SEABL Women- The round 3 report

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Roy Ward on the Geelong Lady Supercats, plus this week’s best performers and the media wrap up.

Despite a disjointed preseason and a new coach in David Herbert, things are fast coming together for Geelong Supercats women.

The Supercats took their season record to 2-1 this past weekend with an 88-47 win over Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits at The Arena although they aren’t getting too carried away as they face the Kilsyth Cobras on Saturday night followed by a Sunday lunch time visit to Sandringham.

The Supercats could be without star forward Sara Blicavs as she will be at the Opals camp this week but Herbert remains hopeful she will be able to join the side for the weekend.

Blicavs’ absence is just another delay in a difficult start as the Supercats spent all but two weeks of the preseason without Blicavs, Tayla Roberts (Bendigo Spirit) and Rosie Fadljevic (Townsville Fire) who were all kept for the full length of the WNBL season after their teams played off in the grand final.

Herbert said his side still had plenty of work to do but was showing positive signs, especially in their away win over Launceston the previous round.

“We’ve had such a disrupted preparation,” Herbert said.

“Our core group have been in Geelong since October doing preseason but after the WNBL season Sara, Tayla and Rosie were looking for some time off so we got them a week before the season.
“Last week was the first time after two rounds where we had the full team at training.”

Herbert believes the Supercats have an exciting future ahead with all but one player under 25 years old and many of their locally based players improving quickly.

Combo guard Maddison Rocci played for Victoria Metro under-18 at the national championships earlier this month while players like Cortney Williamson, Caitlin Shadbolt, Alex Duck and others have all made good strides in the preseason.

Herbert’s last SEABL role was a short stint with Gippsland in the mid-1990s in a team which included future WNBL stars Belinda Snell, Desi Glaubitz and Michelle Cosier.

“I’m having a lot of fun being back in the heart of Victorian basketball,” Herbert said.

“There is a great culture here and my strength and conditioning coach Chelsey Cameron does a tremendous job.”

“I haven’t had to raise my voice, I just give everyone their tasks for the week and they get it done.”

Like other clubs with WNBL players coming in, Herbert said the task was now to help those players adjust from modest WNBL roles into leading roles with the Supercats.

“Tayla and Rosie have been on the bench for six months but all three of them can take major steps this season,” Herbert said.

“In our Tasmanian road trip both Rosie and Sara were rushing everything they were doing, they haven’t had to lead by example like that.

“Against Hobart we just kept throwing the ball away – they have to learn how to control the tempo and make the right decisions.

“It’s different when you have had a Kristi Harrower or Kelly Wilson who can do that for you – when you have to be “the man” then it becomes a different challenge.”

Roberts has enjoyed some solid games averaging 12 points and seven rebounds from three matches while Blicavs put on a blinding performance in their win over Launceston with 22 points and 14 rebounds plus a handful of steals and assists.

Whether they have Blicavs or not this weekend, Herbert said his Supercats side couldn’t wait to test themselves against Kilsyth who he rates as one of the top sides this season and Sandringham who have had an unlucky start.

“Both teams have terrific talent – we are going to have to be at our best to get either of those wins on the road,” Herbert said.

“Kilsyth is well coached and a powerful group, they are a contrasting group compared to ours as we don’t have that physical presence on the floor.

“It’s an absolute challenge, Kilsyth is the benchmark right now so it’s time to prove ourselves.

“We would love to get some wins and start proving wrong those people who picked us to finish at the lower end of the ladder.”

Notable performances

*Canberra Capitals Academy star Steph Talbot was on fire this round with 30 points and 14 rebounds in the Caps’ win over Launceston while last week she had nine points, 15 rebounds and six steals in her club’s loss to BA COE.

*Opals centre Elyse Penaluna scored 20 points in 21 minutes in BA centre of excellence’s win over Canberra Capitals Academy last week.

*Sandringham import Brittany Smart was again on fire in the Sabres close loss to Brisbane scoring 27 points, pulling in 14 rebounds and dishing out three assists.

*Launceston swing player Alex Wilson was unstoppable this round with 32 points and 13 rebounds against BA COE and 24 points and 12 rebounds against Canberra the day before.

*Rebecca Cole and Kate Oliver will team up at WNBL club Melbourne Boomers next season and they showed they can both score freely while playing for Nunawading against Bendigo. Cole had 23 points and 10 rebounds while Oliver added 21 points. Cole also had 25 points in the Spectres’ loss to Dandenong on Sunday.

*Bendigo Braves player Staci Robertson had a day out for her club with 26 points and eight rebounds against the Spectres.

*Dandenong Rangers centre Jacinta Kennedy was a key contributor against Frankston with 22 points and 10 rebounds although Kelly Bowen was excellent for the Blues with 22 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. Kennedy mirrored her game the next day with 21 points and 11 rebounds against the Spectres.

*Hobart import Amy Kame was again scoring with 29 points in her club’s loss to Kilsyth with Cobras captain Sarah Parsons scoring 23 points and adding 10 rebounds.

SEABL Media Links

Want more info on the women’s competiton? Here’s a handy guide…

*Albury Border Mail’s Steve Smith (@Stevesmithffx) reports Albury Wondonga coach Michael Brookens has blasted his side after another big loss. Story, pics:

*Ballarat Courier’s Melanie Whelan reports Rush coach Peter Cunningham is reviewing his side after a tough start. Story, pics:

*Bendigo Advertiser’s Nathan Dole reports on the Braves’ loss to Nunawading. Story, pics:

*Dandenong Journal’s Jarrod Potter (@JarrodPotter) filed this story on the Rangers’ weekend matches. Story, pics:

*Canberra Times’ Jon Tuxworth (@Tuxy81) reports on Canberra Capitals Academy’s weekend. Report:

Roy Ward (@rpjward) is a freelance sports writer who has covered the NBA, NBL, WNBL, SEABL and Big V during his career. He will be filing weekly columns on the SEABL men’s and women’s competitions during this season. For feedback or suggestions send Roy a tweet or email him at