BRISBANE LADY SPARTANS
Wins – 11
Losses – 11
Standing – 3rd East Conference
Post-Season Results – lost to Nunawading (SF)
2014 result – 17 wins 7 losses, won Championship
Brisbane forced the most turnovers per game in the league (17.8) and had four of their starters average double-figures in scoring. Sarah Graham (13.3 points per game) shot 35% from downtown while Holly Smith (9.7) shot a league-high 58% from the field. After missing the playoffs from 2011-13, coach Donna Rinaldi has taken the Lady Spartans into two consecutive finals appearances.
A late collapse from Nunawading saw Brisbane nab third spot in the playoffs but a loss to the Spectres at home in the Semi-Final was a disappointing way to finish the year. They were the worst rebounding team in the competition, led by Emma McDonald who averaged just five a game.
In her eighth season, Odette Andrew averaged a career high in points (14.9) to lead the club in scoring. She hit the second most amount of free-throws at the second best clip (85%) while also improving her rebound numbers from 3.4 to 4.5 and assists from 1.9 to 2.2.
An imposing centre will be an immeasurable help to the Lady Spartans front court while bringing in an import or two should also be an aim of the club next year. The loss of Olivia Thompson damaged Brisbane’s youth and they will be looking to maintain youngsters like Tiana Mangakahia to balance the wealth of experience they do have.
Surpassing age 18 through the season, Bridie Kennedy-Hopoate played just seven matches for the season but improved her point production from 1.3 a game in 2014 to 4.4. Collecting 13 points and nine boards against Albury-Wodonga was the highlight of her year while she shot 58% on limited field goal opportunities.
GRADE – 5.5/10
Wins – 8
Losses – 16
Standing – 6th East Conference
2014 result – 7 wins 19 losses, 6th East Conference
Brisbane began the year with three straight victories including an important win over Ballarat in Round 2. Their 8-4 home record was better than two East Conference finalists while their finish to the season was also solid with three victories from their final five games.
One of two teams to end the year winless on the road, the Spartans had an average losing margin of eight points away from home. On top of their conference after Round 3, they fell away sharply to lose 14 of their next 16 matches while five of their top six scorers for the season played less than half of the year.
Working tirelessly throughout the season, Isaih Tueta finished with an average of 16 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists. Those points and assist numbers were career-highs and his relentless attack to the rim saw him sink the fifth most amount of free-throws for the league.
Consistency throughout the side is the most prevalent issue for the Spartans and a quality import would also help their cause. Tueta had a strong season but needs help in the back-court in order to return Brisbane to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
With a rich history of sporting prowess in his family, big things are expected of Daryl McDowell-White and another season in the SEABL will serve the 17-year old well. His ability at both ends of the court was showcased in a clash with N-W Tasmania when he recorded 17 points, five rebounds, two assists and three steals.
GRADE – 4/10