Women's Previews - Round 4

Forestville Eagles (3-0, 2nd) v West Adelaide Bearcats (1-2, 6th)
Wednesday April 25, 3:15pm at Wayville

The West Adelaide Bearcats will be hoping to build on their first win of 2012 when they visit the Forestville Eagles on Anzac Day.

A 63-47 Round 3 victory at South was the Bearcats’ first win since last year’s Qualifying Final, with four defeats during that span. One of those losses was in the Preliminary Final to the Eagles. The Bearcats have been eliminated from the finals by the Eagles in three consecutive seasons, despite being the higher ranked team each time.

Narelle van Leuven top-scored for the Bearcats’ last week with 22 points, and also added 6 rebounds. Kate Shierlaw had 13 points and 16 rebounds. Trudy Holland was held to just two points on 1/10 shooting, but did have a game-high 13 rebounds.

The Forestville Eagles, winners of their last six home matches, continued their unbeaten start to 2011, defeating the previously undefeated Woodville Warriors 74-59. They led by as many as 24, before conceding some late points. Olivia Thompson dominated with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists, while Jess Fergus had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals in a season-low 38 minutes.

2011 Club MVP Georgia Minear suited up for the first time this season. She finished with 13 points in 22 minutes.

Last week’s win will have given the Bearcats some much-needed confidence, but the Eagles should be far too strong and register another comfortable win.

Eastern Mavericks (0-3, 10th) v Southern Tigers (2-1, 4th)
Saturday April 28, 6:30pm at Adelaide Hills

The Eastern Mavericks will have another shot at their first win since 2010 when they welcome the Southern Tigers to Adelaide Hills.

The Mavs looked the goods for much of their game against the Rockets, leading at the end of each quarter, with the exception of the most important one. They were outscored 10-16 in the fourth and lost 58-63.

Tess Madgen put up 23 points and 20 rebounds, but shot just 9/27 from the field and 1/9 from beyond the arc. Lauren Wright added 13 points on 6/8 shooting, while Jaimi Rock had 10 boards. As a team, the Mavs shot the ball at the same percentage as the Rockets (33 per cent), but turned the ball over six extra times.

The Tigers trailed ladder-leaders Norwood by just three at half-time, but were outscored 29-43 after the interval and lost 61-78. They were just a little off the pace in every major statistical category, including three extra turnovers and five less points from the foul-line.

Alexandra Ciabattoni was the standout performer for the Tigers with 26 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Danelle Fawcett made her shots (14 points on 6/8 shooting), but turned the ball over 9 times. A week after her career night, Genna Anderson was limited to 12 points.

The Tigers won their games against the Mavs last year by an average margin of 30 points. Expect a tighter contest, although the Mavs quest for a first victory will likely have to wait at least another week.

North Adelaide Rockets (1-2, 7th) v Sturt Sabres (1-2, 8th)
Saturday April 28, 6:30pm at Hillcrest

Two struggling sides go head-to-head on Saturday, with the North Adelaide Rockets hosting the Sturt Sabres.

The Rockets only just got over the Mavs last week, who had lost their previous 20 games. They trailed by seven at half-time, but scored 34 points to 22 in the final 20 minutes, lifting them to a five point victory.

Kirsty Williams (16 points, 10 rebounds), Jess Smart (13 points, 12 rebounds), Shannon McKay (13 points) and Rebecca Lock (12 points, 5 rebounds) were the Rockets’ best. Tahnee Mansfield struggled from the field, but had a game-high 5 assists. As a team, the Rockets scored nine extra points from downtown, which proved crucial to the outcome of the game.

Before last week, the Central ABL website’s 7 year historical statistics had no record of the Sabres losing to Centrals. Now they do! The Sabres’ only lead of the night was 2-0, and they were comprehensively beaten in their own gym.

The Sabres put up only 55 points and turned the ball over 27 times. Ashleigh Bow (13 points, 9 rebounds) was the only Sabre to score in double figures, although Jess McPhail did have 10 boards.

The Rockets have been without their leading scorer from last season, Jo Hill, in all three matches. If Hill remains absent, it is difficult to see where they will get their points.

The Sabres may have just enough to claw their way home, but do not be surprised if the Rockets get up.

Norwood Flames (3-0, 1st) v South Adelaide Panthers (0-3, 10th)
Saturday April 28, 6:30pm at Mars

In a clash of top v bottom, the Norwood Flames host the South Adelaide Panthers on Saturday.

The Flames’ 78-61 win over Southern last week was their 20th regular season win in their last 21 attempts. They have got the job done in the opening three rounds despite the absence of Point Guard Kelsey Ireland, who was one of their top players last season.

Against the Tigers, Jess Foley was at her brilliant best with 27 points on 10/17 shooting, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals. Rachel Herrick (10 points, 17 rebounds), Amy Lewis (14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals) and Marisse Stabile (12 points) also filled up the stats sheet.

The Panthers, who closed 2011 with three straight losses, have now lost three in a row to start 2012. They went down by 16 to the Bearcats, with most of the damage done during a 9-21 second period. Nicole Brown was their only efficient scorer with 12 points off just eight field goal attempts, while Lauren Gibbons had 11 points and 6 rebounds, and Hajnal Nagy added 7 points and 9 boards.

The Flames won their last encounter with the Panthers by 38, and they should be able to boost their percentage this time out.

Central District Lions (2-1, 3rd) v Woodville Warriors (2-1, 5th)
Saturday April 28, 6.30pm at Starplex

Two perennial wooden spoon contenders will feature in the Match of the Round, with the Central District Lions battling the Woodville Warriors at Starplex.

Both teams are sitting in the top five with identical records, although the Lions have a higher percentage.

Over the years, the Lions have become accustomed to lop-sided scorelines at Pasadena. However, they are not used to being on the winning end of one. In Round 3, the Lions trounced Sturt 77-55, winning all four quarters.

Elizabeth Keane showed why she is one of the recruits of the season with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 5 steals, while Jess Mahony (the recruit of Season 2011) had 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

The Lions also received excellent contributions from Fiona Perso (13 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists) and D’Lesha Lloyde (11 points, 7 rebounds). As a team, they took much better care of the ball than their opponents, forcing 27 turnovers but committing just 14 themselves.

The Warriors were on the ropes at quarter-time against Forestville, before limiting the damage. They trailed 8-20 at quarter-time, but could never get closer than nine thereafter, eventually losing by 15. Katherine Perkas had a team-high 15 points to go with 5 rebounds, while Ursula Richards scored 11 points and Claire Christie had 10 points and 7 rebounds.

Last season, the Warriors last their Round 9 home clash to the Lions by 14 and their final match away by 20. They do appear a stronger side this year, having already won as many games as last year.

However, the Lions are playing even better basketball than in 2011, and they should win their third straight.

By James Woite


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