ROUND 7 PREVIEW
Sydney Metro Blues v Red Dust Lady Heelers – Friday 13th July @6pm
Sydney Metro Blues v Red Dust Lady Heelers – Saturday 14th July @10am
Ahead of the final round of the regular season, Sydney Metro have locked in a finals spot but could still move as high as second while Red Dust need at least one victory to assure themselves a place in the post-season.
The Lady Heelers currently sit only two points ahead of Sydney Uni on the ladder and have lost all three previous meetings with the Flames this season.
That means that Sydney Uni could drop every game in Round 7 and they would still move above Red Dust so at least one win is needed this weekend.
However, even if the Lady Heelers sweep the Blues, their position is still tenuous with the Flames hot on their heels.
When Red Dust faced the Blues earlier this year, they tallied their third lowest score of the season in a 14-point defeat as Georgia Munro-Cook (19 points, 12 rebounds) countered the best efforts of Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy (five points, 13 rebounds) and Taylah Parry (six points, ten boards) in the paint.
If the Lady Heelers can keep Munro-Cook quiet, the home side’s short roster means they could run over the top of them and the likes of Australian Gliders Shelley Chaplin and Clare Nott have the ability to push Red Dust over the edge.
Sydney Metro continue to find ways to win in 2018 though and a sweep of Round 7 gives them a chance to move above the Comets and claim second spot as well as a second chance in the playoffs.
Queensland Comets v Sydney Uni Flames – Friday 13th July @7pm
Queensland Comets v Sydney Uni Flames – Saturday 14th July @8pm
Having not played in a month and only competing in four games since mid-April, the Flames’ quiet season catches up to them this weekend as they face four very important games against both the Comets and Cobras.
If Red Dust drop both their games, Sydney Uni will book a place in the finals due to their head-to-head results against the Lady Heelers after they won all three of their clashes this year.
However, if Red Dust pick up one or two wins, the Flames must at least match them with the same amount of victories to stay in front on the ladder.
Queensland have a lot to play for as well, despite having already booked their spot in the post-season.
First place is out of reach but one win this weekend would at least be enough to hold off Sydney Metro’s charge for second spot and that all-important second chance.
When Queensland previously met Sydney Uni this season, they were six-point victors as Cobi Crispin paced them with 29 points and Ella Sabljak added five points, five rebounds and three assists.
The Flames were also led by Brodie Palmer’s 17 points and 14 rebounds which Annabelle Lindsay must be able to replicate or else the visitors will find themselves lacking on the boards when they come up against Crispin and Alison Herring.
Kilsyth Cobras v Sydney Uni Flames – Saturday 14th July @2pm
Kilsyth Cobras v Sydney Uni Flames – Sunday 15th July @10am
In between those meetings with Queensland, the Flames take on Kilsyth on Saturday night before wrapping up their regular season on Sunday against the Cobras as well.
Both games will be played in Queensland in neutral territory but Kilsyth will be looking to take advantage of their opponents’ tough schedule which will see them play four games in less than 40 hours.
The Cobras could still finish on the same amount of wins as Red Dust but due to their three losses in their head-to-head battles, a playoff spot is now out of the equation.
One of their two wins this season came against the Flames though which will give them confidence that they can finish 2018 on a high note.
Their defence was outstanding in that last meeting, holding their opponents to 21% shooting while they collected 13 assists themselves and Teisha Shadwell (12 points, 17 boards) and Leanne Del Toso (26 points, 14 rebounds) recorded big double-doubles.
Hannah Dodd and Tracey Carruthers did help the Flames pull down 13 offensive rebounds though and if they can improve their shooting stroke, those second chance opportunities will have a big role to play.
Lindsay was also absent for their clash and sitting sixth for points and eighth for rebounds in the league, she will make a significant difference on Saturday and Sunday.