ROUND 4 REVIEW
At the conclusion of Round 4, three teams have officially booked their place in the 2017 playoffs but with one round to come, seedings and the all-important fourth spot are still to play for.
Thanks to a bye for the Flames, Sydney Metro have moved into first place on the back of three straight wins, taking their streak on the year to six.
Winning by an average margin of 33.7 points, the Blues showcased their impressive defence, allowing only the Comets to surpass 40 points while teams shot just 32% from the field against them.
Coming off the bench in two games, Cobi Crispin averaged 20.7 points, five assists and 3.7 steals while Courtney Ryan (15.6 points and 6.3 rebounds) and Georgia Munro-Cook (16 points, 4.7 rebounds) also impressed.
Confirming their place in the finals, the Stars also swept their way through Round 4 with an average margin of 28.7 points.
They won all but one quarter for the weekend, led by three-straight double-doubles from Amber Merritt (30.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 4.3 steals) while Chihiro Kitada (16.3 points, 15.7 rebounds and 7.3 assists) had a triple-double against the Comets and Sarah Vinci added 9.7 points per game.
Despite losses to the Blues and Stars, Queensland were able to claim two victories to finish off the round, beating Kilsyth and Red Dust to move into fourth place and overtake the Cobras on the ladder.
Only Red Dust can grab that final playoff position in the final weekend and a match-up on Saturday, July 15 could decide that placing.
The Comets accounted for them this round though, beating them by 15 points as Mari Amimoto tallied 27 on 10-22 shooting and Ella Sabljak collected ten boards.
In their win over the Cobras, Mel Hall contributed six points, eight rebounds and two steals while Alison Mosely came off the bench to provide a spark but Amimoto was their leading scorer throughout the four games, finishing with an average of 27.5 points and 11.3 rebounds.
Red Dust currently sit last on the ladder but they will overtake Kilsyth in the final round with three games up their sleeve.
A win over the Comets in Round 5 could be enough to give them the final playoff spot but the Lady Heelers will most likely need to record two wins from their last three games to grab fourth.
The team will take confidence from their victory over Kilsyth on Friday night, holding them to just 29 points while three players hit double-figures.
Georgia Inglis went on to average 11 points for the weekend and Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy controlled the glass for 8.7 points and 10.3 rebounds.
Taylah Parry also impressed while playing big minutes alongside experienced campaigner Clare Nott (6.7 points, 1.3 steals) and their performances will factor in to Red Dust’s chances next round.
Unfortunately for the Cobras, four consecutive defeats in Round 4 has placed them out of finals contention as they have now played all of their regular season games with a bye in Round 5.
Kilsyth continued to fight in all of their games but were overrun by the Comets who came back from a three-quarter time deficit while against the Blues, they trailed by only 11 points at the last break before falling by 30.
Leanne Del Toso paced them with 23.7 points, 13.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists while Bree Melberg (7.8 points, 2.8 assists) and Teisha Shadwell (11 points, 8.3 boards) showed great signs for the future of the Kilsyth club.