Women's Previews - Round 6

Eastern Mavericks (1-4, 7th) v South Adelaide Panthers (0-5, 10th)
Saturday May 12, 6.30pm at Adelaide Hills

The South Adelaide Panthers now have the longest losing streak in the competition, but have the chance to end it when they visit the previous owners of that title, the Eastern Mavericks.

The Panthers’ last weekend of action was one to forget, suffering big losses to unbeaten sides Norwood and Forestville. Against Norwood, four players scored nine points (Sally Mostert, Lauren Gibbons, Jess Hansberry, Sophie Byrne), in a match where the Panthers shot just 28 per cent from the field and failed to win a quarter.

Against the Eagles, the Panthers were somewhat competitive after quarter-time, however, the damage had already been done. Overall, they shot 33 per cent and were outrebounded 27-58. Hajnal Nagy led the way with 13 points while Nicole Brown added 10.

In Round 4, the Mavs finally got on the board, defeating Southern 79-71. It was their first win since 2010. Tess Madgen scored 42 points, the most by a player this season.

She was not just basket-hanging either, registering 18 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Tenille Searl got her the ball regularly and finished with 9 assists, to go with 5 rebounds and 4 points.

The next day, the Mavs suffered a respectable loss to Norwood, going down 67-81. Madgen scored 32 in that one, adding 12 rebounds and 7 assists, while Shannon Tarran had 14 points and 14 rebounds.

The Panthers were the team that came closest to losing to the Mavs last season. They were the only side in the competition to fail to beat the Mavs by double figures.

If anyone is to win by 10 or more this week, based on form, it will surely be the Mavs.

North Adelaide Rockets (2-2, 5th) v West Adelaide Bearcats (1-4, 8th)
Saturday May 12, 6.30pm at Hillcrest

The North Adelaide Rockets will be hoping to continue their improved form when they welcome the struggling West Adelaide Bearcats.

They say one player doesn’t make a team, but maybe Jo Hill is the exception to the rule? Hill’s first game of the season corresponded with the Rockets’ best performance to date, a 72-52 trouncing of Sturt. Hill had 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Jamie-Lee Peris (16 points, 13 rebounds) top-scored.

The Rockets won the rebound count 48-26, shot 45 per cent, and had 27 foul shots to 10.

The Bearcats enter this game coming off a dismal 27 point defeat to Centrals. They had just three points more than turnovers (33-30), and shot 17 per cent from the field. Trudy Holland dug deep for 8 points and 6 rebounds.

Last season, the teams split their fixtures 1-1, with the away team getting the goods both times. However, the Rockets should win comfortably this time out and make it three straight.

Norwood Flames (5-0, 1st) v Sturt Sabres (1-4, 9th)
Saturday May 12, 6.30pm at Mars

The struggling Sturt Sabres will be in for a tough night when they visit the Norwood Flames this weekend.

The Sabres enter this match in ninth position, an unfamiliar sight for a club that has made the finals in each of the last seven seasons, finishing Minor Premiers on three occasions. In Round 4, they went down by 20 to North, where they shot just 31 per cent and had 22 less rebounds. Ashleigh Bow (12 points), Emma Hooley (11 points) and Jess Mcphail (11 points) were best.

The next day, the Sabres went down to the Tigers 50-75, where their rebounding and shooting got even worse. Bow had 9 points on 4/8 shooting and 6 rebounds.

The Flames remained unbeaten, backing up a blowout win over South with a comfortable victory against Eastern. Jess Foley had a great weekend, totalling 38 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists. Amy Lewis (42 points, 10 rebounds in total) and Rachel Herrick (26 points, 17 rebounds in total) did likewise.

Last season, the Flames were triumphant against the Sabres on both occasions.

The Sabres’ last win over the Flames was June 19, 2010, and based on results thus far, it would take a miracle at Mars to change this statistic.

Southern Tigers (3-2, 4th) v Woodville Warriors (2-2, 6th)
Saturday May 12, 6.30pm at Morphett Vale

The Southern Tigers will return to Morphett Vale for the first time since Round 1 when they welcome the Woodville Warriors on Saturday night.

Both teams have started the season reasonably well, despite setbacks for each side in Round 4. The Tigers became the first side to lose to Eastern since 2010, despite 20 points from Alexandra Ciabattoni. Teresa Kinross added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Warriors copped a smashing from the red-hot Lions, going down 46-88. Katherine Perkas (15 points, 6 rebounds), Alissa Hampton (15 points) and Ashleigh White (8 points, 13 rebounds) were their top performers.

The Warriors had a bye in Round 5, while the Tigers bounced back with a big win over Sturt. They had 54 rebounds to 30, with Ciabattoni (31 points, 13/19 FG, 10 rebounds), Simone Nelson (10 points, 19 rebounds) and Genna Anderson (16 points, 11 rebounds) outstanding.

Head-to-head, the Tigers have won 13 straight over the Warriors, their longest such streak against any club. The last time the Warriors beat the Tigers was March 6, 2005.

If the Tigers are at their best Saturday, the Warriors will surely suffer another setback.

Central District Lions (4-1, 3rd) v Forestville Eagles (5-0, 2nd)
Saturday May 12, 6.30pm at Starplex

In the Match of the Season to date, the Central District Lions finally have a chance to avenge their 2011 Elimination Final exit when they take on the Forestville Eagles at Starplex on Saturday.

The Lions’ Cinderella Story looked to be continuing through the post-season when they led the Eagles 47-36 in the Elimination Final. However, the Eagles lived to fight another day, an 18-4 fourth quarter not only getting them through to the next round, but catapulting them to the premiership.

The early going in 2012 suggests another finals meeting between these sides is a very likely scenario. The Eagles are unbeaten after five starts, while the Lions have won four straight since an opening night loss to the only other unbeaten side, Norwood.

The Eagles cruised to victory against South in Round 5, on the back of a stunning performance from Olivia Thompson. Thompson had 35 points on 15/29 shooting and 21 rebounds in an unstoppable display. Georgia Minear added 20 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks.

Thompson’s performance was arguably the best by an individual this season. However, the team effort of the season surely has to be the Lions’ for their cat-handling of West Adelaide on the very same day. They gave up just 33 points, an incredible defensive effort.

Elizabeth Keane was the Player of the Game with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Fiona Perso had 11 points, 3 steals and 3 blocks. This result came one night after the Lions flogged the Woodville by 42, with Keane and Perso each scoring 20.

However, the Eagles are a much stronger opposition and a totally different challenge. The individual battle between Jess Fergus and Jess Mahony will be one to watch, as will D’Lesha Lloyde’s duel with Thompson. Both teams have plenty of depth.

This truly is a game that could go either way, but the Eagles’ extra experience in close games may be a deciding factor.

By James Woite


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