2017 SEASON RECAP
Get prepared for the 2018 season, beginning March 23, with a recap of how all six teams across the competition fared last year.
Sweeping the WNWBL finals, the Sydney Metro Blues earned a well-deserved gold medal in 2017 as they won their last 11 games including their two playoff games by an average of 24.5 points.
The Blues went one step further than the previous season with their depth proving to be Championship-calibre and they will be aiming to maintain a majority of that roster to defend their title in 2018.
Cross-town rivals Sydney Uni Flames had a memorable campaign as well, finishing with a 12-3 record and a silver medal but despite defeating the Blues in their first two meetings, they could not beat them in their next three clashes which included two in the post-season.
The Flames were still the best defensive side in the competition though and if they can maintain that intensity through the likes of Sarah Stewart and Hannah Dodd (the 3.0 and 2.0 MVP’s last season) as well as rising star Annabelle Lindsay, they will be in the hunt for the Championship again this year.
The fight for the bronze medal in 2017 was an instant classic as the Be Active Western Stars edged the Queensland Comets by a point, 66-65.
The lead changed hands five times through the first three quarters and hardly extended beyond five points for either side but an offensive flurry from Amber Merritt (36 points) in the final term proved the difference.
Natalie Alexander and Sarah Vinci also played important roles and will be back in 2018 alongside Meritt while import Chihiro Kitada will also return after she tallied two triple-doubles in the playoffs.
Fellow Japanese import Mari Amimoto has signalled her intent to come back to the WNWBL for the Comets and she will be desperate to help them reach the podium after tallying 22 points, 13 boards and eight assists in the bronze medal playoff.
Cobi Crispin has made the move from the Blues to bolster Queensland’s hopes while they will also be hoping to get more court time from Glider Shelley Cronau.
Just missing out on the finals in their debut season, the Red Dust Lady Heelers only finished a game short of the Comets on the ladder.
They owned the equal third-best defence in the competition and if they can add some more offensive firepower in 2018, they will create more than a few headaches this season, especially with talent like Shelley Chaplin, Clare Nott and Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy.
Similarly, Kilsyth Cobras will be aiming to return to the post-season in 2018 while also improving on their tally of two wins from last season.
With Craig Campbell at the helm and Leanne Del Toso leading them on court, they will certainly not be pushovers while players such as Bree Mellberg who is making a name for herself on the national stage and reigning Best New Talent award winner Teisha Shadwell will help their cause.