ROUND 6 REVIEW
The Queensland Spinning Bullets have reasserted themselves in the top two on the ladder after three tight victories over Adelaide in Round 6, all but ending the Thunder’s hopes of reaching the 2018 playoffs.
Queensland were without their on-court leader in Tom O’Neill-Thorne due to a Rollers tour of Japan this week as well as key player Jake Fulwood but their depth shone through to give them three consecutive wins against Adelaide by an average margin of 10.7 points.
A topsy-turvy game on Friday night saw the lead change hands several times throughout the contest with Adelaide owning a four-point edge midway through the final quarter.
Queensland responded through Nicholas Radovich who put them ahead by five with a minute to go but Phillip Stephens (seven points, four assists) hit a massive three-pointer before Will Crooks (16 points) followed up with a game-tying shot to send the game into overtime.
The Spinning Bullets answered the challenge in the extra period though, prevailing 69-63 as Kurt Thomson (18 points, nine boards) added four points and Radovich scored four more himself to finish with 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Daniel Anstey had a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds as well and he followed up with another on Saturday night, recording 12 and ten as Queensland pulled away with a 22-14 final term to win 66-55.
Jordan Bartley did a bit of everything with ten points, seven boards, seven assists, Thomson collected 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists while Radovich again starred off the bench with 21 points on 10-17 shooting.
Adelaide were right in the contest courtesy of a big night from Luke Watkins (21 points, seven rebounds, six assists) as well as strong performances from Adam Roocke (14 points, nine boards) and Jay Dohnt (ten points, four assists) but they surrendered a 7-15 run down the stretch to lose their second game of the weekend.
The Thunder were then jumped by the Spinning Bullets in the first term of their third clash on Sunday, falling behind by 11 points at quarter-time.
Bartley flirted with a triple-double of 20 points, seven rebounds and eight assists while Anstey and Dylan Gawthorne were efficient with 27 combined points on 11-15 shooting as Queensland prevailed by 15, 73-58.
Watkins finished the weekend with another 19 points, Dohnt had eight points, 12 assists and three steals and Stephens recorded 12 points off the bench but Adelaide struggled to find the firepower to match the home side throughout Round 6.
For Queensland, the three wins place them second on the ladder and they have still played two less games than first-placed Wollongong and four games less than third-placed Perth while the victories in the absence of O’Neill-Thorne will give them confidence heading into the final weeks of the regular season.
Find all the results, stats and the ladder for the season so far here.