The Brisbane Lady Spartans host the Nunawading Spectres in our game of the week, plus we preview each match.
By Grant Richardson
Game of The Week – Brisbane v Nunawading
Saturday 9th May- 5:15pm @ Rowland Cowan Stadium
The East Conference top four will truly start to take shape after Saturday night with Dandenong and Geelong facing off while fourth placed Brisbane Lady Spartans host second placed Nunawading Spectres.
Trailing at three-quarter time in both clashes of their Tasmanian road trip last round, Brisbane managed to fight back to beat Launceston the night after succumbing to Hobart.
They shot better from the field against the Lady Chargers and hit four more three-pointers but giving up 15 offensive rebounds proved their downfall. In the following game against the Tornadoes, Brisbane overcame a 6-point deficit in the final quarter with a 23-11 run to finish the match.
Nat Taylor (14 points and 9.5 rebounds over the weekend) was as solid as ever while 188cm Emma McDonald (13 points) is a handy veteran off the bench. In the back court, Sarah Graham (20.5 points) and Odette Andrew (15) should provide a great contest for Nunawading’s Bec Cole and Hayley Moffatt.
The Spectres were clinical against Ballarat in Round 4, winning 69-46 while scoring 23 points off 22 turnovers. Cole (17 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals, two blocks), Moffatt (13 points, nine rebounds) and Kate Oliver (15 and 8) all enjoyed strong games while Elli Lovelace made up for not scoring with six boards, six assists, three steals and a block.
Both sides have won three of their past four games and will be eager to get a win against an East Conference foe. The x-factor lies in the arrival of Nicole Romeo who will debut for Nunawading. If she can gel quickly with Cole, the Spectres should have too much offensive power but Brisbane will back their size, especially against a smaller and less experienced bench.
Prediction: Brisbane by 4
Saturday 9th May –
Dandenong v Geelong
First hosts third in an East Conference showdown. Dandenong lost their first game last weekend by 13 points to the CoE after an 8-21 overtime period but recovered to defeat Canberra the following day, 88-71. Geelong also split their weekend, falling to Kilsyth before overcoming Sandringham in overtime. Point guards Alex Duck and Cortney Williamson will look to attack the Rangers after Amelia Todhunter missed last round with a knee injury.
Bendigo v Kilsyth
Kilsyth continue to impress after defeating Geelong 100-82 with five players scoring 15+ but they will have to keep their five game winning streak going without coach Sam Woosnam whose baby is due any day. Bendigo have dropped their past two games, are winless at home and could struggle to contain the front court of Cassie Sant and Sarah Parsons if Stacia Robertson’s injury keeps her out of the side.
Frankston v Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence
A tough schedule for the 2-2 Lady Blues has seen them play just once at home this season so they will be desperate to win in front of their home fans. They will need to muster up a gritty effort facing the unbeaten CoE, who handed Dandenong their first loss with Lauren Scherf (22 points, eight rebounds) leading nine players that hit the scoreboard.
Ballarat v Canberra
Ballarat are closing in on a maiden victory as their 71 point effort against Frankston last weekend improved on their 55 point season average. Canberra fell to Dandenong but received 21 points from Kristen Langhorn while Steph Talbot continues to stuff the stat-sheet. Whichever team that can limit their mistakes should prevail as the Capitals average 19 turnovers while the Rush average 18.
Launceston v Hobart
Double-doubles from Emilee Harmon and Mikaela Ruef were not enough for Launceston to hold off Brisbane the night after Amy Kame and Kathleen Scheer took down the Lady Spartans with a combined 34 points and 22 rebounds. That front court battle will be a thrill to watch while Gabby Mann has added incentive off the bench as she played for the Tornadoes in 2013.
Sunday 10th May –
Kilsyth v Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence
Both sides will be on their second night of back-to-backs but this will be the CoE’s first proper double-header. Anneli Maley and Alexandra Sharp will have their work cut out for them chasing Kilsyth’s leading scorer in Steph Cumming while Sant (191cm) and Lauren Scherf (196cm) will do battle under the rim.
Geelong v Frankston
It wasn’t easy for Frankston to get back on the winners list last weekend with an overtime victory against Ballarat and the task to string consecutive wins together is even more difficult this round with the CoE and Geelong as opponents. Sara Blicavs collected 22 boards against Sandringham last round for the Lady Supercats but will have to fight off Emily Fryters and Kelly Bowen in these sides’ only meeting for the year.
Sandringham v Canberra
After beginning her SEABL career with Canberra, Caitlin Rowe has moved to Sandringham for the 2015 season and has improved both her points (10.5 to 12.8) and rebound (6.7 to 7.5) numbers. A week’s break could give the Sabres the upper hand as the Capitals will be on the second night of a double-header while the visitors will also have their hands full containing Player of the Week, Brittany Smart.