ROUND 4 PREVIEW
Preview Round 4, the penultimate weekend of season 2017, with the race to the top four heating up.
Friday 16th June -
Red Dust Lady Heelers v Kilsyth Cobras @6pm
After enjoying the bye in Round 3, the Lady Heelers hit the court for the first time since early May while Kilsyth do not have far to travel with this weekend’s games being hosted in Melbourne at La Trobe University.
The Cobras only sit three points ahead of Red Dust on the ladder and currently own the fourth and final playoff spot but a loss on Friday night would immediately tighten up that race. In the season series, both teams have claimed a win with Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy averaging a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Heelers while Leanne Del Toso has paced the Cobras with 16 points and 6.5 assists.
Be Active Western Stars v Minecraft Qld Comets @8pm
These teams have only met once before and while that was last round, the meeting came almost a month ago due to the extended break between Round 3 and 4.
Queensland earned just their second win of the year in the clash when four players hit double-figures led by Mari Amimoto’s 18 points and 11 rebounds although Amber Merritt suffered a knock to the head in the game and only played eight minutes. With her back in the line-up alongside Chihiro Kitada, the Stars should have too many offensive weapons.
Saturday 17th June -
Red Dust Lady Heelers v Sydney Metro Blues @10am
With two wins from their three games in Round 3, the Blues have maintained their top two placing on the ladder and with Sydney Uni having the bye this weekend, they can make serious in-roads on top spot by round’s end.
They will face Red Dust who are backing up from a game the night before while they have also beaten the Lady Heelers in two previous meetings this year by an average of 29 points. They have finished +17 overall in assists across the two games with Bridie Kean (10.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, seven assists) and Cobi Crispin’s triple-double in their second meeting doing the damage.
Be Active Western Stars v Kilsyth Cobras @12pm
Kilsyth have played the equal-most amount of games through the first three rounds alongside Sydney Uni but they must be able to record a couple more victories in their final weekend before the finals as they only own a three-point advantage inside the top four.
They will look to take advantage of the Stars playing their second game of the round but will need to overcome two losses to them already in 2017 by an average margin of 27 points. In Round 3, Shelley Chaplin recorded ten points and 11 assists for Kilsyth but her side had no answer for Merritt who went off for an incredible 56 points on 26-37 shooting.
Sydney Metro Blues v Minecraft Qld Comets @2pm
While they come into the round on the bottom of the ladder and Sydney Metro sit second, the Comets will look at this clash as a big opportunity to claim an upset with the Blues playing their second game in just four hours.
However, Sydney Metro came out firing last time these two met, scoring 75 points compared to their season average of 61.1 while a 15-6 edge in steals sealed the deal. This clash will also be a re-match of sorts from the recent Continental Clash in England when Queensland’s Amimoto represented Japan against Gliders Crispin and Georgia Munro-Cook.
Red Dust Lady Heelers v Be Active Western Stars @4pm
After facing off on the opening night of the season, these sides meet again with the Lady Heelers keen to respond to their 17-70 loss from Round 1.
Red Dust must make a concerted effort to get on the boards after they were out-rebounded by 32 last meeting including a 7-16 differential in offensive rebounds. Kitada pulled down 19 caroms overall to go with 16 points and nine assists and if she can dominate inside in a similar way, the Lady Heelers will struggle to keep up with them on the scoreboard.
Minecraft Qld Comets v Kilsyth Cobras @6pm
Both clubs will be playing their third game of the round and second of the day but for the Cobras, this is an important game to keep their closest rivals on the ladder at bay.
If they get past Red Dust and the Comets this weekend, they will put themselves in a surer position as they then wait out the final round with a bye. A victory for Queensland could keep their finals hopes alive, especially with the winner of this game clinching the season series which could come into play if both teams finish on the same amount of points at the end of Round 5.
Sunday 18th June -
Sydney Metro Blues v Kilsyth Cobras @11am
The final game of the weekend for these sides sees second placed Blues taking on the fourth placed Cobras in what will also be Kilsyth’s last game of the 2017 regular season.
Sydney Metro have been too good for the Cobras in two previous meetings, holding them to their second lowest total of the season in Round 3 when they won 63-31. Kilsyth did match them with six players hitting the scoreboard but the effectiveness of Courtney Ryan (9-17 shooting), Bridie Kean (6-12) and Crispin (6-8) proved to be the difference.
Red Dust Lady Heelers v Minecraft Qld Comets @1pm
Round 4 comes to an end with the Lady Heelers and Comets possibly finishing with a chance to get off the bottom of the ladder depending on prior results through the weekend.
One of Red Dust’s two wins for the year came against Queensland when they beat them in Round 2 by 23 points in their best defensive performance of the season. With just six players, they forced 31 turnovers and restricted the influence of Melanie Hall and Ashley Wardman while O’Kelly-Kennedy recorded 27 points.