. Leading by as much as 11 in the first half, the Lady Chargers gave up their advantage with 1:49 remaining but finished the game on a 6-0 run.
In her debut, Amy Kame played all 40 minutes to collect 33 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals. Although it is her first taste of SEABL, she has previously played with team-mates Izzy Chilcott and Klara Wischer while she looked at home alongside Kathleen Scheer who had her own double-double of 25 points and 10 boards.
A Round 1 loss was quickly forgotten by Kilsyth who swept Round 2 with victories over Sandringham and Frankston. Both matches were over by half-time and the Lady Cobras lost just one quarter across the weekend.
Cassie Sant was the star, averaging 20 points and 11.5 rebounds for the round. Leading the league in blocks, her defence will also be instrumental in slowing down Hobart’s front court. One of the best acquisitions of the off-season, Steph Cumming has slotted in nicely to the Lady Cobras starting five, averaging 18 points on 48% shooting while hitting 7-17 from the three point line.
The Lady Chargers will provide a true test for the hard-nosed defence that Kilsyth has come to be known for but if Rosie Moult and Sant can keep Kame and Scheer quiet, Hobart’s options will become limited. The Lady Cobras will then have the advantage off the bench with the likes of Chantella Perera giving the home side the edge.
Prediction: Kilsyth by 4
Thursday 23rd April –
Canberra v Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence:
Although they were ineligible for finals last season, the Centre of Excellence had a 9-5 record that would have placed them fourth in the East Conference. They have lost a few players, including Steph Talbot who is now with the Capitals, but the addition of Lauren Scherf, Alex Bunton and Alanna Smith will be a serious concern for the Canberra front court.
Saturday 25th April –
Brisbane v Sandringham:
The Sabres began 2014 with an 11-game losing streak and the signs are again worrisome in 2015 with a 0-3 start. Turnovers are the biggest issue as they give up an average of 14 points off 16 errors per game. After getting on the winners list against Ballarat, Brisbane will look to cap off their three game home stand with another victory.
Canberra v Launceston:
The Tornadoes were unable to consolidate their Round 1 performance last weekend as they fell to a determined Geelong side and they will now hit the road for the first time. As with their clash against the CoE, Canberra’s front court of Talbot and Sarah McAppion could find the going tough against Alex Wilson, Emilee Harmon and Mikaela Ruef.
Bendigo v Nunawading:
A light start to the year for Nunawading will end this round as they face two unbeaten sides on the road. Their victory over the Lady Bandits last week showed some flaws but Bec Cole’s 37 points got them over the line. Bendigo were clinical in their win over Albury-Wodonga, scoring a league-high 105 points while all five starters scored 17-plus.
Frankston v Dandenong:
Shooting 2-20 from beyond the arc against Kilsyth, the Lady Blues never got comfortable in a 19-point loss. Hosting their first match of the season should help shake off those cobwebs but Dandenong have been very impressive in their unbeaten start, averaging a winning margin of 22 points. At just 170cm, Amelia Todhunter grabbed 10 offensive rebounds against Canberra last week to add to 28 points and four steals.
Geelong v Albury-Wodonga:
Geelong fought through a tough Tasmanian road trip that saw them fall to Hobart by 5 before beating Launceston by 4. Albury-Wodonga are winless to start the year but if they had hit their free throws (5-20) against Nunawading, they could have snatched the game.
Saturday 26th April –
Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence v Launceston:
This match will pit potentially the two best front courts in the league against one another with the CoE’s two days extra rest and home court advantage giving them a slight edge. For the Tornadoes, Harmon leads the league in offensive rebounds and is averaging 22 points and 12 overall boards.
Dandenong v Nunawading:
Both sides will be suffering from just 16 hours rest after Saturday night but the extra travel time from Bendigo could play a factor late in the game for Nunawading. Elli Lovelace and Bec Cole have the experience to cover Todhunter but their bench will be exposed against the likes of Tenaya Phillips and Rachel Antoniadou.
Ballarat v Kilsyth:
Steph Cumming finished second in the league for scoring and third for assists last season as a member of the Rush but she has moved to Kilsyth for the 2015 season. Her production has remained consistent, averaging 18 points per game and Ballarat have felt her loss, averaging just 59 points as a team. The home side will be buoyed by a week’s break while Kilsyth will have played the previous night.