Frankston Lady Blues and Kilsyth Lady Cobras go head-to-head in our game of the week, plus we preview each match.
By Grant Richardson
Game of The Week – Frankston v Kilsyth
Saturday 16th May- 6:00pm @ Frankston Basketball Stadium
The most in-form team of the competition, Kilsyth Lady Cobras, head to Frankston this weekend to face the Lady Blues who have won just one of their past five games and are on a current two-game losing streak.
Following a sweep of Round 5 with victories over Bendigo and the Centre of Excellence, Kilsyth have now won seven straight games. They reached the century mark for the second time this season with a 102-70 thrashing of the Lady Braves before handing the CoE their first loss in an emphatic 86-62 victory.
Contrary to Kilsyth’s weekend, Frankston lost both matches over the round with defeats at the hands of Geelong and the CoE. Their offensive options are limited with Maddie Garrick injured and it showed in their game against the CoE as Kate Gaze and Kelly Bowen took 47 of the Lady Blues’ 64 field goal attempts while scoring 43 of their 51 points.
When these sides met in Round 2, Frankston finished +9 in offensive rebounds which led to 14 more shot attempts. However, they hit just 25% from the field and fell by 19 points. Although the Lady Cobras have improved since that clash, the likes of Patrice McKenzie, Emily Fryters and Bowen must again dominate the glass if they are to win this match.
Coach Sam Woosnam is likely to miss after giving birth to her first child but Dave Newton and Emily van Poppel have held down the fort well in her absence. With offensive weapons such as Cassie Sant (19.9 points per game), Steph Cumming (19.5) and Sarah Parsons (13.7), it is difficult to see Kilsyth’s winning streak coming to an end, especially without having to contend with 2014 MVP Maddie Garrick.
Prediction: Kilsyth by 8
Friday 15th May –
Hobart v Canberra
The Lady Chargers fell to Tasmanian rival Launceston last week but will be happy to be back on their home floor where they are 3-0 this season. Canberra split Round 5 with a win in Sandringham following a loss to Ballarat. Amy Kame (25.8 points, 8.8 rebounds per game) and Steph Talbot (22 and 12.7) lead their respective sides and the winner of their clash could decide the outcome of the match.
Saturday 16th May –
Brisbane v Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence
The CoE’s only loss this season came at the hands of a rampaging Kilsyth side while Brisbane scored 27 less than their season average in a 48-73 loss to Nunawading. In the decisive front court battle, the Brisbane pairing of Emma McDonald (188cm) and Holly Smith (187cm) will have to call on all their skills against the decidedly taller duo of Lauren Scherf (196cm) and Elyse Penaluna (193cm).
Albury-Wodonga v Ballarat
An extended break will see the Lady Bandits play their first game in three weeks against a Ballarat side that has played four more matches than them. The Rush’s scoring is certainly on the improve with Abbey Wehrung and Jess May hitting season-highs in the past two weeks while Shanae Greaves and Olivia Thompson will have the important job of slowing down Albury-Wodonga’s imports, Kristina Baltic and Alison Bouman.
Launceston v Canberra
No team has swept the Tasmanian road trip this season from three attempts and the Tornadoes will be looking to get back on track after snapping their four game losing streak last round. However, Canberra will be buoyed by their 18-point defeat of Launceston in Round 3 when Alex Wilson’s 24 points and 12 rebounds was bettered by Steph Talbot’s 30 and 14 with six steals.
Dandenong v Sandringham
The East Conference leader hosts the bottom of the South Conference while Dandenong will also look to keep their unbeaten home streak alive. The Sabres are getting solid production out of Caitlin Rowe while the league’s leading scorer, Brittany Smart, could take full advantage of Amelia Todhunter’s absence. The defensive end is where they could struggle though, with Dandenong (83 points per game) owning the second best offence in the league.
Sunday 17th May –
Nunawading v Geelong
Both sides have found their offence in recent weeks so expect a fast-paced game in a battle of the East’s second and third placed teams. Nicole Romeo had an immediate impact in her debut for Nunawading last weekend, tallying 17 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. She forms a dangerous combination with fellow guard Bec Cole but Geelong will look to utilise their height advantage with Sara Blicavs, Tayla Roberts and Caitlin Shadbolt under the rim.