Rollers Start With Two Wins
The Beyond Building Energy Gold Coast Rollers men and womens teams tipped off their 2011 QBL season campaign with two wins over the South West Metro Pirates in Brisbane tonight.
The Lady Pirates were without the Scanlon import sisters scheduled to land in Brisbane on Thursday, and the Lady Rollers took full advantage racing out to an early 21 – 9 first quarter lead and was never troubled as they restricted the Pirates to just 9 points in the second quarter as well, while adding a further 17 points to go into the main break enjoying a 20 point lead, 38 – 18.
Former Gold Coast junior Carine Reimink who has spent the past four years at Division 1 Colorado University dominated with 19 points and 12 rebounds withfellow front court veteran Jade Abele chiming in with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists.
But it was rookie Aleisha Myers who surprised everyone in her first senior QBL game scoring 11 points on debut in just under 24 minutes of playing time. Lismore recruit Emma Kopcikas added a handy double double of 10 points and 11 rebounds to start the Rollers season with a powerful 74 – 52 win.
Third year head coach, Chris Riches was elated with the win.
“Definitely it’s great to open the season in such strong fashion. We had some late team changes with the new NCAA college rules coming through and so on, but we showed tonight that I think we’ll be a force to be reckoned with this season,” he said.
Later in the evening, the men took to the court in what was supposed to be a David vs Goliath affair but someone forgot to tell the undermanned Pirates outfit.
Missing sharp shooter Zac Carter and dealing with a massive exodus of players from last season, the Pirates only managed to suit up nine players while the Rollers were at full strength, including Boomers point guard Adam Gibson.
Both teams looked rusty from the tip off with zero defensive pressure that resulted in the high scoring first quarter ending with the Rollers marginally in front, 28 – 23.
Pirates big man Steven Broom scored at will on the way to a game high 29 points and 12 rebounds with guard Brendan Teys wreaking havoc adding 25 points to lead the Pirates to an unlikely 2 point lead going into the final quarter.
Rollers rookie Brett “Smooth” Arnull was injected to add some defensive pressure on Teys, and in his seven-minute debut, he didn’t disappoint sparking the Rollers to two fast breaks one resulting in an ally-oop play with big man Jaydan Tom.
Despite scores being levelled six times throughout the last quarter, the cool head of Adam Gibson for the Rollers lead them to the 93 – 89 win.
Gibson lead all Rollers scorers with 22 points and 7 assists, captain Jason Aucoin added 17 points and NBL veteran Scott McGregor chipped in with 14 points.
“Look, I’m definitely happy to walk out of here with the win,” Rollers head coach Mick Conlon said after the game.
“The played out of their skins tonight and we give them credit. I felt we were a little rusty in patches but we’ll be better for it, we’re on track with the W and we will only get better,” he concluded.
It’s a short turn around for the Rollers who travel to Gladstone and Bundaberg next weekend before “Rollers Opening Night” at the Rollerdome (Carrara Stadium) on Saturday 21 May as they host Rockhampton in their first return game since 1996 when the Rollers played the Brisbane Bullets in the NBL.
Women tip off at 5pm and men at 7pm with the Gold Coast Waves D-League tipping of at 3pm all at the Rollerdome.