ROUND 6 PREVIEW
Kilsyth Cobras v Sydney Metro Blues – Friday 15th June @6pm
Kilsyth Cobras v Sydney Metro Blues – Saturday 16th June @6pm
For the first time in over a month, the Blues are back on court and they will face a determined Kilsyth team who need a couple of wins to stay in finals contention.
This weekend is the penultimate round of the 2018 regular season and Kilsyth currently sit in fifth position on the ladder but they are only two wins behind Red Dust on the ladder and their last four games will all be played at home.
The Cobras will also be buoyed by a Round 1 victory over Sydney Metro when five players hit the scoreboard led by Leanne Del Toso (27 points, seven rebounds, 13 assists).
They controlled the glass too with a 45-29 rebound advantage as Teisha Shadwell (19 points, nine rebounds, five assists), Bree Mellberg (ten points, seven boards) and Jamie Villalon (seven points, nine rebounds) all starred.
Since then, Sydney Metro have moved into third place on the ladder but will be keen to recover from a four-game losing streak and maintain their place in the playoffs.
Georgia Munro-Cook will be key to their chances, especially in the rebound battle, and her recent time with the Australian Gliders should have her full of confidence while Kylie Gauci is improving every week as she recovers from a shoulder injury.
Daisy Eaglesome, who was not in the team during their Round 1 meeting, will also play an important role in these two contests, averaging three points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
Be Active Western Stars v Queensland Comets – Friday 15th June @6.30pm
Be Active Western Stars v Queensland Comets – Saturday 16th June @8am
A battle of the top two teams in the league at the moment will give a better indication of who is the Championship favourite as the Stars host the Comets in Round 6.
Both sides have qualified for the playoffs as Queensland own the head-to-head results over Kilsyth while the Stars have also ensured themselves of at least a top-two finish.
If they win one game this weekend, they will also sew up top spot but the Comets could take first place from them if they win all four of their remaining games.
That will include two victories this weekend and means they need to turn around a 31-point loss to the Stars from Round 1 when Amber Merritt and Chihiro Kitada combined for 50 points and 22 rebounds while Georgia Inglis added 12 assists.
The home side did drop a surprising game to Sydney Uni a fortnight ago but were playing without Kitada and with her back in the line-up, the likes of Cobi Crispin, Alison Herring and Georgia Bishop-Cash will be hard-pressed to restrict her influence at the offensive end.
Sydney University Flames v Red Dust Lady Heelers – Saturday 16th June @2pm
Sydney University Flames v Red Dust Lady Heelers – Saturday 16th June @6pm
The Flames’ season is on the line this weekend as they face two crucial contests against the fourth-placed Lady Heelers.
Sydney Uni have played the least amount of games of any team in the competition and still have a tough four-game weekend remaining in Round 7 but two losses to Red Dust this round would see them fall behind in the head-to-head battle and be unable to catch their rivals.
That leaves little room for error but splitting this weekend would be enough to keep the Flames’ hopes alive, although they still have two games against second-placed Queensland to come before the regular season concludes.
For the Lady Heelers, victories are just as important as they look to hold off Kilsyth and Sydney Uni to claim a playoff position.
Team defence will be key in these two clashes as both teams average 38 points per game and the inside work of Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy and Shelley Chaplin could lead Red Dust to success.
However, Brodie Palmer has been a double-double machine in 2018 and Liesl Tesch is a calming influence on court as well as a dominant presence in the paint so the Flames will be backing themselves to get the job done in a double-header on Saturday.