The Tornadoes’ winning streak came to an end on Sunday against Nunawading but on Saturday night, they made it six in a row against Canberra in a tough 88-83 victory.
The Caps Academy were off to their best ever start to a season in 2018 but a knee injury to Kate Gaze has threatened to derail their season and they now sit tenth on the ladder with a 5-5 record at the mid-season break.
They proved they can take it up to some of the best teams in the competition though against Launceston as they owned an eight-point lead at three-quarter time.
As she will need to do for the rest of the year, Keely Froling paced Canberra with 27 points, ten rebounds and three assists while playing every minute of the game.
She had help though from Brittni Montgomery (16 points, six rebounds) and Sarah McAppion who stuffed the stat-sheet with 12 points, six boards, nine assists, three steals and two blocks as well as Caitlin Rowe and Rosemary Schweizer who combined for 17 points off the bench.
However, despite that spread of contributors and a margin as big as 14 points in the final term, Launceston did not panic and they went on a 14-0 run in the space of three minutes to tie the game with 2:30 remaining.
Abby Cubillo broke the deadlock for the Caps Academy but Lauren Nicholson responded with a three-pointer before Ellie Collins (19 points, six rebounds, six assists, three steals, two rejections) followed with a huge bucket to give the Tornadoes an impressive win.
Nicholson finished with 12 points in the final quarter, tallying 26 points, nine boards, three assists and a steal for the game as she continues to firm her odds for the 2018 MVP.
Alex Wilson also impressed with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists while Ali Partridge and Aishah Anis matched Canberra’s bench with 17 combined points as they stepped up in the absence of Lauren Mansfield who Launceston will be hoping can return after the Queen’s Birthday break.
ROUND 9 RESULTS:
There may be a few doubts creeping in regarding Kilsyth’s Championship hopes after they fell to Nunawading and Bendigo in consecutive weeks. That win for the Braves now means they have three less defeats than any other club in the league but a sweep of Round 9 for Nunawading against the two Tasmanian teams means they now sit in second. Dandenong’s win streak has extended to three heading into the mid-season break after taking care of Sydney Uni and Diamond Valley while Sandringham beat the Bandits to move into fifth place.
Hobart def. by Nunawading 66-84
Canberra def. by Launceston 83-88
Melbourne def. Ballarat 84-64
Albury/Wodonga def. by Sandringham 65-89
Kilsyth def. by Bendigo 66-87
Sydney Uni def. by Dandenong 55-80
Frankston def. by Geelong 67-75
Dandenong def. Diamond Valley 68-50
Nunawading def. Launceston 79-59
Andrew Mathieson of The Examiner recapped the end of the Tornadoes’ winning streak on Sunday: https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5444744/late-flight-hurts-torns-away-fight-in-road-trip/?cs=96
The Rush suffered their biggest loss of the season reports Siobhan Calafiore for The Courier: https://www.thecourier.com.au/story/5444353/ballarat-rush-suffers-its-biggest-loss-of-seabl-season/
Ten in a row for the Braves writes Adam Bourke for The Bendigo Advertiser: https://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/5444603/perfect-10-for-braves-women-as-men-crumble-against-cobras/
Will Hogan of the Geelong Advertiser looked at the performance of 16-year old Ally Knights who led the comeback for the Supercats over the weekend: http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/sport/local-sport/seabl-women-16yearold-ally-knights-lights-up-geelong-lady-supercats/news-story/32e7bcb1f1e2a76b114b07bc5a34b7d3
For all the latest news, interviews and recaps from the 2018 season, tune in to 88.3 Southern FM with Bruce Mitchell from 9am every Sunday morning: www.southernfm.com.au
Photo Courtesy: Terry Cunningham Photography