SEASON PREVIEW: QUEENSLAND COMETS
Last Year: 5 wins, 10 losses- 4th
Roster: Sarah King, Cobi Crispin, Ashley Wardman, Gabrielle Sheehan, Alison Herring, Shelley Cronau, Kaia Scholl, Georgia Bishop-Cash, Ella Sabljak, Mari Amimoto.
Tipping off season 2018 with a clash against the Blues on opening night, Queensland also meet the Stars in Round 1 in a re-match of last season’s bronze medal playoff. After a busy first half of the year, they have byes in Round 5 and 6 while only playing four games across Round 7 and 8 which could have them primed for a big finals campaign if they return to the post-season.
The Comets just snuck into the top four last season and had at least four less wins than the other three teams but they proved themselves worthy of a finals spot as they came within a point of the Stars in the bronze medal playoff. Japanese import Mari Amimoto was outstanding in that game, collecting 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists and she will back again to try to lead them to a podium place in 2018. Their offence will be boosted by the addition of 2017 Finals MVP Cobi Crispin who averaged 23.5 points through the playoffs but her defence will also be helpful after the Comets gave up the second most amount of points last year. While she is expected to miss Round 1, Queensland will hoping Shelley Cronau plays more games than last season as she recorded 9.3 assists across four contests in 2017 which would have been a league-high. Alongside Crispin and Cronau, Ella Sabljak makes for a strong Gliders representation in the Comets line-up while Georgia Bishop-Cash is a rising star on the national radar.
One To Watch:
Ashley Wardman. Providing a major lift to Queensland in the bronze medal playoff last year, Wardman recorded her best game for the season with 13 points on 6-13 shooting, six rebounds and two assists as the Comets fell just short. Already a weapon at the offensive end, if she can carry that form into 2018 she will become even more dangerous and potentially a third double-digit scorer alongside Crispin and Amimoto which may be enough to move them closer to the top of the ladder.