Friday, June 1, 2018

Featured Game of The Week – Canberra Caps Academy vs. Launceston Tornadoes
Saturday 2nd June- 5:30pm @ Belconnen Basketball Stadium

As we hit the midway point of the 2018 season, both the Caps Academy and Tornadoes are looking to cement their position in the top eight but the clubs are heading in opposite directions at the start of Round 9.

Canberra enjoyed their best ever start to a campaign with a 4-1 record but a knee injury to Kate Gaze has sidelined their top scorer for the rest of the year.

Since Gaze went down, the Caps Academy are 1-3 which includes a 22-point loss to Sydney Uni last weekend when they tallied just 48 points and they are in desperate need of finding more scorers to complement the work of Keely Froling (19.8 points, 11.2 rebounds per game) and Brittni Montgomery (9.7 points, 7.8 boards).

Sarah McAppion is a veteran who can step up and 19-year old Abby Cubillo is averaging 10.7 points per game but the Caps Academy will need to get more out of their other youngsters like Rosemary Schweizer and Callie Bourne if they are going to reach their first ever playoff campaign.

The Tornadoes were picked to be a Championship contender pre-season but after a 1-4 start, hopes began to dwindle.

However, since the arrival of Lauren Mansfield, Launceston have won five in a row with the Opals fringe point guard sitting second in the league for assists (5.6 per game) and fifth for three-point percentage (45.8%) while scoring 15.6 points per contest.

She is one of four Tornadoes players averaging double-figures including Lauren Nicholson who sits third in the league with 24.1 points, Alex Wilson who is adding 17 points and Ellie Collins who is averaging a career-high 14.9 points.

All four players are also lighting it up from distance, knocking down at least 11 three-pointers this season as well as Emma Haywood who has drilled 13 three’s and Canberra have just one current player above that benchmark.

The visitors’ offensive production could simply overpower the Caps Academy who have also been struggling at home this season with a 1-3 record- the second worst mark in the league.

Round 9 Notables:

  • A double-header on the road this weekend will test the Tornadoes’ form and they will take on Nunawading on Sunday. Don’t forget that game is a 2.30pm tip-off with the men playing the first game on Sunday.
  • The Spectres visit Hobart to kick things off on Friday night and after their upset win over the Cobras, will be full of confidence as they look to make up for a three-point loss to the Chargers from just a fortnight ago.
  • The biggest game on the Albury/Wodonga calendar will be held this weekend with the Bandits hosting Sandringham in the Allen McCowan Memorial Game, celebrating Albury/Wodonga’s greatest player who tragically passed away in 2012.
  • An annual tradition for the Cobras, Kilsyth will be hosting their Retro Night this weekend as well when they host Bendigo in another top of the table clash. The Cobras failed in their battle with Nunawading last round and will be desperate to atone while handing the Braves their first loss of the season.
  • Dandenong are flying under the radar somewhat this year, sitting fourth on the ladder with a 6-4 record. This weekend, they face Sydney Uni on Saturday night before hosting Diamond Valley on Sunday, a team they fell to by two points in Round 3.
  • Don’t forget, following the conclusion of Round 9, the league will enjoy a mid-season break over the Queen’s Birthday weekend.

Find the full fixture for the women in Round 9 via the SEABL website here.