QLD Setting Up For The Future
Hosts, RSL Qld Spinning Bullets, had one of the toughest draws for the Round two cluster but were impressive every single day, matching it with the league’s best.
In the round opener it took the Spinning Bullets 3 quarters to get by the Sydney Uni Wheelkings. Trailing by two points at three quarter time, a 19-11 final term got the job done with the cool head of veteran Adrian King ensuring a 65-59 win.
They would have been disappointed with their 36 point loss to the Rollerhawks the following day with no answers to the Stibners-Russell combination but to their credit, bounced back on Sunday to put in their best performance of the weekend against the Be Active Perth Wheelcats.
There is no question that the Spinning Bullets had built themselves up for this game, eager to test themselves against the team from across the Nullarbor. In the early going they owned the keyways at both ends stopping any sort of penetration from the Perth offence and testing out their outside shooting game, while seemingly rolling to the basketball at will at the offensive end of the floor.
They were four point leaders at quarter time and unlucky not to hang onto the lead leading into the second half, trailing 29-28 at the main break. After that it seemed to be all one way traffic for the Wheelcats with the Spinning Bullets eventually going down 74-50.
The QLD team will take a great deal of confidence out of this game. They were able to match it with essentially the Rollers starting five in Eveson-Ness-Norris-Hartnett and if it wasn’t for some missed layups opportunities, this game could very well have had a different result.
Tom O’Neill-Thorne ran the Brisbane offence from the point all weekend and was the Spinning Bullets highest scorer for the round, going at 14 points per game. The 16 year old who hails from the Northern Territory has been touted as the next big thing for Australian wheelchair basketball. He has speed and agility, a basketball brain, the ability to hit the scoreboard and is only really lacking big numbers in his assist column to take his game to the next level.
While QLD is looking toward the future and has a clear youth policy with the likes of Tom O’Neill-Thorne, Bailey Rowland and Jordan Bartley, there is still plenty of room for a cool head like Adrian King who adds experience to an otherwise very raw team. They’ll face Victoria this weekend in what should be a great contest between two of the league’s biggest improvers.
Written by Joel Mackenzie